April 22, 2022, is Earth Day, but it’s not a day to celebrate. As an industry, we all need to do what we can every day to reduce the negative impacts of our travels on the planet. What more could you do to help? Here are five easy tips to get you started.
How are you feeling about the climate crisis?
Having just gone through the last two extreme weather events living in the Northern Rivers, personally, I’m terrified. I’m concerned for my family’s future, for the wider community’s wellbeing and for the preciously endangered wildlife and bio-diverse eco-systems that are straining to support us all.
When it comes to earning a living, as a long-time fellow associate and devotee of the travel industry, I believe we all have a tremendous and collective responsibility to give back and ensure our client’s travels benefit the places and communities they visit for the long-term viability and sustainability of the world too.
There’s nothing weird about wanting to save the planet. On the contrary, what could be crazier than desiring to destroy it, the travel industry and our livelihoods in the process?
As a travel professional, here are five easy tips to consider in your day, every day.
1. Support travel businesses who are making a difference
While there will never be an actual end to this sustainable journey (and nor should there be – even at net-zero), the travel industry has already come a long way when it comes to implementing positive change across all sectors.
Whether aiming to reduce emissions or eliminate single-use plastics, or aid foundations, any business that has made sustainability a key pillar for communities, wildlife and the planet should be embraced, supported and celebrated as partners for good.
The list of change-makers in travel is accelerating at a rapid pace, and here at Karryon, our policy is to always support those implementing change for good.
Be sure to keep an eye on the latest destination and product updates and share the stories with your clients to help make more informed choices when booking climate-friendly travel.
2. Look to plant-based options on your travels
Want to have a significant positive impact on our planet? You can fight climate change with diet change.
Would you believe that the food system is responsible for over a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, of which approximately 80% are associated with livestock production?
Looking to swap out meat and dairy items for plant-based options on your travels can enormously impact climate change and your carbon footprint.
And it doesn’t have to be every day either. Perhaps you could integrate this into your weekly routine by dropping meat and dairy a day or two weekly. I did this a year ago and have noticed a considerable change in weight loss, general health and wellbeing and mental clarity.
Many of the destinations you’ll visit worldwide offer a phenomenal range of plant-based options and impossible foods that deliciously even taste like meat, but without all the bad stuff.
Don’t believe me? Try it and see.
3. Offset your own personal or company’s travels
Offsetting your trips via a program like this is about as low-hanging fruit as it gets when it comes to having a positive impact and travelling with less guilt.
We partner with Ecoligi at Karryon and our sister publication Travel To Change The World via a monthly subscription covering our entire team. It costs around AUD$200 per month, which is a minimal price to pay for something significant.
In the 28 months since we’ve joined, we’ve reduced 429.34 tonnes of carbon via planting 3,222 trees in projects globally, including Madagascar, Kenya, India, Thailand and Vietnam.
4. Go plogging!
One of the easiest ways to make a difference in your community or on your travels is to plog.
Plogging is a combo of jogging, walking, or running and picking up trash. By doing so, you prevent that trash from ending up in your rivers and lakes, polluting your water supply, and eventually ending up in the ocean. Easy and powerful. Plus, you’ll get even fitter from all that bending down and reaching – call it cross-training.
Next time you are out in your neighbourhood or on your travels, bring along a bag and some gloves and pick up whatever trash you see out there on your run to keep the community beautiful.
Why not take a photo of what you collected and share the image far and wide via social media and on the remarkable initiative – Take Three For The Sea
Ps. Check out ‘Plogging Paul’ in the video above. What a legend.
5. Share positive stories and start conversations for change
We often hear, “Oh, our clients aren’t interested in sustainable travel.” Really? Have you actually asked them or positioned the topic in the right way?
“Have I told you about some of the amazing travel partners we’re working with now doing incredible things for the planet?” is a good conversation starter.
Understanding how to start to change the world for good can be overwhelming for most of us. But it becomes infectious when you break it down by telling true, personal stories from your own experience or that of the brands and businesses you know are doing great things.
Talking about sustainability can be preachy and awkward without sharing real stories while educating and showing people the positive or negative impact of travel.
No one needs that.
You have influence and experience abound working in the travel industry, so let your personal stories and passion shine and do the selling for you when spruiking sustainable options.
Not everyone will be onboard. But there’s a growing number of people who want to be, and you’ll generally find that they will be the kind of considerate and higher value clients you have always wanted to work with.
Looking for more inspiration? Head to www.earthday.org for more.
Share this story