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On October 5, 2018, PATA hosted a special staff lunch workshop conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The purpose of the workshop was to instigate behavioural change among employers, encouraging them to commit to giving decent work to domestic workers as part of the “My Fair Home” campaign. The campaign is a result of collaboration between the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF) and the ILO. In place since 25 September 2015 in Bangkok, the campaign is a vehicle for encouraging people and companies to create “a fair home” by following the Thai Law, and international standards regarding domestic work.

Since 1919, the ILO has aimed to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, under which the “My Fair Home” campaign falls, works on improving conditions for migrant domestic workers across the ASEAN region.

          

At the beginning of the session, the speakers; ILO Technical Specialist, Anna Olsen together with Campaign Advisor, Aanas Ali, firstly gathered our attention to be mindful of the language used when addressing these workers:

Domestic workersnot helpers, maids or servants

Migrant workersnot alien or foreign

We learned that the majority of domestic workers are women and girls; tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household. They clean, cook, care for children/ elderly and perform other essential tasks for their employers. Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world.

Quick facts:

  • 40% of the world’s domestic workers are in Asia-Pacific
  • 83% of these are women.
  • 90% of migrant domestic workers in Thailand earn less than minimum wage (325 THB/day).
  • Migrant domestic workers in Thailand work on average 12 hours daily, while those with care roles work 13 hours

Our lunch again was provided by Lankaow Waan – we just can’t help but support their sustainability practices that align with PATA’s values. Just like the previous workshop the caterer provided our lunch in recyclable packaging and drinks prepared in glass bottles.

    

 

The workshop was wrapped up after an action & reflection session. PATA will continue to strengthen the understanding of human rights and human resource issues among PATA staffs and PATA members in the context of travel and tourism.

     

ILO will be back at the PATA HQ to conduct another insightful workshop exclusively for PATA members & partners. Find out how you can help your employees be responsible employers of domestic workers through this workshop. For more workshop details, please do not hesitate to contact PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist, Chi Lo at ­­­[email protected] or ILO Campaign Consultant, Aanas Ali at [email protected].

We encourage all individuals to support the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

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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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Chef sautèing vegetables in a commercial kitchen.

Buffets are highly appealing to guests, but they are also one of the top generators of food waste. Food waste is a costly and serious environmental issue. If food waste was a country it would be the third largest generator of greenhouse gases, just behind the U.S. and China.

But, food waste also provides great opportunities for the hotel sector. A research found that for every $1 hotel invested in programs to reduce kitchen food waste, on average they saved $7 in operating costs. With simple changes, hotels can minimize the problem, help the environment and contribute to their margin at the same time.

Winnow develops digital tools to help chefs run a more sustainable, profitable kitchen by cutting food waste in half. Together, chefs and teams using Winnow in 39 countries are saving over 18 million meals and $25,000 per year. From our experience we have learned simple tips to help hotel operators strike a balance between reducing waste and ensuring guest satisfaction:

Estimate the number of daily guests – By using this information, kitchens can forecast production volumes more realistically.

Find out who your guests are – Learn about your guest’s demographics to help you adjust your offering. When there are fewer Asian guests, for example, production of commonly-wasted foods such as rice and congee can be reduced.

Make your buffets look full – Consider reducing the size or depth of your serving dishes, and invest in table decorations rather than displaying more food.

Add live stations to your buffet – Cook dishes with more perishable ingredients, such as omelet and pasta, at live stations during the services.

Encourage guests to waste less – Giving your guests smaller plates sends a subtle message to take less food at one go and to return for seconds if desired.

Invest in technology – Digital tools, such as Winnow, inform where, when and why food waste occurs helping chefs manage their food waste more effectively.

The buffet is here to stay, but we would encourage every hotel operator to look for ways to reduce food waste. It helps the hotels` bottom line and reduces their environmental footprint at the same time. If you’d like to learn more tips to make your kitchen profitable and sustainable, download this free guide with 14 easy and essential steps.

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BANGKOK, THAILAND, October 18, 2018 – Food waste remains as challenging as ever, and we in the hospitality and tourism industry have a special responsibility to do our part to reduce this wastage.  With sustainable consumption and production practices and the Sustainable Development Goals in mind, PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Department gathered partners, members from hotel sectors, private and government sectors for an intimate brainstorming session to see what more we can do collectively to raise awareness and reduce food waste to landfill.

