fbpx
Category

Blog

Home / Blog
Blog, Sustainability, Travel

Sustainable Travel – Part 2

Looking for ways to stay sustainable while travelling or on vacation? Part 1 of our Sustainable Travel series covers: Where to Go, Where to Stay and How to get there.

Here, in Part 2 we look at how to keep up that sustainable lifestyle while you are travelling or on vacation.

On the plane

Globally, humans buy 1 million plastic bottles per minute. 91% of these are not recycled. Plastic water bottle sales continue to rise. Avoid bottled water at the airport and on the plane. If you take your empty water bottle you can fill it up after security and save on overpriced bottled water. Even better, is a reusable water bottle with an inbuilt filter in case you cannot always be sure of the quality of the tap water in your destination. Where packaged bottle is a necessity try to buy larger bottles that last you longer. And, keep hold of your bottle until you can recycle it. You can check whether your airport has drinking water fountains and where they are are at https://wateratairports.com/

Etihad, the Middle Eastern airline, this year discovered 95 pieces of single use plastic on its flights. Air New Zealand has removed 29 million plastic cups from its flights this year and welcomes customers who bring their own bottles or cups on board. Hopefully other airlines will start to follow. So use your own reusables where possible. If you are lucky enough to be offered one of those inflight accessories packs you could donate the items you don’t use to a homeless shelter.

Kit needed for sustainable travel
Sustainable Travel Kit – all the essentials
In the hotel

If staying in a hotel, don’t request for your room to be made up everyday and much like you don’t use a fresh towel every day at home you don’t need to do it on holiday! Save the electricity needed to vacuum and the water needed to wash your bed clothes and towels everyday (not to mention the harsh chemicals used to do this). This will have a positive effect on that carbon footprint. Similarly, avoid super long showers and turn off the TV, lights and aircon when you leave your room or apartment for the day. If you need to keep the place cool, close the blinds while you are out. 

Out and about

Be mindful of your transport. Taking public transport where you can means keeping your carbon footprint down but can also add to your travel experience. Giving you an opportunity to see your destination in a new light and perhaps interact with locals. Walking is always the best way to see the sights but there may be other fun ways to get about or do tours, e.g. bike, electric scooter or electric shared vehicle. In some places you can hire an electric car or join an electric car sharing scheme. Do be careful to assess your own needs when choosing how to get around. It’s the best time to try something new but not the best time to injure yourself in doing so! 

Pack your own snacks while you are out and about, using your own reusable bags. This can help to avoid accumulating unnecessary packaging but also avoid unhealthy or overpriced treats. Obviously, it’s your holiday so you need to let go and enjoy yourself! Why not schedule breaks that allow you to sit, eat and watch the world go by for a while? This will also give you an opportunity to eat and drink locally. Step away from the international chains and seek out the best in local produce. Traditional eateries, markets or street food can be a cheap way to experience the best a region has to offer. It could also be an opportunity to try veggie or vegan options, sometimes a safer option if you want to avoid wasting any time in bed with an upset stomach!

Recycling

Recycling can be a minefield at home, let alone on holiday! You can research in advance what recycling rules and facilities are like in your destination. Use your hotel (or apartment host) as a resource and look out for different colored bins on the street. Dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully even if recycling facilities are not available where you are. There is never any excuse for littering!

Souvenirs

The word souvenir comes from the french for memory. We think photos are the best memories! But if you really want to buy something you should try to shop local, support the local community but avoid those plastic mass made statues that you are bound to regret the purchase off when you get home! Perhaps you could get some food or drink that is specific to the locality, or something else that has a specific use, like a piece of clothing or jewelry. Do ask how and where it was made. Remember to buy less and buy better. 

taking photo memories on sustainable travel trip
Sustainable souvenir of your sustainable travel

Sustainable travel doesn’t have to be hard work. Prepare as much as you can for situations in advance but trip each trip as a learning curve and share your experiences with others so they too can reduce their travelling footprints. Most importantly, have fun!

How do you make your trips sustainable? Share with us in the comments below or on social media #aworldaroundtheworld

____

AWorld is building a platform that aims to support us all in our efforts to build more sustainable habits. SIGN UP to our newsletter if you are looking for ways to have a positive impact.


Blog, Sustainability

Sustainable Travel – Part 1

Whether you are someone who likes to spend a couple of weeks vegging out, a party animal who needs a holiday to get over the holiday, or a ‘travel junkie’ looking to fill the pages of his/her passport, we hope you find our tips for sustainable travel useful. 

