Protecting the welfare of our animals is a key thought in the minds of many; charities, companies and individuals work hard to try and stop the unnecessary torture of what were once wild, untouched animals.

Travel company, Thomas Cook, is taking a stand on animal welfare and stopping the sale of tickets to over 30 animal parks, activities and resorts.
The travel giant has already stopped promoting holidays to SeaWorld, Orlando after an ex-trainer revealed the inhumane conditions in which the Whales were kept. The allegations struck anger across the world with protests to close the park still occurring today.

Elephant trekking in Thailand and swimming with dolphin’s in the Dominican Republic are also amongst the activities axed by Thomas Cook.
The good news is it’s not only travel agents who are trying to make a difference, there are some travel insurance companies who are working hard to support the cause by excluding specific activities, such as those listed above, from their cover. If a customer was to need medical attention as a result of participating in such activities, this would not be covered under these travel insurance policies.

The policies are specifically designed to promote animal welfare and are not suitable if you are looking to swim with dolphins, hunt for sport or ride elephants. For people who feel strongly towards the protection of animals these are the types of policies you should look for, however you may need to contact the insurer directly. As the great scale of animal mis-treatment across the world continues to surface, we are sure, in the future, more and more travel insurers will be promoting sustainable tourism.
Alongside animal welfare, you may remember the Blue Planet 2 episode that got the Nation talking? The one that revealed just how much plastic is polluting our oceans and entangling sea creatures and birds, with many of them dying as a result.

This heart-breaking episode hit home about the dangers of not taking care of our environment and as a result many major supermarkets, businesses and travel companies are taking action to help clear the ocean of non-recyclable plastics.
Irish airline, Ryanair has announced they will be ‘plastic-free by 2023’.
The airline’s 5-year plan will include eliminating all non-recyclable plastics from its aircrafts and officials claim the move will make Ryanair the ‘greenest airline’.
From 2023, passengers on board a Ryanair flight will no longer be offered plastic cutlery, instead wooden cutlery and bio-degradable coffee cups will be available. All in-flight products will also be plastic free.

Who else is helping to clean up the environment?
The world’s largest cruise company, The Royal Caribbean, is also making plans to ‘go green’.
The company is pledging to eliminate ‘single-use plastics’ from all fleets across it’s three cruise lines and plan to discontinue the use of plastic straws and bottles on board.
They also plan to reduce the amount of plastic used across the business, i.e. chairs, bags, staff belts and attempt to influence their supply chain to be more ‘sustainable’.
A date for the proposed changes is yet to be confirmed but the cruise line is working to understand the scale of the challenge and plan to have a definite date by the end of the year.

How can you help?
Making a few changes to your everyday routine could help to make a huge difference to our environment. If you enjoy a morning coffee, why not take your own reusable cup – some coffee shops are now offering money off if you use your own! Also, using tote or fabric bags when doing the weekly shop will help cut down plastic, and taking all your litter home with you are just a couple of things you can start doing today…