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All posts tagged Eco-Friendly

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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No detail is too small, especially when it comes to cleaning. This idea can be applied to every area of hospitality, but today we are specifically referring to spring cleaning. When you think about spring cleaning, de-cluttering comes to mind, but have you thought about the cleaning products you use? Sustainable living starts with our daily routine, so let’s pay attention to how we can reduce our impact while doing daily chores and cleaning at work or home.

 

Cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals that end up polluting our soil and waterways. Below are some eco- and wallet-friendly substitutes for commercial cleaning products that do the job and are appropriate for office, hotel properties and even your home.

 

 

  1. Use baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to clean silver items

Baking soda is a great cleaning product that is readily available and is quite inexpensive. When cleaning, add three parts of bicarb to one part with water and mix it, creating a paste. You can use this paste for any silver item. Once finished, rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth.

 

  1. The microwave-lemon trick

Squeeze some lemon juice into a microwaveable bowl and cook for three minutes in the microwave. Afterwards, leave it to stand for approximately five minutes, then open the door and wipe out the microwave using a dry cloth. The microwave grime will come right off! If lemon juice is cost-prohibitive, vinegar works just as well!

 

  1. Dabble in vinegar

Speaking of which, vinegar can have multiple uses for cleaning. It works well to remove grease in the kitchen, and clears up cloudy deposits on wine glasses, and to clean mold and mildew in bathrooms. It even works well to works well to freshen up leather products – dab using a dry cloth and gently brush on. Here are more uses and recipes for vinegar as a cleaning product!

 

  1. Environmental friendly cleansers:

If using chemical or commercial cleansers inform yourself about ingredients and packaging. Check the ecolabel and be sure to read more on criteria to evaluate green supplies.

 

There are many ways to make a positive impact on our environment. While it can be intimidating to “go green“ in every part of our lives, every small step can make a big difference.

 

Read more on eco-friendly cleaning here.

 

 

 

 

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The paperless kitchen challenge

Categories: Green Tips, Planet
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The paperless kitchen challenge

Have you ever considered the potential positive impact to the environment and to your pocket of a paperless kitchen? We all use paper towels for cleaning up those little culinary mishaps; we use paper napkins at the dining table, and many of us carry our snacks to work in paper bags.

Take up the challenge of going paperless in your kitchen.

Why have a paperless kitchen?

Most paper towels cannot be recycled. Many are made of recycled paper and the fibres are at the end of their life cycle. Used paper towels also harbour bacteria and this not only raises concerns about hygiene but could also damage, potentially, other perfectly recyclable materials.

N.B. : Used paper towels, napkins and tissues are compostable

Adopting a paperless kitchen is a simple switch to reduce your kitchen waste and paper costs!

Making the switch

Getting started can be a challenge – but in developing this positive approach you can make a huge difference to your lifestyle.

Top tips:

Photo credit: The Linen Works

Photo credit: The Linen Works

1. Set a timeline

A slow yet steady transition is the best course. Remember to use a cloth whenever possible and you can gradually reduce the dependence on paper towels. Set yourself a deadline for dispensing totally with the paper alternatives!

2. Buy natural-fibre fabric

Invest in new towels and napkins before you run out of paper napkins and paper. Choose eco-friendly natural-fibres for your napkins, dish towels or hand towels whenever possible. Browse sites such as PaperlessKitchen.com to find your perfect natural cleaning cloths.

3. Replace paper towels with reusable rags

Look around your house for items such as old bathroom hand towels and cotton t-shirts. Cut them into manageable sizes for use around your home. Learn how to turn old t-shirts into rags.

4. Develop a system that works for your kitchen

Make the switch to a paperless kitchen easy to implement. For example, use colour coding for all your cloths in the kitchen and bathroom. When your whole family is on board, going paperless is possible.shutterstock_308344490

Check out these useful links:

•   Clever Ways to Store Your Kitchen Linens

•   Declutter Kitchen Towels & Dish Cloths

5. Laundry

Worried about the extra laundry? Soak the cloths in warm water with baking soda or vinegar to remove any grease before washing and rinsing as normal.

Being paper-free in your kitchen can be a challenge. It needs dedication and commitment and it does require a little extra work – the rewards are found in the cost savings and the benefits to our environment.

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Going Green with Your Fitness Regime

Categories: Green Tips, People and Places, Planet
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Fitness Routine

Get fit and stay healthy. That is our motto and New Year resolution for 2017!