Check out our tips for sustainable travel and let us know if you have any others to share. Sharing is caring!

Before you go

Do you ever feel like the preparation list before a trip away is never ending? The list is likely to be longer if you’re travelling with children, or if you are anything like me! Spontaneous trips are fantastic once in a while but to travel in a way that is mindful of your impact on the environment and our society a little bit of planning is vital. 

Plan ahead. The main considerations for an eco-friendly trip are where to go, how to get there and where to stay. Obviously the internet has a wealth of information but you should also use the knowledge of friends, colleagues and even strangers on platforms where people share your interests. You should also share your tips with others, as soon as you’re done sharing your photos! 

Travelling sustainably. Sustainable travel tips
Getting around sustainably, keeping your carbon footprint low, takes planning

Where to go. With one return flight potentially equaling your global emissions for the year, you might find the most eco-friendly holiday solution is time at home with the family, doing DIY or life admin. A ‘staycation’ doesn’t have to mean staying indoors though. It could be an opportunity to discover what’s on your doorstep (that’s your state, region or country – not your actual doorstep – life isn’t that bad!) in a way that you never have before. Here are some staycation ideas we like the look of. 

Let’s not forget however that there are countries with populations that really rely on your tourist dollars, using this revenue to contribute to their sustainable development. There are also many important reasons why you may need to travel abroad and nothing but an airplane is a feasible way of getting there. You don’t need to give up air travel altogether and forever. Aim to reduce the number of flights you take a year to make a considerable impact.

Finally don’t support tourist attractions that do not treat animals or their workers with respect.

Travelling sustainably. Sustainable travel
Sustainable travel – Take public transport where you can


How to get there. Air travel emits around 285g grams per passenger per kilometer. Road transportation follows at 158g and rail travel at 14g*. 

Greta Thunberg has opted not to travel anywhere by plane or ship for climate reasons. Many Swedes are following suit, increasingly choosing to explore domestic destinations or destinations that can be reached by train, over destinations that require an air-flight. This phenomenon even has a name, flygskam – “flight shame” in English (pronounced “fleeg-skahm”)  and a review of the Instagram hashtags #stayontheground or #tagskyrt – “train bragging” in English, is testament to a bit of a revival in train travel.  

Train tickets can be a lot more affordable if you plan in advance. Make the journey there a part of the trip and make sure you have a good book, travel journal or good company with you! Try something different. We love the Man in Seat 61 website for travel ideas across North America or Europe. For Europe you could use Trainline or the Interrailing website for inspiration. 

If you do need to take a flight, consider the following:

  • Is the flight really necessary? Are there climate friendly alternatives?
  • Compare airlines and their CO2 emissions. The airline index Atmosfair has done a lot of the work for you. 
  • Take a direct flight, most emissions are generated during take-off and landing, so take-off and land less
  • Pack lightly, the heavier the plane is the more emissions are generated. 
  • Ditch disposables. Pack your own empty water bottle to fill at the airport or on the plane and pack your own snacks.
  • Offset your flights. There are so many ways to do this, some better than others. It’s important to research schemes well as offsetting does not come without its controversies. Check out some certified offset projects at goldstandard.org or americancarbonregistry.org.
Travelling sustainably. Sustainable travel tips
Pack light and be ready for anything!

Where to stay. You could pick an eco hotel or bed and breakfast. Tripadvisors Green Leaders program features a variety of green accommodation choices across budgets. For something a little different agro-tourism an interesting way to discover beautiful rural regions, live traditional rural lifestyles far from the tourist crowds.

Or, you could live like a local in residential accommodation. Local tips can take you off the beaten path and really make your holiday one to remember. You get the chance to learn more about the local culture, food and drink and could even make new friends! 

If opting for a hotel, try as far as possible to book just one as a base for your travelling around, rather than lots of different hotels. Not only is this less hassle for you but means less laundry! 

Travelling sustainably. Sustainable travel tips
Sustainable accommodation is a key part of sustainable travel

Save Energy

Save energy while you are away. Don’t forget about the energy being used at home while you are away for your trip. If you’re leaving your home empty make sure that all your key appliances are unplugged, not just switched off. Did you know that an estimated 8% of your annual electricity bill is due to items not in use that remain plugged in. Not only is it better for the environment but it should save you some money on your energy bill!  

You’ll be using all that energy enjoying trip! 

Read now : Sustainable Travel – Part 2

How do you make your trips sustainable. Share with us in the comments below or on social media #aworldaroundtheworld

____

AWorld is building a platform that aims to support us all in our efforts to build more sustainable habits. SIGN UP to our newsletter if you are looking for ways to have a positive impact.

