Earth Changers Founder Vicky invited to Climate council

Earth Changers founder Vicky is honoured and delighted to have been invited to be part of the Council of collaborators for SUNx, to build climate resilience through Impact Travel.

SUNx - the Strong Universal Network - is a new system and eXchange for learning and innovation for tourism destinations to build Climate Change Resilience, as the greatest single threat to humanity - it is eXistential.

Set up under the guidance of the late Maurice Strong, a sustainable development pioneer, its work will include Solar powered climate research and innovation centres, a technology platform and global network, for monitoring and analysing relevant climate data, and capacity building, education and cultural promotion through Impact-Travel.

https://www.thesunprogram.com/collaborators

Thanks and appreciation beyond words to SUNx co-founder Geoffrey Lipman, former top exec in IATA (International Air Transport Association), WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) and UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation), Geoffrey is President of International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and the Green Growth Travelism Institute (GGTI), as well as a Visiting Professor at Hasselt University, Belgium & Victoria University Australia.

https://www.thesunprogram.com/collaborators

De-plastic Fantastic your Travel

Whilst governments are creating decades'-long de-plastic strategies and the UN the Global Goals for the sustainable development Agenda 2030, what can be done by us all in the mean time to cut plastic pollution, debris and the negative impact on our health?

Consumer power can truly create global change if we all need shift our behaviour day to day.

The 5Rs for more sustainable tourism

You might know the old mantra of the 3Rs, but now it’s updated to 5.
How can we #refuse, #reduce, #reuse, #repurpose and #recycle for more sustainable tourism?

In your packing, in destination, in your day to day behaviour, there's tons of small changes you can make to de-plastic your life.

#Refuse!

  • Refuse to buy food with plastic packaging > Buy instead loose and local!

TIP > Ask accommodations about their purchasing policies! For example, Lapa Rios in Costa Rica verify distributor environmental standards such as no plastic wrap, packaging and willingness to reuse recyclable containers as well as single stop delivery; Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge use vegetable crates to carry shopping.

  • Refuse to take out > dine in instead!
    > or invest in your own resuable take-away tin box!
 © Andrew Dunn http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/

 © Andrew Dunn http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/

  • Refuse plastic straws & cutlery > do without or use bio-degradeable or reuseable alternatives like bamboo or metal
plastic-drinking_straws-colorful.jpg
Bright colorful paper straws www.flickr.com-people/30478819@N08-500x333

Bright colorful paper straws www.flickr.com-people/30478819@N08-500x333

> Lapa Rios and Jicaro Island made a policy seven years ago to eliminate all single-use plastic straws.
> Nikoi Island use only bamboo straws, and carbonate their own water and make their own natural organic syrups for drinks too.

  • Refuse single serving sachets in restaurants (eg ketchup, mayonnaise)
    > suggest they stock bottles instead.
  • Refuse plastic brushes > use wood and bamboo brushes for hair and teeth.
  • Refuse products with microbeads > search for non-abrasive or natural alternatives.
  • Refuse single use plastic cotton buds > use paper cotton buds.
  • Refuse to use wet wipes > use a cloth flannel instead.
    TIP! > Disposable wipes don't decompose, include chemicals, micro-fibres and plastic packaging.
wet-ones-www.yourbestdigs.com-reviews-the-best-baby-wipes.jpg
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  • Refuse disposable razors > invest in a stainless steel one instead
  • Refuse to smoke cigarettes > quit
    TIP!: butts contain plastic as well as being generally bad for health
  • Refuse to buy new synthetic microfibre clothes > Do you really need more? If so, go natural

#Reduce

  • Reduce chemical deodorants and spf sunscreen packaged in plastic > use natural alternatives in a tin or jar (and cover up more)
  • Reduce rubbish on beaches and in parks > pick it up to recycle or bin.

#Reuse

  • Reuse drink bottles, especially for water > Carry your own resuable (aluminium!) alternative
plastic-water-bottle.jpg
aluminium-water-bottle.jpeg

> Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge supply flasks for you to fill and take out: By refraining from purchasing mineral water you help to reduce the approximately 100,000kg of water bottles per year, plastic which cannot be effectively recycled in Nepal.

> Jicaro Island Ecolodge avoided buying expensive plastic bottled water by installing a filtration system for the whole community to use Lake Nicaragua water instead.

