Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Rubbish In Indonesia (Mar23)

It felt like Armageddon.  We went on a ‘nature bike ride’, but the trip highlights were piles and piles of rubbish.  Plastic bottles, old flip flops, a child’s shoe, fishing nets, polystyrene, foil packets and general household detritus. We were in Indonesia staying at the Banyan Tree on the northern coast of Bintan, which is […]


We weren’t far from Singapore, but it was another world.  Two tropical Indonesian islands to the East of Bintan, which is just South of the Asian city-state.   I have to admit that I’m a very critical tourist – I generally challenge hotels on everything including what’s happening to their sewage, how they source their […]

Pura Vida Costa Rica (Apr22)

Having successfully navigated a rapid as we rafted away from Pacuare Lodge in Central Costa Rica, we put our oars together and joined our guide in a celebratory shout of ‘Pura Vida’. Literally the pure or natural life. Leaving the lodge, we started the trip in a relatively narrow gorge, the rocks on either side […]

Scorched earth in Sicily (Oct20)

What a beautiful time of year to come to this island perched on Italy’s toe.  We were lucky to have clear blue skies and the trees were turning gold. One of the most striking things about the island is the number of wind turbines on nearly every horizon.  I rather like them both visually and […]

Greening hotels (Apr09)

I stay in hotels all the time. And I quite often give feedback. Most hotels are incredibly wasteful. Common practices include: -Leaving lights on in bedrooms when they’re unoccupied -Double beds with lots of pillows for only one person (resulting in lots of unnecessary laundry) -Individually wrapped soaps, shampoos and other products -Over-heating or cooling […]

Between the Sheets (Apr08)

I spend quite a lot of time staying at hotels or other people’s houses, often for only one night at a time. And I realise that I’m getting quite obsessed about sheets. Well actually, not just sheets – pillowcases, towels, bathmats and anything else that has to be laundered. Most of you will have seen […]