Dec 12, 2008

Scuba Diving Magazine - Top 100 Readers'' Choice Survey Healthiest Marine Environment

Scuba Diving Magazine - Top 100 Readers'' Choice Survey Healthiest Marine Environment

Healthiest Marine Environment

1 Tahiti / French Polynesia
2 Fiji
3 Indonesia
4 Palau, Micronesia
5 Philippines
6 Great Barrier Reef, Australia
7 Maui, Hawaii
8 Cocos Island, Costa Rica
9 Big Island, Hawaii
10 Egyptian Red Sea


Scuba Diving Fiji

Dec 3, 2008

As seen on Oprah! Get Blue Zones for only $15 with any purchase at National Geographic Store!

As seen on Oprah! Get Blue Zones for only $15 with any purchase at National Geographic Store! Now through 11/27





Free S&H on ANY order - use code MR10053

Nov 2, 2008

Adventure Travel Program - Academic Treks - Shark Studies

Sharks... Intriguing, mysterious, feared and revered. There is no better place to study and dispel myths about sharks than the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR) on the spectacular shores of Fiji. Observe them up close in a controlled setting with professional guides. Imagine swimming through an astounding abundance of marine life to discover several species of sharks on one dive! Learn about shark biology, behavior, history and future prospects. Although they have thrived on earth for millions of years, pre-dating dinosaurs, sharks are now in danger of extinction, killed for their fins, for medicinal purposes or through destruction of their habitats. Collect data for ongoing research and conservation efforts. Visit several Fijian villages, where you are welcomed by the chief and a formal kava ceremony. Hear ancient stories of the Shark God that protects the islanders from harm. This adventure leaves you with a love and respect for the Fijian people and islands, as well as the sharks you've come to study.

Day 1-3 As you land in Fiji, the magnificent vistas barely prepare you for the adventure ahead. Eager to get in the water, we head to Beqa Adventure Divers in Pacific Harbor for an orientation and introduction to the SRMR, recently established to protect and study the resident population of sharks, and in turn aid in the long-term conservation of sharks worldwide. Their structured dives offer divers and researchers the unique opportunity to watch these amazing creatures in their natural habitat in a well-controlled setting.

Day 4-11 Under the instruction of professional researchers, observe and study shark biology, behavior and physiology, as well as the physical characteristics of the resident sharks of the SRMR. Then take your newfound knowledge into the field as you scuba dive with silvertip, grey reef, black tip reef, bull and tawny nurse sharks. Experience the thrill of studying these amazing creatures up close as they cruise along the reef slope and ledge that drops off into the abyss of the Beqa Passage. Don't forget your camera! Collect and input data for the Swiss Shark Foundation's studies on resident sharks, noting how many species of sharks you see on dives, the male to female ratio, who fed and who of the named population showed up. Begin to identify the different sharks by name - Hook, Crook, Big Mamma and Blackbeard - and perhaps have the chance to name one yourself. Learn about the relationship between the reserve and local villages, and how the project overcame challenges to create a successful balance between shark conservation, dive tourism, the interests of village fisherman, the local economy and the government. Take a day to dry off and venture to the village of Wainabia to ask the Chief's permission to hike Shark Fin Hill. As you hike through the rainforest to the top, learn about Fijian culture from local guides and the impact the SRMR has had on the community.

Day 12-14 Voyage across the lagoon to the once volcanic island of Beqa where you are welcomed into the Rukua village by your home stay family. After a formal introduction to the chief by the village spokesman, partake in a kava ceremony and feast at a traditional lovo while listening to locals tell stories of the ancient Shark God, the fierce Dakuwaqa. Watch the Beqa fire walkers or hike up to swim in majestic waterfalls. Learn about village pastimes such as cooking, weaving and dancing. Play games with the friendly local children and give back to this beautiful place by assisting with a community service project.

Day 15-21 Back at the SRMR, we continue our shark studies as we compile, summarize and discuss our surveys and field research for our final projects. Talk about the role of sharks in the food chain and how they are critical to ocean ecosystems. Examine the negative impact of long line fishing, as well as the misrepresentation of sharks from Hollywood movies to folk tales and myths. Learn about the Shark Tagging Program and how it looks at the migratory movements of sharks. Soft coral dives in the Beqa Lagoon abound with over 250 species of fish from tiny critters to large pelagics... Breathtaking! Encounter blue ribbon eel, lionfish, jacks, giant groupers, octopus and scorpionfish on unforgettable dives.

Day 22-24 We complete our trip with a visit to a river village and an overnight whitewater journey down the "River of Eden" in the dramatic Navua Gorge. The roaring rapids cascade down a stunning canyon lined with black lava rock, vibrant jungle and dazzling waterfalls. A feast on our final night gives us the opportunity to celebrate all we have learned and experienced on our extraordinary South Pacific adventure.



Adventure Travel Program - Academic Treks - Shark Studies

Oct 28, 2008

ClimateGift.com

A new search engine project, ClimateGift.com, has just made its online debut. Dedicated exclusively to the environment, 50% of gross revenues generated by the search engine's users will go directly to benefit some of the nation’s top environmental organizations, including Reef Check.

ClimateGift.com is a fundraising tool that will work 24/7 to help provide funding for these organizations to help them reach their organizational goals. All you have to do is use ClimateGift.com the next time you search the web. Websites and blogs can also make an impact by putting a ClimateGift.com search widget on their site for their users or direct them to ClimateGift.com to develop their custom home page. In addition, its AJAX portal option offers users a means of customizing their home page as well as access to a wide variety of information and tools from across the Web. Each organization’s portal includes specific widgets and news that support its initiatives.

Oct 25, 2008

10 Ways To Go Green At Work


Going green. There are endless ways to create a greener workplace -- from using recycled products to installing doubled-paned windows for better insulation. The best way to start is by taking small steps. Here are a few ideas you can work with.

