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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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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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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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Credit: United Nations

You’ve heard the letters S, D, and G being used a lot lately, but what do they mean? In this week’s PATA Sustain’s green tips, we are passing along our top tips that can help you do your part to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

   1. Knowledge is power

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. The United Nations have set a supremely ambitious and transformational vision to realize the human rights of all and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. Therefore, the first step for us to be involved is to read and understand as much we as can. We understand that most people do not have the patience to read reports that are over 40 pages long. So here is an article by The Guardian on Sustainable development goals: all you need to know. If that is still too much for you, watch a short clip about the SDGs here.

Don’t stop there though, follow the UN Sustainable Development Goals platform on Facebook here. PATA also has a free publication available for download: The Olive Tree, which explores how the SDGs and travel and tourism are interlinked. Educate yourself on the problems that happen all over the world and learn from the best practices!

   2. Support your government and companies in your country

The UN provides substantive support and capacity building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology, and many more. It won’t take you long to realise that these issues may already be impacting your neighborhood. In order to make the 2030 agenda a reality, we need the commitment from all stakeholders, especially the ones that are closest to us.

This brings us back to tip #1: Knowledge. Start by finding out if your government has integrated the SDGs into the country development plan. See this full list of countries that are involved in the UN’s Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). TheVNRs aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences between nations, including success, challenges and lessons learned. If your country is listed, chances are your government or local organisations already have events planned in efforts to support the SDGs. For example, Green Fins Thailand, an initiative by United Nations and Reef-World Foundation, contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life Below Water) and 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) by carrying out regular beach and coastal clean-ups. This is also a great opportunity for local communities to be involved.

 

3. The time is now

If you don’t already work for an organisation that fully supports the SDGs, you can still do your part by volunteering! Join the Scholars of Sustenance Foundation team to go on food runs to contribute to Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). If you simply cannot find the time to do, you may be surprised at just how easy it is for you to make a change. Contribute to Goal 13 (Climate Action) by reducing food waste to landfill.

If gender equality is of big importance to you, contribute to Goal 2 (Gender Equality) by supporting the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Did you know that tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household? Despite their important roles, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

Did you know?

Every year, the UN SDG Action Award recognises individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, private sector leaders who are advancing the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way. The winners will be announced at a special SDG Action Awards ceremony, at the Global Festival of Action on 2 May.

Keep a look out for award nominees by following their facebook page.

In a nutshell, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. We must continue to address the global challenges that the world is currently facing. We need to wake up and realise that human behaviour is the main reason for our increasingly volatile planet. Together, we can make a change.

Read more of #PATASustain green tips here.

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Learn how you can tackle the plastic pollution problem with the circular economy model

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When it comes to circular economy, our friends at WRAP explain it best: a circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Credit: WRAP circular economy

The concept is simple as it brings you back to the 3Rs: reducing materials and waste, reusing products, and recycling materials. We have compiled 5 tips that can be used by any individual to start the conversation and start taking actions.

  1. Understanding the circular business model:

There are currently 5 circular business models that form the basis of a sustainable business: a business that focuses on closing loops so that there is no waste. By understanding how these business models work, we can identify companies that adopt these models, allowing us to be more conscious about who we choose to support and engage with.

  1. Refuse single-use items:

Single-use items simply do not work well in the circular economy model! The circular economy model aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. The traditional approach of “take-make-dispose” should be a thing of the past. Do these 24 examples of ridiculous plastic packaging look familiar to you? Try to refuse them the next time you encounter them, or take photos of them and share on social media with the hashtag #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

  1. Get creative:

Ask yourself, “can I give this a second life?” before tossing anything into the bin. Turn waste into resources where all biodegradable material returns to nature and the non-biodegradable items are reused. If you have plastic bottles lying around your home, try any of these 20 creative ideas to breathe new life into these empty plastic bottles.

Credit: lynnpetersson.se

  1. Collaborate:

Teamwork and collaboration create wonderful things. If the waste industry had set many household waste collection systems for you to follow, chances are it is designed to maximize the quality of recycling. Effective waste segregation means that less waste goes to landfill which will make it cheaper and better for people and the environment. Here are 5 types of waste classification for you to understand what you can and cannot recycle.

Credit: Shutterstock

  1. Show your support. Take action:

For far too long, companies have been forcing plastic packaging into our lives and our planet and communities pay the real price. Massive floating islands of plastics three times the size of France are found floating in the Pacific Ocean. They threaten wildlife species, pollute the sea and can persist in the environment for centuries. You can make a difference by demanding corporations move away from single-use plastics altogether by adding your signature to support petitions.

There is a reason why more and more researchers are tapping into providing more evidence for the economic, environmental and societal benefits that a circular economy transition could deliver. The world is waking to the problem and this is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

We at PATA are committed to be a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within Asia Pacific. Read more on our plastics brainstorming session that took place at the PATA HQ here.

To read more on circular economy, click here

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Sustainable practices not only help the environment and the community, but also help to cut down on cost. A little bit of effort and small investments can give long term benefits. Here are some tips to help you transform your guesthouse into a sustainable haven.

Save Energy

  • Install LED lighting where possible. These are more energy efficient, safer, and last longer than regular bulbs.
  • Use an outdoor clothes line to naturally dry linens.
  • Use daylight to keep common areas well-lit for as long as possible.
  • Utilise energy efficient appliances.

Save Water

  • Install low-pressure shower heads and high efficiency toilets.
  • Plant flora that requires less water to flourish.
  • Encourage guests to reuse towels and linens.

