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Whether you are planning a beach holiday to escape the winter that is coming to your part of the world, or whether you live near the beach, it is important to practice mindfulness for the environment. Here are some easy ways to minimise your footprint:

Before you leave

Remember to turn off lights, unplug your electronics and most importantly, turn off air-conditioning before you leave your hotel room or your home to limit energy use. Refill your reusable water bottle to avoid buying plastic bottles, and pack some snacks in reusable containers. If you are staying at a hotel, look for snacks in minimal and environmental friendly packaging.

On the way

Choose an eco-friendly mode of transportation to get to the beach. Go for a stroll if the beach is in walking-distance of your accommodation, ride a bicycle if available, or check for local busses to take you as close to the beach as possible.

At the beach

Apply an organic, mineral-based sunscreen that does not harm people and the ocean – For guidance on purchasing an ocean-safe option, you can find helpful tips here.

If you plan on exploring some coral reefs, read our tips for responsible diving and snorkelling.

Stay hydrated! For many, sipping the water of a coconut is a beach essential. Consider bringing your own reusable straw to reduce plastic waste. There are many different options of reusable straws for you to pick from.

Check if the beach is a smoke-free zone in case you are a smoker. If smoking is not banned, make sure to bring a eco-friendly portable ashtray to keep the beach free from cigarette butts as they contain hazardous substances that are threat to the marine life.

Always take your trash with you, or dispose of it in a designated bin. Pick up litter if you see any in the water or in the sand. You may even want to participate in a beach clean-up initiative or simply dedicate five minutes to collect litter you find near you. Also check our tips for reducing plastic waste on our beaches and in our waters.

For more reading and tips about beach travel, visit our friends at beachmeter.com.

With these simple tips in mind, all you need to do is get your friends or family together for a sunny and relaxing beach day!

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WTMvideopanel (Credit: Griffith Institute for Tourism Insights)

 

When reflecting on the last decade of work on climate change and tourism, I can make three observations:

1. The climate is changing faster than predicted

Every year we are witnessing new records in climate extremes. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains several websites to report and visualise climate extremes and anomalies. The Figure on the right, for example, shows a long term trends. Not only are temperatures increasing faster than expected, but  so do the rise in sea levels, the intensity of storms, and the retreat of Arctic sea ice.

What does this means for tourism? Very clearly operating in – often vulnerable – locations becomes more costly and riskier. Thus, tourism industry and Government are now forced to get much more involved (and invest!) in adapting to changing conditions. In many cases, adaptation has to respond to negative impacts on assets and attractions. The Great Barrier Reef and recent coral bleaching events is a prominent example.

 

Read the full blog entry to find out more about the other two observations made as well as suggested action points here. 

The blog accompanies a video presentation recorded for the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day, 6 November 2017. The panel to which the video contributed was entitled: The Major Environmental Challenges: Carbon & Water RTT, and chaired by Mr Christopher Warren, Crystal Creek Meadows, NSW, Australia.

By Susanne Becken for Griffith Institute for Tourism Insights.

 

 

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What does sustainability mean to you personally? How can you engage with issues such as poverty or sustainable consumption that relate to the SDGs?

One approach may be to start by looking at your individual values and establishing a personal sustainability action plan. This should be an achievable, realistic plan to take on a short-term project that you believe in that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle! Identify changes you would like to make in your daily or weekly activities and start to practice these changes until they become a habit. When establishing your personal sustainability plan, check that it meets the RISE criteria: is it repeatable, inspirational, sustainable, and enjoyable?

There’s no reason to wait till the New Year to make a resolution! Raise awareness now, and take action! Inspire others to join the movement. Remember that challenging yourself or someone else can make a big impact through building strong communities of passionate and like-minded people. Be creative and come up with a plan to make the most of the last month of 2017. For example, how about trying to live a…

FREEcember

…with possible action points such as the following:

  • Try a new approach to your diet: how about a meat-free Monday or milk-/dairy-free week? A dietary shift can help to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately have the positive environmental impact you would like to make.
  • Go plastic-free: shop at a local market to avoid unnecessary packaging, use a reusable water bottle, coffee mug or lunch box and most importantly, say no to using plastic bags! You will help keeping our precious world clean and wildlife safe.
  • Spend a gadget-free Sunday: include some time to unplug and disconnect when planning your weekend or your next getaway.  
  • Enjoy a car-free weekend: if you are relying on your car to commute to work during the week, give your car a rest on the weekend and cut carbon emissions by using public transport or a bicycle to get around. This little change will help to reduce pollution from engines and improve air quality.

 

If this is something you are already doing, maybe you find some more idea with a

DOcember

  • Stay healthy: start a fitness– or yoga-challenge, join a gym class or simply take the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible.
  • Start a 5-minute journal to become more mindful and live with intention.
  • Recycle and upcycle with do-it-yourself projects to reduce waste to landfill and to reduce waste generated in manufacturing processes! You can also donate unwanted clothes or other household items to a charity to help people in need.
  • Carry a reusable shopping bag with you every day, and keep a reusable drinking cup at your office to purchase your after-lunch refreshment in a eco-friendly way.

 

Your passion is the fire that fuels your action, so keep helpful reminders about why you want to live more sustainably. We dare you to establish a sustainability plan that can help guide your way to a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

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Diana Korner speaking on World Environment Day (Credit: Travindy)

At the end of this month the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) is holding a conference on sustainable tourism in Small Island Developing Nations, taking place at the University of the Seychelles. We caught up with Diana Korner, one of SSTF’s founders, to find out what the plans are.

