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Of Wind and Water: How Untours is Moving Toward Carbon Neutrality

Eco/living green

January 10, 2022 by Andrea Szyper

At UnTours our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2023.

Our operations at UnTours have been 100% carbon neutral for years. We’ve been able to completely offset the CO2 from the electricity and gas we use in our Media office as well as our employees’ European travel and local commuting. We’ve done that by reducing our energy usage, by generating our own electricity with our rooftop solar installation, and by purchasing carbon offsets.

In 2022, we will begin to offset the carbon impact of the travel taken by Untourists (mostly airline travel). We anticipate that we’ll be able to offset about 75% of Untourist travel in 2022 and 100% in 2023. We will do this by purchasing carbon offsets to help mitigate the CO2 created by airline travel.

How does a Carbon Offset Work?

So much of what we do, from commuting to flying, adds CO2 to the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. While we aim to reduce this, we know that people can and will travel, and of course we want them to! It’s why we exist. But, we are committed to doing it the right way. So we partner with Native Energy to purchase carbon offsets to mitigate some of travel’s impact.

Our donations help fund projects that have a positive impact on the environment that compensates for a certain amount of emissions created by our operation. The projects we fund help repair the planet, but another important “byproduct” of our commitment is the positive impact these projects have on their communities.

Here are the two projects that UnTours has helped fund in the past year.

Green travel

Project 2: India — The Sky Wind Project

This 96 MW wind project in a rural area of Maharashtra, India, displaces power from the “dirty grid” power that would otherwise be produced by fossil fuel-fired power plants. The project’s average emission reductions are estimated to be the equivalent of almost 14,000 US homes’ energy use for one year.

The power grid in India is considered one of the world’s dirtiest, fueling a serious pollution problem that has real impact on local public health as well as the environment. This project helps in India’s longer term transition to clean, renewable energy.

Read more about the project and its impact here.

Green travel

Project 1: Kenya Clean Water Project

Waterborne illness is a leading cause of death for young children in rural Kenya. Many Kenyans must use a polluting wood stove to purify their water or risk serious ailments. Wood is unsustainably harvested to boil water, so while indoor pollution jeopardizes human health, the effects of deforestation threaten the health of the planet.

Hydraid® BioSand water filters are a safe and practical alternative. By purchasing Help Build™ carbon offsets, we provide upfront funding for the installation of these water filters — reducing greenhouse gases and bringing clean air and water to families in Kenya.

Almost 2,000 filters have been provided to households in the villages of Bondo and Siaya and Bondo. In addition to supporting public health and reducing the amount of wood harvesting, the project creates jobs in the local economy.

Read more about this project and its impact here.

We will continue to purchase carbon offsets to help repair our earth. Stay tuned for our next report, and breathe a little more easily knowing that while you explore the world with us, we’re taking care of that fascinating and fragile planet.

(Photos courtesy of our partners at Native Energy. Consider buying carbon offsets from Native Energy for your upcoming travels.)