Upgrading your fitness routine to the next level also helps to protect our planet. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly fitness tips to help you to ‘go green’ with your workout:

 

Green commute

GREEN YOUR COMMUTE

Reduce your carbon footprint while you exercise. If possible, try walking, jogging or riding a bicycle to the gym or your next destination whilst getting your heart rate up at the same time. If it’s too far, not safe or simply impractical then choose public transport if possible or try to join a carpooling scheme with your fitness friends. Services such as uberPOOL make it easier to carpool and cut down on your fuel costs. And having a gym buddy is an instant incentive to keep up with your fitness goals! Read more on how to commute green to get lean, and how to commute in an eco-friendly way.

 

2017-01-17-14-55-54-167-01

The author enjoyed a grand sunrise atop Mount Yotei, Japan. 2016.

TAKE YOUR WORKOUT OUTSIDE

Exercising outdoors is a low cost, enjoyable and cheap and green way to take your health to the next level. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home or gym exercise machines, take advantage of running, hiking or biking trails in your area. For some motivation, check out AppCrawlr’s recommendations for the best outdoor fitness apps.

 

fitness gear

USE ECO-FRIENDLY FITNESS GEAR

Choose products that are made of sustainable, recycled or earth-friendly fabrics. Here are 11 great picks for eco-friendly workout clothes. Remember to always carry a reusable bottle or hydration pack for your water, tea or sports drinks.

 

Local products at street market

MAINTAIN ENERGY LEVELS WITH SUSTAINABLE FOODS 

Fuel your body with organic energy bars, fresh fruit, and juices before or during your workout. You can also get vitamins and nutrients from locally grown produce and help to cut down on environmental waste.

 

Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

 RUN FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Isn’t it wonderful when your fitness regime also benefits those in need? Sign up for a running event that supports ‘green’ cause. Check out details of your local Earth Day Run. Your registration fee benefits the organisation that helps to make a difference for local communities and environments.

 

DONATE YOUR SNEAKERS

When your sneakers are worn out – don’t throw them away. Donate them. Give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe, a programme that recycles and transforms athletic shoes into surfaces for tracks, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts.

Stay fit, stay healthy and help your local community and environment.

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Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas

Categories: Community, Green Tips, Planet
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Finding the perfect holiday gifts for loved ones may seem difficult and stressful sometimes. For this holiday season, instead of giving the traditional boxed gifts, consider giving a present that has a really positive impact.

Here are some great ideas to help you become a responsible gift giver this holiday:

Sustainable Material Gift

  • Choose Sustainable Materials: Choose items that are made from natural and renewable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, wood, hemp, wool, or silk. Not only do these materials feel nice, but they also support sustainable industries.

Vintage Gift Ideas

  • Shop second-hand or vintage: One of the most sustainable things you can do for the planet is to support recycling. Shopping second-hand and vintage goods helps to extend the life cycle of a product. These gifts are unique, thoughtful, and full of history, and are often less expensive than their newer counterparts – not to mention the consignment and vintage shopping experience itself is part of the thrill of finding the perfect holiday gift.

Shop Local Gift

  • Purchase responsibly: We recommend that you buy fair-trade products that support goods produced in developing countries to achieve sustainable development, that support fair-trade farmers and small communities. Shop local to support your own community or consider supporting other small businesses online such as through Etsy – a peer-to-peer site that sells homemade/handcrafted and vintage goods.

 

The Gift of Charity

Image credits: TisBest

  • The Gift of Charity: The holiday season is a time for giving. By giving a charitable gift for the holidays, you’re actually giving twice! Consider giving a charity gift card, or making a donation in a loved one’s name this holiday, allowing the recipient to experience the rewards of donating to a cause of their choice. Check out TisBest for more information

Give an experience gift

  • Celebrate Together: Rather than giving something material, which could eventually find its way to the landfill, ‘give an experience gift’. Purchase a homemade coupon for a family bowling outing, a museum visit, a picnic in the park or other fun activity. Better still, in the spirit of holiday, find a way to conserve resources while at the same time connecting with others, thus creating lasting memories by inviting friends and family to celebrate with you in your home. The perfect gift for this festive season!

Enjoy a responsible holiday and make sure you do your part this year. We wish you much joy as you celebrate a ‘greener’ holiday!

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