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Many people all around the world enjoy coffee on a daily basis; however, the environmental impact of growing coffee is often not considered. We have previously shared how to enjoy a sustainable coffee break and how to give coffee grounds a second life. If you are interested in more ideas about how to reuse coffee grounds in the garden, in your house, as part of  your beauty routine, check out this blog with 21 creative ways to reuse your coffee grounds.

For now, let’s take a step back and have a look at the roots of coffee manufacturing to rethink what else we can do to green our coffee routine.

Traditional coffee farming techniques characterized by shade-growing methods have been widely replaced with sun-cultivation farming over the years. This is an issue because manufacturing sun-cultivated coffee means widespread deforestation and the elimination of plant diversity. Moreover, the growing use of fertilizer causes environmental harm and can impact the biodiversity of a region, as well as human health. So, look for the more environmentally friendly option of shade-grown coffee next time you shop coffee beans for your home or office.

When speaking about coffee, we often think of coffee beans only. Let’s have a closer look at another produce along the way: the coffee cherry fruit. Did you know that every year 46 billion lbs of the coffee cherry fruit is wasted, even though they can be used to produce coffee flour, or be eaten as a superfood packed with antioxidants? Or, try cascara, an herbal tea made from the dried skin of the coffee cherry fruits – another wonderful by-product of coffee production. Starbucks has even picked up on this in 2017 by introducing the cascara latte!

However you enjoy your cuppa, do try to make a conscious choice to consider how it is produced!

 

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The countdown has begun! This joyous time of year has become its own season filled with lots of joyfulness, delicious treats and creative decoration for many people around the world. If you are looking for creative ways to host a fun and sustainable year-end gathering at work, we have just the right ideas for you.

Why not repurpose your office waste into some unique Christmas decoration? Gather old magazines, recycled paper or carton, as well as other recyclable waste from around the office to get the crafting session started. Take this opportunity to also talk about waste management and how to reduce waste in the office during the event.

Choose from a variety of green decorating ideas that are already out there or come up with your own using recycled goods from around your office. Whether you are creating ornaments, wreaths, or other décor, you will be surprised by how ‘waste’ can be turned into something glorious. You may even ask everyone to bring some more supplies from their homes. Be inspired by these recycled ornaments and check out these Christmas and winter crafts made from old toilet paper rolls or others made from old egg cartons.

You can even make your own Christmas cards or gift tags using old magazines or newspaper. All you and your colleagues will need are scissors and glue! And in case you are missing some essential arts and craft supplies, look for environmentally friendly options when purchasing them.

To take your get-together to the next level, you may even want to consider running a little workshop on how to upcycle used coffee grounds from your office’s pantry. A self-made candle from coffee grounds or a bar of soap makes the perfect eco-friendly Christmas gift.

Last but not least, put on some Christmas tunes and simply be jolly. Are you ready for the holiday season now?  Let’s get crafting!

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Top tips for a sustainable Valentine’s celebration

Categories: Green Tips
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Valentine’s celebration

During the month of love be sure to impress your Valentine whilst simultaneously doing your part to help and protect the environment. Read on for tips about how to celebrate a memorable and sustainable Valentine’s Day.

 How to celebrate?

  • Have a low footprint Valentine’s dinner – Instead of the usual dinner date, why don’t make a romantic dinner at home using locally grown ingredients and with organic wine or juices. Avoid the crowds and higher prices and have some fun at home as a couple!
  • If home cooking isn’t your thing, then try to make the extra effort to find a restaurant that embraces green practices. Choose a restaurant that serves organic, locally sourced food. Check out the 10 best sustainable restaurants around the world!
  • Create some ambiance by using beeswax candles. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a romantic dinner and eco-friendly

Green gift ideas

  • Use art to express your love! Try making a homemade gift, or support a local artist. Check out these green gift giving tips for some ideas
  • Spoil your loved ones with organic Valentine’s Day treats. Buy organic and fair trade chocolate to support sustainable development. Here’s your guide to fair trade chocolate
  • Flowers are a classic symbol of love. The best option is to buy flowers that will never die – a perfect metaphor for your love! If you buy cut flowers, buy locally and buy organic, but try to choose potted plants whenever possible instead of cut flowers. Wow your loved ones with these amazing potted flowers gift options for Valentine’s Day
  • If your sweet Valentine is a lover of organic body care product, what better way to pamper your partner than by giving an organic massage oil and a massage? Check out websites such as Ebay or Amazon to find the perfect organic products
  • Still stuck for ideas? Check out our post, “Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas
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Conservationist Chloe Harvey is back with part two of this fantastic three-part series documenting Ginette Bariteau’s incredible journey to improve the way her business deals with the environment

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“The assessment process highlighted areas where Ginette and her team are really stepping above and beyond the norm in terms of managing their risk to the local environment.”