Choose Sustainable Sportswear from Patagonia

Blog, Sustainability

Shame or Blame is not Sustainable

Since global action requires change from each of us, playing the shame or blame game is not a long term solution to achieving our goal. Moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle takes courage and commitment because everything we do requires some sort of ecological, social or economic compromise.

Sustainable living is about progress not perfection.

A lifestyle change requires incremental steps and should enrich your life. If you blame, shame and guilt yourself into changing your behavior you risk shutting down and disengaging. If you worry that you might be a hypocrite when your behavior is not perfect, this means that only those who are green saints can be critics, everyone else is a sinner. But the green saint is a mythical figure. We all make mistakes and each of us is muddling our way through the challenge doing the best we can. So, if you fall at a hurdle, don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying.

Neither should we shame others into changing their behavior.

This also runs the risk of causing total disengagement. Everyone will understand and react to the sustainability challenge at their own pace. We have found that sharing knowledge, experiences, difficulties and wins is the best and fastest way to engage and mobilize others into action. So, set an example but don’t shame others when they fall at a hurdle, just encourage them to keep trying. 

What else can we do?

Although each of our individual actions brought together makes an almighty difference, institutional efforts are vital in supporting our efforts. It’s always tempting to blame governments and businesses for what feels like a global meltdown, and in some cases this might be deserved but we can encourage behavior change by speaking out. For instance, contact your local legislators, local media, favorite brands and organisations. Ask questions about what they are doing to contribute to a more sustainable world. Let them know where you see a need for change or action. Use your voice, use your votes, use your dollars.

We want to build a community that cares enough to continuously review their actions, help others to make changes and spread the word.  

AWorld Team

Talk the talk, walk the walk (try hard to!)

Here at AWorld HQ we want to show that we are far from perfect when it comes to living sustainably, but we do try to walk the walk as well as talk the talk…

So, say hello to some of the team….

Marco Armellino
Co-Founder of AWorld
What ‘sustainable’ lifestyle changes are you most proud of?
I bought an electric car this year. I love it! It’s the perfect little runaround and cuts my carbon footprint almost in half. Where I live makes it really difficult to use public transport so a car is necessary.
What sustainable habits are you working on? / What do you plan to change in the next month?
I’m avoiding all shop bought food covered in loads and loads of unnecessary plastic. It’s a bit easier now that I’m on a diet but it will get harder when I return to my normal eating habits!
Of all your ‘non-sustainable’ habits, which do you find the most difficult to change?
I take a lot of flights each year. That will be a difficult to change, but at least I now think about how efficient the airline’s planes are and I’m trying to reduce the number of flights to the minimum.

Alex Armillotta
Co-Founder of AWorld
What ‘sustainable’ lifestyle changes are you most proud of?
I’m really hot on using green energy at home and making sure I switch off my tech when I’m not using it.


What sustainable habits are you working on? / What do you plan to change in the next month?
I love my food. I’m Italian, it’s in my blood! I work late into the evenings and NYC has so many great food options to grab and go. Meat is a really hard one to give up completely but I am trying to eat it less and to cook a little more, especially at the weekends.
Of all your ‘non-sustainable’ habits, which do you find the most difficult to change?
I struggle with carrying around my reusable coffee cup and bottle. I often rush out the door in the mornings and leave them behind. I’m pretty sure it will become ingrained in me someday though.

Check back in to the blog next month to find out about our third co-founder and the dirty habits of our developers!

What actions are you taking towards a sustainable lifestyle?

Share your experiences, favorite sustainable brands and organisations with us!

____

AWorld is building a platform that aims to support us all in our efforts to build more sustainable habits. SIGN UP to our newsletter if you are looking for ways to have a positive impact.

Blog, Sustainability

3 Key Tips for a Sustainable Lifestyle

How you can be part of the change

AWorld is the app for a sustainable lifestyle so if you’re looking to start in your journey to more sustainable living we are with you all the way! Already on that journey? Then we’ve got your back. Still not really sure, well we’re still here! Whoever and wherever you are, read on for our 3 key tips on making your lifestyle more sustainable. And, as always, feel free to share your own.

1) Improve your knowledge

sustainable lifestyle

Knowledge is power – arm yourself with info that can help you to make the most sustainable life choices. Read labels. Learn about what works best for you and the planet.

2) Mindful consumption
sustainable lifestyle

Use your consumer dollars to make a difference. For example, buy goods that are sustainably made or sourced, will last and contribute to your sustainable lifestyle. Use less energy and/or make the switch to green energy.  