1. Green up your commute. Since your workday begins when you arrive, let's start with how you get there. The best-case scenario is to telecommute by working from home. Today's technology -- e.g., video conferencing, instant messaging and online seminars -- has made this a reality.

However, if your office can't be home-based and walking or biking is not an option, consider carpooling with two to three other like-minded people or using public transportation. Other alternatives are purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle or switching from an eight-hour workday, five days a week to a 10-hour workday, four days a week. This will cut your daily commute time by at least 20% and give you longer weekends.

2. Go digital. The greenest paper is no paper, and one of the most effective ways to be more eco-friendly in your office is to reduce paper waste. Switch from a fax machine to a fax modem to send and receive paperless documents. Use electronic forms whenever possible, and email letters and documents to be read online rather than printed out. Have staff members take their laptops to team meetings so they aren't printing reams of reports.

An added bonus: Storing files on your computer saves time, money and space. Just don't forget to backup, preferably to an off-site data system. You can also use compact flash drives to easily and efficiently transport and share documents. Not only are they more convenient than CDs, but most have security features to protect sensitive data.

3. Read the green print. When printing is unavoidable, use the draft mode on your printer and make double-sided printing your default. The same rules apply to your copier as well. You should also use 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

Glenn Croston, author of 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference, also recommends using software from Greenprint.com to avoid printing excess blank pages and converting documents to PDF files for paperless document sharing.

4. Green your PC. Since we're talking about using computers to their maximum potential, we also need to discuss how to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly. Start by putting computers on "standby" or in "hibernation" mode when they haven't been accessed for more than 10 minutes; turn them completely off when you're finished working for the day. When it's time to replace older desktop computers, switch to a laptop for more efficiency.

Not only are they more portable, but they use 80% less energy. And when upgrading, take advantage of take-back programs for people who want to recycle their old computers. Some manufacturers, such as Sony (SNE) and Dell(DELL), offer free shipping or trade-in credit toward new purchases.

5. Can you see the light? Daylight is the best natural resource. However, natural lighting is not always adequate, and energy-efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs should replace incandescent lighting for cost and energy savings. Just be sure to turn off the lights when leaving the room. Croston recommends installing occupancy sensors or timers on lights so they automatically turn off when no one is around.

6. Get real. ... Plants that is. A silk tree may be easier to take care of, but a real one adds natural beauty to your surroundings while improving the quality of indoor air. This can be especially important if you work in a newer building that is tightly sealed to conserve energy.

Older buildings and homes may also feature materials that produce harmful pollutants from synthetic carpeting and fabrics, plastic coated wallpaper or laminated countertops. One of the best natural defenses against these contaminants is to make liberal use of live houseplants.

7. Take a break. And when you do, toss the plastic wear and foam cups. Encourage your employees to bring lunch from home in reusable containers or frequent restaurants that have green carryout initiatives like Chipotle (CMG).

Provide washable china and utensils in your lunchroom, or encourage staffers to bring their own. This would also be an excellent time to get some coffee mugs with your company logo on them for visitors and employees to use.

8. Perk up. Speaking of coffee, use fair-trade certified, shade-grown coffee in reusable coffee filters. Not only is organic coffee better for you, but the shade-grown beans help to protect biodiversity of the fragile ecosystems in the countries that grow it, while the reusable filters cut down on waste. Croston also cautions against using nondairy creamers in coffee because they are loaded with hydrogenated oils and other unhealthy products.

9. Use green marketing tools. Promote your eco-friendly habits in your marketing materials, both internally and externally. "Let your customers, suppliers and employees know that you are taking active steps to protect and preserve the environment," says business writer Jacquelyn Lynn. "It will build loyalty and enhance your company's image."

This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the simplest is to add a green tag line to emails that [says] something like: "Please think green before printing this email" or "Bio-based for a healthier environment."

10. Don't just think green; wear it. Another change you can personally make is to have a green wardrobe. Purchase clothing with organic fibers such as cotton, silk, wool or hemp, or fabric made from recycled materials. Who knew plastic soda bottles could look so good?

Try to avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning, but if it does, look for a green dry cleaner that uses a carcinogen-free process. Another recyclable fashion alternative is to "go vintage" by visiting secondhand and thrift shops.

Off to a Green Start
Going green in the workplace is easier if you do it from the beginning, and Glenn Croston, suggests looking for green business opportunities. There are green businesses in a wide range of industries, he says. "If you keep your eyes open, there might be a new business you [start] by thinking, acting and working green," says Croston.

However, in many fields, launching a green initiative from the outset is not feasible, especially if you've been in business for a while. So create a plan of action, and jump in anywhere using some of the suggestions outlined in this article. Lynn urges everyone to remember that little things add up to a lot.

"When you're a small operation, it's easy to think that what you do doesn't really matter," she says. "But when you multiply the things you do by thousands of other small operations, it's a big impact"

About the Author:
Charlene Davis (www.cdavisfreelance.com) is a nationally published writer specializing in business, retail, e-commerce and food. In addition to numerous articles and ghostwritten publications, she is the author of "Start Your Own Photography Business," "Start Your Own Clothing Store," and "How to Sell Clothing, Shoes & Accessories on eBay," as well as two additional books co-written with Jacquelyn Lynn, "Make BIG Profits on eBay" and "Start Your Own Senior Services Business," all available from Entrepreneur Press.

http://mainstreet.com/10-ways-go-green-work


Oct 23, 2008

Gen E

gen e

“If role modeling a green lifestyle is our message, then young people are the perfect messengers.” -- Debbie Levin, President, EMA


“gen e” (Generation Environment) is the new generation of Hollywood stars promoting environmental awareness through public service announcements (PSA’s), personal appearances and celebrity role modeling. “gen e” provides positive solutions to young people across the country who have the most to gain or lose from the critical environmental choices we make today.

