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The circular economy is about recycling everything that we produce and treating materials like they’re finite. This is something that is achievable for your business. Processing materials requires energy, causing pollution. A zero-waste approach encourages the redesign of resource life cycle so that all products are reused, limiting pollution.

Based on sourcing, manufacturing, distributing and using ‘efficiently’ for reuse, the following tips could help your business close the loop and become more circular:

1. Mix with the right people: Having a designated sustainability team may drive projects, sustainability must be driven from the heart!  

2. Use the right metrics: Consider a value framework to measure performance and returns.

3. Solve customers’ problems: Consider developing a product recycling programme – upcycle unwanted products to fill a need.

4. Product as services: Invest in innovation and think about products you could lease!

5. Be ready for backlash: Not everyone understands that sustainability can be profitable, so be sure to engage your team, and have a clear message for your stakeholders.  

By modifying each stage in the economic cycle (from production to use) and designing goods to be recycled, businesses can regenerate waste much like an ecosystem. Designing goods to be reused and consume less energy is becoming the norm!

To learn more about how to grow economically but not harmfully watch this.

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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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Documentaries to watch if you want to get serious about sustainability

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SOURCE: image.ie

Covering everything from the struggles of fast fashion to global warming and the whole issue of bees; these documentaries address the most pressing issues that should be keeping the world’s leaders awake at night. Read the full article here. 

Written by Geraldine Carton

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SOURCE: Lars Leetaru, NY Times

IATAestimates that over 4.3 billion passengers flew on an airplane in 2017, with the average traveler flying at least once every 22 months.

With the demand for flights increasing annually, the environmental impact of air travel is significant. Some estimates show that the carbon impact of travel is over 3 times higher than expected.

Here are some steps you can take to become a more ‘sustainable traveler’:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency aircrafts account for 12% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Using rail is a better alternative if available.
  • Avoiding multiple layovers and shorter flights are options to minimize your impact by reducing pollution per passenger mile. Fly direct as much as possible.
  • Using local public transport is an easy way for you to reduce your impact personally!
  • Consider using a bike rental to explore a new city.

Although air travel as we know it today has not been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the prospects for a future of sustainable travel look promising. With fuel efficient planes on the horizon, the potential for low-carbon biofuels to replace up to 30% of jet fuel could lower the carbon intensity to about one third of what it was in 2016.

“Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. It does” – William James

Read more tips on being a sustainable traveler here.  

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Test your sustainability knowledge

Categories: Green Tips
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SOURCE: English Practice Online

Do you consider yourself a sustainability guru? Put your green knowledge to test with these fun quizzes.

1. This BBC Earth quiz will evaluate your day-to-day sustainability practices to see how you measure up. Not up to par? Check out our tips on how to make easy, every day, sustainable choices. 

2. The Sustainable Development Goals are crucial to fortifying joint efforts, mobilising the global community in sharing effective methods to combat poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, water, sanitation, environment, and social justice- amongst others. Click here to test your knowledge about the SDGs. Don’t get left behind- learn more about the SDGs!

3. National Geographic has developed various quizzes that aim to help you reduce your environmental impact; from going green, to being a better foodie

Be sure to browse sustain.pata.org and check back regularly for more sustainability knowledge!

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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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You don’t need green fingers to regrow these kitchen scraps – Some tips on how to save money on groceries in the long run

Categories: Green Tips
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Credit: Shutterstock

Whenever our fruits and vegetables start showing signs that they’re sprouting, we end up tossing them in the bin because it “looks” inedible. Is it because people just refuse to believe that this produce has a life of its own? A lot of hard work goes into growing a mere potato, and  all the other kitchen scraps that we throw into the bin without a second thought. We do this because its been ingrained in us that food that looks imperfect is inedible. We would not throw a houseplant out because it has one brown leaf, why should we throw out a garlic that has started to sprout?

Here are 7 types of kitchen scraps that we should start upcycling instead of tossing them in the bin – they are just far too valuable and wasteful to be thrown away.

1. Garlic

For those who love garlic enough to keep vampires away, you don’t have to spend time picking the best looking garlic bulb at the grocery store anymore because you can grow them with just a little soil and water at home! Click here to learn how you can do this.

