Natural Habitat Adventures, a leader in responsible adventure travel since 1985, is raising the bar on conservation yet again, offsetting a year’s worth of carbon output for anyone who joins one of the 2020 trips from the company’s new 35th anniversary series, Climate Change & the Wild World.
Following the smash success of Nat Hab’s Zero Waste Adventure and its decision to offset emissions from its guests’ international flights beginning in 2019, the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company and conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund will offset all CO2 emissions generated in travelers’ daily lives for a year from the date they book one of the designated trips, based on the following assumptions:
- Total home size of 5,000 square feet or less
- Average annual electricity bills totaling $3,000 or less
- Annual air travel outside of Nat Hab at 30,000 miles or less
- Average monthly expenditures on goods and services $3,000 or less (groceries, dining out, clothing, etc.)
- Average annual driving miles per person of 16,000 miles or less in a car rated at 18mpg or better
Using a carbon calculator developed by UC Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network, Nat Hab is taking a conservative measure by assuming a CO2 output of roughly 60-65 metric tons for its qualifying guests; the average CO2 output for a U.S. resident is actually about 40 metric tons each year. If a traveler books a Climate Change & the Wild World trip and believes their output exceeds Nat Hab’s estimations, the brand will offset them accordingly.
“Ever since we became completely carbon-neutral in 2007, we’ve been ramping up our commitment to conservation every year, and this coming year is no exception,” said Ben Bressler, founder and president of Natural Habitat Adventures. “Travel needs to become more sustainable, and we feel it’s our responsibility to keep raising the bar on what that looks like—and we challenge other travel companies to do the same.”
“Imagine if every tour operator did much more to offset its guests’ carbon emissions. We’re out to prove that it’s possible.”
In order to achieve these offsets, Nat Hab will invest in carbon credits in partnership with sustainability consultant South Pole. The credits will fund three community and conservation projects: the construction of wind farms in India, the distribution of fuel-efficient, electricity-generating cookstoves to households in Rwanda, and the development of a rain forest biodiversity corridor in Zimbabwe.
“The tourism industry has a unique role to play in promoting conservation, in that we have the opportunity to help people understand—through the power of experiences—why we must preserve this one planet we call home,” said Court Whelan, director of sustainability and conservation travel for Nat Hab. “When we act as leaders and by example, we set a precedent for not just the travel industry, but for all those who travel, showing how we can do that.”
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