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Remembering to switch off lights in an unoccupied room makes a big difference to our planet’s energy bill. Switching off your lights during Earth Hour on March 25 shows your commitment to the planet. Our actions today can change our world for tomorrow.

Here are some creative ways to spend your Earth Hour:

 

1. Candlelight dinner or indoor picnic:

Prepare the meal in advance. Spread out rugs on the living room floor, light some candles and enjoy this special meal with someone you love. It’s a different and very romantic way to celebrate Earth Hour. Get some recipes here.

 

2. Art in the dark:

Try sketching, painting, or handcrafting in the dark. Do not worry if you’re not in the same class as Canaletto or Van Gogh. You will still have a laugh when the lights are switched on and your masterpice is revealed.

 

3. Play Games

It’s always fun to play games and tell stories. This Saturday night, switch off the TV, tablets and smart phones and get back to basic family fun with a board game by candlelight. Here are some ideas for more games to play in the dark.

 

4. Make a resolution

Take this opportunity to think about how you can save more energy at home. Turning off the lights can not only be fun but can also help you save cash. Pick any of these simple tips to help conserve the environment. Finally, be sure to follow our regular series of Green Tips to keep you on a right path for a sustainable future.

 

 

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What happens on vacation stays on vacation, right? Well, if you’re talking about the impact of your vacation footprint, almost the exact opposite is true. We’ve partnered with Harrah’s Resort SoCal to share some surprising stats about how you’re expending energy on your trips ― and exactly how you can make a difference the next time you travel.

 

Read more by following this link. By HuffPost Partner Studio.

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Reduce your holiday carbon emissions

 

Did you know that one long haul return flight can produce more carbon dioxide per passenger than the average UK motorist in one year?

You can follow these easy steps to lower your carbon footprint during the holidays. Make the best of your experience and help to save our planet:

 

  1. Before you leave:

Pack light. The more weight that trains, planes and automobiles have to carry, the more fuel they use – and this means that the volume of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere also increases. Before you leave home, remember to unplug all your electronic devices and avoid wasting energy. Unplug your TV sets and turn down the temperature setting in your refrigerator. Check out the PATA Responsible Business Travel Guidelines for more tips.

 

  1. Watch what you eat:

Food transported from somewhere else increases your carbon footprint drastically. Dine at local restaurants or buy locally produced food in supermarkets. There is no need, for example, to consume foodstuffs imported from Europe when you are visiting Japan.

 

  1. Choose a sensible, energy friendly location:

A central location usually means more convenient access to public transport. Using public transport not only saves you time and money but it adds to the authenticity of your experience and allows for spontaneity.

 

  1. Offset your footprint:

Contribute to carbon-offsetting programmes and other energy saving initiatives. A carbon offset is a credit for greenhouse gas. More information about carbon offsets may be found here.

 

  1. Stay at home

The stay-at-home vacation! Explore your own city by visiting museums and other attractions that appeal to out-of-town visitors. Perhaps it’s time to hone your sporting skills or simply spending time with your friends and family in your own environment. Use your holiday budget to reinvest into your local community. Keep your carbon footprint to a minimum – and have lots of fun at home!

 

By: Christoph Wegener / PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility
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Selina Juul, who moved from Russian to Denmark when she was 13 years old, was shocked by the amount of food available and wasted at supermarkets

Never underestimate the power of one dedicated individual.

A woman has been credited by the Danish Government for single-handedly helping the country reduce its food waste by 25 per cent in just five years.

Selina Juul, who moved from Russian to Denmark when she was 13 years old, was shocked by the amount of food available and wasted at supermarkets.

Read more on how she reduced the waste of food in Denmark. By Zlata Rodionova.

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'green' events planning

In line with 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, it is important that we take steps towards implementing sustainability in our day-to-day activities. This includes events – a major component of our industry.


There are many things that event planners, service providers and meeting participants may do as a means of contributing to sustainable and responsible event management.

Here are a few simple ‘green’ meeting tips:

1. Use online registration to reduce paper usage

Forget about archaic paper registration methods. Use an online registration tool. Online registration and ticketing not only eliminates excess printed materials but also saves time. Participants love being able to register from any device at any time. Check out Eventbrite, an example of a low-cost online event registration mobile app that can be used to promote and manage your event events.

2. Use electronic communication and marketing

Save a tree by going digital. Send out invitations, real time information, announcements and updates through online media and other online channels. electronic devicesDraw attention to eco-friendly aspects of your event with digital signage and information.

3. Choose a green venue

The venues, and their facilities, have a huge impact on the sustainability of your event. Consider first whether the building itself is certified, for example, by the US Green Building Council. Select an event site that’s easily accessible by foot, bicycle or public transport. This reduces the carbon footprint of your event. If your event is attracting international delegates, give them ‘green’ hotel options.