  • Reuse bags > Carry a spare wherever you go, preferably cloth bags not plastic.
  • Reuse your own cup!
  • Reuse travel miniature bottle toiletries > refill from big bottles at home rather than buy new or better still, use naturally made shampoo / conditioner / soap bars
travel-miniatures.jpg
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#Repurpose

  • Upcycling is the new recycling! Share pictures and ideas from your destination
  • Those old lycra tights with a hole in? Great cut up as hair bands.
  • Old jeans ripped too much at the knee? Great new holiday shorts! Or even a bag!

#Recycle

  • Recycle any packaging possible, take bottles back to shops if possible
  • Donate quality goods to charity in destination > give direct to grassroots needs
  • Does your accomodation compost compostibles?

> Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge actually sell plastics where possible to recycling agents to sell on to companies re-using plastics for manufacture of bags and plastic pipe.

 

Do you have other tips to refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle while travelling?

 

De-plastic Fantastic

The UK's seen several moves in the news to reduce plastic waste this week. What impact might it have?

Last week, the plastic microbeads ban entered force in UK. The US banned them in 2015. The tiny beads can no longer be used in the cosmetics and personal care products, such as abrasive facial scrubs and toothpastes, and so wash into the sea, harm wildlife & enter the human food chain.

The UK Government’s Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 25 year Environmental Plan, “A Green Future” to improve the UK’s air and water quality and protect threatened plants, trees and wildlife species, also ‘declared war on plastic’ and ‘throwaway culture’. It aims to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste within a generation, by 2042. It extends the 5p charge on plastic bags to all small retailers, encourages ‘plastic-free supermarket aisles’, fruit and vegetable wrapping, will consider other charges on single-use plastic items such as takeaway containers and cups/lids and includes government funding for plastics innovation, school environmental education  and to support  for developing countries reducing plastic waste and pollution through UK Aid.

In theory of course this is no bad thing, but it’s put little into actual place, and so been heavily criticised as too long in duration, lacking ‘regulatory bite’, and as just a PR young vote-seducer. Never mind the voting statistics, what’s important is how much impact it may have, and that has been seen as a missed opportunity,

“Britain's natural environment needs a 25-month emergency plan more than it needs a 25-year vision" - Greenpeace UK executive director, John Sauven (BBC).

Indeed, the plan may be riding on the wave of greater consumer awareness and emotive response to the damage done to nature by plastic, especially after an autumn of Blue Planet 2.

Snorkel the world's first private protected marine area

Snorkel the world's first private protected marine area

Some organisations take a leadership role voluntarily. Want to experience Blue Planet too for real?  In the tourism sector, you can’t get much better for marine conservation than Chumbe Island Coral Park, the world’s first private protected marine area, entirely funded by ecotourism. An amazing holiday here will help dedicated marine and coral scientific research, conservation and education. More info >

Responsible tourism and responsible business takes responsibility.
For actions and for impacts.

In this way, some organisations hold themselves accountable to their own stringent targets, and doing the right thing. For example, rather than wait for any UK policy, Iceland (the supermarket retailer, not country) has quickly announced all its own-label products will be plastic packaging free within five years by 2023.

It should come as no surprise that sustainable tourism specialists are ahead of the game: Cayuga Collection lodges such as Lapa Rios in Costa Rica and Jicaro Island in Nicaragua have pursued a single-use plastic purging strategy for seven years, where the rest of hospitality and tourism is just starting to wake up.

Oceans of Plastic

Our marine conservation blog reveals that, at current rates of plastic pollution, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight) (WEF). Another estimate is for more than 70 million tons of plastic - plastic bags, straws, bottles, toothbrushes, toys - ending up in world’s oceans, accumulating over the world’s beaches and in the seas’ “gyres” - the centres of oceanic currents, 90% from just 10 rivers.

Plastic takes centuries to break down, wildlife and birds get caught in it, or are killed by consuming it: algae on plastic waste can even smell like food (Guardian), making it attractive to eat. One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals dye each year, some even from inability to eat food, with so much plastic in their stomachs.

Whilst emotive, this might not communicate just how much we all depend on healthy oceans, no matter how far away we are, because of how plastics get into our food chain.

The UK’s 25 year plan for 2042 isn’t going to make much of a dent on a global scale, but it could help the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean Up, which found 718 pieces of litter for every 100m stretch of beach surveyed in the UK, mostly polystyrene and packets, at least 20% from food and drink rubbish, and the subsequent impact on our bodies.