Young actors, actresses and musicians entertain, of course, but they also serve as role models to millions of people. They are the subject of admiration and inspiration to scores of people in their formative years. EMA works with young celebrities to reach the impressionable youth market with powerful messages concerning the health of our planet. "gen e" attracts an extremely high media profile which directly impacts the environmental awareness and education of millions.

Young Hollywood’s passion for the environment is priceless and EMA is committed to showcasing this synergy in unique, attention-getting ways to the youth around the world. Whether seen driving a hybrid, wearing organic clothes to a movie premiere or planting a tree, chances are EMA was involved! Some other “gen e” activities include:

  • A stylish Hollywood dinner party hosted by Mary-Kate Olsen where celebrity EMA Board Members ‘mentored’ the group on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Attendees include Mischa Barton, Joshua Jackson, Jesse Metcalfe, Nicole Richie and other young celebrities. The event was covered in Teen Vogue.
  • Playful yet informative PSA’s featuring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maroon 5, Debra Messing, Edward Norton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jason Ritter, Marla Sokoloff, Constance Zimmer and others. Topics range from water, air, energy and more, and have been aired nationwide on network, local and cable TV channels as well as specialized radio markets.
  • EMA Board Member DJ AM spins at the first annual EMA E! Golden Green Party, ditching his gas-guzzling car for a new Lexus hybrid. TreePeople planted a tree for every party attendee including: Pink, JC Chavez, Jon Heder, Amy Smart and Sacha Baron Cohen. The event was covered by E! Entertainment Television, InStyle, USWeekly, People and more.




Gen E

Do Not Mail List: Join The Effort to Eliminate Unwanted Junk Mail! | Grow Baby Green

by tara on October 22, 2008

I am person who likes to stay organized. I love reducing clutter and organizing the things I use in an efficient manner. But there is one thing I never seem to be able to stay on top of: Piles and piles of papers. It seems that no matter how often I go through my desk and declutter, piles of unnecessary paper can build up in just a few short days.

As a business owner, I get daily offers for credit cards, legal counsel, software and more. As a mom, I get "free" magazines, catalogs, coupons and newsletters. The vast majority of this stuff just goes directly into the recycling bin. What a waste! Of course there are some catalogs and offers that request, but I would love to not receive most of it. Especially the stuff I never requested.

Forest Ethics, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting forests and the environment has determined that junk mail contributes 51,548,000 cubic metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. That’s the equivalent of over 9 million passenger cars! As the organization likes to point out, "The average car travels 12,000 miles per year-as opposed to junk mail, which gets us nowhere!" Good point.

If you’re sick of junk mail and want to do something, join Forest Ethics in their effort to create a ‘Do Not Mail’ list, similar to the overwhelmingly popular ‘Do Not Call’ list that protected many family dinners from the dreaded telemarketing call! To support the cause you can sign the petition and post a link on your website! Visit DoNotMail.org for more info on eliminating junk mail.



Do Not Mail List: Join The Effort to Eliminate Unwanted Junk Mail! | Grow Baby Green

Oct 20, 2008

Renewable Energy In Tourism Initiative Best Practice Manuals Available on Website for Feedback

Renewable energy best practices to provide guidance and inspire others in the travel and tourism industry Tourism, the world’s largest industry, has a powerful impact on, and is greatly impacted by, the ecological health of its destinations across the globe.  One of tourism’s largest economic and environmental costs is the massive amount of energy required for the transportation of travelers and maintenance of facilities like hotels and attractions.  Thus, many businesses are eager to minimize their consumption of non-renewable energy, but are often uncertain on how to make it happen due to the technological complexity and rapid rate of innovation in field of renewable energy. 

The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative (RETI) has recently developed a set of Best Practices in Renewable Energy for the tourism industry to address this need.  Sustainable Travel International was the lead author of the best practice manuals, which are intended to serve as an inspiration and guide to businesses interested in realizing the benefits of adopting renewable energy initiatives and supporting a healthy planet 

The best practice manuals can be downloaded for free and public input is strongly encouraged.  Each manual was developed to feature industry leaders that have adopted best practices in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to provide information and guidance to businesses of all sizes interested in realizing these benefits.  Through the use of case studies, each manual outlines renewable energy adoption strategies and highlights that maximize energy efficiency, minimize environmental impacts, and result in cost savings or increased profitability across six tourism sectors: accommodations, airlines, cruise lines, public lands agencies, ski resorts, and tour operators. 

Before the manuals are finalized, the RETI partners - the University of Colorado’s Energy Initiative and Leeds School of Business, the North Carolina Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory - would like to invite input from the greater sustainable tourism community.  Please participate in this collaborative effort, encourage your colleagues to get involved, and begin by downloading the manuals from www.renewabletourism.org

If you have suggestions on other tourism organizations with noteworthy renewable energy practices to be included in future editions of these manuals, please contact Wendy Kerr (wendy.kerr@colorado.edu or 303-492-2129)

Oct 19, 2008

Fiji Adventure Travel

Fiji Adventure Travel

"Traveling to Fiji may very well be an adventure in and of itself, but not until you reach the tropical paradise will you realize what Fiji adventure is truly all about. Perhaps that is the mysterious allure of the exotic Fiji Islands. They are a place that is perfect for rest and relaxation, as well as being a place to find some of the world's greatest adventures. Whether you love to play underwater as an honorary fish, surf with the dolphins or explore Fiji's tropical and mountainous interior terrain, there's something for every adventurous heart, even if you only feel like watching the surfers from your comfortable spot on the beach."

