10 Reasons Why We’re “Eco”

Our goal is to leave Cairns better because we exist, not despite it.

“Eco” and “Green” are confusing terms these days. To us, being “eco” means educating our guests, contributing to the community, offsetting our impact, and leaving the environment a bit better.

Here is what we’re proud of:

1. Our Office is Solar Powered

1. Our Office is Solar Powered

We are proud to say that our office is completely solar powered! By using renewable energy, we are doing our part to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels.

2. We Pay to Offset Carbon Emissions From Your Trip

2. We Pay to Offset Carbon Emissions From Your Trip

Small World Journeys pays to offset the carbon emissions that result from all of our  our trips. Through Sustainable Travel International (STI), our emissions are calculated and offset by our financial support of sustainability projects around the world.  Some of those projects include an amazing project in Cambodia to help communities get clean drinking water without burning wood to boil it. We also give our groups the opportunity to offset their air travel with our online Carbon CalculatorIn 2016, we offset 68.53 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions!

3. Re-planting the Rainforest

3. Re-planting the Rainforest

Thanks to our partner, Rainforest Rescue, a 5 square metre plot of Daintree Rainforest is adopted in our guests’ names. This helps to preserve areas of the rainforest that have been damaged.  Since 2008 we have have protected more than 500m2 of rainforest!  Each group receives a certificate to take home, which explains why it is such a special gift to the rainforest. On educational excursions, students even have the opportunity to do plant native trees in riparian zones. For more information about Rainforest Rescue and our donations, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.

4. Keeping Distances Short - We're Not a "Coach" Company

4. Keeping Distances Short - We're Not a "Coach" Company

A Small World Journey is about getting to know a place intimately. This is why we don’t spend hours in a bus. We have time to dig deep into a destination, and spend our time outdoors enjoying ourselves. This also means minimising our need for fuel and contributing to a healthier planet.

5. Keeping the Tourist Dollar Local

5. Keeping the Tourist Dollar Local

We use locally-owned accommodation whenever possible along with restaurants, suppliers and local guides to keep income in the community. We also buy our produce from local farmers. This support is crucial to keeping the tourist dollar circulating in locally, which benefits the community as a whole.

6. Promoting Aboriginal Culture

6. Promoting Aboriginal Culture

Essential to our journeys is the perspective of Australia’s indigenous peoples. On most of our trips, groups learn about the traditions of the Kuku Yalanji, Tjapukai, Yidinji, Ngadjon jii and Jirrbal people through local aboriginal guides. On our educational excursions, students can spend several days learning with an aboriginal family or in an indigenous community. We also encourage our guests to purchase locally-made indigenous crafts and art as souvenirs as well. Click on the link for information about our trips that involve Aboriginal culture.

7. We Educate

7. We Educate

Sustainability begins with education. Our trips are soaked in learning opportunities! Participants on our excursions receive at least one field guide (Sydney city trips excepted) that teaches them about local flora or fauna. For domestic school groups, we have designed lesson plans to sync in with the national curriculum so our trip is an extension of what students are learning in the classroom.

Our guides have a strong background in the natural sciences, and stay up-to-date on current environmental and cultural issues, helping our guests to more deeply know their destination. They teach not only about local flora, fauna and natural history, but about the subtleties of culture, etiquette, and language in Australia.

8. 5% of Profits Go To Community Groups

8. 5% of Profits Go To Community Groups

We have committed at least 5% of our net profits each year to support non-profit environmental conservation organisations. We supply our guests with detailed information about the non-profit organisations to whom we give, so guests may also offer their support if they choose. In 2015 we made financial donations to Rainforest Rescue to help save the Daintree Rainforest, Kuranda Envirocare to help protect a riparian zone that hosts 2 endangered species, to The Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre  and to Rosies Friends on the Street to help Cairns’ homeless and needy people. In addition, we give to Harald’s House, a Cairns-based charity helping homeless and disadvantaged youth.

9. Reducing and Innovative Recycling

9. Reducing and Innovative Recycling

We do our best to spread the message of reducing consumption.  In addition, we look for innovative ways to reuse and recycle – like sending away all of our groups’ used snack wrappers to a factory that breaks down the plastic and makes them into other things!  We even buy our toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap (they give 50% of profits to build toilets in developing countries!).

As a student on one of our educational tours, you receive a cloth shopping bag and a reusable water bottle. This gives you the opportunity to decline a plastic bag at the souvenir shop and use your own – which helps keep plastic bags from ending up in landfills, our oceans, and in the tummies of turtles. Similarly, your own water bottle avoids having to purchase plastic bottles that crowd landfills each year.  Because of this practise, we estimate that since 2010 we have saved over 3,000 plastic water bottles and 5,000 plastic bags from going in landfills. For more information on our responsible tourism policies, see Responsible Travel.

10. We Compensate Our Staff for Volunteering

10. We Compensate Our Staff for Volunteering

Yes, you heard right. As a business we value tremendously efforts made to support the community.  So we give our employees time each week to volunteer for the local charity organisation of their choice during work hours.  This has the natural outcome of involving our team in making a difference in Cairns, and allowing them to feel good about contributing.  And we believe happy staff equals happy customers!