3) Share the love
sustainable lifestyle

Amplify your impact by sharing your knowledge with others. You can help others live more sustainably by sharing tips / info or your experiences. No one should be alone in navigating the rocky road of sustainability!

You can read the UN’s Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World for actions to support the cause. You should also follow @AWorld.team on social media for tips and challenges to help you ‘green up’ your everyday habits!

AWorld is building a platform that aims to support us all in our efforts to build more sustainable habits. Sign up to our newsletter if you are looking for ways to have a positive impact and be notified when our app will be launched.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” 

Vincent Van Gogh
How we can all be part of the change

Do you love learning about brands and organisations working towards a better world? We do! In our effort to share the love, let’s introduce you to a few of our favorite brands and causes.

  1. Terracycle aims to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste” by recycling what we think of as non-recyclable. They partner with big brands and individuals to recycle hard-to-recycle waste, for example, coffee capsules, pens and toothbrushes. Check out their coffee cup recycling program, where you can be rewarded for collecting used coffee cups in your community and sending them to Terracycle for recycling!
  2. Boomers makes high quality affordable bamboo bikes that have an economic and social benefit to customers around the world. Check out their contribution to the green bike revolution.
  3. Cool Earth Action works with rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. Saving the trees we have is just as important, if not nor important, than planting new ones. 
  4. Ooho Water, now known as Notpla, makes edible, biodegradable, plant-derived food packaging that means edible water bubbles (yes that’s right!) that kick plastic water bottles to the curb! 
  5. Green Kayak is an NGO offering free kayak rides in some of the loveliest rivers in European cities, in exchange for you collecting trash! They are currently building a global network of Green Kayaks so “together we can paddle for the Oceans”!

What actions are you taking towards a sustainable lifestyle?

Share your favorite sustainable brands and organisations with us! Use the comment section below or tag us on social media

Blog

Climate and Consumption Crisis, How did we get here?

It takes the earth over a year and a half to regenerate the resources we use and absorb the waste we produce each year.

This is mostly down to:
Higher levels of consumption and production – We have consumed more resources in the last 50 years than the whole of humanity before us. That’s right… We use more water, burn more fossil fuels and demand more food than ever before. And levels keep growing.

More people on the planet – means more demand for the planet’s resources. The earth’s population has grown exponentially. This means the 20th century saw the biggest increase in the world’s population in human history.

“But isn’t the population in my country decreasing?” I hear you say.

That may be the case but it’s not quite as simple as that. Patterns of consumption are very high in some parts of the world, and very low in others – often countries with higher population growth. The basic needs of huge numbers of people are not being met. Research suggests that some of the countries with the fastest population growth also had the slowest increases in carbon emissions. However, in these low income countries, despite a small carbon footprint per person population has been more than tripled in the last 100 years. The reverse was also true—for example the population of North America grew only 4% between 1980 and 2005, while its carbon emissions grew by 14%. In general terms richer countries, even though they have lower population growth, tend to have higher ecological footprints – they have higher levels of industrial activity to meet consumption demands. In fact, in 

“So how can we achieve economic growth for everyone if this is likely to lead to more resource demand? Surely this is unsustainable?” I hear you say 

And again, it’s not quite that simple (is it ever?). As countries grow in wealth, they tend to improve technology to make more efficient ways of producing, or outsource production to other countries, leading to a reduction in growth of ecological footprint. Yay! 

However, they are outsourcing to countries that are industrialising at a rapid rate due to internal consumption demands as well as production demands from those richer countries. This is where we need to watch out and keep a check on our demand for resources globally. We live in a world where no actions are isolated. Richer countries can rely on resource and/or waste-intensive imports being produced in poorer countries and enjoy the products without having to deal with the immediate impacts of the factories or pollution that went into creating them. But we know that global increases carbon emissions result in environmental effects that affect us all. 

In short

  • Population growth tends to decrease with increased access to economic opportunity, healthcare and education – the kind of things the SDGs try to achieve. A decrease in population will help to balance out those weighing scales above. 
  • Reducing consumption and demand for resources, especially from the most resource guzzling parts of the globe, will also balance out those scales.  

Empowering women and girls is consistent with the SDGs and not only leads to greater equality but, according to World Bank statistics, stabilises growth population. If every second family has on average one child less, there will be one billion fewer of us in the world than the 9.7 billion that the UN expects by 2050 – and four billion fewer by the end of the century. Reducing family size at this rate has long term benefits that include halving our impact on the planet by 2100. 

