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The western settlement of Longyearbyen, with a population of roughly 2,000, is the area’s main tourism hub. Currently it’s high-season, which means thousands of international tourists hungering for a glimpse of the Arctic’s natural splendor cruise on both small and large ships, occasionally disembarking for land excursions on remote islands.

On Sunday, 12 crew members from the German ship MS Bremen landed on the northern-most island of the archipelago to prepare for an on-shore excursion with passengers, according to a statement by the Svalbard governor’s office. A 42-year-old crew member was attacked by a polar bear, which was then shot and killed in what the crew member said was an act of self-defense.

The incident is being investigated by authorities, although it is possible that the crew had happened upon a starving bear.

“When you have more people coming to the same area in which the polar bears and other arctic animals live, the risk of conflict and disturbance increases — it’s more of a mathematical law,” said Morten Wedege, head of environmental protection for the governor of Svalbard. “Our challenge is to inform and educate and guide people to know how to behave in the high arctic.”

The incident sheds light on the challenges of tourism growth in the area.

Read the full article here.

By Sarah Hucal for ABC News 

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community, helping each other, sustainability, growth, teamwork.

Participation in a community-oriented program in Nepal. Credit: Giving Way

The term “sustainable travel” has a green glow to it, connoting eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility. But the human side of sustainability, as defined by the World Tourism Organization, addresses community impact, both social and economic, and is newly gaining traction among travel companies.

“There’s a lot of people who think ‘eco-tourism’ when they hear ‘sustainable tourism,’ but that’s a piece of the puzzle,” said Kelley Louise, the executive director of the Impact Travel Alliance, an industry nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainable travel. “Sustainability has a positive impact not only on the environment, but the culture and the economy of the destination you’re visiting.”

Organizations promoting social impact travel aim to emphasize not just big do-good trips, but to educate travelers about their smallest decisions, such as eating at a locally owned restaurant.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

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When visiting National Parks, the best way to be a responsible traveller is to follow the rules and regulations. After all, they are there for a good reason – your protection. Respect posted rules and remind others to do so if necessary and appropriate by politely reminding fellow visitors to notice and follow the park’s rules to contribute to continued preservation. Report any signs of vandalism or misbehaviour to park rangers. Parks’ visitor centres are a good resource for information on regulations as well as for available trails. Here are some more ways to enjoy a responsible national park visit.

  1. Stick to indicated trails to ensure that the ecosystem is not harmed and the environment as well as you stays safe. Though some parks may allow off trail or cross country experiences, it is not a general rule so do your research on regulations and rules for the recreational area you are visiting. If you are bringing pets, make sure the trail allows it, and be sure to keep them leashed and that you clean up after them. You may also consult local authorities or park rangers on site. If you feel more adventurous or if there are too many visitors on the trails, you may want to choose a backcountry adventure.
  2. Avoid removing seeds or shells, damaging corals or picking flowers to not have a negative impact on nature. Enjoy watching the wildlife instead of feeding it to not intervener with their natural way of sourcing food.
  3. If you are planning on camping in a national park, make sure to check the local camping regulations and prepare your campground meals in advance. Bringing your ingredients in reusable containers (including your reusable water bottle) will help to reduce waste. In case you still produce waste, ensure that it goes in the correct bins or take it back with you if no suitable disposal is available. Read more of our tips for responsible camping and RVing.
  4. Use the park’s shuttle services for transportation if available instead of driving yourself. You will be able to enjoy more of the scenery and worry less about traffic or parking. They are also a great way to get around if you are planning a one-way hike.

Read more about the right behaviour in national parks here, stay safe and enjoy your visit!

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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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This “Code of Conduct for the Responsible Traveller” aims to bring awareness on the important role that travellers have in promoting and helping develop responsible tourism. They are the ones that can make a difference with their conduct and decisions while visiting the destination.

Find out more: www.kmcero.pe / www.tourcert.org

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live-green-new-years-resolutions

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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