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Want to travel sustainably? There’s an app for that!

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SOURCE: techcrunch

Behind almost every trip is a search engine. Whether you’re searching for flights, accommodations, or things to do, you can start by using the Ecosia browser. This search engine utilizes 80% of its advertising revenue for reforestation purposes. And yes, there is an app available for your phone- available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

There are plenty digital platforms that help you connect with sustainable accommodations when looking for a home away from home. BookDifferent  gives the CO2 footprint (number of kg per quest per night) of staying in each particular property, and makes it easy for users to see the “greenest choice” accommodations. GreenPearls lets you know which sustainable practices each hotel is involved in.

Transportation will definitely end up generating a big chunk of your total carbon emissions by the end of your trip.

If you are considering air travel, direct flights are the way to go. Booking channels such as Skyscanner or Glooby show if you are reserving an eco-flight. If your wallet seems to have a hard time adjusting to these low carbon footprint flights, you can always consider offsetting your flight. Although Atmosfair promotes prevention over curing measures, it still offers an offset program for flights and cruises.

If you are travelling by land, carpooling is an efficient travel method. There are a few applications within Asia that offer this service: GrabHitch, UberPool and LILUNA.

Lastly, be sure to download the PATA Events App to hear about ways to travel sustainably to Cebu, Philippines for the PATA Annual Summit in May!

Check out 3 more great apps that will help you reach a sustainable lifestyle here.

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BOLOGNA REWARDS YOU WITH FREE BEER AND ICE CREAM FOR RIDING YOUR BIKE

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Credits: Food Anthology

For six months a year, an initiative called Bella Mossa (“Good Job”) operates within the city, which rewards users of sustainable forms of transport with free beer, ice cream or film tickets. 

Bravo city of Bologna, great initiative! Let’s hope some other cities in Asia follow up.

Read the full article here.

Posted on The Guardian. 

By Joanna Whitehead.

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An Ivory-Free New Year

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The Year of the Pig is almost here! And with it, the opportunity to travel and purchase souvenirs for your loved ones. We have partnered with WWF to provide a few tips for choosing sustainable and heartfelt gifts that won’t get you into trouble with a customs agent.

Elephants have long been regarded as symbols of good fortune and strength. But each year, at least 20,000 elephants are poached for their tusks. China banned domestic commercial ivory trade at the end of 2017. Since then, it has been illegal to buy or sell ivory in physical or online markets. Transporting ivory in and out of China is also illegal. And yet, many travelers still get caught bringing ivory home, spoiling memories of their trip and having items confiscated.

That’s why actor Huang Xuan is here to remind everyone traveling outside of China not to purchase and bring home ivory products.

There are so many alternatives to ivory. Here are some ideas for gifts that are both sustainable and beautiful from some of the most popular destinations:

Coconut Shell Lights

Coconuts are very common in Southeast Asia, and their round and tough shells are ideal for carvers. In Thailand’s markets, you can find these shells transformed into exquisite lanterns, bowls and other wares.

Laos Flower Paper

Luang Prabang in Laos is a hub for artists, many of whom use local tree pulp and flowers to create delicate, decorative flower paper. Because of its translucent quality, flower paper is most commonly used to make lampshades.

Myanmar Sand Painting

The ancient art of sand painting is done using sand dyed with natural pigments. In Bagan, artists have mastered the art form to create intricate scenes and durable keepsakes.

We hope you enjoy your travels and make sustainable choices along the way. Please help us spread the word by posting one of the posters below to your social media channels. This new year help us save elephants by refusing to purchase and transport ivory.

Other ways PATA partners and members can help this cause:

‘All:

  • Share and use WWF’s resources widely during Feb 8-17, 2019.
  • Use the hashtag #TravelIvoryFree or #样的旅行 during Lunar New Year.
  • Disseminate messages from available materials specifically to users who book travel products (e.g. flight, hotel, tours) to Thailand and Vietnam between Feb 8-17.

Airlines:

  • Promote Travel Ivory Free messages on flights from China to active ivory markets like Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar and Singapore.
  • Read a Travel Ivory Free announcement over PA system before landing.

Travel Media:

  • Share this message or write original pieces about the impact or risks of the illegal ivory trade; WWF has experts available for interviews in China and photos and videos for media use.

OTAs and Travel Review Sites:

  • Post destination-specific content for active ivory markets (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar and Singapore) on relevant destination pages. (Content to be provided by WWF.)
  • Share this message or write original pieces about the impact and risks of the illegal ivory trade on relevant destination pages.’

Contact WWF for more information: Anny Liang at yliang@wwfchina.org

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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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Two Dutch students create 3D-printed snacks from food waste

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Credits: Elzelinde Van Doleweerd/ KINDER World

According to FAO, every year, roughly one-third of all the food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted. But what if we could find ways to magically turn food waste back into perfectly edible food?

If you are interested in knowing more about this innovative creation, read the full article here.

Written by Davide Banis for Kinder World.

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For many, resolutions don’t last longer than the first month of the year. Don’t overwhelm yourself on the first week of the year and try this step-by-step resolution guide. With a little effort you can make a big difference in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle!