The carbon Footprint makes up 60% of humanity’s Ecological Footprint. Reducing the carbon component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 50% would get us from consuming the resources of 1.7 Earths down to 1.2 Earths. 

Both goals are reachable.

Blog, Sustainability

A (short) history lesson on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build upon decades of work from the United Nations (UN).

In the 1980’s the UN established the Commission on Environment and Development (UNCED), to address major worldwide social & environmental challenges.
This led to a paper called Our Common Future, more commonly known as the Brundtland report.

The report outlined three fundamental components to sustainable development: environmental protection, economic growth and social equity, recognising that these were intrinsically linked. This report is still considered the backbone of the UN’s work on sustainable development and has influenced subsequent UN reports & recommendations.

Rio 1992
1992 United Nation Conference in Rio

The UNCED Rio Earth summit in 1992 was the largest environmental conference ever held and is where the Rio Declaration was masterminded. Building on the Brundtland Report, the Rio Declaration established principles to guide future development around the world. Its aim was to establish new and fair global partnerships amongst states, organisations and groups of people to drive forward global sustainable development. 

In 2000, came the adaptation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This notably set out the responsibilities of developed nations to help developing nations and included specific and quantifiable goals to be completed by 2015.

During the following years the MDGs seemed to galvanise momentum. The Final MDG Report found that the 15-year effort had produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history. Although this was notable progress, there was still significant work needed to end hunger, achieve full gender equality, improve health and get every child into school. In addition, there was criticism that the MDGs didn’t focus enough on environmental issues, affirming the need for a renewed set of global goals.

Enter…. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at further progressing sustainable development to end global poverty and protect the environment.

Source: Eurostat
Blog

Sustainability? What is it all about?

Sustainability is all about keeping people and the planet going, well into the future. Our favourite definition is….

“…conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

According to the U.S National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 

Sustainability allows people and planet to thrive in the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive too.  

Environment used to be the main point of sustainability. As you can see this is no longer the case. We hear a lot about life changing environmental activities, climate change, deforestation, pollution and these are big deals that affect us all, but sustainability is even bigger than this. The broad concept incorporates people as well as the planet and a third pillar, economy, that brings the two together.

The 3 Pillars of Sustainability
Society focuses on health wellness, equality and education of people with quality of life as major priority. It is ensuring that people have equal opportunities to have their basic needs met and that no one is left behind.
Economy focuses on using resources sensibly and efficiently such that the value of those resources are not diminished in the future.
All of these aspects are interconnected, affect each other and affect us all. Sustainability is about getting the right balance for this sacred trio, ensuring we look after the environment such that society is able to thrive, keeping a check on society such that the environment is not destroyed past reclaim and where does economy fit in? Good strong economies mean not only mean that everyone has a slice of the pie but that the pie is bigger, without being so big that it falls off the table!

sustainability pillars
sustainability pillars - environment
sustainability pillars - society
sustainability pillars - economy

How the 3 pillars interact

The climate crisis, largely caused by environmental degradation caused by humans has led to an increase in severe drought, rising sea levels and extreme weather occurrences, which in turn has wide reaching implications for Society and Economy. 

It costs industry and governments millions of dollars to deal with the impacts of severe weather occurrences, money that must be redirected from other budgets at short notice. In some places, conflicts arise, and governance and economic stability are threatened (see Syria’s story of migrant crisis here). 

It affects society in many ways, causing environmental forced migration not just for citizens of places like Syria or Bangladesh but in the United States. There could be up to 13 million people displaced by climate change in the US alone by the end of the century. This affects families and children especially, potentially reducing access to the basic needs of housing, health and education.

The Sustainable Development Goals
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the world’s best plan to build a better world for people and our planet by 2030.
Adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, the SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the environment.
They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, equality and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and working to preserve our ocean and forests.

It may feel like sustainability and these Global Goals don’t affect you. But hopefully we have shown that they do. As active citizens and consumers living in an increasingly interconnected world, our daily actions can have important impacts on other people, communities and the environment. Everything you do, eat, wear is intrinsically linked to the SDGs even down to your underpants!

sustainability pillars
About Exponent

Exponent is a modern business theme, that lets you build stunning high performance websites using a fully visual interface. Start with any of the demos below or build one on your own.

Get Started
Recent Comments
    Privacy Settings
    We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
    Youtube
    Consent to display content from Youtube
    Vimeo
    Consent to display content from Vimeo
    Google Maps
    Consent to display content from Google
    Spotify
    Consent to display content from Spotify
    Sound Cloud
    Consent to display content from Sound