The Greenlife Fund – Responsible Travel
As part of our commitment to responsible travel we have a developed a dedicated Greenlife Fund for responsible travel initiatives that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. Each year we will select a project that supports the protection of a unique environment in one of our many adventure travel destinations. Whether it is your first walking or cycling holiday, or you are an experienced walker/cyclist, your holiday should always consider responsible travel. Environmentally friendly vacations in any part of the world should be a positive experience for the tourist, the community and the environment.
At Greenlife Tours Ltd we are delighted to be supporting the WTM Responsible Tourism Day this year.
Here’s how the Greenlife Fund works and what you need to submit your project:
- Apply for the Greenlife Fund
- Submission Guidelines
- Burren Way Wardens 2016
- A Greener Future 2015
- I'll Push You 2014
- Responsible Travel Checklist
- Our Environmental Policy
What is the Greenlife Fund?
This initiative is designed to encourage anyone with an interest in ecotourism and social responsibilty to work together with the Greenlife team to create positive awareness related to specific issues affecting a culture, region or community. From all the applications we will select one project. The project organiser(s) will receive the following support:
- A fund of up to €1,500 in value to support the project’s planned activities.
- Marketing and promotional support.
- Assistance and consultation on destinations and logistics.
- The chosen project is selected by the Greenlife Tours Ltd team each January.
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990) – The international eco-tourism society. Individuals and groups have roles to play in creating responsible travel awareness. Your inspirational project should fit in one of the categories outlined below.
The projects we are looking for…
1- Promote respect for the environment
2- Are inspiring to others
3- Educate others about protecting the environment
4- Promote sustainable and responsible tourism
5- Tackle a particular social or human problem affecting a community or region
The winner of the Greenlife Fund 2016 is the Burren Way trail warden project, read more: Burren Way trail wins Greenlife Fund.
Please note applications for Greenlife Fund 2016 are now closed but applications are open for the Greenlife Fund 2017. Please submit your details in the form below:
Greenlife Fund Submission Guidelines
To submit your Greenlife Fund application please follow these guidelines:
- Prepare an outline of your project and proposed activity including timeline / schedule.
- Read our criteria to check if your project meets the Greenlife Fund requirements.
- Have a step-by-step account of what the funding will be used for and how the Greenlife Fund can act as a partner.
- Follow our Facebook page for notifications of application opening dates and submission deadlines.
- Submit your application within the proposed timeline.
- If you accept the Greenlife Fund you must work with the Greenlife team to achieve all of the activities outlined in your project proposal.
- The project must be completed during the same year of receiving the fund.
- Have a look at projects we have supported in previous years: I’ll Push You and The Great Camino Clean-Up.
Burren Way trail wardens 2016
The Burren Way trail warden project is the worthy winner of the Greenlife Fund 2016.
The project is designed to educate and train wardens to help maintain and manage the fantastic Burren Way trail in County Clare, South West Ireland.
The long-distance Burren Way takes hikers from the village of Lahinch and across the Burren, passing the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs of Moher coastal path is the most visited hiking trail in Ireland.
The Greenlife Fund 2016 will support the Burren Way trail warden project, devised by Clare Rural Recreation Officer Eoin Hogan. “Our goal is to set up a team of six trained trail wardens that can regularly patrol the trail and report back on any issues so we can make sure the trail is maintained to the highest standards for all walkers to enjoy,” says Hogan.
“We are proud of our responsible travel policy and delighted to give back to the communities and destinations we work with,” says Roland Monsegu, owner and director of Greenlife Tours (FrancigenaWays.com, CaminoWays.com and IrelandWays.com). “The Greenlife Fund has been able to support great projects in the past two years and the Burren Way trail warden project is another fantastic initiative.”
Pictured: Roland Monsegu from Greenlife Tours and Eoin Hogan, Clare Rural Recreation Officer.
Stay tuned for the latest updates from Eoin and the Burren Way trail warden project!
The Great Camino Clean-Up
This year we were delighted to support A Greener Future as the main sponsors of their Great Camino Clean Up on the Caminho Portugues, the Camino de Santiago route from Lisbon to Santiago. Mike and Rochelle from A Greener Future, walked 650 kms from Portugal to Spain this Summer and collected nearly 6,000 pieces of litter along the way. They shared daily updates with their followers on Facebook and Twitter and organised local litter picking events in towns on the Camino, getting locals and other pilgrims and visitors involved.
A Greener Future is a Canadian non-profit organisation founded by environmental science graduate Rochelle Archibald. The organisation organises international clean-ups and educational projects, with the goal of raising conservation awareness.
“Through online forums we became aware certain sections of this Camino route were litter black spots. Having walked the Camino Francés before, I really liked the idea of getting back to the Camino and contribute in a positive way to its maintenance,” explains Rochelle.
To learn more about the Great Camino Clean Up, read Rochelle’s blog posts:
I’ll Push You 2014
In 2014 Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray set out on an adventure like no other. How this came about is one of the main reasons we supported this worthy cause. Justin is required to use a motorised wheelchair following a terrible car accident when he was 16. Now Justin dedicates his life to supporting others and inspiring people with disabilities. When he came up with the idea to do the 800km full trail of the Camino de Santiago his life-long friend Patrick agreed to push him.
