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In our continuing efforts to reduce waste and educate our staff, the PATA Green Team organized a workshop at our Bangkok HQ on August 7, 2018. We invited guest speakers from Tavises – Magic Eyes to conduct the workshop.

“Ah! Ah! Don’t litter. Magic Eyes are watching you” is a merry jingle many Gen X Thais are familiar with, and thanks to the efforts of this organisation, the concept will be passed down to future generations.

The speakers, Pa and Nat, introduced their organisation and their mission. They gave an overview of waste management in Thailand and discussed the 5 Rs – reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and reject – to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Pa and Nat emphasised the idea of refusing to use single-use plastics – especially plastic bags, straws and cups – proposing alternates to single use items such as tote bags instead of plastics bags, reusable tumblers, handkerchiefs instead of tissues/paper towels and reusable cutlery.

To drive the dangers of single-use plastics home, they shared some nerve-wracking facts about plastic pollution:

           

The group shared various ideas about how individuals can manage their waste properly, and how upcycling can be put into practice to give new life to items that would otherwise be thrown away. The speakers concluded their presentation with a poignant video showing humankind’s general exploitative attitude towards the planet.

Today, Lankaow Waan catered our lunch, chosen for not just their delicious food, but also for their recycled and compostable packaging.

     

Efforts made by organisations such as Tavises – Magic Eyes and Lankaow Waan will help educate the world about the benefits and importance of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. The workshop helped put things into perspective and reminded everyone how important it is to be mindful of the decisions each one of us makes.

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bike riding, sustainable transportation, couple, holiday, vacation, countryside

Enjoy the summertime while practicing eco-friendly habits. A little goes a long way in terms of sustainability, and every bit of effort counts.

Here are seven tips to help you go green this summer:

  • Stay hydrated by carrying your own refillable tumbler or water bottle. Refuse to use single use plastic bottles, cups and straws.
  • Get a few indoor plants, they can act as natural air purifiers and will liven up your space.
  • Save on your electricity bill by letting in natural daylight. Remember to turn off lights, fans and other electronic appliances when not in use. Switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Use eco-friendly deodorants to stay fresh this summer. They are better for your skin and, of course, the environment. If you can’t find them in the market, try this simple DIY.
  • Prepare a hearty meal at home and avoid processed foods. This will minimize waste generation and will also be beneficial for your health.
  • Ride your bicycle or walk to travel short distances. Use public transport to cover greater distance. If you can’t avoid driving, try staying within the speed limit, as this is more fuel efficient.
  • Instead of using the dryer for clothes, let your laundry dry out in the summer sun.
  • Shop for produce at local markets. This supports the economy and the community at large.

If you’re planning to go on holiday, try going green and help to preserve the beautiful destinations for generations to come.

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Australia has shown immense dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals with the government, businesses, educational institutions, and individuals showing a strong commitment in building a sustainable future.

Below, we look at a few destinations from “down under” and their sustainability efforts.

Brisbane
The third largest city in Australia ranks high in terms of sustainability because of their efficient and easily accessible transport system. Due to their focus on sustainable activities such as composting, waste management, and recycling, Brisbane won the Dame Phyllis Frost first prize in 2015.

City of Canada Bay (Sydney)
The City of Canada Bay is an area located in Sydney. A common feature for all initiatives introduced by the local administration is the involvement of citizen participation. The city has also launched the Greenhouse Action Plan, with a commitment to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Glenorchy (Hobart)
The small town of Glenorchy, located in Hobart, has been recognised for a project involving the industrial reuse of rainwater, which saves approximately 400 million litres of water a year. Furthermore, the town has taken steps to educate the youth with awareness campaigns on solidarity recycling, compost recycling and urban gardens.

For more examples of other noteworthy sustainable destinations in Australia, have a look at the list compiled by Keep Australia Beautiful here.

Tip for travellers

If you would like to find out which Australian tourism operators, accommodations, and attractions are eco-friendly, then look for accreditation by Ecotourism Australia. The Eco Certification logo is carried by those businesses that are recognised as environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.

You can visit the Green Travel Guide, published by Ecotourism Australia, to go through their list of all accredited businesses.

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Preserving the environment and working towards a more sustainable future have become increasingly important agenda items in the world today. Tourism has a significant impact on the world economy, local communities, and the environment. As a result, businesses and individuals are now thinking in more sustainable ways.

People concerned about being a responsible traveller act as a driving force behind this global effort towards sustainability, with their own actions and choices. Therefore, it is beneficial to be informed about the local practices and the sustainability efforts that are being made by the destination you are planning to visit.

