At 20th March, a Plogging activity of Walking Trail PRC1 - Vigia das Baleias was organized by Melo Travel Green Team in partnership with Fenais da Luz Civil Parish. 380 kg of Waste material, which 180 kg was Wood, 120 Kg was plastic and glass and 80 kg undifferentiated Waste.
GSTC manages global standards, known as GSTC criteria, for sustainable travel and tourism, being the international accreditation for sustainable tourism certification. The annual conference of 2019 took place on the Terceira Island, in the Azores. We had the opportunity of participating in various lectures and talks that promoted important discussions and opinions amongst great leaders and organisations. All panels were rich with knowledge and information and very important in providing different aspects and sides of each topic. As every company has a different view on facing sustainability and finding their own solution, this conference helped with many ideas and solutions that can be very useful in the future.
SPEA, Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, is an organization that has the mission to work towards the study of birds and their habitats, assuring the development of their natural heritage for future generations. Povoação and Nordeste are the homeland of Priolo a very rare bird that only lives in São Miguel Island. The reduction of the Laurissilva forest by other types of cultures has reduced the habitat of this bird, becoming a vulnerable specie. In collaboration with SPEA, we planted around 350 endemic plants in protected areas in Nordeste, which were a reinforcement in order to help and preserve this specie.
A new partnership was created with CMIF, in which Melo became responsible for a land next to Lagoa das Furnas for planting endemic plants. Our Green Team is responsible for the maintenance and planting of endemic plants, as part of an effort to offset our ecological footprint. Our customers can also help to recover the endemic forest, leaving a positive footprint on their holidays.
Some members of Melo Travel volunteered at the Food Bank on the island of São Miguel, whose main objective is to support people / families who do not have access to food and clothing. This volunteer service allowed us to realize the great impact that this institution has on our society. We feel fulfilled in helping to improve the lives of many people in need.
In June 2019 Melo Travel was awarded with the silver certification by Earthcheck, a worldwide entity of certification and benchmarking that helps implement sustainable practices. Above all, its a statement of the commitment to environmental and socially responsible business practices. After several months working towards improving our Energy, Environmental and Sustainability Policy, this certification allows us to keep setting our goals and changes in order to reduce the impact of our actions and activities. Its extremely important to have good orientation with practical advices, so that the change begins in the office, consolidates in our partnerships and products, to provide a more sustainable destination to our clients.
Ilha a Pé provides a sustainable program that includes most of the trails on the island of Santa Maria, passing through all the terrestrial protected areas of the Ilha Natural Park, and through all geosites. This 80 km route that covers the entire island consists of five stages, and it is proposed to be completed in five days, each stage corresponding to one day. The company Ilha a Pé offers sustainable and ecological shelters along the route, which were recovered with ecological materials maintaining their traditional appearance. These shelters are located in strategic places, between stages, which allowed us to rest after a long day of walking, but also to prepare for the challenge the next day. This challenge was successfully overcome and we will make it available to our customers.
The Melo Travel team and families were challenged to participate in a plogging activity, collecting garbage while walking along the pedestrian trail. This combination of activities is known as Plogging, which allows to exercise against waste, an ecological way to stay healthy and keeping the environment less polluted. This is a great way to socialize and stay active as well as sensitizing people to good environmental practices.
MUSAMI - Municipal Environment Operations is responsible for waste management on the island of São Miguel. This visit allowed us to understand what happens to the different types of garbage, from recyclable materials, to compost, and to landfills. The waste sorting process gave the team a new perspective on the impact of our actions and the advantages of recycling. With this visit, recycling practices that already existed in our tourism activity were improved and to reinforce the importance of this work, we invited our partners and suppliers to visit MUSAMI.