Fiji Adventure Travel

Oct 16, 2008

New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches : TerraCurve.com - Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches

John Glen DiGuiseppe, Founder/CEO of Investors Hospitality Management (IHM), has just announced the launch of new green hotel booking website GreenHotelBookings.com.

Throughout the travel industry, the hospitality sector has increasingly become far more aware of not only its own responsibility to the environment as well as surrounding individual communities, but to the desires for travelers to be able to choose “greener” options in their travels. Hotels, inns, B&B’s and more have taken to adopting programs such as the utilization of eco-friendly products and supplues, robust recycling programs, energy efficiency, water re-use, and much more.

Meanwhile, certification programs sprout up on a weekly basis; some are government funded (both state and federal agencies), while others are private organizations, aiming to become the next “standard” in green travel. There are many green hotel certification standards with varying levels of compliance.

However, this next standard has yet to be adopted, so consumers have had no place to go that easily displayed all the hotels that met at least one of these qualifications. Greenhotelbookings.com, a new website by John Glen DiGuiseppe, Founder/CEO of Investors Hospitality Management (IHM), is an “attempt to help both the hotel operators and the consumer by providing a place where they can both find what they are looking for.”

Property managers can locate information about certification and be listed on GHB. On the other hand, consumers can search for qualified properties that meet their particular requirements.

GreenHotelBookings.com recommends that hotels pursue certification from outside agencies, however, has established it’s own three tier program to categorize properties that are using eco-friendly products and procedures in their operation. The tiers provide a measure that property owners can use to identify their current level and examine the requirements for other levels they may want to achieve.

Green Hotel Level I:

  • Use of eco-friendly cleaning products, including General Purpose, Bathroom, Glass and Carpet Cleaning
  • Must use at least one ENERGY STAR appliance

Green Hotel Level II:

  • Meet Level I Requirements
  • Use of eco-friendly paper products - Consumable Paper Products shall be made from recycled fibers
  • Linen and Towel Reuse Program – Property shall implement and execute a well designed Linen and Towel Re-use program for all Guest Rooms

Green Hotel Level III:

  • Meet Level I Requirements
  • Meet Level 2 Requirements
  • Recycling Program – Property shall establish and maintain recycling programs for the common areas, administrative areas, and Guest rooms. The Guest Room Receptacle must be clearly identified for Glass, Paper, Aluminum, & Plastic.
  • Lighting – All Guest Room Lighting shall be Energy Efficient. No incandescent lighting is acceptable in Floor, Desk, Table or Nightstand lamps. Bathroom lighting shall be either Linear Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent or a combination of each type
  • High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures – Property shall use the following: 2.2 GPM Faucets with 1.5 GPM or less aerators, the shower heads shall be 2.5 GPM or less , and the toilet shall be 1.6 GPF or less.

“This is not a referral program nor a fee-based system but a free, actual verifiable green hotels booking engine, which, through its affiliation with bookings.com, Expedia, Orbitz, etc., provides reservations services in more than 18 languages for domestic and international visitors in quest of supporting sustainable hospitality in worldwide hotels and luxury estates,” DiGuiseppe says. “IHM conceived, developed and trademarked www.greenhotelbookings.com as a dual-focused site which both provides varied certification levels of green hotels, offering consulting to assist venues with methods to acquire higher sustainability accreditation, while simultaneously providing a free international booking system.”

“Over 50 percent of travelers book their travel online,” says Sean Kane, director of operations for IHM. Noting that many smaller hotels do not realize the significant percentage of this business opportunity, IHM has carved yet another niche into its portfolio of hospitality services to capture market share from Asian and European travelers in response to the economy’s current forecast.

“Through IHM’s service, hotels can strategize and/or adjust rates for distressed inventory within a 24/48 hour time period to maximize occupancy and sell rooms,” Kane says.



New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches : TerraCurve.com - Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

Oct 15, 2008

Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels

Sustainable Solutions for Green Hotels

This page lists sustainable practices that hotels can implement. Hotels can keep up to date on green lodging news at greenlodgingnews.com. If you would like to encourage hotels you stay at to implement these ideas, consider printing this information and dropping it off at the front desk or mailing it in with the hotel's comment card.

