REDUCE OUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

“Sustainable travel: it may sound like a contradictory concept. One flight is as bad for our beautiful planet as two packs of cigarettes are for a person. Mass tourism does not always have the best impact on a place’s culture, natural environment or on local communities. That’s why we think it is incredibly important to not only make travel climate neutral, but also to make a positive impact. Here you can read how you actively contribute to local economies and communities by traveling to Africa with us! ”

– Charlie

REDUCE OUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

“Sustainable travel: it may sound like a contradictory concept. One flight is as bad for our beautiful planet as two packs of cigarettes are for a person. Mass tourism does not always have the best impact on a place’s culture, natural environment or on local communities. That’s why we think it is incredibly important to not only make travel climate neutral but also to make a positive impact. Here you can read how you actively contribute to local economies and communities by traveling to Africa with us! ”

– Charlie

Nowadays it’s a hot topic in the news and a fiery subject of debate, but we believe in it: climate change is real! We are here on the ground in the African continent and the disastrous consequences of global warming are unfolding before our eyes. The consequences are much greater in African countries than, for example, Europe. People are less resistant to the changes made by extreme weather conditions such as major droughts or intense rainfall. These have a huge impact on food facilities and the living conditions of residents. 

Strange to think that even toddlers with barely three words in their vocabulary know that flying is not good for the planet. Yet it seems that we aren’t able to stop it: the world has become our global village, and our own countries are too small and claustrophobic. So if we don’t stop travelling, we better look at some other solutions. Can we compensate for the CO2 emitted by a flight between Schiphol and East Africa? Yes, it is possible! For example, you can ensure that, in exchange for your CO2 emissions, you invest in protecting trees. Trees function as the lungs of the earth and can easily retain the amount of CO2 that your flight emits. When you travel with Charlie’s Travels, new trees are planted, dry areas are made green again and fewer trees are cut down!

Sustainability projects: you contribute!

But there’s more! How does flight compensating work exactly? To reduce our ecological footprint as much as possible, as well as our travellers’, we went on a long search for projects in East Africa that give something back to our globe and counteract global warming. We were not looking for large international projects, where it is not clear where your money goes, but local projects. We shook hands with these organisations, started collaborations, and can now even invite our travellers to visit.

engines of a KLM plane in the air

We ensure that money goes to these projects to help them with planting or preserving greenery! This is done by means of carbon credits. When you book a trip to Africa with us we calculate how much CO2 you will emit on your trip, and how many carbon credits we need to buy from a project to store an equal amount of CO2. Part of your travel budget will then go to the carbon credits of one of these heroic projects and you choose which organisations your money goes to. When you book a trip, we will send you a nice presentation in which you can read everything about CO2 compensation, and how you can make an impact! We will also give you more information about the projects you can choose to invest in. For now, here’s a preview! 

mangrove forests in the water

Partner project: Plant mangrove forests with Mikoko Pamoja

56,492 young mangrove trees have been planted, 117 hectares of mangrove forest is protected and 9,880 tons of CO2 have been stored (For an idea: your return flight from Amsterdam to East Africa emitted 1.5 tons!). In addition, there are 498 households that benefit from the conservation of these forests. Sounds great, doesn’t it? These are the current figures from the ‘Mikoko Pamoja’ project, and they are rising every day. 

‘Mikoko Pamoja’ means ‘Mangroves together’ – an appropriate name for our sustainable partner project! They contribute to the environment by planting mangrove forests in Gazi Bay, on the coast of southern Kenya. Mikoko Pamoja initiates a collaboration between local communities and national and international organisations in order to achieve their three goals. We call this the ‘triple win’: to fight global warming, to protect biodiversity and to improve the living conditions of local communities. They do this in two ways: by investing money, donations, and ‘carbon credits’ by planting and preserving mangrove forests (which act as the lungs of the earth and store an enormous amount of CO2!); and they also invest in the villages in the area. For example, 3,500 residents now have access to clean drinking water and 700 children have been provided with school materials such as books and notebooks. In addition to helping the earth – and the people! – there is another win for us: these mangrove forests on the azure coast are also an almighty beautiful natural beauty spot where you can paddle a kayak during a trip to Kenya! Win-win-win-WIN!

Partner project: Cookstoves at Co2BALANCE

Meals must be cooked and houses kept warm. We do that easily with a gas stove, electric kettle, or central heating, but not everyone has these options. Many rural communities in East Africa do not have much choice and must use firewood to light a fire. This heats their pots, pans, and their houses. This has many disadvantages, for people and nature:

  1. Firewood doesn’t grow on our backs! Trees have to be cut down which contributes to deforestation. While keeping the trees means retaining CO2 and counteracting global warming.
  2. So those trees are cut down, this is often a tough full-time job that is usually done by women and children. 
  3. A fire that is made indoors naturally produces a huge amount of smoke. This is not exactly healthy, and the figures don’t lie: every year about four million children die of air pollution from these fires.

CO2Balance does something about this. They invest in the facilitation of turbo-efficient cookers that can heat the living room and also cook food. This means that fewer trees have to be cut down to put dinner on the table. One such cookstove saves 2 tons of CO2 per year – about the same as one return ticket from Amsterdam to East Africa! In addition, there is no polluting smoke from the cookstoves. So less infant mortality and local residents can spend their time better. The hours that were used to chop and carry wood can now, for example, be used on building a business. And the children? They can go to school again! Want to know more? Check out the C02Balance website to see how they are even more committed to the climate!

Climate-neutral to Africa

An important aspect of a trip with Charlie’s Travels is that it is as sustainable as possible. This means that our travelers have the smallest ecological footprint possible. When we enter into partnerships with accommodations or tour organisations we always analyse their impact. 

To boost the development of local communities and economies, we partner with local partners in remote, virtually tourist-less areas with a lot of potentials: think raw and remote nature reserves or beautiful villages with friendly residents and interesting culture. These collaborations create business opportunities where previously there was barely access to opportunities or markets. This also brings opportunities with regard to sustainability and climate! When the business of our local partner develops, we can ensure that this is done in a sustainable way and offer a helping hand or education where necessary. This means that you can spend your time in Africa in a climate-neutral way!

To counteract the disastrous consequences of global warming and mass tourism, it is essential to travel differently: sustainably, consciously, and responsibly.

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