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June is a popular month in western countries for getting married. Couples who are approaching the final preparations for their big day have many things on their minds and therefore sustainability may be the least of their worries.

 

However, here are some tips to help wedding planners and venue operators show leadership in sustainable practices, making sure that newlyweds begin their lives together in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner.

 

  1. Flowers

Choose flowers that are VeriFlora certified and grown without chemicals. Seasonally available and locally purchased flowers also mean a lower footprint. Flowers can also serve double duty – for the ceremony decorations as well as table centrepieces to help cut costs. Couples may also consider eco alternatives to flowers such as potted plants and EcoFlower, which often offers discounts for brides. After the wedding, consider working with organisations such as Rebloom to make sure the flower arrangements are reused.

 

  1. Catering

Food is a major element in every wedding celebration so consider purchasing organic and sustainable food or sourcing quality excess food from organisations such as Oz Harvest. Suggest vegetarian alternatives, seasonal and locally grown food, and sustainable options such as sustainable seafood which may reduce drastically the carbon footprint of the wedding. Read more on how to reduce carbon emission with the right catering.

 

  1. Decorations

Whether the wedding is on a beach or in an hotel or other indoor venue the decorations always play an important role. Consider purchasing decorations from a party rental service, – helping to trim costs and reduce waste. Look for high-quality equipment from a garage sale that gives a trendy ‘vintage look’ for the wedding. Make sure to save any purchased decor for other events.

 

  1. Create an eco-friendly wedding package

Assess activities that are successful and combine them into a beautiful eco-friendly package that is sure to catch the eye. Meeting the demands of young couples keeps you on track to market your services to an even wider audience.

 

 

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The $1.2 trillion travel industry, which moves more than a billion international travelers around the globe each year, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to cleaner, greener and more respectful travel practices, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

And with that in mind, for 2017 the organization has launched a yearlong “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” campaign aimed at educating travelers about how to reduce their environmental impact.

“Global tourism is really big business … but sustainable tourism still only represents a small fraction of the global industry,” said Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO, which declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

According to the UNWTO, tourism generates an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and tourists consume much more water while on vacation than they do at home. With the number of global tourists expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, issues such as waste generation at resorts and on cruise ships, overfishing on coral reefs to feed visitors and the impact of the ballooning global travel industry on local cultures is cause for concern, the organization said.

Thus the UNWTO is working to inspire a sea change in the travel industry, a message that appears to be resonating with some travel companies that have responded by committing to changing the way they do business.

 

Read more here. 

 

By Michelle Baran from Travel Weekly

 

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Travelling breaks down barriers and promotes diversity. Travel is about shared experiences and building friendships. It is a great way to learn understanding for different customs.

If we teach our children how to make the right travel choices, it can not only benefit them, but it will also make the world a better place.

 

Here are some ways to travel more responsibly with your children:

 

  1. Choose sustainable transport

Explain to children how biking, walking or using public transport is much better for the planet and then choose one of those modes of transport every day during your holiday. Understanding the impact of your carbon footprint will help children to grow into more responsible travellers. Read more on green transportation here.

 

  1. Choose responsible destinations

Make time to plan your trip together with your children – research each destination’s commitment to the protection of people, animals, sites of important historic interests and, of course, the environment. Participating in this process enables younger travellers to learn about the importance of sustainable and responsible travel. Read about top destinations that enforce sustainable tourism here.

 

  1. Get off the beaten path

Choose places where you may connect with locals and learn about their traditions. Building closer connections with a place is much more enjoyable and inspiring for you and your children. Consider asking your tour operator about participating in a community based tour or a local handcraft activity.

 

  1. Encounter wildlife with respect

Teach your children a few basic rules and lead by example: use a quiet voice, do not touch, feed or get too close to wildlife and always obey the rules and instructions.

 

Showing children how to travel responsibly now will shape them into empathic and compassionate travellers and more learned members of society. And by travelling with them as responsible adults it’s a fascinating learning experience for the entire family.

Read more on sustainable travel with children here.

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By sharing their knowledge and their passion, the diving industry has recently guided the development of nine brand new “Green Fins How-to-videos”, designed to guide business managers how to easily implement the Code of Conduct and to show divers exactly what they should expect from an environmentally friendly dive centre.

They will be completely free for anyone to see and to use; you don’t even need to be working for a Green Fins member! Just follow the Green Fins website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to become part of the community and see sustainable diving in action!

Video #9: Eco Friendly Cleaning Tips for Diving and Snorkelling

This video aims to show dive centre owners and/or managers simple ways in which harmful discharge can be reduced by replacing chemical cleaning products with environmentally friendly ones.