2. Onions

Onions are like garlic’s cousin. They are both a kitchen staple and can be added to almost any main course to further elevate the taste. They are also one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. First, cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a 1/2 inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny location and cover the top with soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist by watering when needed. Onions also have other uses besides adding flavor to food. They are rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can be useful for promoting hair growth. Simply blend the onion and massage it onto your head at least twice a week..

3. Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce is the main ingredient for Caesar salad and can also be used for taco toppings, or lettuce wraps (a low-carb alternative to a burger bun, too!). Did you know that you do not need to put Romaine lettuce in soil for it to grow? Find directions here.

4. Pineapple

We are not going to lie that this will take a whole lot of patience. A pineapple can be regrown from its crown. It takes a full year to yield a sweet-tasting fruit but they are generally easy to care for as they do not need much water. You just need to understand what kind of conditions pineapple do and do not like. Research is probably the hardest part of the growing process but after that, you can sit back and relax while your pineapple grows. Read about it here.

5. Green onions, leeks and scallions

A staple in any Asian household, these vegetables grow quickly and will save you the most money in the long run.  All you have to do is place the roots of your green onions, leeks or scallions in a jar of water, and place the jar near the window, as they need a good amount of sunlight to grow. Remember to change the water every other day. You should have a new green onion, leek or scallion in just a week’s time.

6. Avocado

The world has become obsessed with this superfood. Avocados show up in salads, toast, smoothies, and even ice cream! There’s a good reason for this and that is because numerous studies had proven this fruit’s powerful health benefits. Learn how to grow your own so that you do not need to worry about your supply of avocados in the future.

7. Potato

Of course, we cannot leave out the beloved potato. Use small pieces of potatoes with 2-3 “eyes” and place in the sun for two to three days until you notice them sprouting. You can then plant it into a pot of soil and harvest continuously once the leaves turn yellow. Read the detailed steps to plant potatoes here.

Extra bites:

Watch this Buzzfeed video on how you can grow vegetables from scraps.

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Credit: Green is the new black

Christmas can be a time of overindulgence and over-consumption, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Green is the new black is kicking off with “How to have a Zero Waste Christmas” with Green Warrior, Hannah Chung – The Zero Waste Challenger, on how we can go waste-free, lower our impact and have a green Christmas.

A pile of unwanted presents on Boxing Day, wrapping paper strewn on the floor, tinsel drooping off trees of plastic, hangovers, gout. If this is reminiscent of your Christmases past, remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. Life can be so much simpler without all the stuff that we’ve been conditioned to believe is ‘festive tradition’. Make new traditions, set yourself free from the faff, and get creative this holiday.

Read the full article to learn 8 waste-free alternatives here.

By Hannah Chung for Green is the black.

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Credit: Shutterstock

PATA prides ourselves on our role in developing future leaders of the tourism industry by empowering youth. We have our very own Young Tourism Professional (YTP) Ambassador, Ms. JC Wong who is responsible for the career development of youths comprising of students from PATA educational institution members. On November 22, Thursday, PATA collaborated with Mahidol University International College (MUIC) to address on the topic “Sustainable Hospitality Businesses.” Five guest speakers from Dusit Thani International, SO Sofitel Bangkok, YAANA Ventures Hospitality, Winnow Solutions and Scholars of Sustenance Foundation joined us to share their experience in the industry.

Credit: MUIC

There has been an evolution in “green thought” in the hospitality businesses but there it is often a challenge to execute due to budget, resources and manpower constraints. The objective of the workshop was therefore to get young tourism professionals (YTPs) exposed, connected and involved directly with industry professionals in the contexted of the massive environmental impact of daily hospitality operations. Through the workshop, we have compiled three key take-aways on how you can adapt the right attitude to drive change towards positive hospitality.

  1. Care with a “can-do” attitude.

Showing that you care in the hospitality industry is how you can exceed customers’ expectations. This simply means going out of your way to exceed expectations by anticipating your customers’ next need. For example, try to engage with customers on a deeper level by simply remembering their names and asking for their preferences. Two teaspoons of creamer with a hint of cocoa powder for their morning coffee? Serve them the same the next morning and you’ll see their face light up as bright as the morning sun. Look at this list of personalised services provided by SO Sofitel where design meets pleasure.

