5 Ways We Make Every Day Earth Day at NHA

Wendy Worrall Redal April 20, 2012 1
Tree Frog

Photo: Dan Smith, Glogster.com

Here at Natural Habitat Adventures, taking care of the earth is a way of life. After all, without the earth’s wild natural places, we wouldn’t be in business!

We believe that ecotourism has the power to protect wildlife, benefit communities, and preserve our natural and cultural heritage — principles we view not only as our goal, but our responsibility. Toward that end, we aim to both shape our product and run our operations in a manner that supports our commitment to conservation. As far as we’re concerned, every day has to be Earth Day!

Here are just a few of the ways we are trying to make a difference for our planet and all who live upon it:

Voluntourism Extensions

Sea Turtles

NHA Voluntourism guest assisting with sea turtle monitoring in Baja, Mexico.

Nat Hab’s Voluntourism Extensions are short add-ons to our regular adventures that allow our guests to devote a couple of days to a meaningful service project alongside local people. Whether it’s helping out at a Nairobi orphanage or a school in one of Quito’s poorest neighborhoods, monitoring sea turtles in Baja or assisting scientists with rainforest research in Costa Rica, or sharing some sweat equity at a sustainable agriculture project in Patagonia, these volunteer opportunities can make a difference in people’s lives. One thing we know after years of operating nature expeditions is that there is a direct link between the wellbeing of communities and the fate of the environment that surrounds them. NHA does not earn money on these extensions—all proceeds go to the local organization to help them with their operations costs.

100% Carbon-Neutral Travel & Operations

Safari Truck

In 2008, Nat Hab introduce the world’s first hybrid safari truck, marrying emerging hybrid technology with the rugged requirements of the adventure travel and safari industry

The tough fact is, travel-related activities produce a significant portion of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. So, in 2007, Nat Hab set out to become the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company. Since then, all of our trips – and our office operations – are completely carbon-neutral, meaning we’ve measured our carbon footprint, reduced our emissions where possible, and paid to offset the rest through our partner Sustainable Travel International. We also offer guests the option to offset their own air travel to and from our destinations, In the first four years of this program, we offset nearly 7,000 tons of CO2! What kind of difference does that make? Find out on our website.

Tiger

Photo copyright: National Geographic Stock / Michael Nicols / WWF

Partnering with World Wildlife Fund

Since 2003, Natural Habitat Adventures has been the Conservation Travel Partner of World Wildlife Fund—one of the planet’s largest and most respected conservation organizations, committed to protecting biodiversity on a global scale. WWF chose Nat Hab because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, not to mention the fact that we are the world’s premier wildlife-focused travel company, offering a broad range of nature adventures that are carefully designed to maximize close-up encounters with animals in their native environments. All NHA travelers receive a complimentary one-year membership in WWF, and NHA contributes between $24-160 of the retail tour price per traveler to WWF’s work.

Reusable water bottles and ‘greener’ gear

Africa

NHA’s long- and short-sleeved Guide Shirts are the perfect adventure travel staple.

From stainless steel water bottles to 100% organic cotton travel clothing, the travel accessories and clothing we sell through our Gear Store  are designed with the planet’s welfare in mind. As plastic water bottles become an ever-bigger scourge on the landscape in wild places, Nat Hab is committed to reducing disposable waste on our trips. Every Nat Hab traveler receives a complimentary reusable drink container at the start of each trip – either a stainless steel water bottle, or, on our colder adventures such as polar bear tours  and Yellowstone wolves expeditions, a thermal mug to hold hot beverages. When you buy Natural Habitat Gear, not only will you be getting great tried-and-tested clothing and equipment for your travels, you’ll be giving back, too: 5% of every purchase is donated to World Wildlife Fund.

2012 catalog-cover100% Recycled Paper Catalog

Our annual full-color catalog is a highlight that past travelers look forward to receiving when it arrives in their mailboxes each fall, and prospective adventurers drool over! It’s a hefty book that contains more than 200 pages of tantalizing trips and exciting wildlife photos from our journeys all over the world, one you’ll spend hours enjoying as a resource for bucket-list building! The best part about our catalog is that, while it isn’t as glossy as some you might receive, that’s because it is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper that’s Ancient-Forest Friendly and chlorine-free! Our use of New Leaf Paper for our catalog means that we’re part of an effort that has saved 1,299 mature trees, more than half a million gallons of water, 62,360 pounds of solid waste, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 121,634 pounds. Request your own free catalog of the World’s Greatest Nature Expeditions!

Learn more about Natural Habitat’s commitment to the environment

Visit the Sustainability & Conservation section of our website. You’ll find out about much more that we do, including green building innovations, alternative-fuel vehicles like our 12-passenger “Veggie Van” that runs on used vegetable oil, and a program that allows our staff to earn “Patagonia Points” toward free gear through the use of alternative transportation to work.

Taking care of the earth is, simply, “second nature” to us!

Happy Earth Day!

Wendy

One Comment »

  1. Costa Rica Hiking Adventure April 23, 2012 at 11:05 am - Reply

    This is a great post! My daughter has been looking for organizations to volunteer to.

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