Bringing your own water bottle is a great start. We’re working to make safe drinking water available in as many G Adventures accommodations as possible and there are some great apps to locate additional refill stations. You can also consider packing a reusable coffee cup, a reusable straw, and reusable cutlery for eating on the go. Plus, cut weight in your backpack and save plastic by switching big bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel for their equivalents in bar form. Bring at least one reusable shopping bag for all those great locally made souvenirs you’ll want to bring back from your travels, too. Finally, be aware of the need to reduce plastic when you travel and get into the habit of saying a polite “No thanks” when offered single-use plastic items like plastic bags, straws, and stirrers.
We’re looking at our entire operations to see where we can make changes. As we have 13 offices and run tours in over 100 countries, it’ll take some time to get to where we want to be: as close to zero single-use plastic use as possible.
Our offices already make efforts towards environmental responsibility (and reduction of single-use plastics) as a basic principle and the CEOs who lead our tours are passionate about environmental protection. But we plan to do more to influence our staff teams and reduce the amount of single-use plastics brought into our buildings.
We’ll also be:
- Assessing the materials we wrap our brochures in and how we can make these as responsible as possible
- Working to remove unnecessary single-use plastics from our events
- Providing tools and support to help our suppliers cut plastic use
- Working with others in the travel industry to raise awareness and share knowledge
Through our Ocean Health Fund (run by our non-profit partner Planeterra), G Adventures and our travellers are contributing to a number of initiatives to help wildlife and address plastic waste. These include Project Kaisei, an ocean cleanup initiative of the Ocean Voyages Institute. This project works to support North Pacific Gyre Marine Debris Recovery Plans. Our Ocean Health Fund has allowed for continued research, as well as the expansion of scale for the gyre’s cleanup and recovery efforts.
Good question! Unfortunately, it has — for the time being. Before COVID-19, 80% of our hotels and accommodations had agreed to work with us to reduce single use plastics on our tours by setting up water refill stations on site so travellers could use reusable bottles to secure safe potable drinking water instead of buying single-use plastic bottles.
As a result of enhanced health and sanitation measures around the world designed to limit the spread of the virus, however, the use of multi-serving containers has been largely reduced. In fact, as part of these measures, we’ve seen an increase in the use of single-use plastic containers, shampoo, soap, forks, knives and cellophane wrap as health authorities work to contain the spread of COVID-19 by limiting touch points.
Don’t despair! Where we can, and in accordance with our health and safety measures as part of our Travel with Confidence policy, we will continue our efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics on tour. And you can still do your part to help! Instead of buying a single-use water bottle, consider buying a larger 2 litre bottle to use to refill your own bottle instead of multiple smaller ones. Bring your own reusable fork and knife (but don’t forget to put these in your checked luggage while flying!) and your own shampoo bar, instead of using a single-use bottle offered at your accommodation. These are only a few suggestions. All these “Big Small Things” will help us all stay on track to reduce the use of plastic and to keep our big, beautiful world healthy and strong.