Plastic debris and pollution wasehes up on beaches all over the world

Plastic debris and pollution wasehes up on beaches all over the world

In August 2017, our ocean conservation expedition partners co-founded by Emily Penn (often seen on BBC news and Sky Ocean Rescue), undertook the first continuous plastic sampling while circumnavigating the British Isles, focusing on the science behind marine plastic pollution, potential solutions, and public engagement and awareness.

Making the unseen, seen is an important part of the work. Our water may look clear but what's actually in it? They tested for toxic pollutants such as pesticides, flame retardants and fluorinated compounds, which adhere to the surface of plastic pollution. Many of these are endocrine disruptors, which mimic hormones and can impact pregnancies and be passed on to children through childbirth and breastfeeding. Emily tested her own blood for chemicals banned by the United Nations;

Out of 35 chemicals, Emily's blood contained 29 banned by the UN. (Parley.tv).

Would you like to join an ocean conservation expedition with Emily's organisation? Enquire >

Sustainable Development

Rather than aim for 2042, we'd like to see UK initiatives form part of the work towards the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals, to which it signed up voluntarily in 2015 along with 192 other countries, and include Sustainable Development Goal 14 , ‘Life Under Water’ - the sustainability of the seas and marine resources. These feed into the UN global sustainable development Agenda 2030 deadline.

The EU, following hot on the heels of the UK with its own Plastics Strategy war against plastic waste, and spurred into action by China’s decision to ban waste imports, has made its deadline 2030 to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable and align with Agenda 2030. Only about 30% or Europe’s 26 million tons of plastic a year is currently recycled; oil-derived plastic mostly ends up in landfills or incinerated, often elsewhere, some dumped in the ocean as a result of poor port management. However, China's ban may just mean other countries such Malaysia or Vietnam may step in to take up the surplus, and see the impacts of plastic pollution merely displaced.

The plans to tackle plastic pollution are vital for the world. Unlike Europe, the UK's seems to fall short of real action in the time required for the UN's Gobal Goals for 2030. Quicker action would be an improvement, but real disposal also key: shifting off shore is not the answer.
As with many conscious concerns, it appears that private enterprise actions and consumer demand are what will make a short term difference.

So what can you do to prevent plastic pollution yourself, especially when you travel?
Check out our suggestions to de-plastic your travel for more sustainable tourism.

An Interview with Victoria Smith, Founder of Earth Changers

NorthFlash are a consultancy who help destinations & Tour Operators to become (more) sustainable. They interviewed Earth Changers founder Vicky and wanted to know:

• Why focus on sustainable tourism?
• Where are the benefits of sustainable travel?
• How does Earth Changers involve local communities?
• What challenges has she met on her way?
• How does Earth Changers help people and businesses to act more sustainably?
• What type of tourist books their travels through Earth Changers?
• What are her wishes and hopes for the future?

Here's the answers!
http://northflash.com/interview-with-victoria-smith-founder-of-earth-changers/

#IY2017 - The Year that Sustainable Tourism Went Mainstream?

Did #IY2017 have an impact?

#IY2017 (2017, the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development) aimed to foster better understanding and greater awareness among people everywhere of rich heritage to better appreciate values of different cultures and strengthen peace in the world, and to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to sustainability (economic, social and environmental) and raise awareness of the true value of the tourism sector to the world.

Some might argue that #IY2017 has not had consumer impact. But whilst #IY2017 has now passed, really it's just the beginning.

The UN is a global policy organisation. It sets voluntary goals that are up to countries and organisations to implement - that's never going to fully happen in a year, it's going to take time to penetrate consumer level. The point is to get the global buy-in, and start the ball rolling. We think it's done that.

At Earth Changers, we were not only featured as a 'solution' on the UN World Tourism Organisation #IY2017 website, but our 'Purpose' section series of blogs on tourism and all the SDGs was well liked, followed and even earnt us a UK Blog Award nomination - quite an accolade for a 'niche' subject in mainstream media awards (especially in our first year). 

It's worth remembering, the Sustainable Development Goals aren't just for #IY217, but rather are part of the UN's Agenda 2030. But what they have done in 2017 is give organisations a long term structure for aims, plans and vital measurement and monitoring, by breaking those down into defined digestible chunks of goals and their targets. More are proactively seeking information to help with this and about how they can take more responsibility for, and communicate, their impacts.