 

Video #8: How To Make Reusable Tank Caps

This video outlines the issue of using masking tape to separate tanks and provides a very simple solution to dive operators shown as a step to step guide on how to make their own tanks caps. A long-term and sustainable solution.

 

Video #7: Implement Good Garbage Management Practices

This video aims to provide management and staff with simple guidance points on how they can properly manage their garbage so that it does not contribute to the global problem of marine debris.

 

Video #6: How to Use Alternatives To Anchoring

This video aims to show dive centre management alternatives for the use of anchors. Anchoring can devastate fragile marine ecosystems in a matter of seconds, to avoid the impact on the marine environment the video shows alternatives that can be easily implemented in different locations

 

Video #5: Guiding Divers Towards Best Environmental Practice

This video aims to provide management and staff with simple guidance points on how an instructor or dive guide can correct customer behaviour underwater for best environmental practice. By clearly understanding what behaviour can cause damage to the environment and how it can be corrected, instructors and guides can help their guests protect coral reefs.

Video #4: How to Give an Environmental Boat Briefing 

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe that your actions could change whole ecosystems but divers on boats have the potential to do just that. Throwing trash, cigarettes or food waste into the ocean can poison marine life and change their behaviour. The new Green Fins How-to-video shows dive guides and managers how they can include simple, environmental reminders in their boat briefings to help divers protect the ocean and their favourite marine life.

For this year’s World Oceans Day, Green Fin asked their top members to answer the question “What do you do to protect the oceans? “

 

Video #3: Implementing Good Garbage Management on Boats

Divers travel far distances to see the most unique marine environments, they wouldn’t like to dive on a polluted ocean. As we all know, marine debris is one of the biggest problems oceans are facing and the diving industry can have a big environmental impact if no measures are taken. For this reason, the new Green Fins How-to- video covers this problem by providing practical solutions to dive centre owners and managers on ways their in boat practices can have less or no environmental impacts. By implementing these simple tips and making it clear to your staff and guests, you will be part of the solution, not the problem!

 

 

Video #2: How-to-Manage Underwater Photographers

The second Green Fins How-to-video shows divers the threat they can pose to marine life when taking a camera underwater and how dive guides and instructors can support customers to be responsible photographers. Divers rely directly on the health of the marine environment. So it’s the responsibility of the diving community to do everything within their power to protect what they love.

 

 

Video #1: Pre-Dive Environmental Briefings

The first Green Fins How-to-video showcases one of the most important things a dive centre can do to protect the ocean it depends on. It outlines exactly what a dive guide should say to inspire divers to be responsible right before jumping in the water.

The Pre-dive briefing is the perfect opportunity to learn more from their guides about how they can protect the environment, becoming a steward for the ocean and a stronger member of the diving community.

Divers rely directly on the health of the marine environment. So it’s the responsibility of the diving community to do everything within their power to protect what they love. These videos will show you how.

 

 

 

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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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Cruise companies have been encouraged to improve their environmental policies and introduce more clean technology. Photograph: Enrique Calvo/Reuters

 

Environmental standards for shipping are so low, cruise companies have a huge opportunity to improve their policies

Not many of the 25 million people enjoying the sea breeze on a cruise ship this year are likely to think about the air pollutants being emitted from the vessel.

Mostly running on heavy fuel oil, a medium-sized cruise ship produces around the same volume of air pollutants – including greenhouse gases, sulphur, nitric oxides and particulate matter – as 5m cars going the same distance, estimates the German environmental NGO Nabu.

“The standards for the shipping industry are really low compared to what we can see in road transport,” says Dietmar Oeliger, head of environmental policy at Nabu. “For a long time, politics served it well. People didn’t care about emissions on open water.”

Most countries devolve responsibility for regulating the industry to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), says Tristan Smith, shipping and climate change expert at University College London. He adds that many smaller countries do not have the resources to regulate it themselves and some choose not to restrict it – after all, the industry is a boon to local economies, bringing in tourists and providing jobs.

 

Read more about sustainable sea travel by following this link. By Sarah Shearman.

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How to influence supply chains to effect change at scale: interview with WWF’s Jim Sano

Categories: Americas, Cruise, Featured Post, Private Sector, Tour Operator, Wildlife
Comments Off on How to influence supply chains to effect change at scale: interview with WWF’s Jim Sano
James Sano, Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF at GSTC Conference in Suwon, Korea presenting the partnership between WWF, Royal Caribbean Cruises and GSTC.

