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Leaving a Softer Footprint in 2020

Travel that gives back.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

Traveling can open up your mind and heart in so many different ways, from falling in love with a new culture to introducing you to landscapes and wildlife that need our attention and care. 

It's one of the benefits of traveling, but also one of the responsibilities. MT Sobek, who has been a leader in adventure travel for over 50 years, knows this responsibility well. They are dedicated to making a lighter footprint on the earth and are focused on responsible journeys in the year ahead.

Here are just a few of the ways that MT Sobek is committed to traveling responsibly in 2020.

No More Single-Use Plastic Bottles

This year, MT Sobek is eliminating single-use plastic bottles from all of their trips. Single-use plastic is a significant threat to wildlife and ecosystems throughout the world. In the ocean alone, we are dumping over 9 million metric tons of plastic into the water each year, with that number estimated to reach 16 million metric tons in 2025.

For those of us in the United States, the majority of whom have easy access to clean drinking water, stopping the use of plastic bottles may seem like a small step. But looking at it through the lens of an adventure travel company that leads trips to destinations all across the globe, clean drinking water isn't something that comes out of every tap. To eliminate single-use plastic bottles requires research, planning, and execution on a large scale.

In making this change, MT Sobek will stop hundreds of pounds of plastic waste from reaching the landfills, or wherever those bottles may end up.

Partnering with Local Charities

MT Sobek supports local charities that share the travel company's values, especially in destinations where they lead trips.

For example, in Scotland, MT Sobek supports the John Muir Trust's projects on the Isle of Skye to replace commercial plantings with native woodlands and to maintain over 40 miles of trail. When the trails are maintained well, it reduces the effects of tourism on the island's fragile habitats.

Another example is MT Sobek's support of Sticky Rice Travel's foundation, which provides skill training and job to local villagers in Borneo to reduce their reliance on working at palm plantations. Palm plantations are a contributor to deforestation in the area and impact wildlife species such as the orangutan. Both the Wild Borneo and Borneo Family Adventure trips with MT Sobek support this effort.

Getting Dirty

At MT Sobek, they aren't afraid to get a little dirty. Staff and in-country tour leaders roll up their sleeves to help with projects like maintaining trails (such as the Smugglers' Trail in Patagonia's Jeinimeni National Preserve), pulling invasive weeds, and assisting in other needed projects in parks and communities across the globe, like participating in Yosemite National Park's Facelift

This year, travel with a softer footprint, and a commitment to leaving your destination better than you found it, with MT Sobek.

All photos courtesy of MT Sobek

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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