Here are some ways you can stay informed and become a sustainable traveller:

  • Minimise waste by using only what you need. Say no to plastic, as it is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution.
  • Conserve the natural resources of the place you are visiting.
  • Support the local economy by shopping at local stores and vendors.
  • Make sure your actions are not adversely affecting the wildlife of the destination.
  • Make better decisions on where to stay via Bookdifferent, a hotel booking site that shows you the eco-label of various destinations and hotels.
  • Visit Verdict to stay on top of the latest news about travel destinations that are working on sustainable tourism.

Business travellers can also check out our responsible business travel guidelines to be better informed for your next trip.

Travelling is the best way to discover the world and fall in love with it. However, it is just as important that we work to develop a responsible and sustainable tourism industry to make sure what we love is preserved for future generations.

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Water feature: Aqualagon with its amazing water slides is the main attraction. Photograph: Luc Boegly

There’s some weirdness attached to Villages Nature, the Disney-imagineered vision of rustic life, but the waterslides are amazing and there’s lots for kids to do

Welcome to the strangely disconcerting world of Villages Nature, 20 miles east of Paris and less than three hours on Eurostar direct from London St Pancras. All of this was once disused farmland until Disney and its partner, Pierre et Vacances (which owns Center Parcs Europe), transformed it into a 300-acre eco-resort; a “haven where guests can disconnect and feel at one with nature”. In other words, the polar opposite of the offering up the road – Disneyland Paris. Their hope is that families will be curious to try both these different worlds. It’s easy to see the appeal: when the children are done with Hyperspace Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, you can escape back here to the serenity of your Scandi-chic apartment, a gloriously Disney princess-free zone.

Read the full article to find out more about the features of Disneyland’s new eco-resort here.

By  for The Guardian.

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

Winter is back in many parts of our precious world. Skiing and snowboarding trips are on the calendar around the globe. Do you also have a snowy escape lined up? If so, keep on reading to find out how to make your carbon footprint of this trip a barely discernible snowshoe imprint.

To begin, find eco-friendly ski and snowboard equipment – from the actual skis/snowboard to clothing to wax and more. You may also source used equipment instead of buying new to reduce waste to landfill. Remember that you can always recycle/donate used gear that is still in good used condition. Choose jackets, scarves, gloves and boots that are previously loved or made from recycled material. Fleece products, for example, are often made from recycled plastic bottles.

Get to the slopes by using shared shuttle services or other public transportation instead of a personal car. This will help to reduce carbon emissions, air pollution and noise – not to mention eliminate the worry of your car getting stuck in the snow! Check out these ‘car-free’ and ‘no-car-needed’ ski resorts when choosing your holiday destination. Choosing an accommodation and ski resort that is dedicated to greening the slopes will help to lower the negative environmental impact or even result in a carbon neutral holiday. Look for opportunities to offset your footprint. Read more about how one ski resort aims at cutting carbon emissions to zero in the future.

All set for going down the slopes? For more food for thought on your next active winter vacation, read about the environmental impact of ski resorts and solutions and alternatives here. Let’s all go green so we can keep our slopes powdery!

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Credit: Shutterstock

Whether you are planning a beach holiday to escape the winter that is coming to your part of the world, or whether you live near the beach, it is important to practice mindfulness for the environment. Here are some easy ways to minimise your footprint:

Before you leave

Remember to turn off lights, unplug your electronics and most importantly, turn off air-conditioning before you leave your hotel room or your home to limit energy use. Refill your reusable water bottle to avoid buying plastic bottles, and pack some snacks in reusable containers. If you are staying at a hotel, look for snacks in minimal and environmental friendly packaging.

On the way

Choose an eco-friendly mode of transportation to get to the beach. Go for a stroll if the beach is in walking-distance of your accommodation, ride a bicycle if available, or check for local busses to take you as close to the beach as possible.

At the beach

Apply an organic, mineral-based sunscreen that does not harm people and the ocean – For guidance on purchasing an ocean-safe option, you can find helpful tips here.

If you plan on exploring some coral reefs, read our tips for responsible diving and snorkelling.

Stay hydrated! For many, sipping the water of a coconut is a beach essential. Consider bringing your own reusable straw to reduce plastic waste. There are many different options of reusable straws for you to pick from.

Check if the beach is a smoke-free zone in case you are a smoker. If smoking is not banned, make sure to bring a eco-friendly portable ashtray to keep the beach free from cigarette butts as they contain hazardous substances that are threat to the marine life.

Always take your trash with you, or dispose of it in a designated bin. Pick up litter if you see any in the water or in the sand. You may even want to participate in a beach clean-up initiative or simply dedicate five minutes to collect litter you find near you. Also check our tips for reducing plastic waste on our beaches and in our waters.

For more reading and tips about beach travel, visit our friends at beachmeter.com.

With these simple tips in mind, all you need to do is get your friends or family together for a sunny and relaxing beach day!