James Sano, Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF at GSTC Conference in Suwon, Korea presenting the partnership between WWF, Royal Caribbean Cruises and GSTC.

For this interview Anula Galewska spoke with Jim Sano, Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF, about the partnership between WWF and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Jim serves as the senior advisor on sustainable tourism programs and develops new initiatives to engage WWF’s most committed supporters. He was formerly President of Geographic Expeditions, a San Francisco-based adventure travel company that offers educational travel, location management, and sustainable travel consulting services.
Prior to joining Geographic Expeditions, Jim served as a ranger and special assistant to the Superintendent at Yosemite National Park in California. Jim was on WWF’s National Council for 10 years and is an Emeritus Board Member of the Trust for Public Land.

This article is part of the interview series with Speakers of the GSTC Conferences in Suwon, Korea and Athens, Greece held in October and November 2016.

Anula: How did WWF come to be partnering with Royal Caribbean Cruises?

Jim: Earlier this year, WWF and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd entered into a five-year partnership that focuses on ensuring the long-term health of the oceans. Over the next five years, our global partnership will work to achieve several ambitious and measurable sustainability targets that will reduce the company’s environmental footprint, support WWF’s global oceans conservation work, and raise awareness among the company’s more than 5 million passengers about the importance of ocean conservation.

The targets include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responsibly sourcing food, including seafood, and promoting more sustainable tourism operations and destinations. For example in sustainable tourism, Royal Caribbean will offer guests at least 1,000 shore excursions by operators certified to the GSTC standard by 2020. Learn more about all of Royal Caribbean’s 2020 environmental sustainability targets on our website.

Anula: How is this partnership encouraging suppliers to improve their sustainability standards?

Jim: Improving sustainable tour operations through the company’s suppliers is one of the primary goals of the partnership. RCL has worked with many of their tour operators to improve sustainability over the years, and as a great first step, these operators have conducted internal assessments and some have been certified or recognized against international sustainability standards. Getting GSTC-recognized certification is the next step in this process.

One of the strategies we are working on with Royal Caribbean is to add a sustainability preference into their responsible tour sourcing policy. RCL will give preference to tour operators who have made progress towards certification or have been certified against a GSTC standard. Not everyone will be certified by 2020, but the new sourcing policy will be in place by 2018, encouraging tour operators to begin the certification process.

Of course we need to be realistic as it is not always possible to get 100% of suppliers certified, especially in places where there is only one company capable of delivering the service.

Through this commitment, Royal Caribbean is be sending an important signal about the importance of GSTC. And, more and more, we’re seeing a shift towards sustainability in the tourism market. Having a large company like Royal Caribbean endorse the GSTC standard will hopefully spur others to follow suit.

Sano

Dirk Glaesser (Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO), Jim Sano (Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF) and Randy Durband (GSTC CEO)

Anula: So another aim has to be educate the customer about conservation issues and the project itself?

Jim: We want to increase consumer awareness of GSTC as the leading tourism sustainability standard. In the future we hope that all certified suppliers will be able to use the GSTC logo. By increasing awareness of the GSTC logo, we hope to create a brand like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and reduce the confusion caused by the proliferation of ecotourism labels in the marketplace.

As part of this partnership, we’re actively working to educate Royal Caribbean’s guests about ocean conservation. We’re developing educational content across three brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. There’s a special edition of WWF’s magazine, “WWF At Sea,” in every stateroom across these brands. We also have dedicated oceans-focused programming on the stateroom tv channel.

In April 2016 Royal Caribbean committed to combatting wildlife crime, through an event organized by the White House and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. To support this commitment, WWF is developing educational materials on smart shopping while in port – advising Royal Caribbean’s guests what to look out for and what not to buy. WWF is also developing a special guide about sharks and rays, to provide best practices on how to conduct tours in an ecologically-sensitive manner. We hope this will provide needed guidance to the industry as a whole, and not just Royal Caribbean.

Anula: Do you also have any special education programs for the staff?

Jim: Yes. We know that educating the crew is going to be critical in building awareness with guests. The staff, whether its cruise directors or waiters, are allies in helping spread our message on board the ships. We are in the process of developing trainings and content on a variety of topics – from sustainable seafood to wildlife crime.

We plan to leverage the experience of the tour operator Natural Habitat Adventures. Their training programs have proved to be a success, so we want to do a similar thing with the Royal Caribbean.

Anula: Why did WWF decide to work with Royal Caribbean?

Jim: Our oceans under threat. According to WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report, in the last four decades populations of some marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have declined on average by half. The loss of mangroves—perhaps one of the most valuable habitats on the planet—is estimated to be occurring at a rate three to five times that of the loss of rainforest. If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take bold steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans.

