Leave only footprints

In 2005, Intrepid’s co-founder Darrell was sitting under a tree in the African savanna when it hit him: his company and all the travellers that we take around the world were contributing significantly to the planet's carbon emissions. At the time Intrepid was considered to be a leader in responsible tourism, but he realised that the travel industry had a long way to go when it comes to minimising our environmental footprint. That realisation kicked off an effort to measure, reduce and offset the emissions generated by our trips, travellers and offices. By 2010, Intrepid had become a completely carbon-neutral business, carbon-offsetting trips for all our travellers and as of 2021, all flights booked through us too.

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Our climate change solutions ecosystem

Blue Carbon Lab

The Intrepid Foundation is supporting the Blue Carbon Lab to help restore natural coastal wetland areas around Port Philip Bay near Melbourne. The Blue Carbon Lab uses cutting-edge blue carbon research to mitigate climate change to support the restoration and protection of three crucial blue carbon ecosystems.

Eden Reforestation Project

Eden Reforestation Projects works with local people to identify lands devastated by deforestation – both legally and illegally – that the community wants to restore. Eden Projects empowers local people to decent employment and ensures their commitment to protecting the forests for generations to come. 

Seaweed: The Regeneration

The Intrepid Foundation partnered with ‘2040’ and the Climate Foundation and the University of Tasmania to launch a public crowdfunding campaign that raised A$600,000 to support the research needed to deploy the first marine permaculture platform in Australian waters and fund additional projects. 

How to reduce your carbon footprint

When you book with Intrepid you can be assured we’re doing everything possible to lower our carbon footprint and preserve the natural world through carbon-neutral tours. But more than that, we hope to inspire and encourage travellers to continue living their own low-carbon lifestyle and give you the tools and information you need to measure, reduce and offset your emissions.  Here are 10 easy ways to lower your carbon footprint, be a more responsible traveller, and make travel a force for good. 

Read books, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries 

Intrepid’s climate action journey started in 2005 when a group of senior managers read The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery about the history and future impact of climate change. That didn’t just get us thinking, it also saw us take definitive action on climate change and become the world’s largest carbon-neutral travel company in 2010. Take the time to learn more about this important issue and the many ways we can all reduce our carbon footprint and help address the current climate emergency.

Measure your emissions 

When you’re looking at reducing your carbon, it’s handy to know how much you emit. This calculator created by Carbon Footprint Ltd and RADsite Ltd considers factors like gas and electricity use in your home, car mileage, public transit usage, flights and more, to calculate your personal carbon footprint. Once you know your footprint, you can take action by becoming a climate-conscious consumer in all areas of your life.

Support climate-friendly tourism businesses 

As a traveller, you can support companies like Intrepid and other tourism businesses which invest in projects that reduce and offset unavoidable emissions by purchasing carbon credits associated with a range of renewable energy projects. Lowering your carbon footprint helps reduce the impacts of climate change, such as sea levels rising and extreme weather events like bushfires, and creates a more sustainable, cleaner and better future for all. 

Purchase carbon offsets  

Many small individual emission reduction activities together add up to a large total reduction. Carbon offsetting is one way you can manage your carbon emissions that you can't eliminate entirely. You can find additional ways to purchase carbon offsets yourself, either through airlines when you book, or by doing your own research and purchasing directly through emission reduction projects.   

Participate in peaceful protests  

Change happens when we stand together. Sign a petition or email your local MP in support of climate action. Pick up a placard in protest or join a peaceful show of support like the Global Climate Strike. Intrepid Travel supported staff to take paid time off work to attend Global Climate Strike events in Australia and abroad.

Fly less often, stay for longer 

When you travel with us your trip is carbon neutral. But what about your transport to get to the start of the trip. While catching a train instead of a plane is preferable, we know you may need to fly to get to many of the destinations you want to explore. But even when you do need to hop on a flight, there are ways to minimise your footprint. Stay in a destination longer whenever you can and consider your options when it comes to getting around while you’re there.

Avoid taking internal flights 

Avoid taking internal flights when a train or bus is an option. Not only will you be helping the planet, taking the train or a bus is also cheaper and more convenient in most instances as well. Airports are usually located outside the city and require another journey to get to where you need to go. This add-on to your flight can be expensive and increases your overall travel time. If you arrive by train or bus, your arrival point is usually located downtown and much closer to where you’re staying.

Shop local, buy local, travel local  

Support locally owned businesses, hotels, restaurants,and other services when you travel. Eat local food and, drink local brands and brews wherever you are. Use public transport, hire a bike or walk where convenient – you'll meet local people and get to know the place a lot better. Support local families, artists or small producers. Buying locally also reduces the impact you have on the environment as the products you’re buying haven’t travelled far from their place of origin.

Rethink single use plastic products

Single-use plastic products aren't just an environmental problem, their production is a leading cause of carbon emissions which contributes to global warming. The recycling process is also problematic as it uses lots of energy and lots of water as well. Protect our oceans and the environment by avoiding single-use plastics as much as possible. Say no to plastic bags and disposable cups and store your food in glass containers instead of plastic ones. Small changes can make a big difference.

Support initiatives when you get home 

After returning home think about how you can support programs and organisations (like those The Intrepid Foundation work with) that are working to protect the welfare, culture and environment of where you’ve been lucky to visit. Consider supporting these programs financially when you get home.  

Learn more about carbon management 

Read more about responsible travel