Make a difference
We should all do our bit to reduce our impact on the environment by making a few simple changes to our lifestyle. So the next time you head off on holiday in Scotland, think green!
As a visitor, you'll need heating, lighting, food, information, transport and a whole range of services. Going green is not about reducing the quality of any of these; looking after the environment is about doing more with less.
Why not embrace how our ancestors lived? Enjoy some of the best locally-sourced organic produce in the Highlands, including local game, venison and line caught mackarel at The Cross in Kingussie; an award-winning eco-friendly 19th century tweed mill in the magnificent Cairngorms National Park. Or, go even further back in time, and experience life in the Iron Age at the Crannog Centre in Perthshire! This picturesque loch-dwelling is home to interactive exhibitions and events which bring the history of the region to life!
Or help us protect Scotland's environment for the future by joining one of the popular National Trust for Scotland working holidays. Visit Scotland's UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the remote island of St Kilda, and protect Scotland's wildlife, build dry stone walls, tend to gardens and maintain ancient traditions, such as sheep shearing and wool-spinning.
Then witness what Scotland is doing for the future. Travel through some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery until you find yourself at Ben Cruachan on the shores of Loch Awe. There, you'll find Hollow Mountain - a massive cavern hidden deep in the mountain which is home to the enormous hydro-power turbines of one of Scotland's greatest green engineering achievements.
VisitScotland's Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) encourages tourism businesses to be environmentally friendly, whether they be hotels or guest houses, bed and breakfasts or self-catering or visitor attractions.
The GTBS has over 700 members, all of whom are rigorously assessed and given a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, depending on the level of energy-efficiency they achieve. Members ensure they take measures to lessen the impact of their business on the environment. These can be as diverse as using low-energy light bulbs, using local produce on menus or promoting wildlife walks and cycle hire in their area.
Check out the GTBS for yourself.