  1. Start a linen (both towels and sheets) reuse program in all guest rooms. One company that sells guest information signs is www.projectplanetcorp.com.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators.
  3. Switch to low-flow toilets or install toilet-tank fill diverters. To learn more about low-flow toilets, go to www.plmg.com/crtoilet.htm.
  4. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs in guestrooms, lobbies, and hallways. Use sensors and/or timers for areas that are infrequently used.
  5. Whenever possible, buy food and guest amenities in bulk (i.e., use refillable hair and skin care dispensers).
  6. Educate your staff to turn off lights and turn down heating/air conditioning when rooms are unoccupied. Also, during summer months, to close the drapes.
  7. Install window film to lower heating and cooling loads and reduce glare in guestrooms.
  8. Provide guestroom recycler baskets for newspaper, white paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic.
  9. Provide recycling bins both in public areas (i.e., poolside), in the kitchen, and in the back office (including one at each desk) to make recycling as easy as possible.
  10. Buy office and guest amenity products that contain recycled material. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  11. Buy organic, fair trade, cruelty-free guest amenity products whenever possible:
  12. Use recycled paper products (with high post-consumer recycled content) that are either unbleached or bleached using a chlorine-free process. Minimize the amount of paper used for each guest (i.e., reduce paper size of invoices, etc.). Print with soy-based inks.
  13. Use nontoxic or least toxic cleaners, sanitizers, paints, pesticides, etc. throughout the hotel. Make sure all chemicals are stored safely in a well-ventilated area.
  14. Purchase "Energy Star" appliances wherever possible (Energy Star for Hospitality (www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=hospitality.bus_hospitality) provides detailed information about energy saving appliances and monitoring systems). Replace old washing machines with both water and energy conserving models.
  15. If the hotel has a pool and/or hot tub, install a solar water heating system and use pool and hot tub covers when the pool area is closed.
  16. Provide your guests with bicycles, walking maps, and information on public transportation.
  17. Provide reusable items such as cloth napkins, glass cups, ceramic dishes, etc. with all food and beverage services.
  18. Provide glass cups and ceramic mugs (instead of plastic) for in-room beverages. Place cups and mugs upside down on paper doilies (instead of covering opening with a plastic wrapping).
  19. Use daylight exclusively in your lobby, bar, and restaurant for as much of the day as possible. Consider installing skylights if needed.
  20. Donate leftover food to a local nonprofit organization and/or use a compost bin.
  21. If your hotel has a restaurant, consider transitioning it into a Certified Green Restaurant (www.dinegreen.com). Buy organic, locally-grown food and/or plant an organic garden to provide fresh produce for your guests.
  22. Switch to drought resistant native plants in garden areas. Replace mowed landscaping with native ground cover.
  23. Replace exit signs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs.
  24. Include filter changes, coil cleaning, thermostat calibration, and damper adjustments in your ongoing maintenance plan.
  25. Monitor, record and post rates of energy and water use. Make repairs or replace equipment when rate changes indicate problems.
  26. Use an energy management system (EMS) to tie in air handling units, HVAC, and lighting to prevent conditioning space when it is not necessary.
  27. Create an incentive program to encourage your staff to participate in and improve upon environmentally-friendly practices.
  28. Use proper insulation and reflective roof coverings.
  29. When doing construction or remodeling projects, contact the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) to learn about the nationally accepted standards for green buildings (called LEED). Buy previously used or recycled-content products whenever possible. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  30. Consult outside sources to evaluate the total system when replacing major mechanical equipment (such as chiller, water tower, etc). Often, this can lead to downsizing and other opportunities to reduce both the initial investment and operating costs.
  31. Replace electric package terminal air conditioner (PTAC) units with more efficient heat pumps or other geothermal technologies.
  32. Donate leftover guest amenities, old furniture and appliances to charities.
  33. If available, schedule an energy audit through your local energy provider.
  34. If your hotel has a gift shop, consider purchasing fair trade products. A list of wholesalers can be found at: www.fairtradefederation.org/memwhl.html.
  35. Offer discounted rates to sustainable living/environmental organizations who would like stay at and/or hold meetings at your hotel.

Resources:



Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels

Oct 12, 2008

Wind Powered Tram: Melbourne Australia

Wind Powered Tram

Seen on the streets of Melbourne is this wind powered tram. No it's not a tram with sails, but it is using power bought from a wind farm. The tram is currently running on Route 96 from St Kilda Beach to East Brunswick.

Wind Powered Tram
itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Oct 11, 2008

AdventureUs.com | Fiji Adventure Package, offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Fiji Adventure Package
Offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
True adventure can only be found in those pristine, out of the way places where new experiences and cultures combine into a life changing experience.

Come experience this awesome adventure at Matava on Kadavu and immerse yourself in world class adventure activities in this outer island paradise.

Dive the world renowned Great Astrolabe Reef and Kadavu's all year round Manta Reef with Manta rays, devil rays and sharks, then spend a day with Matava Gamefishing Charters to catch some yellowfin tuna for fresh sashimi for dinner.

Follow that up with a day's sea kayaking the inlets and mangrove bays of Kadavu with award winning Tamarillo Sea Expeditions.
At the end of each day indulge in the comfort of your own private en-suite bure at Matava, Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, directly on the Great Astrolabe Reef while enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

* 7 nights in Oceanview Traditional Bure
* 1 day Gamefishing with Matava Gamefishing Charters
* 1 day sea kayaking with Tamarillo Expeditions
* 1 day 2 tank dive or "Intro to Diving" lesson
* All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited tea/coffee)
* Airport and boat transfers to/from Kadavu airport
* All taxes

Price F$1949 per person

(price based on Double Occupancy and valid to 31st March 2009)

Photos

Kayaking mangroves


AdventureUs.com | Fiji Adventure Package, offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Oct 5, 2008

Best coach seats on Singapore 747

Assuming you're flying coach on a Singapore Airlines 747, the hot ticket is to get in rows 61-64(or the equivalent on other airliens configurations), seats A/C or H/K.

The normal configuration of the plane is 3/5/3 but because the fuselage narrows at the back, the seats there are 2/4/2. This gives you a bit more room to place things on the floor or even stretch out a bit and there's an area behind row 64 that's good for standing to stretch out legs and get the blood flowing.

Plus the bathrooms are in the back. Singapore does meal service back-to-front so you get fed first, too. (if YOU order a special meal, and Singapore airlines has quite a nice choice, YOU will always get fed first) There are only 8 of these
seats so you may have to finagle to get

Sep 11, 2008

Fiji forums: Anybody ever been to Kadavu? - TripAdvisor

Fiji Islands
Joined: Apr 2005
Forum posts: 673
Travel map pins: 70

"BULA from Fiji -

Three cheers for Matava! It's a wonderful Eco Resort. Best things to do:

Snorkel by kayak

Kayak to a village (you can even spend the night in the village and kayak back for a unique native experience)

Do a waterfall trek

Visit the small, uninhabited outer island for sandy beaches and snorkeling

Go deep sea fishing for a day

Vist the villagers

Take a "resort course" - it just takes a couple of hours, then you can dive while you are there!

Most of all, enjoy this rugged, unique island and the wonderful people from Matava. You will probably hear back from Richard, who normally answers their emails. Tell all of them (Richard, Jeannie, or Adrian) that Susan from Fiji highly recommends Matava!"