We believe it is important to harness the power of the global marketplace as a force for conservation. Our objective in partnering with Royal Caribbean is to contribute to the conservation of important ocean ecosystems and safeguard vital natural marine resources for generations to come. And, we hope to inspire other companies in the tourism sector to become more sustainable.

So one of the reasons why we work with big travel companies is to create a certain amount of critical mass, which has a profound influence on smaller companies to behave more sustainably. If you want to know more about why WWF works with these big players, watch this TED Talk by Jason Clay. In tourism we followed the same principle, and this is how we started working with Royal Caribbean.

Jim Sano, Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF

Jim Sano, Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, WWF

Anula: But big players are very often frightened to commit to sustainability. Why is that?

Jim: The travel industry, unlike other industries such as clothing, has very low margins. On top of that, tourism is a highly competitive market. The big barrier is how much money it will cost a company to raise the bar and be more sustainable.

At my former tour company, Geographic Expeditions, when we first offered tours to Nepal it was very difficult for the end customer to make a connection with a tour company. Now everyone has a nice website, and someone from customer service can answer all your questions online.

But big companies have a competitive advantage, which small ones don’t have – years of experience and a good insurance. At Geographic Expeditions our value proposition was the peace of mind. If a customer cares about sustainability and also health and safety, we offered them a customizable travel experience and the comforting feeling that all the issues had been taken care of.

We need to show these companies that sustainability and strong business fundamentals are not mutually exclusive.

Anula: How important is tourism for WWF?

Jim: This project with Royal Caribbean is our first large project in the travel and hospitality sector.

There’s a growing realization that tourism, when done right, offers a financial opportunity for countries to develop their economies responsibly and protect nature.

According to the studies we made at The Trust for Public Land, 400 national parks can create 14 million dollars in economic activity, and that offers conservation returns worth from $4 to $10 for every dollar invested.

We should be developing more case studies that present the economic benefits, and reports that showcase the compelling case for economic development and jobs creation thanks to tourism activity.

If we want governments to take tourism more seriously, we have to be able to document these numbers. Evidence and money talks, it is the only way to convince big businesses to choose sustainability as their development path.


GSTC Global Sustainable Tourism Conference took place in Suwon, Korea in October 2016. To view presentations from the past conference and learn about upcoming GSTC events, visit GSTC website.

Click here for the original article by Travindy.

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Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, used in most of the tourism businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation. Hotels also depend upon their supply industries, such as agriculture and the food and drink industries, none of which would function without sufficient water.

Thinking about how to conserve water is important. Water conservation can save a significant amount of money by using less: fewer water treatment costs, less labor costs, and less energy use. Using less water also strengthens the local economy as more economic resources are available for the local area. Water conservation also helps protect ecosystems that include tourist attractions that depend on natural resources. Learn more about it from Kuoni’s Water Management Manual for Hotels.

There are many ways to reduce water usage that are more efficient than taking shorter showers, like eating less meat. Here are some useful tips for water conservation that you can easily apply:

Honourable Mention Culture and Heritage Tourism Provider

Blue YonderThe Blue Yonder was set up in 2004, to assist the work of Nila Foundation, that was working to preserve the rich heritage of River Nila (Bharatapuzha) region in Kerala. From this learning, we spread across many states in India, including Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Rajasthan and many regions in the Himalayas through partnerships.

Our focus has always been about ‘creating better places for people to live and for people to visit’ in that order. We never launched a tourism project first, but always started with community development project. We pursued Gandhian Talisman and we designed all our travel initiatives based on how we could bring in a change into destination and our people. This started with investment into local communities and working with them, increasing their quality of life. It was obvious that once the quality of life was enhanced, the destination by default becomes the natural fit for Responsible Tourism leading to a sustainable tourism destination.

Our business is focused on Co-creation ( we never push our ideas into the community we work with, but we co-create them), Collaboration ( without deep rooted alliances, no change would happen in a destination) and Crowd-sourcing ( We are aware of our limitation as one company, so we always go to the public seeking ideas ).

In the last ten years, we have launched more than 40 initiatives focusing on heritage conservation, livelihood, dignity, natural conservation and community health care to name a few. From 2004, where we launched Musical Trail to bring in dignity, respect and income generation to isolated musicians, to 2015 when we partnered with Kozhikode District administration on Compassionate Kozhikode, we have continued to be innovative and disruptive when it comes to destination development.

 

For more information: The Blue Yonder website