January: Walk, bike or use public transport

The effects on the environment of using the car are many and of course, all negative. This phenomenon represents 20% of the worlds total carbon dioxide pollution according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

February: Be a sustainability ambassador

Climate change is an issue that concerns everyone living on this planet. Many people are not aware of the consequences individual behavior can cause on the environment, so please spread the word. We as consumers and users should take responsibility of our actions and let people know that we should take care and motivate a conversion into responsible citizens.

March: Stop accepting single-use plastics

Plastic usage has become an increasingly hot topic over the past year, parallel to an increase in awareness campaigns about the health of our oceans. Plastic pollution directly  affects the livelihood of marine life and consequently finds its way into the food chain, affecting us humans. To get tips on how to accomplish this resolution click here.

April: Eat local

Transportation is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. By consuming local food and therefore, cutting down on food miles, you are diminishing the ecological impact of your food as overseas plane flights or long truck rides are not needed. To find out more reasons why is this good for the environment press here.

May: Reduce meat and dairy

As explained in our previous Green Tip, cutting down your meat and dairy consumption is one of the main ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

June: Avoid wasting food

This one is definitely a win-win situation as if you complete this resolution you will not only help the environment but as well take care of your wallet. A recommendation would be to set a weekly menu and buy purely what the menu states. PATA has been campaigning against food waste with its BUFFET initiative.

July: Use ecofriendly sunscreen

Not many people know that regular sunscreen is very damaging to most natural species living in the seas and oceans, specially to coral reefs. Nevertheless, it is indeed a problem that must be fixed, and we can do this by buying reef-friendly sunscreen available in most organic stores or herbalists. Some examples are:
Raw Elements Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Reef Safe (SPF 30+) 
Blue Lizard Sunscreen, Sensitive (SPF 30+)
Thinksport Oxybenzone Free Sunscreen (SPF 50+)

For more tips on travel essentials press here.

August: Eat seasonally

Apart from looking out for the environment (by reducing food miles for food brought in out of season), you would be supporting local farmers instead. Seasonal produce is guaranteed to be fresher and tastier.

September: Give a wide berth to printing

It is quite obvious that there is nowadays less need to utilize paper. Starting from emails, to E-tickets and E-books it seems that printing is a thing of the past, and our mother Earth loves it!

October: Turn off your devices at night

Once you are off to bed, you likely won’t be using your phone or computer. Normally, we think about turning off lights, but we don’t usually turn off devices such as the wi-fi or unplugging our microwave.

November: Use cold water for your laundry

Washing clothing in hot water is not always the best option – some clothes may shrink, and others may see stains being set in. Use cold water to treat your clothing gently, and reduce the amount of energy used to heat water. You will surely see a difference in your energy or gas bills.

December: Resist excessive consumerism

Christmas is quintessentially the month of absurd consumerism- simple living has been underestimated for decades, especially during this time of the year. Just think about where all these commodities will end up when you find no more utility to it, or even all the indirect aspects of it such as the packaging, the transportation and the clutter. If you need tips on how to reduce it press here.


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Billions of cockroaches are being farmed in China to tackle food waste

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Credit: REUTERS/ Thomas Suen

In the near pitch-dark, you can hear them before you see them – millions of cockroaches scuttling and fluttering across stacks of wooden boards as they devour food scraps by the tonne in a novel form of urban waste disposal.

“Cockroaches are a bio-technological pathway for the converting and processing of kitchen waste,” said Liu Yusheng, president of Shandong Insect Industry Association.

Cockroaches are also a good source of protein for pigs and other livestock. “It’s like turning trash into resources,” said Shandong Qiaobin chairwoman Li Hongyi.

Read the full article here to find out the full benefits of “Essence of Cockroach”. This may just change your mind about these much-despised little creatures.

By Ryan Woo, Thomas Seun for Reuters

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Credit: BBC

Avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact, according to recent scientific studies.

But what is the difference between beef and chicken? Does a bowl of rice produce more climate warming greenhouse gases than a plate of chips? Is wine more environmentally friendly than beer?

To find out the climate impact of what you eat and drink, choose from one of the 34 items in our calculator and pick how often you have it.

Read the full article and find out how your food choices impact the environment with the carbon footprint calculator here.

By Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg and Helen Briggs for BBC.

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Blue Economy: a sustainable ocean economic paradigm

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Credit: Pixabay/Bruno Glätsch

Sustainable Blue Economy Conference – This conference represents an important opportunity to take stock of both the opportunities – and the challenges – which the Blue Economy concept presents, in the context of SDG14 – Life Below Water.

As the single largest natural asset on the planet which represents some 99% of the earth’s living volume, the ocean delivers numerous benefits to humanity.

For the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Blue Economy paradigm is a natural next step in the overall conceptualization and realization of sustainable human development. It mirrors our long-accepted definition of sustainable development as one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Click here to read the full article on Blue Economy.

By Andrew Hudson for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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Kickstarter’s New Features Put Sustainability Top-Of-Mind For Creators

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People People’Transparent Speaker is designed to be repairable and recyclable.

When creators are planning to launch a product into the world on Kickstarter, they’ll now consider their impact on the environment.

As a crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter gives people the ability to turn a creative idea into a tangible product – anything from games and art to design and technology – thanks to the direct support of others. But as you can imagine, a lot more goes into turning an idea into a product than just raising funds.

An “Environmental Commitments” section has been added to all project pages within Kickstarter’s Design & Tech category, and plans are underway to expand it across more categories.

Read the full article here.

By Daniel Hill for Forbes.

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