Environment – It’s really a load of rubbish. The TTC team take things in to their own hands


It’s really a load of rubbish.  The TTC team take things in to their own hands

And how our guests can help turn trash in to high street fashion…

One thing that the Sri Lankan tourism downturn of 2019 did for The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka team was enabling us to take stock of the business and to identify areas we felt needed much more focus for the coming years.  Responsible Tourism unanimously became a top priority for us.  From five months of dedicated R&D, The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka have now implemented many new environmental initiatives including:

  • All guests receive a complimentary eco-friendly water container on arrival
  • For every guest, a tree is planted as part of a certified Food Forest project
  • Moving the vehicle fleet to Hybrid (now cars are at 80%)
  • Chauffeur-guides all receive training on Responsible Tourism
  • TTC’s partners are all vetted on their “sustainable” policies
  • Working closely with an authentic eco-friendly recycling & manufacturing company
  • Opportunities for guests to participate in mangrove planting in the country’s north west
  • TTC staff collect rubbish for approved recycling from locations that do not have appropriate facilities
  • Implementing internal recycling guidelines & procedures for the office
  • Information is shared with guests in regards to their “holiday carbon imprint” & how they are able to further contribute to the local programs
  • Providing departure & arrival documentation in mobile friendly formats

Nishanka Chamara Udadewa, Senior Manager, who leads the Responsible Tourism enterprises for The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka has confirmed that both the team and industry counterparts have embraced the changes that are over spilling in to the team’s homes and communities.

“It wasn’t until we took a closer look, that we realised that so much of the country’s recycling information is lip service”, said Chamara “so we had to investigate and literally take things in to our own hands.”

Aside to commencing our own segregating of office waste, replacing paper hand towels and having a much stronger consideration when printing, our chauffeur-guides will hygienically collect guests’ rubbish and only dispose of it at approved locations, which are currently few and far between on the island.    We are working closely with all partners, including hotels, to continue to grow exposure and have a positive impact.

Plastic water bottles > Eco-friendly souvenirs

Chamara worked out that as a company TTC had been using more than 50,000 water bottles each year and these hadn’t actually been properly recycled.

Now guests receive an eco-friendly water bottle on arrival.  The team assist with safe refills and working in conjunction with hotel partners for easy access to their water stations.

As much as TTC would love travellers to start the crusade before leaving home, the TTC water bottle also serves as a practical souvenir and a reminder of what a beautiful country Sri Lanka is!

From trash bag > Fashion runway

The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka commenced a partnership in December 2019 with company, Eco Spindles .  Products that Eco Spindles create range from cleaning products to yarn that is then used to make high fashion clothes & apparel for some of the world’s leading brands.  It is the only company of its kind in Sri Lanka, and one of only two globally, that have the capability to make yarn directly from recycled flake.

Planting fruit trees and mangroves for a greener future

Food Forest plant trees that bear endemic fruits that are not only good for the environment, but also for the benefit of the many stunning birds of Sri Lanka and other native animals.  For each The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka guest, a tree will be donated on their behalf.  Should any travellers be keen to get their own hands dirty and participate in planting, TTC are able to arrange this off the beaten track experience.
On an ongoing basis, guests are able to stay in Kalapitiya and plant mangroves as part of Kite Green.  Mangroves are disappearing 3-5 times faster than overall global forest losses, with serious ecological and socio-economic impacts and these fascinating eco-systems are often overlooked.

Wasted > Being loved and of use

Bio-waste is also a focus of the TTC team.  Once waste is appropriately segregated, food/bio-waste can have many uses, such as

  • Animal food (in particular piggeries)
  • Waste oil being turned in to soap
  • Coconut shells for home charcoal and handicrafts

The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka has team champions driving new initiatives across Environment, Community and Animal Welfare.

For more information on an eco-friendly Sri Lanka, contact Chamara, Senior Manager  chamara@ttcsrilanka.com

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