Fiji forums: Anybody ever been to Kadavu? - TripAdvisor

Sep 8, 2008

Traveler Reviews - Thank you for an amazing stay - TripAdvisor

“Thank you for an amazing stay”

Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

5 of 5 stars
Regina, Saskatchewan
Mar 28, 2008
2/2 found this review helpful

This was a truely wonderful place to stay. We were not divers, we are eco junkies, and we found plenty to do. The hiking in the rainforest to the waterfall; to see the Fijian Children scaling cliffs and jumping into the cold freshwater was a blast. The medicine man tour. Talking to the locals about their culture. Kava nights with the Fijians. Canoeing around the resort. Some people did a night in the local village, others hung out and relaxed. We also experienced a Lovo (Fijian underground cooking)

Matava did not have a beach, but it was a short snorkel over the beautiful house reef, or canoe to the Island Waya to spend the day on the white sand beach. While on Waya, climb the Island peek to get amazing views of Kadavu, Matava Resort and the most beautiful Astrolabe reef.

Snorkling trips for 25 dollars for 2-3 hours.....WOW, I can not tell you how beautiful the corals are. The staff made sure you were safe, and kept a keen eye on you. The coral is undescribable. I think it may put the Great Barrier to shame. So Divers...this is the place for you! (Manta Rays, Sharks, corals, etc)

The staff and food is acceptional. The staff took time for us, and made sure we were taken care of. If you go; you will enjoy wonderful cooking from the kitchen ladies, and I challenge anyone to shave some coconuts. Maggie is an amazing host, and will make your stay that much better.

Accommodations are state of the Art. They are clean, well taken care of. The sheets are changed every 3 days. Oh and there is hot showers...a plus for the tropics.

Please remember before you go, that Kadavu Island is not very developed and you are in the middle of no where with limited power. It takes 45 min by boat from the airport to get you to the resort. (No Roads) Pack mosquito spray, and a flashlight. Bring extra batteries for your camera, and huge memory card. Participate and ask questions to the locals as they love to share their culture. We met many people from all over the world, and we will never forgot this place and the people that have touched our lives. You soon understand what is means to be on "Fiji Time."

Ian Faye
Regina, Saskatchewan
Canada

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ianmfaye's Summary
Date of Stay: February 2008
Traveled with: Spouse / significant other
Visit was for: Hobbies / interest / culture
Age group: 25-34
Member since: March 28, 2008
  • My ratings for this hotel are:
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service
Would I recommend this hotel to my best friend?
absolutely!
I recommend this hotel for:
Young singles, An amazing honeymoon, A romantic getaway, Families with teenagers, Tourists
I do not recommend this hotel for:
People with disabilities, Older travelers, Great pool scene, Pet owners
I selected this hotel as a top choice for:
Beach / Sun, Outdoor / Adventure


Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - Thank you for an amazing stay - TripAdvisor

Aug 17, 2008

Bure Levu (The new Main Bure Complex) - a set on Flickr

Matava_Main_Bure_July_2008 (20) by you.
See more pics of the new Main Bure being built here:

Bure Levu (The new Main Bure Complex) - a set on Flickr

Aug 15, 2008

Green hotels on Expedia.com

Sustainable travel—also known as responsible travel, green travel, eco-tourism, and geotourism—is redefining the travel industry. Hotels and other tourism companies are being challenged to do business in an increasingly environmentally friendly, socially responsible way.

This growing demand has spurred many hotels, both large and small, to implement sustainable business practices. To recognize these pioneers, each striving toward the three main areas of sustainability—environmental protection, socio-cultural responsibility, and local economic growth—the Sustainable Tourism Criteria program was created.

Over the past year, Expedia, Inc. has supported the efforts of the United Nations Foundation, United Nations Environmental Programme, United Nations World Tourism Organization, the Rainforest Alliance, and other leading sustainable tourism experts to develop a comprehensive set of standardized global criteria to evaluate sustainable hotels and tour operators. The efforts of these industry and conservation experts will culminate in the Global Baseline for Sustainable Tourism Criteria program, that will be officially launched in October 2008 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

This program uses criteria pulled from the hundreds of existing certification programs to create a common understanding of what sustainable tourism really means—and best practices for achieving it. These criteria represent a guideline for businesses to strive toward, including a self-assessment piece missing from the current marketplace. Once in place, the Sustainable Tourism Criteria will help consumers, the travel industry, media, and even governments differentiate, recognize, and support sustainable tourism.

To demonstrate our support for this sustainability project—and to help travelers to make informed choices when planning a vacation—Expedia is highlighting hotels that comply with existing certification programs that best match the Global Baseline for Sustainable Tourism Criteria that’s being developed. But this is just the beginning.

In October, our list will be updated to only display the hotels that meet the Global Baseline for Sustainable Tourism Criteria, creating a resource travelers can use to find sustainable hotel options around the world.

Learn more about the Sustainable Tourism Criteria Initiative.

Green hotels on Expedia.com

Aug 13, 2008

Pacific Magazine Ceases Publication

Pacific MagazineThe July-August 2008 issue of Pacific Magazine will be the last. After 32 years, the Hawaii-based news magazine will cease to be a print publication. Publisher Floyd K Takeuchi cited flat circulation, rising postal costs, and competition from the internet as reasons for Pacific’s demise. The magazine intends to carry on as a web-only news portal, but online it will be competing with dozens of other South Pacific internet news sites while as a print publication its sole competitor was Fiji-based Islands Business.

The loss of Pacific Magazine is a sad landmark in the history of Pacific journalism. Pacific’s coverage of events in Micronesia and American Samoa was unsurpassed, and their format was visually pleasing. Departments like High Tide, Pac Notes, Air + Sea, Stuff We Like, Pac Travel, and People Briefs contained little gems of information not found elsewhere. The photography was excellent, making each issue a joy to peruse. And for readers in US postal zones, the subscription rate was much lower than that of Islands Business.

