More Local - Green Practices Responsible Travel Colombia
Eco-minded travel practices Colombia
At More Local, we are conscious of the ecological impact usually created through travel. From both a local and global perspective, we understand that travelers normally have an effect on every place they visit. And although most of it is positive, there is certainly room to compensate for any negative impact caused.
We believe that cultivating travel aficionados is not only about creating cool travel concepts in awesome places. So attached to our core philosophy we also intend to embrace responsible travel practices in order to create sustainable business initiatives.
We are putting together a Meaningful Travel program which supports a social project in San Juan de Soco (Colombian Amazon) and an ecological project in Antioquia and Nari;o. Our home-grown sustainable practices, projects and initiatives have been created for you and so we hope they will encourage you to embrace responsible travel practices whilst traveling with us.
So here is a little bit more about what we like to do:
As part of our Meaningful Travel program intend to offset our carbon footprint. After calculating the CO2 emitted through our trips we decided to compensate our carbon footprint through a project which actually made sense. So in collaboration with conTREEbute we are now supporting a reforestation program in Antioquia & Narino - areas previously (and still) affected by the ongoing internal armed conflict.
The project focuses in recovering the local flaura and fauna. Trees are purchased locally from community-owned nurseries and after two years are donated to local farmers. The idea is to not only compensate our carbon footprint but also offer an alternative source of income to those returning home after many years of displacement.
So far conTREEbute has planted over 400,000 trees in Colombia and has developed important alliances with major Colombian companies. More Local currently conTREEbutes in between 1 to 8 trees per person, depending on the travel experience chosen. The entire process is audited by Deloitte.
We try to avoid printing as much as possible, however when we have no choice we turn to recycled paper. The same applies to our brochures which were printed on recycled paper and hand-crafted by a family-owned business which used traditional printing methods.
We also try to minimize waste in the work place and like to recycle.
Have you seen our business cards yet? They reflect our philosophy. Attached to the back of our cled business cards is a seed, which you can plant by following some simple instructions. The seed which sprouts and eventually grows, suggests that small changes do matter, and symbolizes our commitment to grassroots level initiatives.
TRASH / RECYCLING
Sacks are shared throughout our journeys for common trash purposes such as; empty water bags, wrappers, waste etc. Plastic / glass bottles, cans and other recyclable items are collected separately and later recycled (when possible).
We also think of cigarette butts as litter, so we recommend smokers to dispose of them properly. Having a small plastic bag (i.e the one on the cigarette box itself) is an easy way to do it and makes a big difference.
Our travelers receive a More Local bag, which is hand-made out of jute (natural fibre) and printed with eco-friendly inks.
To minimize the usage of plastic bags and bottles we recommend our travelers to bring along a re-usable water bottle or hydration system, such as a Camelbak. Large (5 litre) water jugs and bags can be purchased locally and used for re-filling purposes. This drastically reduces the usage of plastic.
We also have a portable rainwater filter in the Amazon, and when possible, we provide our travelers with clean drinking water.
CAMPING / PICNICS
We only use plates, cups and cutlery which are made out of recycled materials and / or are biodegradable. We ensure not to leave any litter behind.
All our websites are hosted on Hostgator, which uses 130% wind powered energy.
LOCAL FRIENDS & COMMUNITIES
We value our local friends and when possible, we invite local people, families and small businesses to become part of what we do. We respect them, treat and pay them fairly and always hope to build meaningful and positive friendships with them.
In San Juan de Soco (Colombian Amazon) we are trying to implement a sustainable water management project. As this project is still at planning stage, we decided to first concentrate on smaller projects that benefit the local children. So in December 2011, we made our first official donation which consisted of 80 school kits for the children and sports equipment for the school. Here are some pictures.