A Travel Industry First
Our "zero waste" goal encompassed all guest-related activities that Nat Hab managed and sponsored throughout the trip—from the moment a guest booked through the airport transfer on the final day. During the trip, Nat Hab encouraged travelers to avoid creating potential waste in the first place (such as refusing plastic straws and individually wrapped condiments) while minimizing the waste they did produce. At the end of the trip, the group was able to fit their collective waste into a single quart-sized container.
* This did not include waste that involved personal hygiene items, posed safety risks, was legally required to be sent to a landfill, or resulted from guest actions outside of Nat Hab’s control (pre-trip, en route, items of a personal nature, etc.). Nat Hab worked closely with its third-party providers on this initiative. Where waste was created as part of a partner provider's service (such as third-party hotels), Nat Hab encouraged guests to avoid that waste by providing alternative options.
Why Zero Waste Travel?Natural Habitat Adventures is committed to setting a new standard for the travel industry by proving that it is possible to make dramatic inroads in reducing waste. Our intention is to encourage and inspire our colleagues to adopt more sustainable tourism practices by demonstrating effective methods to reduce environmental impacts while providing outstanding guest experiences. In addition to motivating other businesses to improve their own waste management practices, Nat Hab hopes to create an enduring ripple effect by inspiring travelers to make conscious choices in their everyday lives that contribute to the long-term health of the planet. Given that the average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash per day, there's plenty of room for improvement!
Next StepsBy dramatically reducing the waste generated on this specific trip departure, Nat Hab learned valuable lessons to apply across our other nature adventures in destinations worldwide. Nat Hab has also shared our 12 Lessons Learned for Zero Waste Travel with the media and our peers in the travel industry so that others can follow our lead. This first zero waste adventure in July 2019 is a catalyst for incremental changes that will gradually result in significant waste reduction across all Nat Hab trips.
PURE Life Experiences — "Transformative Travel" Award
- "An immersive, perspective-shifting itinerary that challenges and inspires the sophisticated traveler on a deeply personal level...transforming their life for the better."
- Outside — The 33 Best Trips of 2019
Zero Waste Adventure in the News
- Conde Nast Traveler — What I Learned on the World's First Zero-Waste Trip
- Mongabay — Food is biggest stumbling block on zero-waste nature tour
- Elephant Journal — I’ve Just Returned from the World’s First Zero-Waste Adventure Tour
- USA Today — Natural Habitat Adventures is making zero waste travel a reality
- Sunset — This zero-waste Yellowstone safari is next-level leave no trace
- Lonely Planet — How to embrace zero waste travel
- Virtuoso — In praise of the world's first zero waste trip
- Lonely Planet — One of the world's first zero waste travel adventures is here
- Travel Weekly — Sustainable travel pioneer embarks on zero-waste adventure
- Adventure Travel News — Nat Hab Serves as Example for Eco-Friendly Adventures
- Mic — The world’s first zero-waste trip—a wildlife safari in Yellowstone National Park
- Waste 360 — Nat Hab’s zero waste safari in Yellowstone marks industry first
- eco- — The World’s First Zero-Waste Adventure: Interview with Court Whelan
- Elephant Journal — 4 tools to release our inner zero-waste superhero while on the go
Nat Hab News
- No Time to Waste: The World’s First Zero Waste Adventure
- Food “Out-Wastes” Plastics on Natural Habitat Adventures’ Zero Waste Tour
- World’s First Zero Waste Adventure Kicking Off in Yellowstone National Park
- Nat Hab announces World’s First Zero Waste Adventure
Erin Simon Director, Sustainability Research & Development • World Wildlife Fund
Follow Erin's journey on Twitter at @SustainableErin
As Director of Sustainability R&D for WWF-US, Erin Simon uses scientific research to solve real-world problems facing conservation and the environment. An engineer by trade and conservationist at heart, Erin leads a team that assesses and distills the latest knowledge about packaging, materials science and efficiency technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of companies and their supply chains. She’s also spearheading corporate engagement with No Plastic in Nature, WWF’s global campaign to end plastic pollution by 2030.
Join Erin on the World’s First Zero Waste Adventure to learn more about the critical role businesses play in stemming the flow of plastic waste into nature.
WWF Panda Ambassador
Follow Marisa's journey on Twitter at @mlzocco and on Instagram at @theramble.blog
Marisa Zocco is a writer/editor and budding conservationist who started learning to walk her eco talk while training to run her first ever marathon for the benefit of WWF. In December 2018, she crossed the Honolulu Marathon finish line as both a new WWF Panda Ambassador and a top Panda Nation fund raiser, collecting more than $1,000 for WWF.
Marisa enjoyed this new learning experience of discovering how to interact more gently with the purity of nature (and her everyday environment) through zero waste practices. She is a firm believer that it is never too late to start learning about the ways we can better care for our beautiful planet, and that every little bit we do counts. Read Marisa's story about the zero waste adventure.