Of course, Pacific Magazine’s situation is not unique. Newspapers and magazines worldwide are hemorrhaging readers and advertising revenue to the internet. Travel guidebooks are also feeling the pinch as people surf for free information. Moon Handbooks South Pacific was discontinued after 28 years when the cost of production exceeded income from book sales. Only amateurs work for free, and much of the travel information currently on the web is the unedited and incomplete work of amateurs. Most of the rest is paid advertising.

I sincerely hope Pacific Magazine’s advertisers stick with them online so they can continue covering the Pacific islands as they have up until now. Nevertheless, I’m going to miss the printed magazine which I’ve indexed and used as a primary reference for three decades. My thanks to editor Samantha Magick and publisher Floyd Takeuchi for all their hard work, and I wish them every success in their new web-only format.

South Pacific Travel Blog: Pacific Magazine Ceases Publication

Google Books South Pacific

Moon Handbooks South PacificThe entire text of the eighth edition of Moon Handbooks South Pacific is now accessible on Google Books. You can scroll down through the 1,091 pages or click the Contents link to jump to a specific section. Buttons at the top of the page allow you zoom in, view two pages at a time, or switch to full screen. From the righthand column, you can search inside the book. Moon Handbooks South Pacific is rich in detail and you’ll find specific information on thousands of islands.

Anyone seriously interested in the Pacific islands will want Moon Handbooks South Pacific in their library and the “buy this book” links on the Google Books page make it easy to order online. At US$16.47 from Amazon.com, this fully indexed handbook is a bargain. A ninth edition will not be published for reasons explained in South Pacific Handbook RIP, so don’t bother waiting for the new edition because it isn’t going to happen. I’ve given Google Books permission to post my book on their website to make its full contents easily accessible to people the world. Downloading, copying, saving, or printing out pages from Google Books is restricted as Moon Handbooks South Pacific is protected copyright.

South Pacific Travel Blog: Google Books South Pacific

Grist - The Environment - TIME

Grist is the Colbert Report of climate change, the Daily Show of deforestation, the Oprah of oil dependency — except with real reporting and analytical journalism.

Also, Grist staffers have never had a dust-up with David Letterman. (Not yet.) The e-zine delivers news and news-you-can-use on pivotal topics — with punny, sometimes corny headlines, such as "Diversifying Your Stalk Portfolio," a recent article on hunters and climate change, or "Let's Call the Coal Thing Off," a take on the growing popularity of "coal-bashing."

One of the site's most visited and handiest features should be bookmarked in every climate-defender's browser: Coby Beck's comprehensive rebuttal to all global-warming naysayers, "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic."

Sample Grist humor: You might want to sit down for this: Al Gore will announce his candidacy for president this week, knowledgeable sources tell Grist. There's an inconvenient truth for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Gore believes the two Democrats and Republican John McCain aren't giving climate change the urgent attention it deserves, so he's decided to go for the job himself, say Gore advisors who requested anonymity as they aren't authorized to speak to the press. (The story ran on April Fools' Day.)


Grist - The Environment - TIME

Aug 10, 2008

Tips for responsible travel

Things to consider when planning an unforgettable eco vacation

What is the best way to travel in a responsible manner? First, it is important to have a clear picture of what responsible travel actually means. In general terms, what sets responsible travel apart from conventional travel is its emphasis on conservation, education, and participation in the activities of local communities. Now that we know this, we can start thinking about ways in which we can incorporate these concepts when planning our ideal vacation.

  • When choosing your travel destination, try to find environmentally friendly means of getting there. Planes emit the most carbon dioxide per traveler, so try reaching your vacation spot by train or bus, to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases. It may take you a bit longer to get there, but you will be reducing your carbon footprint considerably.
  • Once you reach your destination, try to avoid taxis or renting cars, and travel on foot or using public transport to get from place to place.
  • Try to stay at green hotels- hotels that are committed to minimizing their impact on the environment and emphasize sustainability. Hotels with energy reduction practices, waste management, and other environmentally sound policies are always good options. Take a look at the hotels on this website for some ideas.
  • If you are thinking of bringing back souvenirs, try buying local merchandise. Souvenirs manufactured ion the other side of the globe not only imply more fuel costs and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions, but they do nothing to contribute to local the communities. Souvenirs made locally generate direct benefits for the communities you visit.
  • Take your digital camera. Digital photos don’t carry developing costs and there is not need for film.
  • Don’t buy packaged snacks which create unnecessary waste. Eat organic foods, which are grown implementing techniques that reduce pollution and conserve water and soil. Not only are they grown employing environmentally friendly practices, but they taste better.
These are just a few easy tips we can consider when planning our vacation. After all, our trips don’t just carry a monetary price; they carry an environmental price as well.


Ecotrotters.com - Eco Articles - Tips for responsible trave

Jul 17, 2008

Eco Tourism

Lush tropical rainforests, year-round sunshine, pristine coral reefs, sand-adorned shorelines and a lack of poisonous creatures make Fiji an ideal eco-tourism destination.

Seeing Fiji on a bilibili
Seeing Fiji on a bilibili

Travellers can pick from the 200 or so scattered isolated islands that offer a brimming palette of environmentally sound options.

There are six established national parks, four of which can be found on the main island of Viti Levu. There are nature reserves for bird watching, unique species of iguanas, dense tropical rainforests with variations of flora and fauna from region to region.

There are thousands of plants with unique medicinal value like the ‘uci’ which is great for aroma therapy. There’s also the beautiful Tagimaucia flower which is unique to the volcanic craters of Fiji’s third largest island Taveuni.

