The NOW Guide to Sound Healing

Sound healing

Sound healing is a simple, non-invasive process that uses sound, music and specialist instruments played in therapeutic ways to relax and de-stress the body and mind, and it’s becoming just as popular as yoga and meditation around the world.

Like both these practices, sound healing is nothing new – it was practised by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, allegedly as a tool to ease mental agitation, and it’s explored in the Vedic scriptures of India too.

The idea of sound healing is why it is so supremely satisfying to listen to harmonious music, have a sing along with friends or play an instrument. Sound has been used by military bands to boost morale in troops, by schools to bring children together in one happy mass, and by fitness instructors to encourage people to move more effectively and have the energy to keep going. How we respond to sound has a massive effect on many aspects of our lives.

So why is that? Every living thing in the universe, including our bodies, has its own vibratory rate. When something is out of kilter, using sound to create sympathetic vibrations and resonance can help bring things back into harmony. This is especially true of our bodies, which because they are made-up of 70 % water, make very good conductors of sound, which travels at great speed (a whopping 3350 mph) in water.

This reharmonising works because of a concept called entrainment, discovered in 1665 by a Dutch scientist called Christian Huygens. Huygens invented the pendulum clock, and this is where his concept started – after leaving two pendulum clocks hanging together on the same wall for several hours, they eventually synchronised, swinging at the same speed. Huygens found that when entrainment occurs, small amounts of energy are transferred between the two sources. Since it takes less energy to pulse in co-operation, the source with the less powerful vibration locks into the one with the most powerful vibration.

Entrainment can be experienced by singing in a group. If you are singing next to someone with a strong voice, it is easy to sing your part. If the person with the strong voice is singing a different part to you, however, it becomes much harder to sing your part in tune.

There’s been plenty of research into how sound waves are able to relax us, some of it pseudoscience. For a thorough and engaging account of sound healing rooted in fact, read therapist Sarah Stephenson’s account from the College of Sound Healing here. As Sarah says: ‘The process of resonance and entrainment is at work during a Sound Healing treatment – if a person is out of balance (physically, mentally or emotionally), they will lock into the healing sound that is created’. Add to the sound effect of harmonics and rhythm, and you have a wonderful healing art.

Healing Art
Credit: Laurent Suara – Acoustic Bioresonance therapist & creator

In today’s world, sound healing can be experienced as a formal session of sound therapy with a trained therapist, but one of the most direct ways to experience it when you’re travelling is to book into a Gong Bath, either alone or in a group. This is supremely relaxing treatment, where you quite literally bathe in sound, is increasingly on offer in mainstream gyms as well as at hotels and spas. You lie on a mat while the teacher gently creates a harmonising mini orchestra out of gongs, crystal bowls and tuning forks. You relax your body, close your eyes, and allow the sound waves to wash over and through you. It’s a shortcut to a calm mind, and especially good for those who find more formal mediation difficult. If you’re exhausted, you’ll find yourself nodding off supremely easily as the body relaxes and allows you to get the deep rest you so clearly need.

Chanting a mantra repeatedly, be it a sound such as Om or a more specific word or phrase, has also been proven to calm the mind and decrease stress levels for the same reasons. You’ll find Sanskrit or Buddhist chanting sessions on some yoga and meditation retreats supremely relaxing, while chanting is also used as a concentration aid for meditation by some teachers, monks and nuns. If you want to move more, take a qigong class and experience the six healing sounds of Chinese medicine – these are specific tones that clear out blocks and excesses, release negative emotions, and purge toxic qi (or energy) from each organ, and which work in exactly the same way.

For something more energetic, join a drumming session, for the repetition of drumbeats has the same effect, and is why many indigenous tribes and ancient practices use drumming as part of their rituals. Shamans, for example, use drums mainly for brainwave entrainment. By drumming at a specific frequency (usually around 7hz per second, which is the frequency of the theta brainwave), the shaman can entrain his own brainwave into a deep meditative and relaxed state in order to access his or her intuition. In our times, this same effect is achieved through the use of binaural beats, which is music tuned to generate specific brainwaves in the listener.

For a relaxing solo activity while you travel, listed to tracks based on 432 Hz, the sound resonance that offers a more harmonic and pleasant sound than our standard 440 Hz pitch. Laurent Suara, therapist and creator of Acoustic Bioresonance based in Bali tells us that changing the master pitch to 432Hz and also using a different musical scale that mirrors the harmonics that are naturally found in sound, the universe, nature and the human body will make a difference in harmony.

Sarah Stephenson’s piece talks about such harmonics here. Such music is mathematically consistent with the universe, and has been clinically proven to decrease the listener’s stress levels, boost their resilience and restore biological, physical and mental vitality. There’s tons of such music around, from Bob Marley’s songs to pieces of music by some of history’s greatest musicians such as Mozart and Verdi.

Top 11 plant foods for our future

Raddish - Plant Food

Did you know that 75% of what we eat comes from only 12 plant and 5 animal species, and that just three (rice, maize, wheat) make up nearly 60% of calories from plants in the entire human diet? Something to ponder next time on your next food shop, or you’re looking at a restaurant menu and wondering what to choose.

