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Going Green: How the Travel Industry is Addressing Environmental Awareness

As global warming and climate change continues to make headlines, every sector, from construction and transportation to manufacturing, has been investigating how to become more environmentally friendly. The travel industry is no different. Carnival Cruises Cutting Plastic Usage Some observers might consider cruises to be one of the least eco-friendly types of leisure travel.  But […]

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As global warming and climate change continues to make headlines, every sector, from construction and transportation to manufacturing, has been investigating how to become more environmentally friendly. The travel industry is no different.

Carnival Cruises Cutting Plastic Usage

Some observers might consider cruises to be one of the least eco-friendly types of leisure travel.  But that observation would be a mistake. For instance, the famed cruise giant, Carnival, would prove you wrong.  This company has joined with several other travel outlets to work towards the reduction of the amount of plastic they use. In a recent announcement, they pledged to eliminate to the best of their ability the purchase and consumption of plastics within the next two years.

This effort is part of Carnival’s “Operation Oceans Alive.” The company’s nine international cruise lines are partnering to reduce the use of plastics as part of their overall efforts to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence.

They have already begun by either reducing or eliminating altogether the use of plastic straws, cups, lids, and bags. They are also working to eventually end the use of single-use plastics or decorative items that are non-essential and just add to the waste.

In addition to reducing plastic usage, Carnival announced that it met its goal of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas production in 2018, three years earlier than scheduled. They also said that they are headed towards their other nine sustainability targets by 2020.

KLM to Customers: “Fly Less for Earth’s Sake”

What would you say to a company that announces to the world that they would like to see less business in order to help the environment? KLM Royal Dutch Air has done just that with their marketing campaign called “Fly Responsibly.” The campaign, which includes a website, a video and social media outreach is encouraging customers to fly less in order to lower the amount of carbon emissions released by airlines.

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers sent a letter to customers and stockholders urging all those who are concerned with environmental issues to get involved:

“We’re in this together. We work hard to get things right, but all parties involved need to join forces to create a sustainable future,” he wrote in the letter. “All stakeholders in the aviation industry, all corporations in any industry. And yes, all air travellers too. What can you do, in addition to carefully considering your travel plans?”

The video asks travelers three fundamental questions: Do meetings for business have to always take place in person? Is it possible to get there some other way, perhaps by train? And, perhaps you can make up for some of the carbon footprint you are create when you fly by packing lighter?

Elbers adds that consumers should not misunderstand– KLM does not want to go out of business. What they want the traveling public to take away from the “Fly Responsibly” campaign is that: 

” We are stepping up to speed up progress towards a sustainable future, but we are a company that needs to make profit to survive and to continue to invest in sustainable solutions. We want to still be around when we have succeeded in our efforts to make aviation sustainable.”

The Greening of Mexico

It took two years for the seaside town of Puerto Morelos in Riviera Cancún, Mexico, to receive the coveted “Blue Flag,” which signifies that it has satisfied 33 requirements for excellence in governorship. Among those requirements which the town officials have been working to improve are environmental management, security, services, environmental education and water quality. 

The Blue Flag is an international award bestowed by the Foundation for Environmental Education; an NGO based in Denmark. The group has a respected reputation for setting a high bar in environmental management and caretaking.

Mexico has more certified beaches than any other country in the Americas, with 55 Blue Flag beaches and three marinas. And it ranks number 13 out of 45 countries that take part in this worldwide program.


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