  1. Co-innovate with partners.

Students who had worked part-time or interned in an F&B outlet before may have encountered superiors that told them to throw excess food away at the end of the day. The reason why surplus food is generally not donated is probably because of the threat of liability for food-related illnesses. But did you know that there are laws that protect food donors? An example is the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act where the law provides a national standard of liability protection for both food donors and the nonprofits accepting these donations.

Despite such protections, businesses may still be hesitant to participate in food donation due to the extra cost incurred by providing the logistics to transport excess food. This is why it is important to co-innovate and collaborate with partners who can fill in the gap. Organisations can reach out to food banks or food angels such as Thai-SOS, which provide their services free of charge. Read case studies and learn how sustainability champions in the hospitality sector do it.

  1. Be present

We love listening to stories that have changed people’s lives, especially those of industry professionals. One of the guest speakers, Mr. Chris Regel is an expert in sustainability consultancy because, during his days working in the kitchen, he saw the massive amount of waste generated in the kitchen and buffets. 1/3 of food produced in the world is wasted! From this experience, he committed to ending food waste in the world and is now the Business Development Manager for Winnow Solutions.

The moral of the story is that, in whatever we do, it is important to be present and conscious of our actions and of our surroundings. Reevaluate our daily tasks. Is there a way to do it more efficiently? Are the products that you’re using energy efficient? Be curious at all times and one day, you will have an inspirational story to tell too.

               

Click here to see the full profiles of the guest speakers. While you are at it, follow PATA Youth on Facebook and get in touch with our YTP Ambassador at JCWong@pata.org. Your university may be next to benefit from an insightful workshop.

If you have any questions about our sustainability initiatives, please contact our Sustainability & Social Responsibility Specialist at  Chi@pata.org or send an e-mail to SSR@pata.org.

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Reduce food waste to landfills – It starts with you

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Credit: Shutterstock 

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has reported that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year. Yet, one in nine people on Earth do not have enough food. Food wastage’s carbon footprint is estimated at 303 billion tonnes of equivalent of GHG released into the atmosphere. With increasing concern of the world for climate change, PATA, along with our project partner Scholars of Sustenance Thailand (Thai-SOS) and knowledge partner, Futoris are undertaking the BUFFET (Building an Understanding of Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative to target food waste in the hospitality industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Food waste reduction practices should not only be left to government or private sector to implement; we believe that food waste reduction should first start in your home. Here’s how you can start:

  1. Plan before you buy

    Having your meals planned before going to the grocery store saves you both money and time and most importantly, saves food from going to waste. It prevents you from buying unnecessary and impulse ingredients that will probably just end up sitting in the back of your refrigerator until it turns bad. When planning your meals, it is best to consume ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes. This way, you won’t waste any ingredients or be bored of the same food!

  2. Blend away

    It is hard to refrain yourself from buying packets of nutritious fruits and vegetables especially when they’re on sale. 2 packets of strawberries selling for the price of 1? Freeze them and blend it into a delicious smoothie that is perfect for anytime of the day. Best part is that a mix of any kinds of fruits and vegetables will be able to make a perfect blend. Here are 50 smoothies combinations you can try at home.

  3. Trust your senses

    How many times have you thrown away food that is perfectly packaged just because it has passed its expiry date? “Best-before” dates are indicators of when a product may begin to lose its flavor and texture, not when the product becomes dangerous to eat. Be sure to do a simple sniff test before tossing food into the bin.

  4. Compost

    Composting does not always need to be a pile of wastes that is dirty, which stinks or looks like it has a life on its own. You will be surprised by just how easy it to start an indoor or outdoor composting pile. Home composting can potentially divert up to 150 kg of waste per household per year. Composting at home is one of the best ways you can practice sustainable living through connecting waste back to the resource.

Food for thought: How long do you think it takes for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill? 

  1. Grow your own

    Now that you have enriched soil in hand from composting, there is nothing more fulfilling than reaping what you sow. Growing your own food saves you a trip to the grocery store and give you the control on what kinds of fertilizer and pesticides come in contact with your food.

Answer: It takes 25 YEARS for a head of lettuce to decompose in a landfill. A little goes a long way. Start being an active citizen and be conscious of what you toss in the bin.

 

Further information on food waste:

Watch: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (2017)

Volunteer: Check out Scholars of Sustenance (SOS)’s country projects. Your country may be next to benefit from SOS Food Rescue programs.

Cut food costs in your kitchen: See how Winnow Solutions can help.

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