As the holiday season approaches, environmental campaigners are urging travellers to 'go the extra mile' to find an ethical vacation. And with so many 'carbon aware' holidays just a 12-hour flight away, there's no excuse for staying at home.
"We're really disturbed by the rapid rise in camping, especially in Wales", explained Roland Barker, a vocal member of Greenpeace. "Huge areas of grassland are being left flattened and slightly yellow by tents, and barbecues are far from carbon-neutral. The sheer affordability of camping equipment is encouraging all the wrong types of people to load up their gas-guzzlers and spoil the Mendips. If you really must go camping, stay in a yurt in Ulan Bator: it raises awareness of indigenous peoples. I'm prepared to pay the much, much higher price for this, as I've explained to everyone in my office."
Jemimah Lloyd-Harvey has been tirelessly promoting her planned trip to Thailand, which will highlight the plight of the Agile Gibbon. Her neighbour Jill is well aware of her charitable work: "She's been banging on about her monkeys since February. I'm not sure it's entirely necessary to hire a village of tribesmen to hack a path through the jungle to see them, but she's explained that it's the only way for a hybrid Tuk-Tuk to make it there. I know it's important for her work to see a video of her feeding them, but wouldn't it be better to just post them some bananas?"
Thanks to the charity work of several of Jemimah's colleagues, a village in Zambia now has a large bag of footballs and a fondue set. A lot of their work promotes sustainability: "We visited a delightful township in Namibia, where rising food costs are really affecting the locals, as well as the buffet breakfast at our hotel. As the saying goes: 'give a man a fish and he can feed himself for a day', so we took them five fish, and a 20% off voucher for Ocado."
There are hopes that the message is finally sinking in. Roland is particularly excited about the increased interest in skiing holidays: "Electrically-powered ski lifts are a perfect example of renewable mass-transport. And wooden logs are a fantastic 'carbon sink', as are traditional and reassuringly expensive wooden skis. It really is worth the extra money, as I've told no end of people a number of times." Roland has made a Facebook page for his next expedition to Calgary, where people can promote his message by 'liking' a picture of a bear.
Jemimah has quickly dismissed any suggestions that these ethical holidays aren't really all that green. "Some people seem to think that our altruistic and costly holidays are unnecessary. But I just refer the critics to my photo albums, and they soon realise how green they are. You should have seen Jill's face when I showed her a picture of me saving coral reefs with a dolphin in Phuket: she was positively chartreuse with envy!"