The planet is facing an environmental crisis that is becoming increasingly urgent. Travel companies – and travelers – have the potential to play an important role helping protect the earth for future generations. Local communities can also be pivotal in helping to alleviate the climate
biodiversity crisis as they protect their local environment, helping to regenerate natural landscapes impacted by global warming.
This World Tourism Day, celebrated on 27 September, community tourism pioneer, G Adventures, is launching its new “Trees for Days” initiative, bringing the protection of the environment and empowerment of local communities closer together to enact powerful change through travel and tourism.
Over one million trees are already being grown, as the small group adventure operator has backdated the planting of trees for every day a traveler has joined a trip since 1 January 2023. Soon, travellers will be able to contribute beyond the end date of their G Adventures trip by continuing to purchase trees in a region of their choice whenever they travel, via their G Adventures account.
As of today, for every day a traveler is on a G Adventures trip, one tree will be grown in their name, helping to both mitigate carbon emissions and increase support in 17 local communities around the world. The tree-planting projects are in locations that have been severely impacted by climate change through deforestation, or that are currently under threat. By supporting the development of sustainable tourism enterprises within these communities, the travel industry can help protect the environment, as well as create additional income streams for local people, most often benefiting and empowering marginalized Indigenous populations, women, and youth.
In partnership with G Adventures’ non-profit partner Planeterra, which uses community tourism to change lives, and Reforest, which actively supports tree planting and forest conservation work around the world, it is estimated that more than one and a half million trees will be planted each year. Travelers will be able to log into their G Adventures account and keep tabs on their tree grove in terms of how many trees they’ve grown and where they’ve planted their roots.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says the vision for the Trees for Days project is to increase the positive impact customers have when travelling with G Adventures, while at the same time supporting communities impacted by climate change.
“As the pioneers of community tourism, supporting local communities is at the core of our DNA. With the increasing urgency to help our planet, I’m thrilled to be announcing our Trees for Days initiative in partnership with Planeterra and Reforest. Our non-profit partner, Planeterra has been instrumental in sourcing the community based tree planting projects, and Reforest - which we invested in last year - is providing the technology platform.
“Our travelers care about making a difference when they travel - and they do that simply by booking a tour with G Adventures. Together, we will address how community tourism can play an important role in helping the planet heal, while uplifting local communities, through reforestation and positive local impact,” says Poon Tip.
Jamie Sweeting, president of Planeterra, says the Trees for Days initiative is a win-win solution for all parties involved.
“The planting of trees not only contributes to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but it helps promote healthier landscapes and ecosystems such as wetlands, grasslands, and forests, and provides crucial habitats, food, and shelter for wildlife, thus helping to maintain biodiversity.
“Beyond that, helping local environments grow and flourish means they become more resilient to extreme weather events, which protects - and even helps develop - local communities and their sources of income, especially in rural areas. More trees also means cleaner air, and a reduction in the effects of extreme heat,” says Sweeting.
Daniel Walsh, founder of Reforest, added that the Trees for Days programme is a great example of a corporate reforestation program that is not only looking to do some real good for climate, nature and local communities, but will also give customers a very engaging and personalized way to connect with that impact.
“Travelers increasingly want to feel like they are leaving a positive footprint, so a key benefit of this program is that they can feel that sense of ownership of the trees planted for them,” says Walsh.
The 17 projects being supported by the Trees for Days initiative are as follows:
- Acción Andina Argentina (Argentina)
- Acción Andina Bolivia (Bolivia)
- Acción Andina Peru (Peru)
- Ambadandegama Reforestation Initiative (Sri Lanka)
- Ankilahila 1 Reforestation (Madagascar)
- Mount Kenya Landscape Restoration (Kenya)
- Indrawati Reforestation (Nepal)
- Argan and Caper Tree Growing (Morocco)
- Kilimanjaro Reforestation (Tanzania)
- La Tigra Agroforestry (Honduras)
- Mahelmudi Reforestation (Nepal)
- Maskarat Nursery: El Khair Women’s Coop (Morocco)
- Nakaseke Community Reforestation (Uganda)
- Soa Zara Reforestation (Madagascar)
- Tana Delta Reforestation (Kenya)
- Thailand Reforestation (Thailand)
- Zalala Titi Reforestation (Mozambique)
For more information on Trees for Days, please visit the following link: https://www.gadventures.
About G Adventures:
Founded in 1990 by social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is a small group adventure travel operator offering more than 750 trips in 100 countries, on all seven continents. G Adventures’ award-winning trips support local communities, giving travelers meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife, while offering them the freedom and flexibility to explore on their own. G Adventures’ responsible approach to travel is demonstrated through its ‘G for Good’ social impact initiatives, which include travel guidelines for children, wildlife and Indigenous people, community-based social enterprise projects travelers can experience on a trip, and its industry-leading ‘Ripple Score’ assessment which measures how many traveler dollars stay in the local economy. G Adventures offers life-changing experiences for individuals of all ages, interests and budgets. Because our world deserves more you. For more information please visit www.gadventures.com
Planeterra is the world’s leading nonprofit organization using tourism to uplift communities. Planeterra helps local organizations and communities use tourism as a catalyst to improve people’s lives, protect their natural environments, and celebrate their culture. Put simply, it is a better kind of tourism - improving the lives of community members as they provide travellers with better experiences. Planeterra is more than just an agent of change and driver of communal well-being, they are tested and trusted builders uplifting communities through tourism. For more information please visit https://planeterra.org/.
Founded in Brisbane, Australia by Daniel Walsh and Tim Stainlay, Reforest is a digital sustainable travel technology platform that empowers both companies and consumers to have a tangible and authentic impact on their unavoidable carbon emissions, overcoming the issues associated with traditional carbon offsetting. Reforest helps travel companies assess their carbon footprint then connects them with reforestation projects, run by organisations in the local communities in which they operate, to remove those emissions. The Reforest platform makes this action visible and engaging to the customers of those companies, enabling travel that measurably leaves their destination better than they found it.