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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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Do you love snacking or preparing your own food yet are lacking environmentally-friendly packaging? Grabbing snacks on the go often comes with a lot of single-use, unnecessary plastic wrapping and packaging that we dispose after only minutes of use. We often tend to use disposable wrapping in our kitchen as it seems convenient for storing and keeping food fresh. However the environment takes a hit at the same time. 

Make your next take-away sustainable and green up your food storage solutions. Here are three products that allow you to prepare for your cravings in an eco-friendly way,

 1. Bee’s wraps: These amazing food wraps are made of cloth, beeswax and tree resin. They are washable in soap and cold water, reusable and sealed by the warmth of your hands. You no longer need to wrap food in plastic! Learn of its benefits through this short video clip. 

2. Reusable ziplock and sandwich bags: There are many different convenient and most importantly reusable options that fit your needs and help you ditch disposable plastic wrappings – from a durable, water- and air-tight seal, to dishwasher-safe designs, to cases that unfold into a placemat and more. Compare different options available here and pick the ones you need. 

3. Collapsible food containers: This lightweight and airtight silicone option is perfect for on the go. They are true space savers and come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some examples by collapse-it and Thin Bins. 

Remember that there is always an alternative to single-use plastics. A quick search online will provide you with a variety of options that will help you along your plastic detox journey. Start with replacing one item at a time and encourage others to do the same.

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Every time food is wasted, all the money, packaging, manpower, and water are wasted too. The loss of natural resources such as land, water, and biodiversity, as well as the negative impacts of climate change represent huge costs to society. To minimise our impact on the environment, every single one of us needs to ensure that we work to reduce and ultimately prevent food waste in our very own kitchens on a daily basis. Luckily, we have some EGG -citing tips for you to take back to your kitchen and implement right away:

Feast your eyes on this short video clip that provides tips on how to reduce food waste posted on the UN FAO Instagram account. We know it is corny, but food is simply a-MAIZE-ing, so LETTUCE celebrate, make responsible choices and prevent food waste from going to landfill.

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Air travel has an impact on both our own health as well as our planet’s. When we think about it – the carbon emissions resulting from it as well as the waste produced, or jet-lag – it may not be the healthiest choice after all. However, there are many ways to make your long-haul flight a better experience by considering the environmental impact, your health, and your sleep cycle.

Book an eco-friendly flight and check whether your airline offers carbon offset programs. You can learn more about offsetting your global travels via PATA partner EarthCheck’s carbon calculator here. Be sure to check out our previous tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and make the most of your air miles.

When getting ready for your journey at home, start with packing eco-friendly travel essentials that allow you to produce zero waste on your next long flight. For example, bring your own empty water bottle(s) to refill at an airport water fountain after passing security and carry your own slow-energy release snacks (e.g. nuts or dried fruits) in a reusable container or environmental friendly packaging. Drink plenty of water two days before traveling and get some exercise if possible. Bring a thermo flask if you like to drink coffee or tea to avoid disposable cups, both at the airport and on the plane. Little changes and a mindful preparation for your flight can have a positive impact on our earth.

At the terminal, stretch your legs and walk around the terminal before boarding. Remember to refill your water bottles to stay well hydrated during the flight. Choose what works best for you to stay healthy on your travels. By avoiding single-use water bottles, cups or disposable cutlery throughout your travels you will also reduce plastic waste in which our oceans and other places around the world are drowning in.

On board, choose to say ‘No’ to all items that are wrapped in plastic on board, from the headphones to the toiletry bag to minimise waste. Move around the plane, wiggle your feet and toes to keep the blood circulating. Lower your window shades to help keep the aircraft cool. You may even want to consider fasting on a long-haul flight to avoid or reduce jet lag. Read more about three good reasons to fast here.

Ready for take-off? Enjoy your flight and stay green.

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Stay active and pick up litter

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Daily life keeps us busy with all kinds of activities – staying healthy and making eco-conscious choices throughout every single day often requires self-discipline, especially in the phase of changing to an environmental friendlier lifestyle. To make life a little easier, we have two fun suggestions that will not only help you be kind to the environment, but also support your very own wellbeing while staying connected to a community of like-minded people.

1. Go ‘plogging’

No, that’s not a typo – ‘plogging’ describes a fitness craze that started in Sweden and has spread across the world over the last month. It is easy, addictive and highly effective! You go jogging and pick up litter on the way. Get your heart pumping and burn extra calories by bending  down to pick up trash! The health of our planet as well as your own body benefit from plogging. The best part is that it can be a social activity and is suitable for both urban and rural locations. Find a group of ploggers via social media or start your own and go for a jog e.g. along the beach, around your neighbourhood, on a trail in a park or forest nearby and pick up litter.  Be inspired by these 10 ploggers sharing what they find in one workout on social media.