4. Encourage sustainable transportation

Choose energy efficient, hybrid or electric vehicles for your event. Encourage delegates to travel by public transportation by making it easy for them to navigate. As an alternative, set up carpool service (e.g. liftshare.com) or shuttle bus service for your attendees. Find out more about how to commute in an eco-friendly way; check out 30 ideas on green event transportation.

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5. Recycle and reduce waste at events

Provide bins for recycling and composting to minimise waste-to-landfill. Make recycling stations highly visible and accessible. Liaise with the venue management team about arrangements for composting food waste and donating any excess food to local charities.

6. Minimise energy use

Using natural light instead of artificial light reduces bills and helps the environment. Where electric lighting is required, make the switch to LED bulbs. Switch off lighting and equipment when it is not being used.

7. Go local

Use local vendors for ancillary services such as food, décor, gift items, and rentals. This reduces emissions and gives important support the local economies. Hire local staff to reduce travel times, costs and pollution.

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8. Inspire sustainable practices

Educate and inspire attendees by making your ‘green’ event practices highly visible to all stakeholders, including the public and the media. Encourage responsible behaviour among all stakeholders and foster understanding and appreciation of sustainability by adapting the PATA Responsible Business Travel Guidelines. Finally, check out our favourite 5 tips to become a responsible green delegate.

 

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wind energy

In the Netherlands all NS’s 1.200.000 train trips per day are now without any CO2 emissions. A world’s first!


As from 1 January 2017 100% of Dutch electric trains are powered by wind energy.  The Dutch railways company NS is the world’s first railway company that gets 100% of its energy from wind energy.

Dutch railways now 100% powered by wind energy. Source: Facebook BrightVibes

Travelling by train has been the most environmentally friendly way of transportation for a long time already. In the Netherlands they have now taken it to the next level using wind turbines to power all of its electric trains.

The Dutch have a long history of using wind energy to advance. They used windmills to drain land covered by water since the 17th century. By Michiel De Gooijer. Find out more on BrightVibes.

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Go green this Christmas with eco-friendly decorations

Categories: Energy, Green Tips, Planet, Waste
Comments Off on Go green this Christmas with eco-friendly decorations

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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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As the tourist industry is looking for new attractions, and with tourists’ growing awareness of environmental issues of tourists, new kind of attractions are popping up: landfills and cleantech facilities.

Hiriya -Turning Landfills and Cleantech Facilities into a Tourist AttractionA few places around the world have transformed former landfills into nature parks. The Hiriya Center for Environmental Education in Israel, for example, attracts domestic and international tourists as well as professional visitors. Another example is the former landfill in Hangzhou, China, where tourists can visit its trash-to-gas power plant, play environmental video games, and hike in an eco-park the size of 10 football fields.

Cleantech facilities also serve as a tourist attraction that educate and offer experiential activities. The Solar Garden in Binyamina, Israel, is one such an educational initiative designed to promote awareness and use of green energy sources and environmental technologies (CleanTech) amongst the Israeli public. It was intentionally built in a place easily accessible with public transportation.

Another example is the Singapore National Water Agency’s NEWater Visitor Centre that promises a fun-filled and enriching time for all its guests with its free daily tours and educational workshops. There, one can learn of the water treatment and water planning of technological Singapore.

One particularly innovative attraction is the Pool+ project in Manhattan, which will be a floating pool in the Hudson River that would filter the river’s water through the pool walls, making it possible for New Yorkers and visitors to swim in clean river water, with pool fees helping to clean the river. This unique pool is thus a water filtration plant and a visitor attraction.

So what can you do? In addition to visiting and spreading the word about such attractions, if you have cleantech facilities in your hotel/lodge, share this information with the guests and make it an educational experience for them.

Remember to share it with us, too!

2015 PATA Grand Award– Environment
The Success of Self-reliance
Jetwing Yala, Yala, Sri Lanka

Jetwing YalaAkin to a phoenix rising from the ashes – recovering after a decade from the devastating tsunami of 2004 – Jetwing brings a truly ‘at-one-with-nature’ concept to a more refined and elegant form with Jetwing Yala. Set within the immediate outskirts of the Yala National Park, Jetwing Yala boasts a tremendous commitment to sustainability and the environment, bringing a wildlife experience complemented with the finest in luxury and comfort. Designed by renowned architect Murad Ismail, the 90 room property overlooks spectacular sand dunes and the Indian Ocean and is a landmark that changes the face of the deep south of Sri Lanka. Jetwing Yala has been created from ground up to be as sustainable as possible with the intention of conserving energy and resources, reusing and recycling and being a part of the environment whilst causing no harm to nature.

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How Washing Machines Could Use a Lot Less WaterEarlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted the inaugural MIT Water Innovation Prize, inviting attendees from around the world to pitch their water-conservation device or business to a panel of judges for a chance to win grants totaling $30,000. April Wolfe Read more.