Canadians not green travellers, but would consider eco-friendly vacations if the price is right

- TD Friends of the Environment Foundation offers the chance to win an eco-friendly vacation -

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Whether it's purchasing carbon offset credits, reusing towels, or booking 'green' hotels, new research reveals the environment isn't a top priority for the majority of Canadians when travelling. According to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) Green Travel Poll, 83% of Canadians have never taken an eco-friendly vacation.

One quarter of Canadians (25%) haven't taken an eco-friendly trip because it's not a priority. While 9% haven't taken one because it's too expensive and 20% admit they aren't sure why they haven't taken an environmentally-friendly vacation. The TD FEF Green Travel Poll defined an eco-friendly trip as a holiday or travel that strives to sustain, enhance or have as little impact as possible on the environment, such as through green transportation, accommodations and eco-tourism.

"While we often think about our impact to the environment at home, our research shows that the majority of Canadians aren't as concerned about the environment when they're away," said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "There are a number of easy and inexpensive ways to make travel a little greener, from using e-tickets to taking public transit while sightseeing."

Another way to make a vacation more environmentally-friendly is to purchase carbon offset credits. According to the TD FEF Green Travel Poll this is something that 90% of Canadians have never considered. Seven out of 10 (69%) haven't because they were not aware of carbon offset credits.

Although the majority of Canadians aren't taking eco-friendly vacations, 89% say they would consider one. Six-in-ten Canadians (59%) say they would consider taking an eco-friendly vacation if the price was the same as a conventional vacation, 39% would consider it if the features were the same as a conventional vacation and 29% would consider it if the features were more rustic than a conventional vacation but better for the environment. Only 11% of Canadians said they would never consider an eco-friendly vacation.

"It's great to see that an environmentally-friendly vacation is within the realm of possibility for so many Canadians," says Desjardins. "We're excited to give one lucky Canadian the opportunity to experience an 'eco-trip' of a lifetime just for subscribing to TD FEF's free e-newsletter, Taking Root."

Win a green vacation by taking root with TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Canadians now have a chance at green travel by signing up for Taking Root, TD FEF's bi-monthly e-newsletter that includes environment tips, features TD FEF's work in communities across the country and information on how to get involved. Until October 17, 2011, Canadians who sign-up for Taking Root will be entered to win one of three exciting eco-friendly trips valued at approximately $12,000 - $15,000:

  1. A ten day Galapagos Islands adventure, which includes two nights camping on the islands, up close observation of rare and exotic wildlife species, snorkeling and hiking.
  2. An eight day trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, which includes a guided discovery tour of Canadian rainforest and wildlife including grizzly bears, whales, the white spirit bear, and wolves.
  3. Seven days of luxury travel through diverse Canadian landscapes on VIA Rail, which includes exploration of Toronto, Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria. This trip also features an Ice Explorer ride on Athabasca Glacier and a visit to Butchart Gardens.

Carbon credits will also be purchased to offset the carbon emissions resulting from the selected trip. Signing up for Taking Root is free. For more information and to register for Taking Root, visit www.tdfef.com

About the TD FEF Green Travel Poll:
On August 12, 2011 an online survey was conducted among 1,002 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:
Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $54 million in funding to approximately 20,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2010, TD FEF provided more than $3.5 million in support of 970 projects.  Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 %of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit www.tdfef.com.

SOURCE TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

For further information:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Megan Hooper
TD
416-982-4725
megan.hooper@td.com  

Karen Williams / Steve Presant
Paradigm Public Relations
416-203-2223
kwilliams@paradigmpr.ca /spresant@paradigmpr.ca

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