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 – info@woodsandwater.se