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“When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence”
 
In the spirit of sustainability and reducing waste to landfill, staff at PATA Headquarters participated in an online flea market to buy, sell, and trade unwanted items. The staff shared photographs of all the items on Google Drive; after that, a bidding war began. All proceeds were donated to charity, and on the last day of the flea market, everyone at the office brought their stuff to sell or swap. Many items got a second life with their new owners, as after all, one (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure! Items that did not sell were donated to the Baan Nokkamin Foundation, an organization chosen by PATA staff
   
 
Baan Nokkamin Foundation is a Christian organisation that aids orphans, underprivileged children, the elderly and addicts by bringing a positive change into their lives. The Foundation helps to strengthen the community so that they can have a better future.
 
PATA has previously donated to Klong Toey slum via Second Chance Bangkok. For more information about creating an online flea market for your own office, contact ssr@pata.org.
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PATA’s Green Team recently organised a week-long competition that challenged PATA staff to take action in the context of Earth Day 2018 which is celebrated on April 22 since 1970. We designed the PATA Earth Week Challenge to support Earth Day 2018’s campaign focusing on ending plastic pollution.

PATA staff teams confronted each other with their use of single-use plastic items with the goal of decreasing PATA’s plastic consumption and improving overall waste management. Each PATA staff could earn or lose points for their team depending on their use of reusable and/or single-use plastic items, as well as by engaging in special activities. The latter included taking quizzes, submitting green tips for the office and downloading the “My Little Plastic Footprint” app to learn about plastic pollution in a fun way. The Sustainability team provided a variety of tools and resources to help PATA staff reduce their plastic footprint at and outside of work while reminding everyone of the many simple and easy tips to go green, keep our earth safe, spend less, and make every day Earth Day.

    
PATA staff sharing good practices while scoring points for their teams
 

Starting from Day One of the challenge, immediate actions were taken. The PATA staff encouraged each other to switch to different types of reusable straws (e.g. bamboo, stainless steel), to replace single-use coffee-to-go cups with their own tumbler, to always carry a tote bag when leaving the office and to adopt other good practices. Everyone shared photos of their daily ‘green’ choices and/or reported cases of their own or other’s rule violation (e.g. using a single-use plastic straw or bag).

    
Choosing the better alternative: Bring your own tumbler; Use silverware instead of use single use chopsticks; Go for a paper straw instead of a disposable plastic one
 

Through self-reporting and online scoring sheets, teams had an overview of the choices they made on a daily basis. After a very successful week and great participation, we decided to extend the challenge for another week. On Stop Food Waste Day! we introduced another special activity challenging PATA staff to show their contribution to the initiative by being a food waste warrior here in Bangkok! If they took a photo of their clean plate after lunch that day, they earned extra points for their teams.

 
Photos taken for #CleanPlate activity on Stop Food Waste Day!
 

Throughout the competition, we encouraged PATA staff to observe their own plastic consumption, to look for and explore alternatives and to also learn about the environmental impact of plastics as well as the importance of tackling plastic pollution.

   
Eco-conscious choices: Choosing natural banana leaf wrapping over plastic; bringing reusable containers to buy fruits from street vendors and meat from the butcher; reusing a drinking cup to get bubble tea
 

The team with the most points won tickets for a fancy movie night. In addition, the Sustainability team selected one staff member who showed outstanding commitment to the challenge and rewarded her with the same prize. Everyone else received a regular movie voucher as a thank you for their commitment to making a difference and helping PATA to walk the talk.

Members of the winning team were leading by example from Day One

Over the course of two weeks, PATA staff saved more than 200 coffee/drinking cups and over 120 plastic bags from landfill. We closed the challenge by celebrating the winning team and acknowledging all teams’ eco-conscious decisions! We are committed to continue making green choices that help end plastic pollution.

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As the year 2017 came to an end, PATA staff went through their belongings and brought unwanted clothes, books and other items in good condition to the office for donation. We wanted to help those less fortunate here in Bangkok and contacted Second Chance Bangkok to let them know about the pile of donations we were able to gather from our homes.

Second Chance Bangkok provides second hand items to residents of Bangkok’s largest slum, Klong Toey. Donated goods are sold to residents for only a few Baht, or given away for free. Second Chance Bangkok also upcycles unwanted clothing by creatively using them to design great bags and gift wares. This innovative program simultaneously creates employment for women in the Klong Toey slum.
The wonderful team from Second Chance Bangkok gratefully picked up the donations from our office on January 18. We intend to repeat this initiative twice a year from now on to help those in need.

