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Ecotourism creates local employment in Brunei. Credit: Maurice Spee

It may be best known around the world for the fabulous wealth of its head of state, the Sultan of Brunei. But the tiny country of Brunei Darussalam, which occupies a small portion of the island of Borneo, is quickly developing a reputation as a centre of ecotourism.

In Ulu Temburong National Park, Leslie Chang runs the Sumbiling Eco Village where visitors can find themselves deep in the wild just a relatively short drive from the bustling capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan.

Read the full article here.

By Ken Foxe for Lonely Planet.

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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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Credit: Shutterstock

Halloween is just around the corner so here are some ideas to ensure that the spookiest time of the year is green. Whether you are celebrating with your family and friends or have a themed event at your office, you are only a few steps away from a ‘green’ Halloween.

Decorations and costumes

Look for do-it-yourself decoration ideas by making the most of recyclable items around your house and workplace. Browse for easy recycled decoration ideas and be inspired. Tin cans of all sizes, empty glass bottles, jars and toilet paper rolls can easily be turned into scary décor. It’s the same with your costume. Browse your wardrobes or the local flea markets for clothing suitable for your scary DIY Halloween costume.

Choose environmentally-friendly face paint to make your own fake blood. to get motivated, or if you lack all necessary items, make it a fun get-together with friends and ask them to bring arts and crafts supplies and recycled materials to trade.

Food and drinks

No Halloween party is complete without drinks and snacks. Green your party with reusable crockery and cutlery and search for recyclable or compostable items if required.  Choose organic candy without artificial flavours or preservatives. There are many options for delicious and healthy home-made Halloween snacks including vegetarian/vegan options that do not require detailed preparation and cooking/baking skills.

Pumpkins

Halloween is simply not the same without pumpkins. However, think about how to get the most from your pumpkin. Many people use pumpkins purely for decoration, even though they make delicious pies, soup, bread and even dog food. Check out these creative upcycling ideas for pumpkins using old sweaters, socks and more. If you choose a real pumpkin, make sure to read our tips on what to do with pumpkin waste.  

Take this year’s green Halloween initiative one step further by staging a fun competition in your workplace. Form teams to create the most sustainable and creative decoration for the office and then post your spooky Halloween photos on social media.

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Inspiring your community to go green

Categories: Green Tips
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Inspiring your community to go green

Increasingly, people are looking at ways to reduce their ecological footprint. But is simply greening your own lifestyle enough? How can we also impact our communities, our friends and family, neighbourhoods, towns, cities and, ultimately, our societies?

Here are six ways to inspire your community:

  1. Reconnect

To inspire sustainability efforts in your community, you need to be part of it. Talk to the people around you and seek their opinions. Show support in your community and get involved. Educate yourself on the issues that affect your community and become a leader. Use your new knowledge to start community discussions on sustainability initiatives.

  1. Educate others

Your biggest potential for influencing others is by actions, attitudes and by setting the right example. Be open and honest about your choices and encourage others to follow the same path. For more information and knowledge related to sustainable and socially responsible tourism, visit: PATA’s sustainability website.

  1. Form a Green Team

Form a green team within your community. Having a green team is an important step along the path towards the objective of becoming more environmentally sustainable. It also increases engagement within your community. Check out: how to form a green team.

  1. Local engagement

community engagement

Engage directly with your local community on green projects. What are you planning for EarthDay 2017 on April 22? Gain inspiration from PATA EarthDay activities. Consider neighbourhood clean-up projects; tree planting, community carpooling, recycling and volunteering activities.

  1. Make it easy and enjoyable

Good intentions are fine – but it is meaningful actions that make a difference. For example, if recycling isn’t convenient it is less likely to happen. Visible, conveniently placed recycling bins make it easier for your local community to participate in a recycling programme.  Positive engagement creates positive outcomes in every community. Make sure that you add a little fun to every sustainability project.

  1. Buy local

When you purchase a locally-made product it supports your local economy and benefits the environment by reducing its carbon footprint. Buy locally grown food and handicrafts directly from neighbourhood markets and artists. It’s also a great way to get to know your community.

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New Year’s resolutions are intended to promote better lifestyles and habits towards our hopes of a brighter future. Here are some ways to kick-start 2017 with a more sustainable lifestyle.


shutterstock_365173685Pick something specific

Goals are easier to achieve if they are specific and focused. For example, resolve to eliminate as much plastic from your life as possible. One easy way to start this is to get a filter and a reusable water bottle so you don’t have to buy plastic water bottles.

