Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Plastic-free travelling with Fairaway
Explain your project in details:
Our goal is to offer plastic-free travel by 2020. Already, we've held various events, such as the plastic-free week during the European Sustainability Week in 2018 during which we partnered with other tourism organisations such as the Berlin Travel Festival, Forum Anders Reisen and Erlebe Fernreisen for broader reach and awareness. Fairaway hands over jute bags upon arrival to the customers on some of our destinations to raise greater awareness among clients as well as reduce plastic waste. In June 2018, all local agencies received a coaching from Fairaway on how to save plastic waste in their country. Furthermore, accommodations used in our tours have been contacted and encouraged to install water fill up stations rather than offering disposable water bottles. In countries where there is no sufficient recycling system yet (e.g. Madagascar or Cuba) we work together with our local agencies to establish a recycling system. In Madagascar, we are working with a local company in Antananarivo that reuses PET bottles for construction purposes. In order to further reduce the plastic pollution of our oceans by our operations, travelers are informed about refillable drinking bottles from Fairaway and water filters. We actively support the RefillMyBottle project through funding and awareness. The project maps out refill stations across SE Asia.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
In 2017, 170 refillable drinking bottles were given to travelers, saving an estimated average of 5100 disposable plastic bottles. The Refill my Bottle project was further expanded with financial support from Fairaway and is now working via an app. The plastic-free week of the European Sustainability Days reached 8,800 people, 170 of whom took part. In Costa Rica, all accommodations offered by Fairaway offer water refill stations.
Sustainability and future plans
Fairaway is a responsible tour operator that offers tailor-made tours and local community-run excursions. We have developed several "off the beaten track" experiences, giving travelers memorable, authentic experiences on the one hand, while enabling local small businesses with greater market access & consistent income on the other hand. Fairaway started in April 2016 with 16 destinations. By June 2019 we have added a further 13 countries, now offering tours to 29 destinations. A total of 28 local agencies are committed to environmental protection and contribution to the socio-economic development of tourism.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am 31 years old and I'm working at Fairaway Travel as the Marketing Manager. What do I like at my job? Growing a community of like-minded sustainability professionals and travelers around Fairaway! During some presentations at Arival in Berlin 2019 and the Berlin Travel Festival I had the chance to speak in front of a broader audience of industry professionals about responsible tourism and the importance to reduce plastic waste. As a regional manager of the German-wide organization for responsible tour operators, Forum Anders Reisen, I arrange networking events to exchange ideas. I always focussed on topics around sustainability. During my study time I worked at the university in a project to develop one area of the city to a more sustainable one. Afterwards I started to work at Fairaway, a sustainable tour operator. To reduce plastic waste around the world is an important topic to me and I try to live with as little plastic as possible.