“For 20 years I’ve been interested in ecotourism – about traveling slow with local transportation, getting to know people, customs, languages and places and to support local economy. A year ago I suddenly realized how bad the travel industry is for the climate, and what problems tourism can cause for the locals if not managed properly. Tourism was my life – both as a professional and as a traveler myself and now suddenly I started questioning everything and thought about quitting. But if I did – I would not be able to change anything. So I came back to continue working with travels – but this time my mission is to make it as sustainable as possible – for the sake of our destination and for the climate.
Please join me on this journey!“
/Linda Staaf, Woods & Water of Sweden
What we are doing today:
- We introduce people to a healthy and sustainable outdoor life
- We educate about nature and wildlife and their importance
- We contribute to maintaining our cultural heritage
- We involve both staff and partners in sustainability
- We educate students about sustainable tourism and travels.
- We work closely to local and regional DMO’s and take part in the development.
- We invite the public and the industry to workshops about tourism within our destination
- We don’t do any marketing overseas and we do not work with buyers and retailers overseas.
- We’re not doing pick-ups from airports, we want our customers to arrive by train or car.
- We ONLY work with local family-run hotels and restaurants
- We use local guides
- We inform about the Right to roam and other codes of conduct.
- 10% of our yearly profit is donated to local NGO’s (5%) and reforestation (5%).
- We recycle and reuse and show our guests how it can be done while staying at the hotels.
- We buy clothes and equipment from Scandinavian companies working with sustainability
- We don’t geo-tag specific spots – we’ll show you these IRL instead…
- Zero-waste?* Is that even possible? Don’t think so, but – we do not have any waste during our tours – everything is recycled. No single-use plastics, of course.
- Only small groups – to not disturb wildlife or other people and we choose paths where we’re not disturbing.
What we’re going to do within 6 months:
- Calculate our carbon footprint
- Involve the locals even more
- Only work with partners that reach at least 75% of GSTC criteria.
- Buy clothes and equipment MADE IN Sweden – not just from Swedish companies as we do today.
- Start marketing the off-season with better prices and unique products.
Our biggest challenges – what we wished we did – but don’t do – yet.
- Carbon neutral transportation.
This one is a huge, huge problem. We work within a region with a really bad network of local transportation – either we walk or hike the 50km to and from the woods – or we go by car. This is by far the biggest carbon footprint we make – approx 0,735 tons of CO2 each year – which is 1/3 of a persons budget according to the CO2-budget in the Paris Agreement.
We’ve been trying to start projects to find ways for carbon free transportation in our destination.
Next time we buy a car it will be one with renewable fuel. Been looking for minibuses and buses that run on electricity – only found small cars so far.
- Start buying our own woodlands – to be sure that the trees are protected and that the few carbon emissions we’ll have once we’ve solved the problem with transportation will be covered by the forests we own.
What we’ll never ever do
- Continue as though someone else is to blame for the problem to climate change – we’ll continue to act.
- Compensate for our carbon emissions and be happy about it – we don’t believe compensating by paying money is the key – but to act is. Sure, compensate for what can not be reduced at the moment – but we don’t brag about it and we don’t use it as a marketing tool or to feel better about the emissions we’ve made.
- Arrange a tour with flights included – we only use trains and buses and cars for shorter distances.
Want to know more about our sustainability work? Or do you have any tips on how we can improve – please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org