Ginette Bariteau owns Scuba 6 Eco in Panama and first stumbled across Green Fins in May this year. Since then she has downloaded the Green Fins Dive and Snorkel Centre Handbook and has been working systematically to implement the environmental code of best practice within her operations ever since.

Changing our way of life towards one focused more on sustainable living can feel a little overwhelming, how on earth do we know where to start? Using a unique assessment system based on risk to marine biodiversity, the Green Fins approach helps dive businesses to identify high risk practices. They can then prioritise action and use the comprehensive Green Fins guidance material to identify realistic and low-cost alternatives. With the support of The Reef-World Foundation, international coordinators of Green Fins, Ginette assessed the performance of her current environmental practices and identified three clear priority actions to focus on addressing in the short term.

Continue reading on underwater 360.

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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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Go green this Christmas with eco-friendly decorations

Categories: Energy, Green Tips, Planet, Waste
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The festive season is here! You can already see red and green decorations and hear ‘Silent Night’ being played everywhere you go. Homes are lit up with fairy lights and Christmas trees are being put up and decorated. But do try not to get too carried away by the holiday spirit and forget all those sustainable habits that you’ve been working on so successfully in 2016.

Check out our tips on how you can make your Christmas even ‘greener’ by decorating your home and office with eco-friendly decorations:

Photo credits: carlaaston.com

Photo credits: carlaaston.com

  • Christmas Trees – If you plan on purchasing a real tree we recommend getting a ‘living tree’, which you can grow outside after the holidays and reuse every year (How to choose a living Christmas tree). In countries like the US and the UK there are companies where you can rent trees. For those who prefer artificial/plastic trees, we suggest that you buy second-hand and use it for as long as you can. Check out websites such as Ebay, Freecycle, Freegle, Craigslist or Gumtree to find your perfect tree.
  • Décor – Be creative and do-it-yourself! Look around your house for materials you can reuse to make wreaths, ornaments and garlands. You can even spruce up last year’s decorations and reuse them. Another option is to ask your family and friends if they would like to trade holiday décor.

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  • Gift Wrapping – Hate receiving junk mail? Instead of putting it directly into the recycle bin you can use it to wrap gifts instead! You can also use old calendars, magazines and newspapers. Read on for eco-friendly and reusable gift wrap ideas.

Finally, wherever you are in the world we wish you a Happy Christmas and a fabulous eco-friendly New Year!

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Industry Awards Your Organisation Should Apply For

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Receiving awards has its benefits, whether your organisation is in its infancy or has been around for some time. It’s a fantastic way to build credibility, gain recognition and get the word out about all the positive things that your organisation is doing day by day.

Winning awards also boosts employees’ morale as it shows them that their efforts are being recognised. Additionally, and as noted in the Huffington Post, it’s not bragging when someone else says it…and it also makes your partners look good.

Deciding on which awards to apply for can be daunting, so to put you on the right track we have highlighted seven awards programmes given annually for you to consider.


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1) Tourism for Tomorrow
Organiser: World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
Deadline for Applications: Now! Deadline is 14 November 2016. Click here to learn how to apply.
Awarding: 26-27 April 2017 at the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand
Categories:

  • Community Award
  • Destination Award
  • Environment Award
  • Innovation Award
  • People Award

 

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2) UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism
Organiser: United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Deadline for Applications: September 2017
Awarding: January 2018
Categories:

  • UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • UNWTO Ulysses Prize
  • UNWTO Awards for Innovation (Public Policy and Governance; Enterprises; Non-Governmental Organizations; Research and Technology)
  • UNWTO Ethics Awards

 

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3) World Responsible Tourism Awards
Organiser: Responsible Travel
Deadline for Applications: May 2017
Awarding: November 2017 at the World Travel Market in London
Categories:

  • Best accommodation for responsible employment
  • Best for wildlife conservation
  • Best innovation by a tour operator
  • Best for poverty reduction and inclusion
  • Best responsible tourism campaign
  • Overall winner

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4) Skål Sustainable in Tourism Awards 
Organiser:
Skål International
Deadline for Applications: June 2017
Awarding: Skål World Congress in late October/early November 2017 in Hyderabad
Categories:

  • Tour Operators
  • Urban Accommodation
  • Rural Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Countryside and Wildlife
  • Marine
  • Community and Government Projects
  • Major Tourist Attractions
  • Educational Institutions/Programmes and Media

 

