World Environment Day 2018 & Metropolitan Touring
What is World Environment Day 2018?
World Environment Day is the United Nation’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Above all, World Environment Day is the definitive day for humanity to stand up and do what’s necessary to take care of our one-and-only Planet Earth. Such actions can either be focused locally, nationally or globally. They can also be individual or as part of a bigger group. The idea at the core of this day is to become an active agent of change, a driver of awareness and a strong messenger of hope.
When is it?
June 5, 2018.
What is This Year’s Theme for World Environment Day?
Every year a new “World Environment Day Theme” is selected as the core message for the commemoration of the Environment. The focus of this year’s campaign is Beat Plastic Pollution, which resonates quite powerfully with this year’s recently-celebrated Earth Day.
From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging up our streams and rivers, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet. As a company, we always make sure that we “walk the talk.” That’s why, even before anyone was really talking about all this, Metropolitan Touring made a substantial effort to get involved with the community and local municipality of Santa Cruz Island (over in Galapagos) and spearheaded the management of solid waste. Years later, we can now clearly see the fruits of our labor: a community that once had no real waste management now completely understands what an environmental footprint is and how to manage it properly.
Our Commitment to World Environment Day at Metropolitan Touring
Metropolitan Touring has a unique appreciation for the importance of Earth Day, thanks in large part to its dedication to working in iconic and privileged locations such as the Galapagos Islands and the Mashpi Reserve. The former has long been considered a living laboratory of evolution and numerous scientific areas, while the latter takes the cake for being 1 of the 16 biggest hotspots for biodiversity on Earth (with new species are still being discovered to this day!).
We have dedicated decades to working with our guests, local communities, scientists, government and more to preserve what we love and what we hope to continue to share with future generations.
This is our conviction and our commitment. Our specific efforts, all connected to Earth Day’s main theme, have allowed us to reduce the use of plastics. This is why disposable plastic water bottles have been eliminated from all of our vessels and hotels. Instead, we provide our guests with a complimentary, stainless-steel and re-usable water bottle. And, in case you’re wondering, here are the numbers: this very simple practice has allowed us to eliminate the added burden of importing and discarding nearly 12,000 disposable plastic bottles per year! This all adds up to help diminish our environmental impact by around 150 kg (330 lb)! That’s a ton of less stress on our landfills and recycling facilities! Keep in mind that only about 10% of the world’s water bottles are actually recycled. So, if you think recycling is the only solution, well think again. Although this may seem like a modest effort, it’s certainly one of our many contributions in lowering our footprint. Quite naturally, this example is a very tangible one, but we must think of the intangible impact that it has, too.
Such impact, though, is a really crucial one because it has to do with the survival of our own planet, and it’s called climate change. When was the last time you confronted the issue of your CO2 emissions (carbon dioxide emissions) as a result of your productive day-to-day activities? Think about it.
The Mechanics of CO2 Emissions in Tourism
Tourism has often been called “an industry without chimneys,” but it’s important to be aware that tourism operations do, in fact, leave a footprint. What’s more? That invisible footprint (which makes up roughly 8% of worldwide emissions) is often masked by the nature of our leisurely and exploratory activities and yet can often cause significant damage to the Earth’s natural resources. The worrying issue here is that the growth of these tourism-related carbon emissions outpaces most other industries. Now that’s scary. Research shows that an average explorer in the Galapagos and Ecuador has a carbon footprint of approximately 2 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (and this includes transportation logistics, services, amenities, food, supplies, etc.).
So, the question remains: how responsible do we need to be in order to minimize the impact of climate change throughout our planet, due to the effect of greenhouse-gas emissions? Who is addressing this agenda? Who is the driver of change? Every single one of us is. And every single effort counts, so if you’re doing something about it, that’s fantastic. But if you aren’t yet, then we hope that this blog serves as an invitation to join us in our efforts!