Recycling: A Natural Habit For Viaventure
Viaventure understands that travelers look for unique experiences and one-of-a-kind itineraries during their Central America vacations. Our core values, however, reach far deeper than delivering the “WOW” moments for our guests.
We have won awards for our corporate and social responsibility, and since our founding in 2001, environmental responsibility has been interwoven into our day-to-day practices. Reducing our and our guests’ carbon footprints became a core value for our company long before news videos showed rivers of plastic waste drifting through open seas.
Instead of adding to paper and plastic waste, we use traditional water glasses, coffee mugs, plates, and utensils for in-office consumption, washing them afterward and to be used again and again.
Our waste-reducing practices include providing guests with reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones, and refilling them with fresh, purified water throughout their journeys. Our operations in the field and in the office are refreshingly free of Styrofoam, one of the harshest materials on the environment. And we urge our suppliers, drivers, and guides to follow similar practices.
Green Team leads the way
In November 2017, several members of our staff formed the Viaventure Green Team to strengthen our habit of reducing, reusing, and recycling. As a first step, the Green Team organized a workshop where an expert taught us more about separating waste and how to recycle electronics, used cooking oil, and old batteries.
We also learned what to do with items, such as crisp packets, snack wrappers, and certain types of plastic, that cannot be recycled. Instead, they can be made into “ecobricks” — plastic bottles stuffed solid with non-biological waste to make building blocks and more. Our recycling company picks up the ecobricks, which become building materials for schools, benches, and gardens.
Encouraging employees to think green in their personal lives, the Green Team also invites staffers to bring separated waste from home to the office for recycling.
Employees also join in local cleanup campaigns, most recently the “Limpiaton Antigua,” in which volunteers scoured streets, parks, and green spaces throughout colonial Antigua Guatemala, picking up trash, batteries, and other discarded waste for recycling.
Too Rare to Wear
In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, another core value at Viaventure ensures the protection and rights of animals and wildlife. As such, we participate in the global “Too Rare to Wear” campaign, which helps protects endangered hawksbill sea turtles, which nest along many Central America beaches. Illegal trade in hawksbill turtle shell — used to make everything from jewelry to guitar picks and other souvenirs — is destroying the hawksbill population.
Uniting more than 50 nonprofit organizations and travel businesses to help protect this impressive creature, the campaign is an important cause that goes along with Viaventure’s core belief of sustainable tourism.
There are countless small ways in which we can act responsibly as a company. Taken all together, these little things make a big difference for our guests, our employees, and our natural surroundings.