Today is Earth Day, but this Earth Day is unlike ever before.
While the entire world unites under a shared fear, we must also remember to unite under a shared hope and a shared planet.
Today the canals of Venice are once again clear and blue. The Himalayas are visible from parts of northern India for the first time in 30 years. Pollution across the globe is reaching record lows. While it should not have taken mass self-isolation to see the benefits of climate action, we can use this as inspiration to reconsider and reimagine our relationship with Mother Earth.
So today, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, let’s recommit to our planet. Today we will share 3 commitments we have made to the planet and 3 ways you can help protect it too.
Together we can collectively help travel rebuild responsibly.
3 commitments we are making to the planet
1. Commit to climate reduction targets
We have adopted Science-Based Emission Reduction Targets of 1.5°C. This commitment is in response to what the latest climate science indicates is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.
Intrepid Travel has been a carbon neutral company since 2010 (in fact, we will be the world’s first ‘climate positive’ travel company later this year). Every year, we measure our annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory – in accordance with the global GHG Protocol. We then actively work towards both offsetting and reducing emissions.
Our GHG emissions intensity in 2018 was 4.9. By decarbonising our operations we were able to bring that number down to 4.3 in 2019.
Intrepid has also invested in capacity training, including supporting over 200 members of staff to attend Climate Reality Project training globally.
2. Commit to carbon offsetting
After we measure the main sources of carbon emissions and integrate reduction strategies, we offset our net emissions. In 2019, we offset 36,545 tCO2e through three internationally verified carbon reduction projects.
In 2019, we also committed to bringing our customers on our climate journey. Through a partnership with The Intrepid Foundation and Ecologi, we launched a monthly subscription service for offsetting personal carbon emissions.
As of April 2020, we have planted over 100,000 trees in the Intrepid Forest in Kenya, a site just outside Nairobi home to the project’s reforestation efforts are taking place. This tree-planting directly support local communities and fair employment practices.
Additionally, we will be transitioning to 100% renewable energy in our offices (by 2025) and on our trips (by 2030).
3. Commit to climate research
Intrepid has partnered with the Climate Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit, and the University of Tasmania, to fund over $600,000 (AUD) into Australia’s first marine permaculture program. This seaweed farm off the coast of Tasmania works to minimize the impacts of ocean acidification and protect marine ecosystems.
Intrepid has also invested $100,000 in scientific research to support greater understanding into and protection of the Antarctic.
1. Commit to knowing your impact
Understanding your impact is the first step towards offsetting and reducing your emissions. This is why our Carbon Management Plan, in accordance with directives from Climate Active, involves carefully calculating the main sources of carbon on our trips and in our offices (before international carbon credits are purchased).
To calculate your carbon footprint, visit carbonfootprint.com. This free calculator helps you work out your main sources of emissions – whether from cars, flights or diet – so you can find reduction strategies that fit your lifestyle.
2. Commit to a low-waste lifestyle
Zero-Waste Chef, Anne-Marie Bonneau, said it best: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
For ideas and inspiration on leading a reduced-waste lifestyle, we recommend the following resources:
While everyone has different dietary needs, preferences and restrictions, all diets should have a consideration for the planet. The climatarian movement asks that you consider the environmental impact of your food – to buy local, be ethical and avoid factory farming.
3. Commit to personal offsets
Consider offsetting your personal carbon footprint through partners like Ecologi and fellow B Corp, tentree.
Having a positive impact on the climate has never been so easy. When you subscribe to Ecologi, your money goes straight into emission-reducing projects in places like Madagascar, Malawi, India and Kenya.
As an added bonus, for every tree planted through Ecologi, Intrepid will plant one too. So you’re doubling your own reforestation efforts – all for less than the price of one latte per week.