SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL: SMALL CHANGE
Sustainable travel is all about making small changes in order to reduce the impact you have on any place you choose to travel.
Individually, each one of these small changes makes only a small difference but collectively, becoming more conscious about these small changes can have a big increasing impact on the planet we live on.
We all need to make a conscious effort to protect our planet and Intro travel have done just that with their socially conscious initiative, #smallchange is aimed at making the world that little bit of a better place to explore!
Small change is made up of 4 key factors
Protecting the environment
Supporting the local communities
Culture exchange and education
The listed key factors were implemented throughout our #introbali trip and i’ll tell you how!
Protecting the environment was put into action on the very first day, when we had the chance to purchase an Intro Travel reusable water bottle at a low cost. Not only do they look super cool they also save you a lot of money as Intro Travel have installed filtered water stations as part of their aim to reduce single use plastic waste whilst travelling. It’s no question that plastic bottles are bad for the environment. Not only do they require a lot of energy to manufacture, but they pollute the environment as well, due to Intro Travel’s water stations, not one member of our group used a plastic water bottle throughout the whole trip, we also kept a lot more hydrated then normal due to there always being water available!
Sustainable travel and protecting the beautiful destinations we visit is one of Intro Travel’s highest priorities.
#introbali have now introduced another product for their customers to purchase, to fight the ongoing battle of plastics ending up in our oceans and on our beaches. A @BambuuBrush bamboo toothbrush. Want to know why?
Because over 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are brought worldwide each year. They take over 400 years to decompose. They end up in our landfill and oceans indefinitely, harming our marine life and our environment.
Intro travel have teamed up with @BambuuBrush, a company who are on a worldwide mission to influence everybody to make that small change away from a plastic toothbrush. They are using the power of social media to create change, and with Intro Travel they help encourage to promote their change through social media having photos in the amazing places they visit to spread awareness.
On day 8 of #introbali, group members have a free afternoon to explore the island, take up any activities the island has to offer or just relax. Intro travel together with The Gili Eco Trust, @BambuuBrush and Trawangan Dive Centre organised a optional beach clean up. It was the most rewarding afternoon for all of us. Over 50 people turned up including 2 full groups from IntroBali, even though it was optional, everybody wanted to get involved and do their small bit to give back to our planet and the environment. We also had Sian from Gili Eco Trust come down and between her and a few of her team they delivered a short presentation on the benefits of beach clean ups, how the trash affects the planet and the correct ways to dispose of the trash, we learnt so much.
Just from 1 hours clean we had accumulated over 45 kgs of trash, 12 bags of plastic and glass bottles and 2400 cigarette butts.
Beach cleanups are a perfect traveler activity because it’s a simple way to make a contribution to the destinations we travel to, it’s easy, free, and open to anyone keen to see our oceans survive for generations to come not only that, you get to meet a lot of people and spend time with the rest of your group.
The following morning the @BambuuBrush and Intro Travel team visited the recycling centre in the middle of Gili Trawangan, which is organised and run by The Gili Eco Trust. We witnessed how the trash, in which the groups collected the afternoon prior, is sorted, broken down and packed to be recycled.
SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Intro travel ensures every tour they run has a direct and positive impact on the local community and the money you spend goes to those that need it most.
By supporting local communities, we can immerse ourselves in the local culture in a meaningful way. The least we can do, as travellers when visiting a destination and getting welcomed by the locals, is give back to the local community.
On day 5 of our intro Bali trip we visited Gede’s family, a local family who lived in Lovina, a beautiful quiet area in northern Bali. As soon as we arrived at Gede’s homestay we were greeted by the whole family and made so welcome. We were given a tour round the plantation by Gede himself, we were taught all about the different herbs & plants grown , how the coffee is produced and we also got a first hand experience of basket weaving.
Intro travel also support a number of local guides on many of the tours. We had local guides throughout our trip for the temples, the rice terraces, the snorkelling trip and also the volcano trek. We learnt so much from all of them as they hold so much local knowledge.
We also learnt on this trip that Intro Travel as a company have donated a table tennis for local kids in Lovina as well as giving an annual village donation to help local community of Lovina.
Lovina isn’t the only place to receive donations by Intro Travel, when the tragic earthquake devastated North Lombok and much of the Gili Islands, Intro with the help of other tour operators managed to raise over $50,000 to help the local community. Intro also delivered several shipments of much needed supplies to the hardest hit areas. It’s so reassuring as a customer of a tour group to know that the company you have decided to travel with give so much back to the communities.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE & EDUCATION
Understanding and respecting local cultures is at the core of everything Intro Travel do. From start to finish we were constantly learning about the Balinese culture. Our tour leader taught us the basic phrases which everybody used through out the trip.
Bali is made up of multiple religions consisting of Christian, Muslim and Buddhist minorities, the predominant religion is Hinduism. Throughout our whole trip we were taught how to respect the different cultures depending on where we travelled. For example when we travelled Bali the majority of the population was Hinduism, Buddhist etc whilst when we were on Gili T the dominating religion was muslim.
We were always given sarongs at temples to show respect to the locals.
When travelling, Intro Travel work to ensure animals are never harmed or negatively affected during the activities planned. One of the highlights of our trip was having the opportunity to see dolphins in the wild, behaving naturally, it was one the most magical moments I’ve ever encountered.
Intro Travel also support a number of local animal welfare groups and have adopted a number of rescue animals at the properties they own. We all fell in love with the rescue dog, skippy at the loan private villa!
Whenever any animals were involved we were always briefed on the boundaries and the reasonings behind it, eg whenever we were snorkelling we were always told to stay at least 10 feet away from the sea turtles.
Knowing that Intro Travel has this initiative in place , really does provide us with confidence that we are travelling in a greener and responsible way. After finishing the 12 day #introbali trip, i really felt that Intro Travel are a company who are using their position in a positive way to create change.
Hats off to Intro Travel and their #smallchange initiative.