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Learn something new

If you’re looking forward to learning something new, why not try a new hobby that benefits the environment? Here are some ideas to get you started on your zero-carbon journey. Also, check out some of our other Green Tips articles that can help you reduce your footprint:

Green your ways to go to work!

Offset what you can’t reduce!

 

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Upcycle

Before recycling, think about reusing materials that would otherwise go to waste. This is called ‘upcycling’ and helps to extend a product’s life cycle by reusing unwanted materials. Boost your creativity by turning your trash into treasure. Check out this site for upcycling ideas to kick-start your creativity.

 

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Travel sustainably

Travel can be a powerful force for social and environmental change. This is the year to start taking some of those bucket list trips and doing them in a sustainable and responsible way. Here are the ultimate guides on how to be a responsible traveller. Make sure you have a better understanding by reviewing these guides to travel sustainably:

The Importance of Being a Responsible Traveller

Eco-Tourism Destinations

Eco-Tourism Traps To Avoid

 

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Be green all year round

Don’t give up your resolution after one month. Be green all year round! Do your part at work to be as environmentally minded as you are at home. Here are simple suggestions to implement sustainable practices in the work place.

Have a look at these articles to help you to be greener and more environmentally sustainable at work:

How to Go Green at Work

How to Form a Green Team

Greening your transportation to work

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Recycling Tips for Your Post-Holiday Waste

Categories: Green Tips, People and Places, Planet, Waste
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Wondering how to deal with all that decorations and waste from gift giving after the holiday season? Here are 5 handy tips for your post-holiday waste:


  #1: Christmas Trees 

Don’t throw away your Christmas trees when the holiday is over. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Learn how to recycle your Christmas tree and give it a second life.

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 #2: LED Lights 

If your lights still work after the holiday season, reuse them for as long as possible. When they can no longer be used, take the time to help the environment and have them turned in for recycling. Check out where and how to recycle your old lights.

#3: Gift Wrappingshutterstock_167381660

Don’t just toss wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons, bows, or other gift wrap accessories that are in good shape. You can preserve recycle wrapping paper of all kinds by unwrapping your gifts carefully and save wrapping for crafts as well as future celebrations or holidays. Here are 19 ways to repurpose gift wrap, plus another 30 fun ways to reuse leftover gift wrap.

#4: Cards 

Wondering what to do with all the holiday cards after the holidays are long gone? It’s time to get crafty – check out these websites for more ideas on recycling and reuse your used holiday cards:

#5: Gift

amazon

Amazon Give Back Box (photo credit: Amazon)

Are your gifts not quite your taste? Here’s what you can do with unwanted gifts after the holiday.

Let’s us make an effort to be ‘zero-waste’ in time for New Year’s, and beyond!

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Help Others Go Green – Develop a Green App!

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Help Others Go Green: green-app

Image Source: Shutterstock

In the tourism industry, one of the big issues at hand is the question of “how to reduce travelers’ impacts.” A far reaching approach to generate awareness about being a more responsible traveler could have an enormous impact. Such an approach can be an app that helps travelers by providing them with knowledge and resources on how to improve their positive impacts and reduce their impacts when traveling.

There already are various smartphone apps available that can help us to ‘go green.’ These apps range from as simple as carpooling to those that measure your progress made in your fight against climate change. Of course, there are many more and some of these can be found here.

The good thing about apps is that they can provide relevant information in a fun and engaging way, and they can be updated regularly. “Gamification” still is a very successful concept often used in consumer related industries; companies and organizations often use apps to better engage with their customers by including aspects of gamification, e.g. ranking systems, loyalty and reward programs, as well as other features that increase the consumer’s willingness to interact with the organization and get involved in the issues promoted by the app.

To be successful, we should consider the potential impact of both the leisure and business markets; all travelers should be provided with relevant information on how they can reduce their impacts and travel greener. This could be done by either an independent app, or as part of an event app, as PATA did as part of our 2016 Annual Summit. The app helped attendees to better manage their overall trip and to provide a better experience to them. Since PATA works to spread sustainability in tourism within the region of Asia Pacific and beyond, the app provided attendees with a Responsible Travel Guide.

Help Others Go Green – Creating an app can also be an initiative for you to take, to spread ways and ideas on ‘going green’ or ‘traveling green’ amongst your clientele!

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