2. Let rivers, lakes and the ocean be your playground

Whether you prefer to go under water for a snorkel or dive, or stay above water, e.g. on a paddle board or kayak – bring a litter picker and tie a refuse sack around your wrist or hip to put put away any litter you come across. Join a plastic patrol and help clean up our waters – every single piece of litter matter. Watch the example of kayak tours with the mission to help clean up Hoai river in Hoi An, Vietnam to see how easy it is. Kayak clean ups are also suitable for corporate initiatives or as team building activity.

Make sure to recycle and dispose the trash you pick up during any of the above activities properly. Only then you can ensure that you have helped to provide a cleaner planet for our current and future generation.

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With the PATA Annual Summit 2018 (PAS 2018) taking place in Gangwon Province in the Republic of Korea, we invite you to maximise your experience before, during and after the event by making responsible choices and exploring the coastal location of the event in “Gangneung” style. To get a general overview of what it means to travel for business responsibly, start with checking our Responsible Business Travel Guide. It provides you with easy to follow steps and ideas when getting ready for your travel, during your trip and returning home.

While you are in Gangneung, let your tastebuds experience sensations arousing from the flavours and ingredients of the local cuisine, also known as “K-Food”.  Choosing local and seasonal food helps reduce greenhouse gas emission so why not make the most out of your stay by enjoying the robust flavours of classic Korean cooking. Gangwon Province also offers a variety of fresh products from pollution-free agriculture and fishery programmes. Did you know that the Republic of Korea introduced a “Low Carbon Certification System for Agriculture and Lifestock Products”? The system supports agricultural enterprises in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously helps ethical consumers to purchase agriculture produce certified as low carbon products. Keep an eye open for those products.

If you are looking for traditional specialties to snack on, try Hangwa. If you have enough time on your hands, visit Moraenae – a country village where you can learn about the 130 years old tradition of making this traditional snack made from glutinous rice and fine sesame.

If you are a coffee lover, Gangneung, also referred to as the spiritual home of the Korean coffee craze, is the place to be. Head down to “Coffee Street”, bring your tumbler and sip on a cup of coffee while strolling along the bustling beachside.

Find out what’s behind the great buzz around Korean food and coffee yourself, explore Gangneung, a city full of tradition and history and share your experiences with us during PAS 2018!

Remember to download the PATA event app (for iOS or on Google Play) to stay on top of the programme and news while minimising the use and waste of paper.

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Tips on how to extend the lifespan of business cards

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Business meetings, conferences, networking events, social gatherings, etc., all of these events have one thing in common – the exchange of business cards among professionals. Though we are living in a digital world with smartphones, laptops and tablets, the exchange of business cards is still a universal ritual in the corporate world. They make it easy for people to connect as they carry essential contact information, however 88 percent of business cards handed out will be thrown out in less than a week. With this in mind, we need to make eco-friendly choices at the time of purchase as well as look for ideas to recycle or upcycle in order to help reduce the impact on the environment.

You can make a start with getting business cards printed on recycled paper – be inspired by these five eco-friendly options. You can also hold back on simply throwing out collected or expired cards even if the stack of cards has piled up to an unbearable level on your desk or in your favorite junk drawer. Give them a second chance with one of the following cool and useful recycling and upcycling ideas:

  1. Make your own chalkboard tags: Apply a coat of chalkboard paint to the business cards and let it dry overnight. Punching a hole in the side will turn the old unwanted business card into a stylish hanging label or even gift tag. It makes a neat label for flowers and herbs in your garden or kitchen when attached to a small stick or a toothpick. Be inspired by examples here.
  2. Convert old cards to reusable note cards: Laminate the cards, add a magnet (if you are using magnet board) to one of the sides and add them to your organizational board. Using a dry erase pen to take notes, write down tasks or other reminders, allows you to reuse the cards as often as you wish.
  3. Turn trash into treasured decoration: Get creative and create a piece of decoration made from old business cards for the next office party or a colleague’s birthday. Surprise your team member at their next birthday with a colorful, personalised birthday banner. Get ideas for the design here.
  4. Take it to the next level: If you have more time on your hands, you may want to consider making your own homemade paper from old cards teared into little pieces. You can find instructions here.

There are many ways to extend the lifespan of a business card, choose an option that is most useful for you.