As Taleb Rifai, the former Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organisation said at the end of his tenure of office in an interview with Professor Harold Goodwin of the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism,

"The biggest achievement has been the recognition of the importance of the sector. It is now seen as more than just having a big party. What matters is tourism’s contribution to employment, conservation and natural heritage. Tourism is now respected as an important economic sector."

This year also saw Responsible Tourism stage at the World Travel Market attended by many more, but also a lot more different organisations, and it was perhaps the first time discussions such as 'communicating heritage' hit the main sessions too.

Maybe it was helped because WTM came at the back end of 2017, which has been an impactful year, UN or not. Responsible tourism has perhaps finally gone mainstream, not by selling the concept, but because worldwide cities and the mainstream press have seen the negative impacts of irresponsible tourism in the form of overtourism like never before - its unsustainability, thus alternatives, impossible to avoid discussing as a consequence.

And so whilst #IY2017 may not have been a huge consumer carrot, it has been a useful sector tool, and overtourism a massive stick that's affected consumers, organisations, tourist boards, governments and mainstream media attention, as a prompt to wake the world up to the necessities for more sustainable tourism, and thus the true value tourism can have (or not, if not managed responsibly and sustainably).

And it is a necessity, because without it, mass-volume, ill-considered tourism impacts are killing its very destination product. Consumers might not know they want more sustainable, responsible tourism, but many more know they don't want irresponsible, unsustainable tourism.

After #IY2017, the trade is in a more educated position for more sustainable tourism product development, organisations like Travel Counsellors are skilling up with a partnership with The Travel Foundation to sell more sustainable tourism, and so we'll see consumers switch sell to it.

And as more sustainable tourism 'mainstreams', the more differentiation of 'responsible tourism' we expect to see - not just of different products (overland, backpack, cities, summer sun etc) and price levels (budget, family, luxury) but also reputation for sustainability levels.

And there'll be less masquerading: consumers will start to better understand just because something calls itself 'ecotourism' doesn't mean it is responsible or sustainable. Hopefully their raised awareness will result in questions which will see greenwashing start to be flushed out.

It may well be ironic, but ultimately #IY2017's overtourism has seen even more people move to want better tourism, a better sector and better impacts. It's all there at policy level and grassroots level, now it's up to the customers in the middle to proactively just choose to buy.

 

5 Steps to Reboot for the New Year

Out with the old and in with the new!

Our 5 Steps to Reboot for the New Year suggests how you can seek sanctuary, reset to your restore point, refresh and, with your best foot forward, rediscover your mojo:

1)    Retreat

Exhausted and depleted your reserves?
Here are 5 Super Green Retreats great for hibernation hideaway >

2)    Recharge

You’ve stopped for refuge, but are you quite ready to hit the ground running again? Sometimes you need to recharge your batteries and restore your energy with repast.

Feast your eyes and tantalise your tummy with global gourmet gastronomy at these super sustainable stunning sanctuaries that feed your soul with all-natural local goodness >

3)    Revive

You've rested and restored. Now it’s time to rouse from hibernation, slowly stretch and step into action.

For sustainable destinations, here’s 5 to Revive for morning motivation >

4)    Resolve

Feeling refreshed, it’s time to push forward once again! Perhaps travel is in your plans?

Here’s some trips to help you make and keep your resolve to evolve with 5 Resolutions to Transform through Travel >

5)    Rejuvenate

Resolutions fixed, and raring to get going? These 5 steps will put a spring in your step to revitalise and re-motivate your mojo for some seriously sustainable fun >

 

Find all of these places and more at Earth Changers,
featuring the best positive impact, transformative tourism for people to find & book trips that truly change the world.

 

5 Steps to Rejuvenation

Are you feeling refreshed and revived? Made your resolutions? Are you keen to look ahead to sunnier times?

With the optimistic vibes a new year, new you can bring, thoughts often turn at this time of year to having the next break to look forward to.

So where can you go and what can you do to channel your energies for positive purpose, for you and your destination, and have the most amazing holiday experience?

Rejuvenate

Here’s 5 steps for seriously sustainable fun!

1. Play

This paradise island gets a gold star for recreation. Let loose your inner child with an enormous range of activities including kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, Stand Up Paddleboard, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, hiking, rock climbing, croquet or tennis on the first natural grass courts in South East Asia, boule, volleyball, a library, spa, board games and dressing up for children, beach bar, sunset lounge and pool bar.

