SUSTAINABILITY – SHORT PRESENTATION
I travelled to Australia in 1997 and one of the main reasons was because it was considered the “meca” of sustainable tourism. I had fallen in love with the concept in my university degree, in the Ecology subject.
Since then I implemented a lot of measures in my personal life and was a little “bug” putting pressure on friends and family to take action doing small changes that seemed so easy and simple to do to me but that other people tended to classify as “fundamentalist”.
Finally, I am in fashion! Now everyone wants to do something to change the way the world is spinning.
Believe that simple gestures count. They do. This is the proof. The fact that a few people persevered made governments to take action. Laws are being created; public services are going plastic free; restaurants and hotels are banning plastic straws. People are starting to refuse Palm Oil to save the animals living in the forest. Soon companies will see those products decrease in sales and naturally will change the products. It is becoming a natural circle. The circle of life.
BE A PART OF THIS! YOU WILL FEEL PROUD! REMEMBER THERE IS NO PLANET B. NEVER give up trying.
Teresa Vilas Boas, manager of Turaventur
- First REDUCE
- Then REUSE
- Last choice, RECYCLE
OUR 2024 RESOLUTIONS
Despite all we are doing so far, we want to do more. Our team is super enthusiastic about sustainability and we have been sharing a lot of ideas. From our last meeting, we have decided the following measures:
- To apply for a sustainability certification.
- To use paper detergents – what a great innovation! We are loving it.
- To continue our efforts on not buying prepacked fruits and vegetables.
- To put solar panels in our garage ceiling thus reducing the use of “bad” energy – but note Portugal is on the TOP list of green energy production, so travelling to Portugal is always a more sustainable option!
- On our new houses, the hot water will be heated by solar panels.
- To buy an electric van.
- To get new coffee machines to the office and to our small guest house, to end the use of coffee capsules.
- To change our doors and windows to a more efficient material.
- To give a better use to our vegetable garden.
- To continue to buy local as much as possible.
SPECIAL TO OUR STAFF
- Staff biking to work get extra payment.
- Staff sharing a car get help for petrol costs.
- Increase salaries
- We would love you to use and recommend solid shampoo and conditioner, in a quest to lessen plastic packaging – some of us are already using them and love them. We can recommend brands!
- We now have a navigation APP, which will allow for much less paper to be printed.
- If you come to the start of your tour by train instead of private transport and bring your train or bus ticket to prove it, we will give you 10 € back for that ticket. Our goal is to reduce the emissions of your trip in Portugal. We know most of our guests arrive by plane and there is nothing we can do about that, but we will reduce as much as possible while you are here.
- In our most sustainable tour, cycling in Paradise, if you choose not to take one of the included transfers back to the farm and, instead, bike back, we will offer you 1 extra dinner if you are 2 people. 2 extra dinners if you are 4. If you don’t want to have an extra dinner here, we will offer a local cheese platter and olive oil tasting for the couple/group.
- We would love it if you would bring your own reusable bottle of water for your trip. But if you forget, we will have one for you, under some conditions. We must make sure it is not simply another bottle to be wasted after the trip so we will: Sell you one if you want; Lend you one for free, but it’s reused and, off course, properly washed and disinfected; You can get tap water for free and good to drink in all hotels and restaurants. In guided trips we refill from 5 lt gallons.
- We are not big enough to make demands from our suppliers, but you can make us bigger by booking with us. The more we book in each hotel, the more we can demand
- We will do a google forms with questions about their sustainability measures which will help to bring awareness and will show them how we will select our partners, when possible
- We will create a “Best Practice” document on sustainability
AVOID SINGLE USE PLASTIC AND EXCESS USE OF PAPER
- If you do a 7 day tour and we give you 1 bottle of water per day you will use 7 bottles. If we do 1000 clients per year x 7 bottles this means 7000 bottles. If you refill your water bottle instead of using a new one, in total we will use 1000 instead of 7000. In guided trips, 5 liter water bottles are supplied throughout the day for you to refill. Better even, bring your own re-usable bottle. We won’t give you one because most people already have one and we would only create more rubbish.
- Mini-shampoo bottles and the so-called “amenities” are a terrible invention. And your own shampoo is always better quality. Please avoid using individual amenities provided by hotels. Bring your own. ANd try solid shampoo! It is great!
- Choose soap over shower gel. Soap is wrapped in paper. No plastic. And you will use much less, which causes less chemical pollution.
- When we buy something, even if something really small, we always get a bag. Many times we accept it without even thinking about it and, as soon as we get home, there it goes to the rubbish. Kindly refuse the bag. And don’t be ashamed to share your philosophy with a smile “I don’t need a bag thank you; I am trying to go plastic free”. Paper bags are not an option either. There aren’t enough trees in the world to sustain a sustainable society living on paper based substitutes. The word is to REDUCE.
- Refuse straws. When you order please say “don’t bring a straw, I am going plastic free”. If you don’t say it many times it comes already in the drink and then it’s too late. There are millions of straws in the beaches and oceans. And it is SO SIMPLE not to be a part of that!
- Use the cloth bag we gave you to take your things to your room in the end of the day and bring them back in the morning: your towel, bikini, book, camera, wallet and others all fit there! Less one plastic bag!
- Why do we take fruit and vegetables home in single use individual plastic bags?!?! Get thin cloth bags and use and reuse! Choose shops that don’t use pre-packed fruit and vegetables.
- Don’t use disposable plates and cutlery. Take inspiration in our picnics! We wash your dishes afterwards, at night at the hotel! A lot of work, but we feel SOOO good!
- Stop buying film/cellophane. Aluminum paper is not good but better; bee wax re-usable paper is a great option. And glass containers even better! And cloth! Remember the bread loaf wrapped up in a cloth? Beautiful!
- Wrap your Christmas presents in newspaper. Most wrapping paper is not recyclable.
- Think before you print and use both sides of all paper.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, when you put on the soap, when you wash your hair, when you go away from the sink, when you are washing the dishes. Think about everyone that lives with 1 bucket of water per day for the whole family.
- Take short showers – count the time you take today and try to be better tomorrow
- Fill up the washing machines before putting them to work. Use full load ECO programs.
- Do you really need to wash the car so often? If so go to a proper garage with pressured water.
- Use water saving taps. In case of showers, the “green” ones can save a lot of water and money!
- Put a plastic bottle of water in your toilet tank. If you put a 1,5 lt one, you will save that amount of water! – yes, open the tap and put the bottle inside.
- Turn off the lights… And turn off the lights again… and again… amazing how most people leave a trace of their steps through the lights!
- Bike, bike, bike! JJ
- Unplug everything you are not using.
- Close the fridge! Even if “just for a second”! Don’t chat by an open fridge!
- Turn off the computer
- Air conditioning and heater don’t go well with open windows….
- Turn off the engine when you stop the car; when you arrive to a parking lot; when you were leaving but after all you are chatting with the neighbor…
Share with us any other ideas you may have, we are willing to improve our
GREEN POLICY – Sustainability measures