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A touch of green: Benefits of plants at your workspace

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Work overload, stress, low level of productivity, and illness – these are workplace characteristics many of us have experienced or witnessed at some point in our life. Perhaps you and your colleagues currently are facing a challenging time. Have you considered brightening up your workspace with plants to boost productivity?

The beneficial effects of greenery at the workplace have been researched numerous times in the past. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that the number of indoor plants proximal to a worker’s desk had small but statistically reliable associations with a decrease in sick leave and an increase in productivity. Plants in closed environments not only provide you with cleaner air by removing chemicals emitted from computers and furniture and adding humidity to the atmosphere, they also release phytochemicals that suppress mould spores and bacteria. Nature has a great impact on your mood – looking at it can help your brain shift into a more relaxed mode and ultimately reduce stress. Study results from Australia have outlined significant drops in reported depression, anger and hostility as well as tension and anxiety after introducing office plants.

Did you know that Aloe Vera and Bamboo Palm are among the recommended air improving indoor plants? Learn more about which indoor plants keep your environment alive here. Looking specifically for low-light plants, desk plants or low maintenance options? Check out these recommendations.

Ready to take your productivity to the next level? Make use of the benefits of mother nature, get a plant and bring a touch of green to your desk and workspace.

Be sure to also check out our tips on greening your way to work and staying healthy at work.

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April 22 is Earth Day! Did you know that the environmental movement started close to 48 years ago in 1970, when millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development?

This year’s Earth Day campaign will focus on ending plastic pollution – it is now your turn to stand up, join in, and take action!

It is important to remember the connection between plastics and climate change since the latter is one of the most pressing issues affecting our planet today. An estimated five ounces of carbon dioxide is emitted for every ounce of Polyethylene Terephthalate produced.  Polyethylene Terephthalate, also known as PET, is the plastic most commonly used to make water bottles.

Earth Day Network’s End Plastic Pollution campaign includes four major components. Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics is one of them. Find out about the other three here.

With only four days left until Earth Day 2018, here are four things you can do to support #EndPlasticPollution

There are many simple and easy tips to help you go green, keep our earth safe, spend less, and make every day Earth Day. Remember that you can make a difference and be the change every single day of the year.

For more easy reading, check out our tips on how to reduce plastic waste on our beaches and in our waters and 3 easy ways to tackle plastic.

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Fancy sipping a smoothie, long drink, coconut water or any other beverage using a straw? Make sure to make the sustainable choice when doing so. In short, refuse single-use plastic straws and choose a reusable alternative. These decisions are key to making our world a cleaner and better place.

Single-use plastic straws simply do not have a place in our society as they don’t get along with our environment. Although single-use plastic straws amount to only a tiny fraction of plastic pollution in our ocean, their small size and light weight makes them one of the most insidious polluters. Not making their way into the recycling bins, plastic straws cause beach pollution and threaten the life of many marine animals.

We therefore invite you to pick a reusable drinking straw of your preference, always keeping it with you and spreading the word to encourage others to join the movement in reducing and preventing plastic waste that harms our environment.

  • Bamboo: Go back to nature with a natural and reusable bamboo straw. They are not only durable but also beautiful. They often come with a handy cleaning brush to wash them out for years of use. You can find some more tips for cleaning and being nice to your straw here.
  • Silicone: Light and unbreakable, silicone is great for its practicality. Choose a silicone straw made from high quality food grade silicone that will help you save plastic straws from polluting our environment and protect your teeth.
  • Stainless-steel: Prefer a very durable and elegant option? Go with a stainless-steel drinking straw which is stain-free, rustproof, and scratch-proof. You won’t have to worry about metallic aftertaste. If you like fine cutlery, complete your silverware collection by purchasing a set of stainless steel straws. Read more about benefits of going stainless-steel here.
  • Glass: Looking for something classy? Go glassy with a clear lead-free glass straw alternative. The durable straws are shatterproof and are ideal for both hot and cold drinks. Both ends are smooth and round which makes the straw comfortable to use and safe. Choose the style and size that suits your lifestyle.
  • Acrylic: This option may be perfect to use in your tumblers. Go with an innovative, reusable, acrylic straw which can bend like normal straws. From birthday parties to holiday get-togethers, colorful reusable straws from food-safe plastic increase the fun at any gathering.

Apart from these, we invite you to chew on innovative ideas such as edible straws. Check out these Eatapple straws which are made from leftovers of Germany’s apple juice production.

Interested in fighting the war against straws? Be inspired by some examples here.

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