We were inspired by their commitment to support each other, support a cause they believed in and a selfless attitude. Justin and Patrick took on all of the physical and mental hardships along the 800km trek to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. After a whole month on the trail, they crossed the finish line embracing friends, family and fellow pilgrims who had helped them along the way. And one day ahead of schedule!
Justin and Patrick are currently working on a documentary about their inspirational Camino journey.
To learn about the I’ll Push You story, you can read Justin’s blog posts here:
Responsible Travel Checklist
If you are interested in ecotourism and the environment please feel free to use our responsible travel checklist. This checklist allows you to assess how responsible you were during your tour.
|Did I travel responsibly?||Part true||Neither – Nor||True||Very true||Not at all|
|There was interaction with the local people|
|The Tour gave economic benefit to local people|
|The Tour minimised its impact on wildlife and the environment.|
|Did you visit any school or Responsible Travel project? If True, please give details.|
|The hotels were locally owned.|
|Meals were taken and purchased at locally owned restaurants/shops.|
We recommend that you follow a leave no trace attitude when you are going on one of our tours, see below for some responsible travel tips:
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Respect any signs, regulations, policies and special concerns for the area that you plan to visit.
- Ensure you have the skills and equipment needed for your activity and to cope with emergencies that could arise.
- Check the weather forecast and always be prepared for changing weather conditions.
Be Considerate of Others
- Respect the people who live and work in the local areas.
- Take care not to damage property, especially walls, fences and crops.
- Keep noise to a minimum.
- If you hire a car as part of your journey ensure that you park appropriately – avoid blocking gateways, forest entrances or narrow roads.
Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
- Observe wild animals and birds from a distance. Avoid disturbing them, particularly at sensitive times: mating, nesting and raising young (mostly between spring and early summer).
- Don’t feed wild animals or birds – our foods damage their health and leave them vulnerable to predators.
- Dogs should be kept under close control and should not be brought on certain trails without permission. Some public areas stipulate that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Travel on Durable Ground
- Durable ground includes established tracks and rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
In popular areas
- Concentrate use on existing tracks.
- To avoid further erosion, travel in single file in the middle of the track even when wet or muddy.
In more remote areas
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of new tracks.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning to show.
Dispose of Waste Properly
- Dispose of litter in an appropriate manner. If you don’t find bins when you are on the trails bring litter back to the hotel with you to dispose of it. Many accommodations we work with recycling facilities for rubbish collection.
- Wash yourself or your dishes 30m away from streams or lakes and if necessary use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Bring home any solids and scatter strained dishwater.
Greenlife Tours Responsible Travel
Greenlife Tours is investing in Responsible Travel as a mean to support long term sustainability of the environments that we work in. To do so, as a company we follow guidelines and we encourage our clients and suppliers to adhere to eco-friendly travel principles. Here are the ecotourism and responsible travel commitments we are taking and the advice we provide to all of our clients:
The Green Life Tours Team Provides a positive environmental impact by:
- Educating and informing all team members about the local environment through training, briefing and dedicated FAM trips.
- Encouraging responsible behaviour on all of our holidays; responsible use of resources, especially water and adopting a zero litter policy.
- Ensuring that there is a system to respond to and act on any suggestions made by team members with regards to ecotourism initiatives.
- Ensuring that the type and scale of any environmental impact is appropriate to local conditions. All groups limited to an appropriate number e.g. 16 for a Guided walking tour
- Maintaining a comprehensive website that offers all information about the tours.
- Encouraging health and personal well-being for all employees and guides during working hours.
- Using electronic mail as opposed to post where possible.
- Advising guests on trail etiquette and responsible travel principles in all holiday packs.
- Encouraging guests to participate in local festivals and events that will enhance their understanding of the local culture.
- We work with our local accommodation suppliers to encourage recycling and energy saving practices, including drying laundry on a washing line and not in a tumble dryer.
- On escorted walks, all walkers should be conscious of the trails environment and pick up any litter found along the way.
Guides: Code of Conduct
- Maintain a professional, positive and respectful attitude in all communications with the local people and businesses.
- Maintain a strong leadership role and model correct behaviours in regards to the environment and local culture.
- Educate and ensure environmental awareness of the group.
- Guides are ambassadors for the region, culture and customs.
- Re-use and recycle wherever possible.
- We make sure to use the best combination of 1, 2, 3 stars accommodations depending on local infrastructure and availability;
- We select our accommodations in preference order ranking accommodations on their character, charm, staff friendliness, food quality and originality.
- We encourage our accommodation providers to recycle and to use energy responsibly by distributing a document to this effect at the start of the season.
- We encourage our clients to request new towels only if required, otherwise linen will usually be changed once a week, and towels twice a week.
- We encourage our clients to use a stainless steel or plastic bottle for the duration of their holiday. Reusable containers are easy to find and can be refilled along the way.
- We supply all of our holiday packs in digital format and we encourage that they are printed on double sided, recycled paper.
- We supply our clients with suggestions on how to reduce water use, and with how to minimise any damage to the environment and wildlife during their stay.
- Our holiday packs inform people on water points, local bars and restaurants along the way.