AS THE AWARENESS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT GROWS, CARBON OFFSET PROGRAMMES EMERGE AS AN EFFECTIVE AND RESPONSIBLE ANSWER TO OUR SUSTAINABILITY CONCERNS
Covid-19 has made us realise how big of a role travel plays in our modern society. If you’re anything like us, surely you’ve found yourself more than once fantasising about your next trip once the global pandemic is over. In these times of uncertainty, only one thing remains sure. The way we travel will be very different post-covid.
Over the years, travellers have become a lot more conscious and seek more profound, meaningful experiences. People no longer look to just visit places. More than that, a need has emerged to connect with the land, engage with local communities whilst protecting their culture, and most importantly, reduce the negative environmental impact of travel –especiallynow after seeing how the lockdown has given the earth a much-needed break.
Here comes carbon offsetting. Air travel accounts for 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the most common greenhouse gas, which has a huge impact in global warming. This, in addition to ground transport, the use of electricity and air conditioning in hotels and lodges, among other practices, make it hard for the travel industry to be environmentally friendly.
Carbon offsetting is a practice that offers travellers a way to mitigate this impact.
At Galavanta, we are offering travellers the option of calculating the tonnes of carbon emitted as a result of their transport, lodging and daily personal waste emissions, as part of our new carbon offset programme. We will create the opportunity for our clients to ‘balance’ the carbon emitted on their journeys by contributing to reforestation programs, or personally take part in reforestation activities and wildlife conservation initiatives in some of the key destinations where we operate, such as Los Llanos, Sierra Nevada and the surrounding regions of Cartagena. These are areas with delicate ecosystems that are highly threatened, and reforestation is an essential way to preserve the area and its wildlife. We seek to avoid employing carbon balancing as a single ‘box-ticking’ exercise, but rather as more as one part of a wider mix of strategies: Measuring footprint, managing environmental impact, and actively reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), whilst at the same time having real conservation impact on the ground.
This approach will result in more protection of Colombia’s natural wealth, empowering local economies, and offering a sustainable way of travel that will allow us to keep enjoying these destinations, whilst having a positive impact.