4. Avoid disposable plastic
Disposable plastics have a very negative reputation, because plastics make up the largest proportion of waste that ends up in the oceans and in nature. Therefore, use alternative materials such as metal, porcelain and glass. If you really need to use disposable cutlery, plates and cups, this can be bought made of biodegradable materials such as recyclable cardboard, wood or bioplastic. You can even buy edible plates, made from plant fibers.
5. Drop the speed
Fast-moving tour boats in particular, such as the Targa 37, have high fuel consumption at high cruising speeds. By slowing down by a few knots, both fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 and polluting particles are reduced. This also lowers the engine noise, for the benefit of both tourists and wildlife. Highlight this practice in your marketing as a ‘green’ initiative.
6. Sustainable goods on offer
If you sell various goods or souvenirs, you can prioritise having sustainable and / or local products on offer. These could be locally produced handicraft items such as jewelry and tupilaks, as well as other products with a low CO2 footprint, which also supports local businesses and sends a positive signal to your customers. At the same time, it is a good idea to incorporate storytelling into the products, so that it is clear to tourists that you are thinking sustainably.
7. Sort waste
Show customers that you are handling waste properly, e.g. with signs guiding them on how to sort their waste. This sends a good signal and is good for the climate.
8. Sustainable initiatives for accommodation
In addition to the other measures listed on this page, accommodation establishments should follow ‘best practices’ and use biodegradable detergents and personal care products. They can also limit the washing of linen, towels, tablecloths, etc. by asking guests to cooperate on this in various ways – e.g. by leaving towels that do not need to be washed hanging on the hook, or being able to opt out of washing bed linen after so many days.
There can also be signs urging guests to turn off lights and turn down radiators while out of the room.
9. Collect the waste you stumble upon
If you lead hikes, you can have a bag with you to collect the waste you encounter. You can also collect the waste you encounter during boat trips. This sends a really good signal to tourists. Experiences from other parts of the world show that tourists often want to lend a hand in this.
In order to succeed with healthy and sustainable tourism development in Greenland, it is important to see the entire industry as potential partners. Greenland is a very small society and this can be a disadvantage compared to large and financially strong foreign destinations which are our natural competitors. Partnering with relevant companies and organisations can strengthen your business, not only in terms of visibility, marketing, sales, logistics, etc., but also in terms of sustainability.
An example of a partnership is through CSR Greenland, where you can be a part of strengthening the field of climate and energy and participate in a communal clean-up (see facebook.com/saligaatsoq).