No signs, no rules and no set timings, laid-back island life fits to you >

Nikoi Island Indonesia boules

Nikoi Island Indonesia boules

2. Swim

You can have your own personal Blue Planet too. Stay at this very special ecotourism marine protected area and spend your days snorkelling and swimming, whose benefits cannot be understated.  

For your body you’ll build strength, tone, definition, flexibility and bone mass;
for your mental health it can reduce stress and depression and even make you smarter;
and for your soul, the sea can bring you in touch with your senses and be a spiritual experience – relax with the peace of weightlessness, and revive amongst the transcendent nature of incredible marine life >

Chumbe Island Tanzania snorkel

Chumbe Island Tanzania snorkel

3. Sail

We can’t think of many more invigorating experiences than sailing across the ocean embracing the elements and the power of Mother Nature in the seas, wind and marine life.

Whether you’re a novice or experienced sailor, join the team of one of these conservation expeditions and your direct contact with the ocean can help you connect choices with restoration and rejuvenation, to better understand and hands-on experience how our day to day behaviour impacts the world in which we live half a blue planet away >

4. Spend time with nature

There are few places on Earth where the animal kingdom rules more than the Galapagos, where people and wildlife co-exist in peace. Follow in the footsteps of Darwin and his theory of natural selection, and let yourself be nurtured by nature.

Giant tortoises, iguana, Blue Footed Boobies, finches, frigate birds, sea lions, manta rays, sharks, sea turtles, dophins and whales are just some of the species you’ll encounter on this once-in-a-lifetime out-of-this-world experience >

Galapagos Floreana Tropic Giant Tortoise & Family

Galapagos Floreana Tropic Giant Tortoise & Family

5. Have some serious fun

It’s far from all child’s play in this most curious of countries, but it’s an incredible wonderland and a wonderfully revitalising, life-affirming experience with the kids and community here.

Support by volunteering in teaching English, conservation and community development  to tackle extreme poverty in one of the planet's most unique and endangered environments >
 

SEED kids conservation club - Nahampoana wildlife reserve

SEED kids conservation club - Nahampoana wildlife reserve

#BeTheChange

Find all of these places and more at Earth Changers,
featuring the best positive impact, transformative tourism for people to find & book trips that truly change the world.

5 Resolutions to Transform through Travel

New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, & loved. Answers to be discovered & then lived in this transformative year of delight & self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.
— Sarah Ban Breathnach - author, philanthropist, speaker

Have you made resolutions? What are your dreams? How will you get there? Only you can make the choices and determine to make those dreams reality. Dream of travel? Here are some trips to help you plan, motivate the mind and reach new goals.

Resolve

Eat better, exercise more

Could there be a better place to aim high and reach new peaks than in Nepal?
This lodge is on a mountain ridge 1000ft above the Pokhara valley, the gateway to the famous Annapurna Circuit, one of the most famous treks in the world.

Pre- or post-multi day trek, spend your days limbering up or stretching-out your muscles on local walks, yoga, massage and swimming in the stunning views, with al fresco award-winning, local organic  home-style meals, organically grown to the highest standard >

Nepal Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Infinity Pool

Nepal Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Infinity Pool

Reduce plastic

Blue Planet 2 has alerted many more to the pitfalls of plastic. And who can’t forget that incredible Wildlife Photographer of the year entry, Sewage surfer by Justin Hofman?

Single use plastics are having a devastating effect on our environments and marine conservation.  Chemical pollution and debris are destroying delicate marine habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass meadows that provide vital food, shelter and breeding grounds for marine life that feeds the world.

We can all reduce our consumption of plastic, refuse straws and plastic bottles, reuse our own cups and bags, and recycle all we can.
And on these ocean expedition sailing trips, you not only join a front line team at sea to observe, document, learn and communicate about marine exploration and conservation, on some you’ll see the famous ‘garbage gyres’ of the open sea.
Life-changing and world-changing, seeing is believing >

Ocean Plastic Pollution - Pangaea Exploration

Ocean Plastic Pollution - Pangaea Exploration

Digital detox in nature

Step away from the computer, leave your phone home alone, and get back to nature. Getting outdoors is not only good for our vitamin D and bodies, but also well-being for our brains. There’s nothing quite like a remote island to get away from cities and development and return to a simpler way of living. And the Galapagos Islands are certainly out of this world!

