What is it Sustainable Travel?
It was a small aircraft with propellers on both sides. We were flying just below the clouds. I was able to see leaves on the palm trees beneath us. The river was winding around the fields. It was so fascinating seeing bulldozers digging out the jungle trees in order to make space for farming. Palm oil farming.
It was a moment of clarity, a realization of how the human species takes advantage of the planet. I was shocked and scared. Ever since that flight in 2015 I do not buy any products that contain PALM OIL. It is a taboo.
Cutting down on the amount of PLASTIC I buy started shortly after my palm oil restriction. It came with a flow. Less trash, less pollution from me, fewer things that aren’t natural, aren’t real. I try to always have my cotton bag with me, and when I don’t have it I just carry things in my hands. It feels good not seeing that glossy stuff around me, on the counter in the kitchen, in the fridge, in the closet or in the car. It feels good knowing I am making a small impact for the Planet.
Sure, you might think it’s not an easy decision to live a life like that: every time I go to the store I have to look through the ingredients and think of the amount of plastic I have in my cart, it takes time to do so, restricts my choices, and is usually more expensive. I consider it a small sacrifice. Spending a few more dollars to eat organic food is a form of reciprocity, as my dollars support an agricultural system that is better for the planet and me. I also grow food in my own garden.
Travelling pollutes the world in its own way as well. This awareness prompted me to act. Learning from different cultures and people is very important for my husband and me. So we started OFFSETTING our flights by calculating how many tons of carbon our flights produced and making an equivilent monetary investment into carbon reducing sustainable development projects. Gold Standard is a wonderful organization that supports these carbon reducing projects and we have chosen to wrap this reciprocity into the Surf Gwada business model.
When traveling with Surf Gwada our travelers make as little impact as possible on the planet. We offset each flight, plant a tree for everybody who goes through our service, organize eco events, and provide an experience that has roots in the local community. That is sustainable travel and what we call Travel Reciprocity.
We need to be responsible for the opportunity and comfort we receive in our lives. It might not be noticeable to us in our daily life, but little steps like bringing a shopping bag with you, or choosing bananas that are not rapped in plastic, do make an impact! Step by step this leads us to a bright future with less pollution and a more habitable world for all the living species around us.
Check out our mission page for more information. Sign a petition or make a small donation to companies that work hard to provide clean water and habitat for other species.