AUTHOR Gabriel O’Rorke
Sometimes the issue of how to care for the environment can be overwhelming. Where to start? Can each one of us actually make a difference? The answer is start now and yes you can make a difference! Days like Earth Day are wonderful for empowering everyone from the individual to large companies, but we believe in being as eco as we can everyday, so let’s join forces and work together to protect the environment.
Leading from the front, environmental protection is something we have been spearheading for nearly two decades:
In 2000, Ecoventura became one of the first recipient of the SmartVoyager ecological certification. This voluntary program sets strict conservation standards, and we have continued to comply with — and exceed — the parameters by installing alternative energy sources to offset carbon emissions, producing our own fresh water on board, and implementing a waste management and recycling program.
Global awareness of plastic and its perils has dramatically increased in recent years, and the team at Ecoventura are committed to tackling the problem in the Galapagos. Two years ago, we swapped the use of plastic straws for paper straws and by 2018 we reduced the amount of plastic water bottles by 100% – introducing re-usable metallic bottles for all our guests and crew in all four yachts.
There are many fantastic organisations which are focussed on giving back to the archipelago and, where we can, we support them.
- Together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) we created the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund (GMBF) which until 2015 successfully raised over $400,000.
- In partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation, The Galapagos Biodiversity & Education for Sustainability Fund (GBESF) was established, and this helps support several research and conservation projects as well as educational schemes such as scholarships for local Galapagueños to study at university.
- The Galapagos Conservation Trust, Island Conservation and Ecology Project International have all benefitted by us donating a cabin from our luxury and first class yachts.
- The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association does very important work by engaging the young inhabitants of the Galapagos in hands-on conservation and field work – inspiring them to become the next generation of conservation leaders.
- Pack for a Purpose is an initiative set up to help tourists donate to communities that need it. We ask our travellers to pack 5 lbs of supplies which are then directly delivered by Ecoventura to
Alejandro Alvear School and The “Unidad Educativa Especializada Corazones Unidos” which help children with special needs. It’s a brilliant cause which helps make it possible for visitors to make a big difference with minimal effort involved.
Sustainability has to start at home, and at least 30% of the produce that ends up on our menus is sourced from the Galapagos. Fruit and vegetables are grown on San Cristobal Island and we obtain meats, dairy and seafood from on and around Santa Cruz Island. Supporting our local economy is vital.
So what can you do? Come and see the islands for yourself, and support the work we are doing to preserve them and the magical flora and fauna so unique to them – we hope to welcome you soon!