Hope in the Eurostar

Growing BeVenturesome has been incredibly exciting. Pupils had a wonderful time last season, they are coming back for more in 2020 and new schools are joining us.

We always wanted to run a business that created unforgettable experiences for pupils but also helped protect the natural environment that makes it all possible.

However, I think it is fair to say that we have been a little guilty of avoiding the elephant in the room on the matter of the environment….Our groups tend to fly to the Alps which is of course, one of the worse carbon emitting activities you can do.

The big questions we’ve been grappling with:

  • Can a travel business ever have a true positive impact on the environment?
  • Is carbon offsetting actually effective?
  • Can we ever be sustainable when our trips involve flights?
  • What are others doing in the travel industry who claim to be sustainable?

It quickly became apparent that these were very hard questions to answer but there are 2 obvious things we could do and it wasn’t really worth looking at anything else until we did so.

  • Reduce the amount of flights
  • Use the trips as a platform to engage young people in the environment 

Here is the progress we’ve made so far on each of them:

Reduce the amount of flights

The problem

  1. Flying is one of our biggest selling points. You can leave London early one morning and be whitewater rafting my 1pm. It’s also cheaper than getting the train.
  2. Coach travel is only economical with over 40 people and is not always popular
  3. Trains are expensive and slow.

The revelation

However, on further research…

  1. The Eurostar goes DIRECT to Lyon (we were looking via Paris to Geneva!)
  2. It only takes 4 hours 41 minutes!
  3. AND it stops at Ashford International for those not wanting to go into London.
  4. AND it’s really cheap when you book 9 months or so in advance (we were looking 4 months in advance!)
  5. AND it’s EVEN cheaper for 10 and 11 year olds.
  6. AND it has all the other benefits of getting a train

So we launched it the other week: https://beventuresometrips.co.uk/eurostar-to-the-alps/ 

The reaction

So far the reaction has been very positive from the school we have chatted to. More pleasing was that not only were they happy with the logistics and saw the train as a much simpler, lower stress travel mode but they were keen on reducing the impact of their travel.

Fingers crossed Eurostar booking start coming through soon…

A platform to engage young people in the environment  

The second most impactful thing we could do as a company was too educate and inspire the pupils that come on our trips. If we can influence the pupils to live slightly lower carbon life styles than our impact is multiplied.

Here is what we’ve done so far:

  • Published an estimate of the carbon emissions of each travel method to the Alps so people can make a more informed decisions
  • We visited one of our schools to engage the pupils about the impacts of the trip and to see what their thoughts were.

Things we’re planning for the future:

  • Publish more on the trials and tribulations of trying to be better for the environment
  • Develop our resources for pre-trip information for pupils
  • Launch a fundraising platform to help mitigate some of the impacts of our trips

Plenty more to come on this to come…

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