Earthwise Travel is an independent travel agency. I am a sole trader, so as well as being the business owner, I am also a Personal Travel Consultant at this company. I was recently selected as a Sustainable Travel Ambassador by TTG (Travel Trade Gazette) and I am doing various sustainability training courses. I am a member of the Federation of Small Businesses and I am an accredited member of the Good Business Charter. I am also Carbon Literacy Certified through the Carbon Literacy Project.
I work from home, so my work on sustainable consumption and production spreads across my business and personal life. I have stopped printing travel documents (with the exception of anyone who doesn't have a smartphone or can't use e-documents for medical reasons), and printing, in general, has been reduced. I only use 100% recycled paper for the odd times when I do need to print something. My website is 100% green hosted. I have switched to plant-based meals only during the working day. Drinking water is measured out at the start of the working day to avoid potential water losses when running the tap, and any leftover water is used for cooking, watering plants, drinking water for local animals, etc. I am using a hot water dispenser for hot drinks so it only boils for one cup at a time. Waste products are recycled along with household recycling. Single-use plastics have been eliminated. Soap bars are used for washing hands. I have switched to an electric vehicle and any short distances are undertaken on foot. When possible, public transport is used. Planes are not used for a journey that would take under 5 hours by train and when a plane must be used, it is economy seating only and with the most environmentally friendly airline available on the dates and route of travel. Furniture is being repurposed and refurbished electronic goods have been purchased. At the end of use, any furniture or electronics surplus to requirements will be donated to a local person or charity.
I am in the process of compiling a database of sustainable suppliers. I have a set of questions based on some of the sustainability training I have undertaken, and I am asking these questions to tour operators, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and other travel suppliers before deciding whether they are sustainable enough to be added to my database. I will then gradually move across to only taking bookings for holidays that can be sourced from my database, and I am aiming to have switched over to suppliers from my database only within 3 years (by the end of 2026).
For every booking that departs, I make a donation to an environmental or social project. This is either done via one of my two charity partners (The Future Forest Company or Wild & Free Rehabilitation and Release) or another appropriate charity/organisation. Donations so far have been made to:
WWF (adopting animals), Make it Wild, Ecologi, Mossy Earth, Lend with Care, One Tree Planted, TreeApp, and also to local causes, such as a fundraiser for a CuddleCot for the local hospital, trees planted on behalf of local schools, a fundraiser for a local football club, and gifts of education, meals and vaccinations through CAFOD.
I share my sustainability policy, animal welfare policy, sustainable travel pledge, and more via my Linktree Page, which is also added to my social media channels. Links to these policies can also be found on my email signature, and they will be available on my website by September 2023 following a website upgrade over the summer.