Secret Paradise remains committed to making a positive impact as tourism restarts
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On 5 June 2020, Secret Paradise celebrated World Environment Day by taking a look back at the actions they have taken over the last year to make a positive impact on their small piece of paradise.
At a time when nations around the world are looking to restart tourism, the Maldives included, we should remember that we also have the opportunity to start caring for tomorrow today, to make sure we make our home a better place one step at a time.
? Introduction of metal straws
In 2018 we introduced our #strawwarsmv campaign to encourage our guesthouse partners to ditch the use of plastic straws. This provided positive results with 95% of our partners removing plastic straws. Whilst studies suggest that plastic straws make up less than 0.025% of ocean plastic, we still felt it appropriate to allow our guests a choice of reusable straws or no straws and our metal straws also open the conversation to discuss the impact of single use plastic on the environment.
? Introduction of reusable water bottles
We encourage all our guests to bring their own reusable water bottle with them when joining tours. But as plastic bottles are the largest single source of plastic waste in the Maldives, we wanted our guide team to lead by example. We took a leaf out of the ideas book of our friends at Boutique Beach All Inclusive Diving Hotel, which in turn provided the opportunity to offer branded water bottles to our guests.
? Interception of plastic waste
In order to re-fill reusable water bottles, water still needs to be available and regardless of if this is sourced from larger water bottles or water dispensers, there is still unfortunately a level of plastic involved. By partnering with Parley Maldives, we have been able to intercept the plastic we produce every day, as well as during our tours and prevent it from entering the ocean or being disposed of in a destructive way.
We have focused on educating our guide team in order that they in turn are able to educate our guests and the community. Supported by training sessions with organisations such as Parley Maldives, Coral Doctors, Save the Beach and Blue Marine Foundation, the team produced digital presentations to share with our guests. These educational aspects of our tours inform our guests about plastic waste, the protection of coral reefs and sea-grass and how they too can help protect the fragile environment of the Maldives.
? Tree Planting
As a team we may not all have green fingers but these are fun activities! They allow us and our guests to support local communities and NGOs who are working to educate and spread awareness about the value and importance of the environment and environmental issues.
? Coral Planting
Renee’s Coral Garden in Maafushi is a project close to our hearts, as Renee was one of the first guests to travel with us. For Renee it was a life changing trip and whilst she left us too soon her legacy lives on. Our Caring for the Maldives tour provides the opportunity for guests to establish a coral frame in Renee’s coral garden with the support of Eco Dive Club, Maafushi.
The timing of World Environment Day 2020 reminds us that as we all work to establish our new future, we cannot delay action on climate change and environmental sustainability. To quote the ILO Director General; ”building back better means building back green”.
So as tourism in the Maldives looks ahead to the new tomorrow, Secret Paradise remains committed to making a difference.
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