Travellers Choice member Greg Close is officially launching his own hyper-local carbon offset initiative this week called ‘Trees For Travellers’ after being inspired by preferred travel suppliers’ efforts to reduce their environmental impacts.
Greg Close is the owner and founder of Live The Dream Travel, which recently moved into a new shop front in Strathalbyn, southeast of Adelaide, on the edge of the Adelaide Hills.
He says the concept is simple: every time a customer books a holiday, his agency will buy and plant a tree.
With more Australians becoming aware than ever before of the emissions their international journeys generate, Close says his customers have universally embraced the Trees For Travellers program, which is already on track to plant 50 new saplings in its first month.
“I was really impressed during the recent Travellers Choice Conference in Melbourne at the number of preferred suppliers putting emissions reduction and sustainability front and centre,” says Close.
“Afterwards, when I thought about it, I couldn’t see any reason why our small business couldn’t also contribute on a local level.”
While it may seem a small act, planting one tree can significantly impact the environment, as trees play a vital role in mitigating climate change and promoting biodiversity.
Over the course of its lifetime, a single tree can absorb and store up to 1 ton of carbon dioxide, prevent soil erosion, and provide vital habitat and food for a wide range of wildlife, from insects to birds and mammals.
Maximising the impact of his initiative, Close shared the sources of his insights that led to its launch.
“We looked at the carbon emissions an individual customer might typically generate on a holiday, then started investigating different native trees and their capacities to absorb carbon.”
“After consulting with the experts at State Flora in nearby Murray Bridge, we decided to begin with Eucalyptus torquata (commonly known as Coral Gum), which performs well in South Australia, growing up to 11 metres in height.
“Our goal is to plant 1,000 trees this calendar year while continuing to look for additional ways to ensure that at a local level, we work to create a more sustainable planet,” says Close.
For more info on Travellers Choice, head to www.travelagentschoice.com.au
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