On Wednesday I attended a forum on Sustainable Travel in London, as part of TTG’s Fairer Travel Week. It was the first time I had been to News UK’s offices, home of Virgin and Talk Radio, as well as their publications including The Times (incidentally located at London Bridge, right next to the Shard), which had the most amazing view out over London.
Something I had never seen before was reusable badges, which housed the agenda and information such as the wifi code all at the press of a button on an e-ink screen, so the battery life could stand a whole day of use (so just like a small Kindle). As we would find out later, it was a great way of reducing waste from an event.
In a wide-reaching agenda, there were certainly some interesting takeaways. It was interesting to hear from Erica Garcia from Garden Hotels (mainly found in Mallorca and Menorca), in how they are recycling food waste, using ingredients from the local area which is supporting jobs for local farmers, and how they set up the first compost production. It was similar to the keynote speaker Oriele Grank, the co-founder of Elemis, who after nearly 30 years of running the company took on the role of looking after sustainability and reinvented how the company operated following on from detailed research into how their customers used their products.
During the panel above, which included The Sunday Times Chief Travel Write Chris Haslam, he compared promoting ‘sustainable holidays’ to the difference between having cake or lentils. The majority of people would want to have the cake, no matter if the lentils were better for you. His justification is that lentils are just not very interesting or exciting, but you can certainly see where he is coming from. He believes that being sustainable is just part and parcel of a holiday, it should just happen.
One last thing that tickled me somewhat, was a discussion around events and marketing material. The notion being that are people seriously going to use your service if you give them ‘some tat that’s been imported from China with your logo on it’… Therein lies a lesson that we should all be producing less waste (including ticket wallets).