Sunday Times

NO TIME FOR TRASH

A tour com­pany is look­ing to launch the world’s first zero-waste trip, says El­iz­a­beth Sleith

- ● L S. Animals · Ecology · Travel · Wildlife · United States of America · TerraCycle · World Wide Fund for Nature · Recycling · Habitat for Humanity International · Yellowstone National Park · Yellowstone · Yellowstone National Park · National Park Service

Atour com­pany called Nat­u­ral Habi­tat Ad­ven­tures has added an am­bi­tious trip to its reper­toire, one that aims to be the world’s first “zero-waste” ad­ven­ture. Ti­tled “Sa­fari Amer­ica: Yel­low­stone Coun­try”, the trip will chal­lenge 14 trav­ellers at a time to un­der­take eight days in the US Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park, while pro­duc­ing no more waste than can fit into a sin­gle, small, com­mu­nal jar. As well as ex­plor­ing off-the-beaten-track wildlife spots and fol­low­ing wolves, griz­zly bears, elk and bi­son, par­tic­i­pants will be en­cour­aged to “di­vert” (that is, refuse, re­cy­cle, com­post, up­cy­cle, or re-use) 99% or more of all waste pro­duced.

Strate­gies in­tended to help them achieve this in­clude send­ing out dig­i­tal ver­sions of all pre-trip ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing forms and itin­er­ar­ies; en­cour­ag­ing the re­fusal of po­ten­tial waste (such as plas­tic straws and in­di­vid­u­ally-wrapped condi­ments) even while guests are en route; and a zero-waste tool­kit to use in the field, with re­us­able per­sonal items such as wa­ter bot­tles, mugs, and cut­lery.

Ve­hi­cles will be out­fit­ted with com­post­ing and re­cy­cling sys­tems, in­clud­ing a Ter­raCy­cle, which breaks down hard-tore­cy­cle items.

Nat­u­ral Habi­tat Ad­ven­tures has been the con­ser­va­tion-travel part­ner of the World Wildlife Fund since 2003, and says it was the world’s first 100% car­bon-neu­tral travel com­pany.

To en­sure this trip is also 100% car­bon neu­tral, the com­pany says it will off­set the emis­sions from flights, ve­hi­cles, ho­tels and boats used dur­ing the tour through pro­grammes such as re­for­esta­tion ini­tia­tives.

Point­ing out that the av­er­age Amer­i­can pro­duces 2kg of trash per day, Nat­u­ral Habi­tat says its mis­sion is to “set a new stan­dard for the travel in­dus­try by prov­ing that it is pos­si­ble to op­er­ate a zero-waste trip”.

The long-term goal is to in­spire and en­cour­age other tour op­er­a­tors to adopt more sus­tain­able tourism prac­tices, and also “to in­spire trav­ellers to make con­scious choices in their ev­ery­day lives that con­trib­ute to the long-term health of the planet”.

“Sa­fari Amer­ica’s” first de­par­ture date is July 6 2019. Prices start from $5,995 (about R86,000) per per­son.

● See nathab.com

 ?? Pic­ture: 123rf.com/wisanu­boon­rawd ?? KEEP IT CLEAN A new ad­ven­ture in Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park, Wy­oming, aims to re­duce vis­i­tors’ im­pact.
Pic­ture: 123rf.com/wisanu­boon­rawd KEEP IT CLEAN A new ad­ven­ture in Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park, Wy­oming, aims to re­duce vis­i­tors’ im­pact.

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