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Discover a variety of tips to improve the sustainability of your tourism business.

  1. Help end demand for turtle shell products. Souvenirs made from the shell of endangered hawksbill sea turtles are sold to travelers around Asia. Educate your travelers on how and why to avoid these products. Join our Too Rare to Wear campaign for free resources to share.
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Plastic in the ocean impacts sea turtles and other wildlife and travelers are a major source of plastic pollution. Encourage clients to use reusable water bottles, bags, and straws and to recycle plastic where possible. Learn more at Travelers Against Plastic.
  3. Respect sea turtles in the water. Avoid touching, feeding, or crowding a sea turtle in the water, these things can stress them. Get more tips for interacting with sea turtles in the ocean at Divers For Turtles.
  4. Choose sunscreen carefully. Chemicals in some types of sunscreen can damage coral reefs and pollute turtle habitat. Encourage your travelers to avoid any sunscreen with “oxybenzone” and look for brands labeled as “Reef Friendly” and avoid sprays that can pollute the sand where turtles nest. Check out this article in Vogue about the best ways to avoid sunburn. 
  5. Choose responsibly caught seafood. Sea turtles are vulnerable to commercial fishing methods like trawling, longlines, and drift gillnets, becoming unwanted catch (also known as “bycatch”) that is discarded like trash. To help make turtle friendly seafood choices check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch which is also available as a handy app for your phone.
  6. Reduce your carbon footprint. Climate change affects the health of coral reefs which are vital to the hawksbill’s survival. A warming planet also skews sex ratios in baby turtles, changes the abundance and distribution of prey, increases erosion of nesting beaches, and more. Look for ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint by using renewable energy and public transportation.
  7. Donate to ocean conservation organizations. By supporting organizations working to protect sea turtles and other ocean wildlife, you can show your clients that you care about the destinations they visit. Contact us through SEEturtles.org if you want an introduction to an organization near your operations.

Written by: Brad Nahill, President of SEE Turtles

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World Tuna Day is approaching – let’s talk Sustainable Seafood!

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Sustainable seafood is a relatively new concept and as the world population keeps growing exponentially, the over exploitation of wildlife continues to impact marine species. The many great qualities of tuna have led to an overwhelming demand for the fish.

Hotels are amongst the largest seafood buyers in the world, with some large hotels and resorts consuming over a ton of seafood every day. Today, many organisations including the WWF and IUCN have recognised these issues and work to promote the conservation and sustainable use of species, including tuna.

Many large hotel brands, notably Hyatt Hotels have taken initiative by implementing a sustainable seafood strategy in compliance with the WWF.  Like Hyatt Hotels and Marriott, these guidelines could help your business source seafood more sustainably:

1. Create a culture of awareness- Consider bringing in specialists in the subject to educate staff and create engagement.

2. Define Procurement Criteria – Hotels in regions where sustainable options are scarce might consider WWF guidelines and organic farm certifications. Learn more here.

3. Evaluate Seafood Purchases – Consider cutting down your seafood menu! The Grand Hyatt Singapore has cut down from 600 to 100 options.

4. Work with Suppliers to Manage Overall Costs – Consider using fewer, more reliable suppliers. They can likely help you cut costs and find the best menu options.

5. Avoid Endangered Species – Work to identify endangered species and avoid them completely unless a sustainable source can be provided. There are lots of options out there, avoid unnecessary ones.

6. Improve the Traceability of the Seafood Supply – Use regulations to make sure your seafood is legal and regulated. Make sure all your seafood is traceable. Read more here.

World Tuna Day (May 2nd) is here to remind us of the importance of managing fish stock sustainably! Read more here.

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The circular economy is about recycling everything that we produce and treating materials like they’re finite. This is something that is achievable for your business. Processing materials requires energy, causing pollution. A zero-waste approach encourages the redesign of resource life cycle so that all products are reused, limiting pollution.

Based on sourcing, manufacturing, distributing and using ‘efficiently’ for reuse, the following tips could help your business close the loop and become more circular:

1. Mix with the right people: Having a designated sustainability team may drive projects, sustainability must be driven from the heart!  

2. Use the right metrics: Consider a value framework to measure performance and returns.

3. Solve customers’ problems: Consider developing a product recycling programme – upcycle unwanted products to fill a need.

