In early June, we at Bodhi Surf + Yoga finalized the process of offsetting our guests flights (from the 2017-18 season) by completing the transaction with NativeEnergy. The project that Bodhi’s guests are supporting is the Los Santos Wind Power Project in Cartago, Costa Rica. We are very excited to have completed the purchase of 161 metric tonnes of vintage 2016 CO2-equivalent reductions, and to share this news with our guests, as well as other tourism businesses who may be on the fence about offsetting their guests’ carbon footprint, and who many just need that extra little push!
Why we are offsetting our guests’ flights
That’s a common question we get: “Why are you guys offsetting your guests’ flights? Isn’t that their responsibility?” Shifting responsibility to someone else is part of what got us to the point that we are at today. The fact is, we currently have many issues facing us as humans, and there are many more on the horizon. We all need to start taking action, rather than hoping someone else will. That’s one reason that we as a business are opting to purchase carbon offsets for our guests’ flights.
The second is that we feel partially accountable for the carbon output required for them to get to us. While we know that even if we didn’t exist, our guests would likely travel somewhere anyways. Yet, as it were, we benefit directly from their travel. It follows that we should bear at least some of the brunt of offsetting their flights. Especially if we do indeed care about environmental well-being as much as we purport to.
Finally, as part of our overall mission to go carbon neutral, we are opting to not just offset our primary impacts here in Costa Rica (at the lodge and in our everyday operations). We are going one step further by taking inventory, reducing, and finally mitigating the secondary impacts, which includes guests’ travel, impact from providers, etc. We are happy to be a part of Costa Rica’s Programa Carbono Neutralidad, which is a part of Costa Rica’s larger, overall goal of being carbon neutral by 2021.
NativeEnergy and the Los Santos Wind Farm in Costa Rica
We heard of NativeEnergy through the B Corp community — as Certified B Corp, we wanted to support them. It didn’t hurt that we heard from multiple sources that they were one of the better companies to purchase offsets from. We reached out in late 2017 as, at that point, we decided we wanted to go carbon neutral as a company and that included offsetting guests’ air travel. It has been very enjoyable working with them thus far, and have found them incredibly helpful and dedicated.
We knew that we wanted to support a project that was local. Through NativeEnergy, we were still able to support a Gold Standard-verified project in Costa Rica. The “Gold Standard” is one of the highest benchmarks that any for carbon offset and development projects can achieve. This project is located in Cartago (a mere three-hour drive from us here at Bodhi), and according to NativeEnergy, “can generate 12.75 MW of energy, provide electricity to 50,000 people and save 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year”. We are excited that the social and environmental benefits of supporting such a project will be felt locally, and will contribute to clean energy as well as the creation of jobs in Costa Rica!
Why tourism businesses must offset their carbon footprint
We strongly urge all of our friends and readers to consider offsetting their carbon travel footprint. It’s easy to do, and when added onto the general cost of travel, it isn’t outrageous. We are blessed to be living in this modern age of comfort, and can now do things that, 50 years ago, would have been impossible. However, the earth bears the burden of providing us with all of this comfort and ease. We cannot continue living like there’s no tomorrow unless we are okay with the fact that there may be no tomorrow.
Most importantly, we believe that tourism outfitters and destinations should offset their own carbon footprint as well as their guests’ travel. Why? These businesses exist due to their guests’ patronage, and if guests are having to travel internationally to visit, then the business is benefitting from something that is highly detrimental to the planet. Tourism companies can and should relinquish a portion of their profits to mitigating that negative impact. We believe that it is the responsible thing to do, will ensure their businesses’ (and the planet’s) longevity, and will set them apart from competitors. We challenge all tourism businesses to offset their guests’ travel!
Choose responsibly for your next vacation
Vacationing is privilege not granted to everyone. If you are lucky enough to be able to take time off from work and afford to travel for pleasure, you should also consider choosing to travel responsibly. Look for a company that cares about and actively cares for its community, workers, the environment around them, and the planet as a whole. Find a business that demonstrates that they will put their money where their mouth is by doing any of the following:
- Offsetting the carbon footprint of their guests air travel
- Paying their workers a fair wage
- Reducing their use of single use plastic
- Facilitating interaction and exchange between guest and community
- … or one that is B Corp certified!
Bodhi Surf + Yoga does all of the above and so much more. Check out our Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility for a snapshot of some of our initiatives!