Travindy: Why do you consider the Seychelles to have ‘enormous potential to become an international best practice example for sustainable tourism’?

Diana: Seychelles has a vast number of natural assets, like its pristine beaches, tropical forests, mountains and waterfalls and a biodiversity, which can be easily accessed in and around its many (marine) protected areas. There are probably few places in the world where you can just take a 30 minute hike to breathtaking views and find endemic flora and fauna and then 30 minutes later jump into the water and dive with turtles, sharks and other charismatic species. Also, Seychelles already benefits from a reputation internationally for being an ecotourism destination, through its many ongoing, award winning conservation initiatives which are linked to tourism, such as Cousin Island, North Island, or Bird Island among others. As a small island state with a population of 90.000 inhabitants in theory effective changes can easily be implemented with the right mechanisms and people on board.

 

Read the full interview with Diana Korner here.

By Travindy for Travindy.

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The Huge Promise of Transparent Solar Cells—Turning the World’s Glass Surfaces Into Solar Panels

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Sunlight is everywhere, but so far our efforts to harvest its energy have been restricted to solar farms and rooftop panels. A new analysis shows that transparent solar technologies that can be applied to windows, display screens, and cars could supply 40 percent of energy demand in the US.

Transparent and semi-transparent light harvesting materials have only started to emerge in the last five or six years, but there are already some commercial examples, and experimental demonstrations are reaching impressive performance, according to a recent review in Nature.

There’s still some way to go, as current transparent solar technologies are only at about a third of their realistic potential, with power conversion efficiencies in the region of 5 percent compared to around 15 to 20 percent for standard silicon photovoltaic panels. But there are a variety of different approaches to creating transparent and semi-transparent solar cells, all making solid progress.

Read the full article on transparent solar technologies here.

By Edd Gent for Singularity Hub.

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Galaxy , Mary’s ‘poler’, navigates the rich ecosystem of the inland delta (Credit: Mary Holland)

Botswana’s government-led anti-poaching unit has become a model for conservation in Africa

“If you provoke them, they will provoke you. If you respect them, they will respect you. With hippos, there are rules,” says Galaxy. He’s referring to the giant mammals that are haphazardly popping their heads out the water, just like the Hungry Hungry Hippos game.

Galaxy is a “poler”. He’s been navigating the Okavango Delta waterways by mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) for over 20 years – something his parents did, too. During the annual flood season, mokoro is the only mode of transport for many locals.

He also partakes in the annual mokoro race, which takes place on 20 October each year and aims to integrate cultural tourism – sharing traditional transportation, art, entertainment and games – with the more popular wildlife tourism. “In Botswana we are proud of tourism,” he tells me as we glide through the reeds past the grunting of the hippos, the dust of the buffalo and the swishing of the distant elephants.

Read the full article on Botswana’s high-quality, low-impact tourism model here.

By Marry Holland for The Independent.

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Dr Amy Khor (left) speaks to Chef Lucas Glanville, director of culinary operations at Grand Hyatt Singapore, beside the Biomax Thermophilic Digester machine which recycles food waste for the hotel. ST PHOTO: TAN SUE-ANN

SINGAPORE – Grand Hyatt, a hotel near Orchard Road, has saved $100,000 a year, just by managing its waste. Instead of throwing food waste into the bin, the hotel staff transfer them into a machine known as the Biomax Thermophilic Digester. This technology recycles food waste such as vegetable, poultry, bones, egg shell, tissue paper and fruit peel from nine in-house restaurants and kitchens. The food waste is then converted into pathogen-free organic fertilisers which are used for the hotel’s landscaping purposes.

Find out more about this technology by reading the full article here.

By Sue-Ann Tan for The Straits 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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A tourist in Brazil prepares to take a photo of a sloth being held up for the image. Photograph: Fernando Carniel Machado/World Animal Protection

Research by World Animal Protection in Brazil and Peru has revealed rise in photos with wild animals on Instagram, as well as growing instances of cruelty, and is launching a Wildlife Selfie Code

Some of the Amazon’s most endangered creatures are under threat from the growing trend of tourists taking “wild animal selfies”, according to a new investigation by the charity World Animal Protection released this week.

Selfies with animals has become a trend in recent years, with a 292% increase in the number of images posted to Instagram from 2014 to present. However, behind the scenes animals are kept in cruel conditions with many dying soon after being snatched from their natural habitat.

Read the full article on the ‘Wildlife Selfie Code’ here.

By Will Coldwell for The Guardian.

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Cyprus struggles to manage waste as tourist numbers soar

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Tourists on a crowded, sun-drenched beach in the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa tossed drinks cans into recycling bins as a record-breaking holiday season drew to a close.

With more visitors heading to Cyprus than ever, the Mediterranean island’s waste disposal system is under pressure, despite efforts to cut landfill use and encourage recycling, waste management and tourism, experts say.

Panicos Michael, manager of the five-star Alion Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa, said the rising number of visitors raised major issues. “I think that this will be a big challenge for the island in general to cope with the increased amount of waste that’s going to be produced,” he said.

Cyprus — seen as a regional safe spot shielded from the unrest that has hit other popular Mediterranean destinations — hosted a record 3.2 million visitors last year and looks set to top that by eight percent in 2017, official figures show.

Read the full article on the problematic waste situation on Cyprus here.

By unknown author for AFP.

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