The first community-based tourism initiative in the Galapagos Islands is extra-ordinary. Away from the tourist crowds, experience the true Galapagos old way of life, explore, encounter incredible wildlife, soak up the scenery and support the locals in one of the few World Heritage Marine Reserves >

Galapagos Island Floreana Lava Lodge

Galapagos Island Floreana Lava Lodge

Give back more

What is the essence of life? To serve others and do good.” - Aristotle
But did you know altruistic volunteering doesn’t just help others but also your own mental health? It helps you feel more socially connected, warding off loneliness and depression, with physical implications too: giving your time can lower blood pressure and mean a longer lifespan.

There can be few better places in the world to contribute than the most deprived. Combine that with one of the planet's most unique and precious environments, incredible biodiversity, endangered wildlife, disadvantaged but delightful communities, and you’ve got an extraordinary life-changing and world-changing experience.

Enquire to volunteer in conservation, construction, teaching or community development in Madagascar >

SEED Madagascar Volunteer English teaching

SEED Madagascar Volunteer English teaching

Learn something new

If we’re talking about goals for the year, then the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are possibly the biggest the world has to offer.

They’re a set of 17 aims signed up to by the countries of the United Nations to end poverty and hunger, improve clean water access, health and education, make cities more sustainable, combat climate change, conserve the world and oceans and foster prosperous, peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

These trips in Malawi not only enable you to see experience the people and places, but also offer maximum learning potential with immersive workshops on global sustainable development, the SDGs, fair trade, social entrepreneurship and micro-finance.
Practical examples offer hands-on experience to build awareness of the challenges faced by developing countries and rural communities >

What better way to learn something new by helping transform the world through travel?

Ntchisi Kids Malawi - RSC Global sustainable Development

Ntchisi Kids Malawi - RSC Global sustainable Development

Find all of these places and more at Earth Changers,
featuring the best positive impact, transformative tourism for people to find & book trips that truly change the world >

5 to... Revive

It’s time to halt the hibernation, often associated with low temperatures which slow the breathing, heart rate and metabolic rate.

As daylight starts to grow and days lengthen, rouse from your reverie and kindle your kinetics. Wake up your body and stir your soul at these heavenly havens guaranteed to revive your get up and go!

Revive

The Dawn Chorus

Even if you’re not an early bird, it’s seriously exciting to get up before day breaks on safari! Watch and hear life revive as exotic birds sing the start of a new day and nature comes to life, as you pause for morning local coffee overlooking Kilimanjaro at this Kenyan ecolodge >
 

Breakfast picnic, coffee and Kilamanjaro (c) Ian Johnson, Campi ya Kanzi

Breakfast picnic, coffee and Kilamanjaro (c) Ian Johnson, Campi ya Kanzi

Sunrise and Shine

There can be few better places to salute the rising sun than surrounded by spectacular summits. If yoga’s not your thing, meditate or a massage at this heavenly haven in view of majestic mountains like Machhapuchhare is an amazing experience at this lodge in Nepal >

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Breakfast on Terrace - Rajbansh

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Breakfast on Terrace - Rajbansh

Break the Fast

There are few more memorable meals than dining on the balcony terrace of this lodge surrounded by nature overlooking the primary rainforest and bay of the Osa Peninsula. Listen to Howler monkeys and watch Red macaws streak across the canopy or toucans in the trees.

Great food is an essential part of an enjoyable, extraordinary experience, and sustainable means local, traditional and often indigenous.  Savour fresh fruit juice and plates, or traditional Gallo Pinto (rice and beans with Tico flavorings) or Pupusa (corn tortillas with beans, cheese and chicharrones -fried pork rinds). Get a taste of the Costa Rican rainforest >

Breakfast on the balcony overlooking the rainforest & Osa Peninsula bay

Breakfast on the balcony overlooking the rainforest & Osa Peninsula bay

Stretch & Stand Tall

A daily yoga class with the in-house teacher on the deck overlooking Lake Nicaragua is a perfect setting for gently getting your muscles moving.  Add a peaceful paddleboard for a wonderful way to see the isletas, unwind, connect with nature and cleanse your soul at this island ecolodge >

Jicaro Island Ecolodge Lake Nicaragua Yoga Deck

Jicaro Island Ecolodge Lake Nicaragua Yoga Deck

Morning Tea

In Malawi, visit the oldest and most beautiful tea estate in Thyolo, learn all about this key export, fair trade and take part in tea tasting.