The brainstorming session aimed to build on the momentum of the BUFFET (Building an Understanding for Food Excess in Tourism) Initiative to discuss on the current situation of food waste in hospitality and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific. Chi Lo, PATA Sustainability, and Social Responsibility Specialist kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the campaign. The session then continued with a self-introduction of participants on their personal interest on food waste as well as an introduction on what their organisations are currently pursuing.

Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA as well as Trevor Weltman, PATA Chief of Staff were present in the discussion to engage with our partners and contribute their knowledge on this matter. The brainstorming session took off thanks to everyone’s passion for the issues at hand.

The main activity of this brainstorming session revolved around the discussion of strategies and ideas on how to further raise awareness of food waste in our industry and drive positive change. A state of industry report is set to be released in May 2019 which will showcase the results and findings of the Bangkok Hotels Project. This report will also include valuable case studies of food reduction champions in the hospitality industry.

The next highlight of the BUFFET initiative will be the announcement of the BUFFET for Youth challenge. The winning team will showcase their case study at the PATA Youth Symposium in PATA Annual Summit 2019. PATA extends its gratitude to all the organisations who participated in this brainstorming session. We look forward to working together in a collaborative effort to tackle this global issue.

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These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads

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Credit: REUTERS/ Danish Ismail

Every one of India’s 1.3 billion people uses an average 11kg of plastic each year. After being used, much of this plastic finds its way to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, where it can maim and kill fish, birds and other marine wildlife.

Fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

If western nations followed India’s lead of combining political pressure with entrepreneurial ventures, perhaps the world will stand of a chance of avoiding the predicted catastrophe of there being more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.

Read the full article here.

By John McKenna for World Economic Forum.

 

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King salmon at Bristol Bay in Alaska, 2013.

A Seattle restaurateur has stopped offering chinook salmon at her restaurants. Renee Erickson, chef and owner of a group of restaurants, including The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, said she made the decision after learning about the plight of J50, the young, ailing orca whale.

“This really tipped the scale for me, being a native Northwesterner and someone who cares about our environment,” said Erickson. “I felt there was no reason to keep buying chinook.”

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is the main food source for Puget Sound-based orcas. Biologists say the scarcity of chinook salmon in recent years has been hard on these whales, whose numbers have dwindled to 75.

Erickson says customers can enjoy other types of salmon.

Read the full article here.

By Ruby de Luna for Kuow.

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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 [email protected].
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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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Residents in tourism hotspots have had enough. So what’s the answer?

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Photograph: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

How do you solve a problem like tourism? It employs hundreds of millions of people, buoys entire industries – but can tear apart the very cities that benefit from it, alienating residents and causing irreversible damage to their culture and heritage.

Protests across Europe have spurred talk of “responsible tourism” and forcing the sector to factor in sustainability, but the problem is already at such a scale that doing anything about it seems akin to turning around a cruise liner.

What’s the way out of this mess?
Read the full article here to find out.

By  for The Guardian.

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Polar bear’s death raises questions about sustainable tourism in the Arctic

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STOCK/Getty Images

The western settlement of Longyearbyen, with a population of roughly 2,000, is the area’s main tourism hub. Currently it’s high-season, which means thousands of international tourists hungering for a glimpse of the Arctic’s natural splendor cruise on both small and large ships, occasionally disembarking for land excursions on remote islands.

On Sunday, 12 crew members from the German ship MS Bremen landed on the northern-most island of the archipelago to prepare for an on-shore excursion with passengers, according to a statement by the Svalbard governor’s office. A 42-year-old crew member was attacked by a polar bear, which was then shot and killed in what the crew member said was an act of self-defense.

The incident is being investigated by authorities, although it is possible that the crew had happened upon a starving bear.

“When you have more people coming to the same area in which the polar bears and other arctic animals live, the risk of conflict and disturbance increases — it’s more of a mathematical law,” said Morten Wedege, head of environmental protection for the governor of Svalbard. “Our challenge is to inform and educate and guide people to know how to behave in the high arctic.”

The incident sheds light on the challenges of tourism growth in the area.

Read the full article here.

By Sarah Hucal for ABC News 

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