Sustainability at Metropolitan Touring: Keeping the Future of Our Planet Intact

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” When it comes to sustainability at Metropolitan Touring, we take each and every tour of ours to heart with respect to the state and well-being of our planet. Often times, tourism operations can cause significant damage to fragile environment if they aren’t handled in a sustainable manner. Transportation logistics tend to be the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint as a Tourism Company. Fortunately, such an impact is offset in large part by the 1,300 hectares (3,200 acres) of tropical forest that we have at our Mashpi Reserve. The acquisition of this entire property helped  conserve a substantial portion of the remaining Choco bio-region in Ecuador after it experienced years of deforestation. Our conservation efforts in this forest have not only managed to compensate for our overall tourism activities but has also served as an oxygen factory as well as a tome of biological knowledge and genetics that will help with environmental sustainability throughout the whole world.

As a result of working iconic and privileged locations such as the aforementioned Mashpi Reserve and the Galapagos Islands, Metropolitan Touring has an incredibly unique appreciation for the importance of our spectacular Earth. Additionally, we constantly seek to raise awareness about the importance of our Earth by means of numerous events that our guests are always invited to (these include: recognizing International Blackout Day aboard the Santa Cruz II, Earth Day, and World Environment Day (along with some pretty cool activities aboard Yacht Isabela II).

environmental awareness yacht isabela II

Raising and discussing environmental awareness aboard Yacht Isabela II

In this post, we’ll take a brief look at what makes us stand out as one of the leading tour operators in Latin America, along with the lengths we go to make sure our carbon footprint remains as small as possible while offering the best in tours in some of the most iconic places in this region of the world.

How do we minimize the amount of waste generated by our activities?

Ecuador and the Galapagos both have regulations that keep the amount of waste produced by companies at a minimum. In the case of the Galapagos Islands, the regulations are so strict that garbage is actually weighed. Some of our accommodations also provide introductory talks on how to minimize waste during your stay. All cargo shipped from the mainland to our Galapagos operations maximizes both weight and volume by packing adequately and being very conscientious about what is really needed in the islands. Packing efficiency is crucial when trying to minimize waste production. All our offices are also motivated to use more e-documents that can scale to non-printing needs.

galapagos beach sweep

Daily beach sweeps are the norm at our Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel

Do we use biodegradable products?

Yes! Our efforts pertaining to sustainability at Metropolitan Touring involve providing our lodging and maritime operations with environmentally-friendly and biodegradable products that meet international standards. Our guests are also provided with biodegradable shampoo, soaps, etc. in their bathrooms.

Do we discourage the use of single-use water bottles by providing other alternatives?

From the moment guests arrive at most of the properties we own and operate, they receive reusable stainless steel water bottles that will accompany them throughout their trip. We provide refilling stations at all of our accommodations/ships and have begun a pilot program with additional suppliers in Quito that will allow our guests to refill their bottles while out exploring the city. We encourage our guests to use these bottles as often as possible and take them back home with them as an environmentally-friendly souvenir. We refer to this project as our “Zero Plastic” initiative.

metropolitan touring recycles

Even when there is plastic, recycling is the norm when it comes to the waste we produce

Do we involve our guests in our efforts related to sustainability at Metropolitan Touring?

We let our guests know, via cards placed on towels, linens, desks, etc. about our effort to minimize the use of natural resources and protect the environment. They use these cards to indicate when they want their towels and/or sheets washed, etc. Many of our properties recycle, use solar panels for water heating, and even participate in our network of fresh water suppliers that allows our guests to refill their water bottle rather than carry and/or buy plastic bottles on our tours.

When it comes to sustainability at Metropolitan Touring, the health of our Earth is never ever an afterthought. Environmentally-responsible tourism and sustainable practices often times remain at the forefront of many, if not all, of our tours. That’s why when you travel with us, you can rest assured that you’ll explore unique places with the added peace of mind that you’ll be keeping our planet healthy in the process.

With parents that worked for the U.S. Foreign Service up until he graduated from high school, Chris was raised to have the heart of a nomad throughout his life. He has resided in Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador throughout his years, and just recently spent the past four up in Canada finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & English at the University of British Columbia.