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4) World Legacy Awards

Organiser: National Geographic
Deadline for Applications: August 2017
Awarding: March 2018 at ITB Berlin
Categories:

  • Earth Changers
  • Sense of Place
  • Conserving the Natural World
  • Engaging Communities
  • Destination Leadership

 

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5) ASEAN Green Hotel and ASEAN Homestay Awards

Organiser: ASEAN Tourism
Deadline for Applications: August 2017
Awarding: January 2018
Categories:

  • Overall Winner
  • One (1) ASEAN Green Hotel Award and Two (2) Runners-up from each member state
  • One (1) ASEAN Homestay Award and Two (2) Runners-up from each member state

 

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7) Awards from PATA

A. Grand and Gold Awards
Deadline for Applications: April 2017
Awarding: September 2017 at PATA Travel Mart (Macau SAR)
Categories:

  • PATA Grand – Education and Training; Environment; Heritage and Culture; Marketing
  • PATA Gold – click here for the full list

B. PATA CEO Challenge

Deadline for Applications: September 2017
Awarding: November 2017 at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner, World Travel Mart, London
Categories:

  • State, Region, Province and Country
  • Second Tier/Third Tier City

C. Tourism InSPIRE Awards
Deadline of Application: (postponed for 2016)
Awarding: November at the PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum
Categories:

  • Best Branded Accommodation
  • Best Independent Accommodation
  • Best Marine and Wildlife Tourism Provider
  • Best Culture and Heritage Tourism Provider
  • Best Responsible Tourism Destination
  • Best Community Based Tourism Initiative
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New Sustainable Habits for World Food Day 2016

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Every year, countries come together on 16 October for World Food Day to increase awareness of the global campaign to end hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shines a light on the effects of climate change on food security with this year’s theme ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’.

The FAO is urging countries to adopt sustainable farming practices, decrease food losses, and to invest in rural development by strengthening smallholding farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihoods are most affected by climate change. In September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger by 2030.

The FAO is challenging all of us to contribute to this goal by simply changing our daily habits and making better decisions. Here’s a three-step guide on joining the movement:

Step 1. Go to FAO’s World Food Day Climate Actions website and pick four actions that interest you.

There are three categories to choose from:

  • Preserve the earth’s precious natural resources (e.g. taking shorter showers)
  • Waste less (e.g. use refillable water bottles and coffee cups)
  • Being climate smart by reducing your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bicycle and consider using public transport

Step 2. Share your actions on social networks using the hashtag #WFD2016

Take selfies, shoot videos or simply write about your commitment to take action to end hunger. Be an advocate – and let your friends know that they can be one too!

Step 3. Make these four actions into a habit!

It’s extremely easy to start something – but the challenge is to always maintain that commitment. Here are some tips on how to make these actions into life habits:

  • Choose an action that interests you and is easy to start. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle is something that everyone can (and should) immediately do. It not only saves you money but it is also better for the environment and for your health. Invest in a sturdy bottle that is easy to carry  so that you’ll always want it with you.

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Illustration from JamesClear.com

  • Remind yourself to always carry your water bottle by setting an alarm on your tablet or phone or a daily note on your online calendar. Check out Goals in Google Calendar and 10 other apps to help you form habits.
  • Give yourself a reward. Having your own water bottle means that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water ever again when eating out. Imagine how much money you would save! Instead of contributing to the world’s plastic waste, you can use the money for something else – such as a delicious dessert.

Forming a new habit can take from two to eight months. In those months, there will be times when you’ll forget to bring that water bottle. That’s okay. Start again and just keep on going.

World Food habitquote

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Ten Years of Transformational Tourism Across Asia

Categories: Asia, Blog Posts
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Celebrating a decade of best practice in responsible travel

Ten years ago Wild Asia, a social enterprise in Malaysia, identified a need to work with industries, rather than against them, to improve social and environmental impacts of the private sector. One of those industries was tourism, and as a way to inspire and educate businesses from around the region, they set out on a mission to identify and reward the best examples of responsible tourism and share them on a B2B platform. A decade later, Wild Asia has one of the largest collections of case studies on sustainable travel practices in the region, and has assessed hundreds of tourism enterprises of all shapes and sizes and geographical locations.

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2016 marks the 10th birthday of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. Instead of running a traditional awards competition, this year Wild Asia has been focusing on consolidating lessons learned in a decade of responsible tourism, and has been re-connecting with past recipients to share stories of best practice.