A visit to a small fair trade cooperative of subsistence farmers working under a centralised irrigation system for agronomy, learning about market access for small holder farmers, and seeing the process from plant to packaging at the leading cane sugar producer can round off this incredible global development immersively experiencing Malawi’s social entrepreneurship & sustainable practices >

Silhouetted tea-picker at-sunrise Malawi (c) RSC

Silhouetted tea-picker at-sunrise Malawi (c) RSC

Find all of these places and more at Earth Changers,
featuring the best positive impact, transformative tourism for people to find & book trips that truly change the world.

 

5 Places to Recharge your Personal Batteries, Naturally

Our 5 Super Green Retreats offer wonderful respite from the bleak mid-winter.

Having got the rest sorted, it’s time to refill the tanks and replenish your energy reserves. But places don’t have to just tantalise your taste buds! Delightful gastronomic destinations can also help local communities and the Sustainable Development Goals for Zero Hunger.

So where can you refuel your body, where your feast is natural nirvana and your foody heaven won’t cost the local earth?

Recharge

Circular gastronomy in Costa Rica

At this lodge, community and staff plant and promote Central American endemic fruits and vegetables, and recipes are developed based on cultural tastes and local and home grown produce for an incredible local culinary gourmet experience. Complimentary local coffee is even delivered to your bungalow in the morning. The locally sourced food reduces the need to transport common ingredients and creates the opportunity to learn about local culture.

Both here in Costa Rica and at the Nicaragua lodge below you can even visit the pigs, who feed on the scraps, whose methane powers the kitchen stove – Circular gastronomy! >

Local and home grown Central American endemic produce in Costa Rica

Local and home grown Central American endemic produce in Costa Rica

Cultural Exchange at Lake Nicaragua

This ecolodge also has a strong focus on local ingredients and Nicaraguan cuisine creatively cooked simply.
Watch the masterchef at work in the open kitchen over-looking Lake Nicaragua.

The lodge not only supports the local fishermen economically for the freshly caught seafood, but helps teach them about sustainable fishing, and creates an opportunity for cultural exchange with guests who can observe and learn the local traditional methods of fishing >

Sustainable seafood and cultural exchange at Lake Nicaragua

Sustainable seafood and cultural exchange at Lake Nicaragua

All-Natural Indonesia

On this Indonesian island, the fixed home-made, organic, sustainable, seasonal menu not only means less food waste, but it’s seriously salivating in stunning surrounds. Enjoy your meals in the privacy of your own beach house, the clubhouse restaurant or under a shady tree on the beach. Barbecues, tropical fruits, even the piña coladas pack a sustainable punch.

And don’t expect plastic – you’ll only find bamboo straws, own-carbonated water and heavenly organic natural syrups at this beach bar!

Balmy nights at this all-natural organic Indonesian beach bar

Balmy nights at this all-natural organic Indonesian beach bar

Home grown Nepal

Food miles are minimised here, where fresh herbs, salads and vegetables come from the lodge’s own gardens, and other fruits and vegetables are community-grown in the local village. The local, organic high standard ingredients help create award-winning meals of good home-style food: home baked breads complemented by Nepalese honey; Nepali buffets of authentic dishes and homemade Aachar (chutneys) using local spices with fresh rotis (flat bread cooked over an open flame) or puris (a fried bread) and papad (poppadum) for lunch; masala omelette roti wraps for picnics; the best Nepal organic coffee and tea, whether Ilam (like Darjeeling), organic green or herbal infusions; plus traditional Nepali Thali for table d’hôte dinners.

No food goes to waste here, the lodge strongly supports its staff in any ways it can, and if there are any compostable leftovers, the community’s cattle is well fed! >

Home grown herbs, salads and vegetables for traditional Nepalese fayre

Home grown herbs, salads and vegetables for traditional Nepalese fayre

Mountains of food for your soul in Kenya

Imagine morning coffee and sundowners overlooking Kilimanjaro, where the wildest nature meets the Maasai. Meals are fusion cuisine sharing stories with friends, using home grown ingredients cooked on Aga stoves with charcoal made from coffee husks. Feast on a unique experience of dining in a Maasai cave where warriors hid stolen cattle to the sound of Maasai singing. Continue the conversation with alfresco night caps around the firepit >

Dine in a Maasai cave to the sound of Maasai song- a unique experience

Dine in a Maasai cave to the sound of Maasai song- a unique experience

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