Each natural reserve has unique features that attract travellers from all over world. The Sigatoka sand dunes have seen excavations by scientists in search of historical artefacts. Much of the dunes still store pieces of pottery and other signs of early Fijian life which tourists stumble upon. On the island of Vatulele, known for its unique red prawns, villagers have a special ceremony that “calls” the prawns to the surface. Abaca national park and the Colo i Suva national forest are a storehouse of native vegetation.

As Fiji continues to develop, locals have become more aware of the importance of preserving the natural environment and culturally-significant sites. In doing so, they are not only protecting Fiji for future generations but also creating vital new forms of employment and revenue generation for small communities.

Locals have over the years encouraged the promotion of these wonderful assets - thus protecting their heritage and increasing employment opportunities

Eco Tourism : MyFijiGuide.com

Fiji Ecotourism Association

The Fiji Ecotourism Association (FEA) was established 10 years ago but has been non-active at times. There are approximately 60 community managed ecotourism projects to date that include accommodation, tours, National Parks, marine areas, etc, around Fiji.

The association has grown from a conservation driven organisation to now helping regional communities develop ecotourism projects and adding value through environmental education, economic contribution, community resource ownership, etc.

The major activities are marketing and promoting ecotourism programs, encouraging regional involvement, protecting environmentally sensitive areas, assisting human resource training, etc.

The association also works with some NGOs, the ecotourism unit within the Ministry of Tourism, local marine coastal areas and the USP. Future challenges for the association are monitoring current ecotourism projects, encouraging and supporting future projects.

Google Policy: Don't promote products obtained from endangered or threatened species

Policy Home > Text ads > Content > Endangered Species

Don't promote products obtained from endangered or threatened species.

Advertising is not permitted for products obtained from endangered or threatened species. This includes, but is not limited to, the sale of products derived from elephants, sharks, tigers, whales, rhinoceroses, or dolphins.

Google AdWords Help Center

================================================

From: "Deanna Yick"
Sent: Tue, 15 Jul 2008
Subject: update re: AdWords policy

Hi John,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to share the news that Google AdWords has implemented a new policy regarding endangered or threatened species, including sharks. This has been updated on our content policy page, which you can view here:
Google AdWords Help Center

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks again for your patience as our policy team worked through the process of evaluating and implementing this policy.

Best,
Deanna

Jul 15, 2008

Fiji (MAD) Sport Project - 14 days Adventure Trip - BootsnAll World Adventures

Trip Image

On an Intrepid (MAD) project make A Difference to a Community using the universal language of sport. When booking your trip, choose between rugby, netball, soccer, swimming or tennis coaching and take your passion for the sport to children and adults in schools and clubs at all levels. Based in Lautoka, this 14 day project is extremely rewarding and your knowledge, enthusiasm and skill can make a real difference to hundreds of people who may never have had any sports coaching in their lives. As well as coaching sessions you will also have the opportunity to train with local teams and clubs to improve you own skills and really get involved with the local community. After a hard week?s coaching Fiji you can chill out in the sea or relax on the beach in this beautiful and friendly island archipelago.

Itinerary

Day 1 Nadi/Lautoka

Arrive in Nadi to meet the rest of your group and your leader before transferring to your base in Lautoka, the second largest city in Fiji. Set against a backdrop of sugar cane fields, the town may be relatively big, but it's still laidback.

Day 2 Lautoka

Spend the day exploring Lautoka's sights and getting to know the area. It's a day of rest as well, so you'll have ample time to lounge by the pool and plan your coaching timetable with your leader.

Days 3-13 Coaching

Enjoy the daily routine of coaching as you get to know the local community and your fellow team members. Coaching timetables will depend on what sport you have selected but you will generally conduct 1-2 hour sessions, 3 times a day. Your morning and afternoon sessions will most likely be with school kids but you may find yourself pushing yourself in the evenings with local clubs.

Day 14 Nadi

Celebrate a great two weeks of coaching and new friends made - both in your team and locally. Return to Nadi where the journey comes to an end.

Fiji (MAD) Sport Project - 14 days Adventure Trip - BootsnAll World Adventures

Jul 10, 2008

Outdoor Adventure in Fiji - TripAdvisor

Ask this member a question. StuartTuiTai Lived and played in Fiji for 10 years now. Paraglide, body board and mountain bike most of Fiji!
May 1, 2006
3.0 of 5 stars based on 1 vote
This is a list of must-do activities in the Fiji Islands. To do them all you're gonna need a couple of visits
  • Explore locations featured in this goList: Sigatoka, Fiji
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Repeat visitors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Tags: Fiji, adventure, beach, waterfall, cruise, diving, mountain biking, snorkelling
1. Mountain bike to Bouma Waterfalls, Taveuni

Awesome rainforest scenery and a lovely dirt road to cruise along. Beautiful waterfall to swim in and cool off at the end. Also one of the most successful community conservation projects in the world!
2. Whitewater Rafting Upper Navua Gorge

In the remote highlands of Viti Levu lies one of the most unique river trips on earth. Slicing a deep chasm through the island's tropical interior, the Upper Navua River is our hidden pathway to a pristine tropical wilderness. Shrouded in lush rain forest, fed by countless waterfalls and protected by challenging rapids, the Upper Navua River is Fiji rafting at its best.
3. Body Boarding at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes

One of only a couple of beach breaks in Fiji (all the big ones are reef breaks and gnarly!). Great fun and brilliant scenery in fornt of the black and gold sand dunes. Excellent beach/driftwood photography opps.
4. Dive the Rainbow Reef, Somosomo Straits

Possibly the best diving easily avaiable to shore based divers. Be careful of the strong currents that feed all that soft coral though, not a place for pure beginners!


Outdoor Adventure in Fiji - TripAdvisor