This year’s activities will be celebrated and shared at ITB Asia, and then available open source on their website: www.rt.wildasia .org. The awards family is excited to share inspiring stories and open-source documentation, that will highlight successes, challenges, impacts made, and insights across the program to date. During this year’s ITB Asia, Wild Asia will share a reflection report and premiere several short engaging and educational documentaries of Awardees from around South and South East Asia.

2016ʹs special celebration could not be possible without the generous support of GIZ. “Presented by the Responsible and Inclusive Business Hub Southeast Asia (RIBH SEA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Responsible and Inclusive Business Hub Southeast Asia”

Responsible Tourism at ITB Asia

The Responsible Tourism Events at ITB Asia, Asia’s largest travel trade show, is a growing success. These events started in 2009 as a collaboration with ITB Asia’s CSR partner, Wild Asia, a leading sustainability consultancy. These events aim to showcase and provide practitioners and experts in the field of sustainability, a platform to share stories, case studies, and tools to help operators run their business better; for the environment and for local people in destinations.

This year, Wild Asia is proud to announce 2016’s series of Responsible Tourism events. Our line up of speakers have been carefully chosen to provide you with the latest trends, lessons learnt from successful case studies and inspiration needed to help you become better and more sustainable in your business. The events will be held on 20 and 21 October at Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

The following topics will be discussed and it will be held at the Responsible Tourism Hub, a prominent booth in the exhibition hall is the main hub where the talks will be held. More details on the talks can be found here: http://bit.ly/rtevents2016

Some of the topics include:

  • Tourism and child protection – The Childsafe movement
  • The role of community based tourism in visitor dispersion and the spread of the tourism dollar
  • Storytelling to promote the Mekong region
  • Money-spinners for the tourism business: Go local, engage community and test eco solutions
  • Seeing beauty and value in waste
  • MICE tourism as a driver for sustainability?: Case studies and leadership lessons from Asia
  • Passion is not enough: Preparing for success in wildlife and nature tourism marketing
  • The rise of CSR in MICE
  • Marketing for BTWO and founding trustee for Tlhokomela Bostwana Endangered Species Trust

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On the last day of the trade show, 21 October, 2016 from 11am to 1pm, Wild Asia will be celebrating our 10th year anniversary of our flagship Responsible Tourism Awards. We have handpicked ten award winners around the region to share their stories. This extraordinary two-hour special will showcase ten leaders and pioneers in responsible tourism. Join us for an amazing time as we discover, listen and watch a collection of short clips as our all-stars share their successes and challenges in their journey towards creating a business that impacts positively on local communities and planet earth. We will also share insights and lessons learnt after a decade of assessing and awarding sustainable tourism businesses in Asia. Also speaking at this special event are notable speakers from GIZ and the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN).

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Notes to Editor:

About ITB Asia and Wild Asia 

ITB Asia, the annually held three day B2B trade show and convention – now in its seventh year in Singapore – will take place in Marina Bay Sands this year. It is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. This is where international exhibitors of all sectors of the travel-value chain, Asia Pacific’s leading travel companies and emerging small and medium-sized enterprises meet with top international buyers from the MICE, Leisure and Corporate Travel markets. http://www.itb-asia.com/

Wild Asia is a social enterprise working to protect and support the conservation of natural areas and local communities via the tourism industry. Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Initiative works through strategic partnerships with businesses and modules to facilitate learning and implementation of international standards and guidelines. Our ultimate goal is to promote sustainable practices that will adverse impacts on the environment and ensure that local communities are engaged and empowered. For more on Wild Asia’s tourism work, go to www.rt.wildasia.org

Media access and contact:

For more information or media passes to cover the Responsible Tourism events, please contact us at the contact details below:

Deborah Chan
Responsible Tourism Associate & Responsible Tourism Events Manager
Email: deborah@wildasia.org

Amy McLoughlin
Responsible Tourism Awards Manager & Associate Specialist
Email: amy@wildasia.org

 

 

 

 

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A 7-Night, $250 Cruise? Yes, and You Might Also Do Some Good

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The Fathom Adonia, from Carnival. FATHOM

I had been on only one cruise in my life: a hulking 4,252-person Royal Caribbean vessel that featured an ice-skating rink, a mini-golf course, a casino and a Johnny Rockets. It felt as if a small city had been ripped from its foundation, airlifted and placed on the water. David Foster Wallace’s famous essay on the perils of being pampered at sea rang true: Between the all-you-can-eat food, bad drinks and being compelled to participate in “Y.M.C.A.” more times than I care to admit, I was ready to never set foot on a cruise ship again. by Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler (29 September 2016). 

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Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM

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The Adonia offers a chance to work on reforestation, in which volunteers plant trees and try to undo the effects of agricultural deforestation in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM

Find the original article on The New York Times.

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