Our pile of donations included men and women clothes, books, toys, shoes and toiletries.

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‘Recycle for Plants’ workshop with SIG Combibloc

Categories: PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Comments Off on ‘Recycle for Plants’ workshop with SIG Combibloc

WithPATA HQ achieving Silver-level Sustainability Certification for our sustainability practices for the second year in a row in 2017 , it is now more important than ever to find creative ways to decrease our footprint. That is why, on July 12, 2017, we invited Mr. Sinchai Thiensir, Director of the Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment to talk about the green office concept. He joined Ms. Prangtip Chaisawat from SIG Combiloc, who conduced a workshop showing us how to recycle our UHT package waste, popularly used for food packaging. Together, we crafted pots and and planted flowers in them to give our office a boost of fresh air.

Ms. Chaisawat’s wonderful workshop has helped us to keep thinking differently about the items we use on a daily basis and make our practices more sustainable.

For more pictures, see our Facebook post from the event!

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On October 4th 2017, BIGTrees Project Co-founder Anunta Intra-aksorn and Madeleine Recknagel, of The Sustainable Self initiative, visited the PATA office to share their knowledge on the importance of tree planting, sustainable living, as well as their past and current projects around Bangkok.

Anunta and her colleagues from BIGTrees provided PATA with interesting insights in their engagement in protecting and improving the endangered green spaces in Bangkok, focusing particularly on the protection and planting of trees. Past and current campaigns hosted by BIGTrees, including Urban Tree Care, Save Bangkachao and Mangrove Palm Seeding, have been set up to raise awareness, reconnect people and nature, and call for change. Communal learning has proven to be beneficial to the success of BIGTrees projects. Possibilities to combine leisure activities, such as bicycling, and engaging in environmental activities (e.g. planting) were presented to highlight the importance of ensuring a sustainable environment in the future.

 

Anunta Intra-aksorn speaking for BIGTrees Project

Madeleine encouraged PATA to rethink what is good soil by showing staff the difference between dead and living soil through touch and smell. Good (living) soil allows the healthy growth of produce. Sharing her own experiences, Madeleine emphasized that it doesn’t require a lot of effort and time to produce soil through composting – even when living in a small apartment or condo. Simple actions and rethinking diet towards healthier eating can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sharing knowledge

Using recycled plant pots, workshop participants were given the opportunity to seed and plant using homemade soil provided by Anunta and Madeleine.

PATA staff learning about planting

 

Getting dirty!

 

PATA staff seeded cucumber in a recycled egg container

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On a recent holiday to Koh Samui, Thailand, PATA Marketing and Communications Intern Kaitlin Corbeil took the opportunity to hold an impromptu interview with Mr Korakot Nachalaem, Resort Manager at Six Senses Resort.

In this interview, Mr Nachalaem talks about the success of the resort’s sustainable practices, explaining how the property utilizes its island environment, transforms food waste into profit and highlights the need for sustainable habits both in the industry and in the lives of all individuals. He also took a moment to provide a guided tour of the property’s self-managed goat and chicken farm, a key component of the resort’s strategic sustainability policy.

Six Senses is just one example of how hotels can take steps to manage their food waste and environmental impact, providing an encouraging example that should inspire other hotel and resort properties to do the same.

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Some businesses may feel threatened by the sharing (collaborative) economy but it is time for our society to change its view on the importance of owning ‘things’.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG12) focuses on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. With this in mind, we need to consider sharing a little more and owning a little less to help us achieve this goal.

According to the UN, the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. When I think of these numbers, I worry about the increasing amount of jobs, food, water and energy needed, as well as the increasing amount of waste that will be created. I worry about the increased number of people moving from farmlands to cities and the pressure that it will create on transport, city infrastructure and living quarters.

I was raised in a society that prides itself on owning things. Having a house in the city, a house in the countryside, a car or two, music and movies were not only norms – they were expectations. The more you owned, the higher your perceived status. Although it may still be like this in many places around the world, I am happy to see the younger generation behaving differently and taking advantage of newly available sharing services.

