Month: August 2014

The Big Beach Cleanup made holidays greener this July

Beach cleanup photo collage

How did it go?

Thousands of kilograms of rubbish were picked up from 97 beaches in 22 countries!

In total, 105 companies took part in the event. A huge thank you to all the staff, customers, residents and friends who made the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup such a success.

Thanks also for keeping us informed of your beach cleans and sending through your photos – a selection of which have been used in the above graphic, and appear in our Facebook album and on Flickr. You can also download this graphic as an A4 poster to display.

So what next?

If you haven’t already done so, please send your beach surveys to Ocean Conservancy who will use the data to keep track of the problem globally. They will also report back with observations about the litter collected and what this means.

If you’ve caught the beach clean bug, please join the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup on 20 September (or the MCS Great British Beach Clean from 19-22 September if you are UK based).

Consider getting your beach fully-green: get inspiration and advice from our Greening Cyprus Beaches film and manual and/or use our Turtle Protection tool. Be sure to keep us informed of your progress!

Thanks again for making this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign the best yet. And thanks too to Visit Greece for sponsoring the campaign this year!

Harnessing local community potential for a walk on the wild side

The Dennery Mobouya Valley (DMV) Development Foundation are the winners of our “Dragon’s Den” competition for excursion providers in Saint Lucia, supported by the Saint Lucia tourist board and Virgin Holidays.

Paul Flavien – Guide, and Diana Saint Helen – Project Supervisor

Paul Flavien – Guide, and Diana Saint Helen – Project Supervisor

This a community-based project that aims to generate an alternative source of income to supplement the area’s declining banana trade. It offers walking tours that take you off the beaten track to experience Saint Lucia’s unspoilt natural beauty, local culture and traditional cuisine.

As a result of using our micro excursions manual Are you ready for business? they have:

  • re-designed a number of tours to take into account tour operator requirements
  • organised a community sensitisation programme to discourage hassle
  • improved safety at tour location Maroon Waterfall by adding more steps and railings
  • conducted health and safety seminars for caterers
  • changed pricing structures identifying rack and net rates and reduced prices in low season
  • updated their database with contact details for relevant tour operators they wanted to target

Congratulations DMV – a worthy winner. They’ve won a trip to London and a chance to promote their product to UK tour operators at the St Lucia Showcase on 11-12 September.

In search of the perfect tomato

Tomatos in 'Taste of Fethiye'Finding the most suitable varieties of produce for farmers to grow for our “Taste of Fethiye” project is really important. It’s not just about the tastiest, juiciest or best looking (although that’s all important!). We also want to increase yields for farmers and reduce the need for pesticides and soil improvers.

There are hundreds of varieties of tomato, which we narrow down to about 3-5 for each individual farmer to try out. In total we trial about 40 varieties every year with our farmers to find the perfect seedlings for their growing conditions.

himmet and hasan uysalThis year we think we’ve come to end of that exploration for Hasan Uysal from Arpacik village. Hasan says:

“Following the trials of the past three years we have found the most suitable tomato variety for our greenhouse.  This is the first time that anyone has ever planted this variety in our village, my neighbours are also coming to see the progress and we are very impressed with the yield.”