“For more than 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. In 2018 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 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 foreign 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.
- Calculate our carbon footprint – per activity and in total
- Marketing the off-season with better prices and/or unique products.
What we’re going to do next:
- Involve the locals even more
- Arrange workshops for local companies
- 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.
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 looked at 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.
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