4. Product as services: Invest in innovation and think about products you could lease!

5. Be ready for backlash: Not everyone understands that sustainability can be profitable, so be sure to engage your team, and have a clear message for your stakeholders.  

By modifying each stage in the economic cycle (from production to use) and designing goods to be recycled, businesses can regenerate waste much like an ecosystem. Designing goods to be reused and consume less energy is becoming the norm!

To learn more about how to grow economically but not harmfully watch this.

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“In Nature, nothing exists alone” – Rachel Carson, 1962

Earth day is near! Monday, April 22nd is the day to celebrate Mother Earth and to remind us that Earth and its ecosystems are what provide us with ‘life and sustenance’. Earth Day represents the collectiveness of us, and the need to find a harmonious balance with nature for today and for future generations.

Issues like climate change, deforestation, wildlife trafficking, poaching and pollution amongst others are well known outcomes of human impact on the earth. On this Earth Day, why not try one of the following:  

  1. Host a fundraiser for a local conservation organization!
  2. Start a Green Team in your office! Read more here.
  3. Write or update your sustainability policy and show a commitment to conservation and/or the community!

There is no limit on ways of getting involved! Do your part by investing in a charity or donating surplus food to a food redistribution organisation. Make green thinking a part of your company culture! Visit Earth Day Network to see how else you can help!

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall 

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SOURCE: Lars Leetaru, NY Times

IATAestimates that over 4.3 billion passengers flew on an airplane in 2017, with the average traveler flying at least once every 22 months.

With the demand for flights increasing annually, the environmental impact of air travel is significant. Some estimates show that the carbon impact of travel is over 3 times higher than expected.

Here are some steps you can take to become a more ‘sustainable traveler’:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency aircrafts account for 12% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Using rail is a better alternative if available.
  • Avoiding multiple layovers and shorter flights are options to minimize your impact by reducing pollution per passenger mile. Fly direct as much as possible.
  • Using local public transport is an easy way for you to reduce your impact personally!
  • Consider using a bike rental to explore a new city.

Although air travel as we know it today has not been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the prospects for a future of sustainable travel look promising. With fuel efficient planes on the horizon, the potential for low-carbon biofuels to replace up to 30% of jet fuel could lower the carbon intensity to about one third of what it was in 2016.

“Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. It does” – William James

Read more tips on being a sustainable traveler here.  

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Test your sustainability knowledge

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SOURCE: English Practice Online

Do you consider yourself a sustainability guru? Put your green knowledge to test with these fun quizzes.

1. This BBC Earth quiz will evaluate your day-to-day sustainability practices to see how you measure up. Not up to par? Check out our tips on how to make easy, every day, sustainable choices. 

2. The Sustainable Development Goals are crucial to fortifying joint efforts, mobilising the global community in sharing effective methods to combat poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, water, sanitation, environment, and social justice- amongst others. Click here to test your knowledge about the SDGs. Don’t get left behind- learn more about the SDGs!

3. National Geographic has developed various quizzes that aim to help you reduce your environmental impact; from going green, to being a better foodie

Be sure to browse sustain.pata.org and check back regularly for more sustainability knowledge!

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March 8 and Every Day is Women’s Day

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Every year on March 8, we celebrate women. This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” with the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.

SOURCE: UN

Here are some ways in which you can celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against gender bias, and take action for equality.

  • Become a partner of the International Women’s Day 2019 Flagship Event by filling out their submission form.
  • Share a group picture through your social media accounts with a selfie card and a “hands out” pose. Be sure to use the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.
  • Join the “Women Speakers Register” as diverse groups worldwide are looking to find empowering speakers to increase female visibility and participation.
  • Download “Lean In’s” presentations to educate, encourage and commit.
  • Find ways to #BalanceforBetter and share your success.
  • Share stories of prosperous women in the industry or far beyond within your team and your social media accounts.
  • Make sure to involve men in this initiative- we are talking about equality after all!

Women share this planet 50/50 and they are underrepresented- their potential astonishingly untapped.”- Emma Watson

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Incentivizing your office to drink responsibly

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Milk. We serve it in our office for coffee, we serve it in our restaurants and use it in many dishes. But have you thought about the environmental impact of this one small, but ubiquitous ingredient?