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

While you may not have control over choosing the destination for your next business trip it’s possible to make your stay more responsible.

Start with checking the Arcadis Sustainable Cities index and the destination’s website for sustainability features. Tourism Vancouver, for example, has a section on its site dedicated to sustainable tourism. Many cities offer a variety of green initiatives such as themed weeks, mini festivals and food recycling.

If you are attending a MICE event, be sure to ask your event organiser some pertinent questions about the event, such as:

  • Does the event have a sustainability policy?
  • Have you communicated the sustainability commitment to stakeholders?
  • Is the event environmentally certified?
  • What types of environmental practices are in place?

 

Look for ways to incorporate local traditional culture into meetings and conventions (example of Kyoto Culture for meetings Subsidy). Engage and support local communities by visiting farmers markets and restaurants that use locally grown products.

If you plan to explore the destination on a guided tour, ask your tour operator or guide to give details of established environmental guidelines that minimise the impact of tourists upon the environment, culture and community.

Remember to be respectful of the destination and its natural resources by always recycling waste or disposing of it responsibly. Some smart destinations even offer apps to report litter to improve the urban environment. You may also want to find out which buildings have received USGBC’s LEED certification. Exploring such listed buildings at your destination can reveal some interesting tips.

When getting around at the destination, the journey matters. Check with your accommodation or meeting organiser for shuttle bus services, if any, to reduce the use of taxis. Choose local public transport and shuttle services, particularly when travelling to and from the airport. Look for transport options such as cycle-sharing (example of Chicago’s Divy). If you are in a group you may also want to consider using car-sharing services such as Uber Pool.

If you feel inspired and would like your city to become a green meetings destination, check out the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations and the EarthDay.org resource for Green Cities.

For more guidelines on hosting green events, check out TCEB’s Sustainable Events Guide.

Read more about being a responsible business traveller: PATA Responsible Business Travel Guidelines.

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Credit: Travindy

Singapore, 11 October 2017 – Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) announced today the appointment of Banyan Tree Holdings (Banyan Tree) as the operator of an eco-friendly resort to be located within the new integrated nature and wildlife destination at Mandai. This partnership marks the debut of the award-winning, Singapore-based hospitality company on home ground after its global success.

Integrated with Mandai’s natural surroundings, it is envisioned the eco-friendly resort will provide an immersive stay close to nature, offering unique experiences that inspire care for biodiversity and sustainable behaviour. It will provide, for the first time, the opportunity for visitors to stay over in a full-service accommodation at the doorstep of Singapore’s wildlife parks. Guests will be able to enjoy and explore the precinct’s array of offerings, including its five wildlife parks, nature-themed indoor attraction and public green spaces.

Read the full article on the new destination in Singapore here.

By Travindy.

 

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      1. Take a reusable bag to avoid using plastic bags when shopping for groceries and souvenirs. There are many stylish and practical options, including cotton bags or recycled bags that fold into their own little mini-sack.
      2. Carry your own reusable water bottle and check if your accommodation offers refilling stations. You will be supporting the reduction of problematic plastic waste around the world, and you will be saving money. If you are a coffee lover, take a reusable coffee cup to avoid throwing away paper or styrofoam cups.
      3. Avoid buying travel-size, single-use shampoo and conditioner. Pack environmentally- friendly containers that may be used repeatedly. Check the ingredients of your toiletries – you may wish to purchase organic products that are healthier for your skin and body but also cause much less harm to the environment. As an example, many standard sunscreens are potentially harmful to people and the ocean, so choose an organic, mineral-based option. Here’s your guide to choosing an ocean-safe sunscreen.
      4. Unable to live without your smartphones and tablets? Take a solar-powered charger and power up your device with an eco-friendly gadget.
      5. Pack a set of reusable utensils to avoid using plastic knives and forks that are so often non-biodegradable and therefore harm the environment as well as being unhygienic. Take your own cutlery made of a sustainable material such as bamboo and benefit from a beautiful, durable and renewable lightweight option that does not stain or absorb flavours.
      6. Take a sarong. It may not be an obvious item on your eco-packing list but it will turn out to be the best investment a green traveller can make. It can be used as a towel, requiring less water to wash and less time to air-dry and it may also serve as a wet wipe to freshen up. Yes, you heard right, a wet wipe. The corner of a fast-drying sarong can work wonders after a long journey on buses and trains and you don’t leave behind a trail of wasted paper. It can also be used as a fashionable cover up or for a little extra warmth.

       

      All set for your next adventure? If you want to read more about eco-friendly travel essentials, you can find some more ideas here.

      Be sure to check out PATA’s Responsible Business Travel Guidelines for more information about being a responsible traveller before, during and after your trip.

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