It took several generations to realise that owning a second house that you use only 10-20 percent of the time, or a vehicle that you only drive occasionally, makes little sense financially. Think of all the ‘things’ that may now be shared. Your house, car, boat, bicycle and sports equipment such as surfboard and skis that you seldom use.

Perhaps you have already disposed of your DVDs, books and CDs. After all, it’s so easy to watch movies on Netflix, read books on a Kindle, and listen to your favourite music on Spotify.

Think of all the ‘things’ you currently own that could be shared. For example, you can now provide access to your idling computer power (CPU) for scientific research (www.climateprediction.net). The designer evening dress you paid thousands for and will only wear once may be shared with others (www.covetella.com). Art management isn’t about subscribing to online collections, but rather having art collections that can be shared among members. Instead of investing in an expensive art collection you can now subscribe to one (www.artmgt.com).

We can all start to significantly reduce what we own while retaining access to more than we ever had before. It’s a phenomenon that will spread to almost every item with varying speeds. It may take one or two generations for our society to change its view towards the ownership of ‘things’ but I believe strongly that, in order to sustain a population of 11.2 billion people, we must reduce our footprint on the planet.

Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej showed remarkable vision when he introduced the ‘sufficiency economy’ philosophy to the country. This is a philosophy that many developed nations should learn from and implement if they wish to secure a sustainable future.

It’s never too late for spring cleaning and for you to donate what you may no longer use to others who may still find those items useful.

Till next time,
Mario Hardy
Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Asia Travel Association

– See more at: https://www.pata.org/share-world-ensure-sustainable-future/#sthash.Lm879tpU.dpuf

 

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PATA launches new thematic ‘How Far Will You Go?’ video in collaboration with GLP Films, at #PAS2017.

Take a moment to reflect on your inspirations for travel as well as aspirations for the Asia Pacific tourism industry.

 

 

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BANGKOK, May 20, 2017 – A pioneering publication designed to help the travel and tourism industry meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched at the PATA Annual Summit in Sri Lanka.

Sponsored by Jetwing Hotels of Sri Lanka this new publication ‘The Olive Tree’ is a joint effort between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Bangkok-based Travel Impact Newswire.

It features a compilation of announcements, news releases and initiatives by United Nations agencies and other multilateral groupings such as the Asian Development Bank on a broad range of SDG-related themes and topics including ‘messengers of peace’, ‘infrastructure investment’, ‘illegal fishing’ and ‘rice farming’.

Each article is accompanied by a sidebar explaining its importance and relevance to travel and tourism. This ‘ideas bank’ allows industry executives to envisage the linkage and to then decide how to get involved in advancing the cause.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a global vision for humanity and one that we all should work to fulfil. The industry has an important and influential active role to play in achieving these goals but this may only be achieved through concerted efforts from the public and private sectors.

“The publication’s title reflects the concept and thinking of peace and understanding. We must remember that travel and tourism provide the perfect opportunity for people from various backgrounds to share their stories with each other in the hope that they may better understand each other as human beings regardless of race, faith or religious beliefs.”

Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray said, “This pioneering publication is a perfect collaboration between the public and private sectors and the media to help make our world a much better place. Sri Lanka has overcome the challenges of a long and bloody war and is now pursuing a path to nation-building. Travel and tourism is a critical contributor to this task and the private sector has a major role to play. As one of the country’s largest private sector players in the travel and tourism sector Jetwing is proud to be contributing to job creation, cultural preservation, poverty alleviation in an environmentally friendly way. We hope that this publication will rally the entire PATA fraternity to forge stronger links with the UN system and other multilateral agencies in pursuit of a common objective, namely the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, well before the target of 2030.”

Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil, who initiated the project, said, “Travel and tourism is a unique global industry. It can rightfully claim to be the only one that can positively advance all 17 UN SDGs. Globally, travel and tourism is awakening to this powerful potential. So is the UN system. Behind the internal politics, the UN system and many other global multilateral agencies do a lot of great work. Their meetings, activities, reports and research can help the industry to make a robust contribution to the fulfilment of the SDGs.”

Muqbil added, “The Olive Tree publication will help industry decision-makers to explore the treasure trove of UN events, activities, campaigns, statistics and free reports that boost awareness of how the SDGs and the industry are intertwined. In turn, the UN agencies may better appreciate and respect the importance and value of travel and tourism in meeting their goals.”

The publication is available free of charge. Click here to download.

 

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