Source: Geo-grafika / shutterstock.com

As mentioned on other Green Tips, products derived from animals are usually less sustainable than those derived from plants or cereal. Different studies suggest that the production of dairy products results in larger amounts of carbon emissions than any other milk alternatives.

This guide can help you consciously choose a dairy alternative:

An eco-friendly substitute is almond milk. It does not need wide extensions of land in order to be produced and it’s the alternative that releases less carbon emissions into the environment. On a negative note, it will still require more water than the rest.

Although coconut milk is not as nutritious as other alternatives, it is low in calories and in water consumption. Not to forget that coconut trees filter out carbon dioxide, which is great for battling greenhouse emissions.

Another efficient alternate may be oat milk as it doesn’t require big amounts of water usage or land use and it does not cause a problem for air pollution with its carbon emissions.

Hemp milk is considered to be one of the most maintainable derivations. Hemp derived products is a growing trend throughout countries in South East Asia like, for example, in Thailand.

Rice milk is one of the least eco-friendly alternatives, but it still kindles less carbon emissions than diary milk.

And last but not least, soy milk may favor you in your goal of creating a minimal environmental footprint in your office. It barely needs water and land to grow.

 If you are still not ready to go dairy free, goat milk can be your answer. Goats have a lower land usage needs and produce less manure, making them less environmentally harmful.  

To learn more read this BBC news article.

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Tips on Packing Light for Your Next Business Trip

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A simple equation: The more the luggage weighs, the heavier the plane. The more a plane weights, the more fuel it uses, the more carbon emissions your trip produces. Here are some ways to pack less, save the environment, while saving your back!

1. Skip the hazzle- dazzle: Ditch the colors

Neutral colors are compatible with almost anything and doesn’t make it seem like you’re repeating clothing. For women, black pants can be versatile for day and night, with just a change of accessories! For men, a neutral colored suit and a change of tie and shirt should be enough for up to five meeting days. Don’t underestimate mix and matching!

2. Lose weight on electronics

Tablets are always a good alternative to laptops, if you need to use a laptop during your trip, you could also check for a business center in your accommodation. Another way to bring fewer electronic items is to audit your battery lifespan and understand whether you will need your charger for your trip (don’t forget to fully charge it before leaving).

3. Don’t let your bag bug you

Purchasing the right bag is more important than you think. Regular suitcases tend to weight more than 25% of the airline weight limit. By investing in a light weight bag, you will have more space and produce fewer carbon emissions.

4. Get rid of printed items and bulky folders

Pen drives and email attachments should be sufficiently effective nowadays, printed items and bulky folders are a thing of the past.

5. Optimize your cosmetics

Toiletries are low hanging fruit here- utilize what the hotel gives you, or consider using bar soaps. Check out this complete guide to sustainable hair and skincare when traveling. Remember to keep it light and sustainable!

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Credits to: Chagrin Valley Soap

Have you ever considered solid toiletries, such as bar soaps, shampoos and conditioners? These are great options for travelers, as they are considerably lightweight and do not contain gels or liquids.

These bars also create positive impacts for the environment because of their package-free nature. According to UK-based Lush Cosmetics, the pioneer of bar shampoos, over 552 million bottles sold each year are from shampoo, and over 80% of the trash found on beaches are from plastic packaging. In addition, Euromonitor recently reported more than half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold annually by 2021. This demand is equal to approximately 20,000 bottles sold every second and most will end up in the landfill or ocean. This figure does not include other waste, such as additional packaging, plastic bags, or discarded goods.

Intended to last for about 80 washes, one shampoo or conditioner bar from Lush is equivalent to three regular sized bottles of their liquid counterparts. Other brands have followed suit in this plastic-free beauty movement, including Ethique (New Zealand), Beauty & the Bees (Australia), Basin (USA), Friendly Soap (UK), and Chagrin Valley (USA).

Besides eliminating the need for plastic and packaging, here are some benefits to switching from bottles to bars:

1. One bar goes a long way.

2. They are small and lightweight.

3. Support small or independent companies.

4. Many are cruelty-free and use all-natural products

5. They can go on your carry-on luggage!

To get more tips on sustainable hair and skincare products when travelling read our previous Green Tip on this topic.

Sustainability starts from taking small actions that gradually become environmentally responsible habits. Happy washing and happy travels!

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