Natural Habitat Adventures, a leader in responsible wildlife tourism, the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company and conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has released Nat Hab’s 12 Lessons for Less Travel Waste, a comprehensive guide of best practices designed to challenge travel companies to improve their own waste management procedures.
Derived from the findings of Nat Hab’s 2019 Zero Waste Adventure, an award-winning group tour that managed to fit 99% of waste produced by 12 travelers on a seven-day trip into a single quart-sized Mason jar, Nat Hab’s 12 Lessons for Less Travel Waste is a first-of-its-kind, free resource available on the tour operator’s website.
The five-page document, with a foreword from Court Whelan, Nat Hab’s Director of Sustainability and Conservation, contains a collection of effective waste-minimizing strategies tour operators can integrate into their own programs—proving that with some research, forethought and elbow grease, any travel brand can adopt more sustainable practices and lessen its impact—and the impact of its guests—on the planet.
“Being able to share the hard-won lessons of our Zero Waste Adventure is the most profound long-term value from that initiative,” Whelan says of the guide, which also suggests ways to reduce environmental impacts while providing outstanding travel experiences.
Nat Hab’s 12 Lessons for Less Travel Waste includes tips on:
- managing pre- and post-trip waste via strategic planning
- minimizing food waste via meal sharing, composting and the “Clean Plate Club”
- working with sustainable partners in-destination
- using “dirt bags” for trash cleanup on-the-go
A large portion of the guide is dedicated to the challenges of food waste, as it accounted for 27.8 lbs of the 50.9 lbs of refuse diverted from the Zero Waste Adventure. The guide also suggests creative ways to engage guests before, during and after scheduled trips, and to ensure waste-free initiatives positively contribute to guests’ overall experience, rather than being considered an inconvenience.
But the main takeaway of Nat Hab’s 12 Lessons for Less Travel Waste is not to set an unachievable standard for sustainability—rather, the wildlife outfitter is all too aware of the operational challenges facing travel brands and encourages the industry to start small when trying to implement long-term sustainability initiatives in their programs.
“The key to success going forward is not an all-or-nothing mentality, where only those who can achieve perfection opt to participate,” Whelan says. “Instead, we believe it is infinitely more valuable for 100 companies to adopt one or two of these lessons than for just one or two companies to adopt them all.”
To download Nat Hab’s 12 Lessons for Less Travel Waste, click here.
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