Over the past few years, going green has become increasingly important.
We’ve all seen the news – turtles encased in plastic, wildfires wreaking havoc in Australia, and the Amazon rainforest disappearing at an alarming rate.
It sounds like we’re being dramatic, but it’s true – our planet is in serious trouble. It is important that action is taken – by both businesses and individuals – to minimise our impact on the environment before it’s too late. That time is fast approaching – experts estimate we have 12 years to avert a climate change catastrophe.
Here at African Adventures, we’re committed to doing better – for the sake of all people and the planet. We’re proud to announce the launch of our Green Team, a group of like-minded staff in our UK office who are responsible for assessing how we can reduce the environmental impact of our work. Alongside the launch of the new committee, we’ve also created two web pages, addressing The Problem and The Solution, to provide you with more information about the dangers of climate change and what we’re doing to combat it.
Why is it important to be green?
Travelling overseas is a brilliant opportunity. It opens your eyes to new ways of living, different cultures, and interesting people. However, the environmental cost of travelling can be high. Long-haul flights release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. The exact amount of carbon released depends on a variety of factors, including the destination, flight route, aircraft model, and the number of people on board.
Why is carbon so bad for the environment?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. This means that it has the ability to trap heat close to the Earth, which causes the atmosphere to warm up. The result of this increase in temperature is global warming.
You may think of this as a vague concept which doesn’t directly affect you or your daily life. However, when we look at the extreme climate events that have occurred over the past few years – from the rapidly disappearing polar ice-caps, to extreme weather events such as flooding, fires and droughts – you might wish to reconsider. In the case of some communities in developing countries, the effects of climate change are already being felt.
What are we doing to help?
This year, African Adventures has committed to offsetting 35% of carbon emissions generated by our volunteers’ flights, by investing in our Gyapa stove initiative in Ghana. We hope that by the end of 2021 this will have increased to 100%.
We are also working to keep our UK office carbon neutral. This is achieved by working out the total carbon we emit as a business and estimating how much it will cost to offset it. We then match this price by investing the same amount into our carbon offsetting scheme and purchasing the equivalent number of Gyapa stoves.
In addition to this, we’re continuing to practice and encourage responsible purchasing and waste management in our UK office, and at our three destinations in Africa.
You can find out more about our plans, and how you can help us reach our goal sooner, on The Solution web page.
What can you do to be more green?
There are simple steps you can take – both during your trip and in everyday life – to be more environmentally conscious. These could include decreasing the amount of meat and dairy in your diet, using public transport instead of driving, or reducing the number of new clothes you buy from fast fashion companies.
During our trips, we encourage our volunteers to travel responsibly. One way our volunteers can do this is by bringing home any single-use plastic purchased during their trip, so that these items can be recycled in the UK. The positive impact that our volunteer programme has on our host communities can be compromised if the volume of avoidable waste we leave behind negatively impacts the lives of the people we support.