Invest in Green Products

  • Utilise refillable shampoo, shower gel and lotion bottles.
  • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products. They are less harmful for both humans and the environment.
  • Use reusable cups instead of plastic ones. Say no to single use plastic bottles and opt for ones made of glass or ceramics.
  • Use napkins instead of paper towels.
  • Ditch plastic kitchenware for dishes and metal cutlery.

Recycle

  • Separate waste into categories upstream so it is easier to divert waste from landfill.
  • Donate, compost, or reuse leftover food so that it does not go to waste.
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Enjoy the summertime while practicing eco-friendly habits. A little goes a long way in terms of sustainability, and every bit of effort counts.

Here are seven tips to help you go green this summer:

  • Stay hydrated by carrying your own refillable tumbler or water bottle. Refuse to use single use plastic bottles, cups and straws.
  • Get a few indoor plants, they can act as natural air purifiers and will liven up your space.
  • Save on your electricity bill by letting in natural daylight. Remember to turn off lights, fans and other electronic appliances when not in use. Switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Use eco-friendly deodorants to stay fresh this summer. They are better for your skin and, of course, the environment. If you can’t find them in the market, try this simple DIY.
  • Prepare a hearty meal at home and avoid processed foods. This will minimize waste generation and will also be beneficial for your health.
  • Ride your bicycle or walk to travel short distances. Use public transport to cover greater distance. If you can’t avoid driving, try staying within the speed limit, as this is more fuel efficient.
  • Instead of using the dryer for clothes, let your laundry dry out in the summer sun.
  • Shop for produce at local markets. This supports the economy and the community at large.

If you’re planning to go on holiday, try going green and help to preserve the beautiful destinations for generations to come.

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Wrap it, zip it, collapse it – eco-friendly food storage on the go and at home

Categories: Green Tips
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Credit: Shutterstock

Do you love snacking or preparing your own food yet are lacking environmentally-friendly packaging? Grabbing snacks on the go often comes with a lot of single-use, unnecessary plastic wrapping and packaging that we dispose after only minutes of use. We often tend to use disposable wrapping in our kitchen as it seems convenient for storing and keeping food fresh. However the environment takes a hit at the same time. 

Make your next take-away sustainable and green up your food storage solutions. Here are three products that allow you to prepare for your cravings in an eco-friendly way,

 1. Bee’s wraps: These amazing food wraps are made of cloth, beeswax and tree resin. They are washable in soap and cold water, reusable and sealed by the warmth of your hands. You no longer need to wrap food in plastic! Learn of its benefits through this short video clip. 

2. Reusable ziplock and sandwich bags: There are many different convenient and most importantly reusable options that fit your needs and help you ditch disposable plastic wrappings – from a durable, water- and air-tight seal, to dishwasher-safe designs, to cases that unfold into a placemat and more. Compare different options available here and pick the ones you need. 

3. Collapsible food containers: This lightweight and airtight silicone option is perfect for on the go. They are true space savers and come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some examples by collapse-it and Thin Bins. 

Remember that there is always an alternative to single-use plastics. A quick search online will provide you with a variety of options that will help you along your plastic detox journey. Start with replacing one item at a time and encourage others to do the same.

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Credit: Shutterstock

Every time food is wasted, all the money, packaging, manpower, and water are wasted too. The loss of natural resources such as land, water, and biodiversity, as well as the negative impacts of climate change represent huge costs to society. To minimise our impact on the environment, every single one of us needs to ensure that we work to reduce and ultimately prevent food waste in our very own kitchens on a daily basis. Luckily, we have some EGG -citing tips for you to take back to your kitchen and implement right away:

Feast your eyes on this short video clip that provides tips on how to reduce food waste posted on the UN FAO Instagram account. We know it is corny, but food is simply a-MAIZE-ing, so LETTUCE celebrate, make responsible choices and prevent food waste from going to landfill.

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Credit: Shutterstock

Air travel has an impact on both our own health as well as our planet’s. When we think about it – the carbon emissions resulting from it as well as the waste produced, or jet-lag – it may not be the healthiest choice after all. However, there are many ways to make your long-haul flight a better experience by considering the environmental impact, your health, and your sleep cycle.

Book an eco-friendly flight and check whether your airline offers carbon offset programs. You can learn more about offsetting your global travels via PATA partner EarthCheck’s carbon calculator here. Be sure to check out our previous tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and make the most of your air miles.

When getting ready for your journey at home, start with packing eco-friendly travel essentials that allow you to produce zero waste on your next long flight. For example, bring your own empty water bottle(s) to refill at an airport water fountain after passing security and carry your own slow-energy release snacks (e.g. nuts or dried fruits) in a reusable container or environmental friendly packaging. Drink plenty of water two days before traveling and get some exercise if possible. Bring a thermo flask if you like to drink coffee or tea to avoid disposable cups, both at the airport and on the plane. Little changes and a mindful preparation for your flight can have a positive impact on our earth.

At the terminal, stretch your legs and walk around the terminal before boarding. Remember to refill your water bottles to stay well hydrated during the flight. Choose what works best for you to stay healthy on your travels. By avoiding single-use water bottles, cups or disposable cutlery throughout your travels you will also reduce plastic waste in which our oceans and other places around the world are drowning in.

On board, choose to say ‘No’ to all items that are wrapped in plastic on board, from the headphones to the toiletry bag to minimise waste. Move around the plane, wiggle your feet and toes to keep the blood circulating. Lower your window shades to help keep the aircraft cool. You may even want to consider fasting on a long-haul flight to avoid or reduce jet lag. Read more about three good reasons to fast here.

Ready for take-off? Enjoy your flight and stay green.

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