Not only is such a diet somewhat monotonous, it excludes valuable sources of nutrition for human health and has been linked to a decline in the diversity of plants and animals used in and around agriculture (agrobiodiversity), threatening the resilience of our food system and limiting the breadth of food we can eat.

Farming a narrow range of crops using intensive methods affects our fragile natural ecosystems. Relying on animal-based protein sources puts additional strain on the environment, while meat, dairy and egg production uses more water, land and greenhouse gas than plant production, as well as contributing to pollution through liquid waste discharged into rivers and seas.

This is all worrying, because by 2050 the world population is predicted to increase to almost 10 billion people, who will all need to be nourished by a planet with finite resources. It’s well documented that, to do so, we need to change the way we farm and fish, and what we choose to eat, so the global food system becomes more sustainable.

The ingenious World Wildlife Fund, together with Knorr, has put together a list of 50 future plant-based foods from around the world that will boost the nutrition of your meals and make our food supply more resilient. It’s a tasty list of 13 cereals, grains and tubers, 12 beans legumes and sprouts, 18 vegetables, 3 mushrooms and 4 nuts and seeds that are affordable, tasty and (mostly) easily accessible and that also have a lower impact on our planet than animal-based and intensively farmed foods and so contribute to greater agrobiodiversity.

The list includes vegetables to increase intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plant based sources of protein to replace meat, poultry and fish, resulting in reduced negative impact on our environment, and more nutrient-rich sources of carbohydrates to promote agrobiodiversity and provide more nutrients. Swapping staples like maize and white rice for fonio or spelt, for example, also helps safeguard these ancient variants for future generations. Some are readily available already, whilst others need to be brought back into the food system. The more you ask for them the more likely this is to happen.

1. Algaes such as laver seaweed and wake seaweed are nutrient-rich and critical to our existence on the planet. They are responsible for half of all oxygen production on Earth and all aquatic ecosystems depend on them. They contain essential fatty acids and are an excellent source of antioxidants. Algae can be rich in protein and have a meat-like umami flavour, making them a potential replacement for meat8, 9. You can read more about seaweed in our feature here.

2. Beans and other pulses such as adzuki beans, black turtle beans, broad beans (or fava beans), bambara groundnuts, cowpeas, lentils, maramba beans, mung beans and soya beans are members of the legume family. They can convert nitrogen from the air and ‘fix’ it into a form that can be readily used by plants. More than environmental superheroes, beans offer us a rich source of fibre, protein and B vitamins. They are eaten in many dishes all over the world and have a mild flavour and meat-like texture, making them a sensible swap for meat in stews, soups and sauces.

cactus

3. Cacti are perhaps a surprising inclusion, but many species of cacti are cultivated for consumption, with the delicious young stem segments, usually called nopales, the part most commonly used in recipes. Popular in Mexican cuisine, cacti store water, which allows them to grow in arid climates and tolerate drought. They also contain substantial amounts of vitamins C and E, carotenoids, fibre and amino acids, and are said to be a good to aid weightloss and as a hungover cure.

4. Cereals and grains have been the principal component of diets for thousands of years, and for both environmental and health reasons, there is a pressing need to vary the types grown and eaten. Choosing more unusual varieties such as amaranth, buckwheat, finger millet, fonio, khorasan wheat, quinoa, spelt, teff and wild rice will give you much more nutrition and help improve soil health and increase agricultural biodiversity.

5. Fruit Vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, eggplants/aubergines, peppers and zucchini/ courgettes are vegetable-like fruits eaten as vegetables and commonly mistaken for them. WWF’s report suggests we choose pumpkin flowers, okra and orange tomatoes as our choice of fruit vegetables for the future. They are sweeter and usually contain a higher amount of carbohydrate and water compared to vegetables. Commonly grown in warm climates, fruit vegetables can be eaten in various forms and tend to be high in vitamin C and fibre.

6. Leafy Greens such as beet greens, broccoli rabe, kale, moringa, pumpkin leaves, pak choi, red cabbage, spinach and watercress are arguably the most versatile and nutritious of all types of vegetables. They are grown as part of other vegetables, such as beets and pumpkins, and as the leaves themselves. They contain dietary fibre, lots of vitamins and minerals, are low in calories, and have been associated with various health benefits. Leafy greens are typically fast-growing and, eaten cooked or raw, are part of a wide variety of dishes all over the world.

Wild mashrooms

7. Mushrooms such as enoki mushrooms, maitake mushrooms and saffron milk cap mushrooms have been cultivated for centuries for their taste and nutritional value. There are more than 2,000 edible varieties of mushrooms, all rich in B vitamins and vitamin D as well as protein and fibre. Mushrooms can grow where many other foods would not, including on by-products recycled from other crops. They are not considered plants as they do not photosynthesise; they are classified as fungi. Their texture and umami flavour make them a tasty addition and a suitable substitute for meat.

8. Nuts and Seeds such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and walnuts are superfoods with an unmatched protein, vitamin E and good fat content, paired with desirable flavour and texture. Their crunch makes them a great addition to almost every dish. Yet, of the many varieties available, only a few are commonly eaten. Used in cuisines around the world, these small embryonic plants can stand alone as snacks or add flavour and a satisfying crunch to salads, soups and desserts.

9. Root vegetables such as black salsify, parsley root and white icicle radish are the crisp and colourful underground parts of plants that are eaten as vegetables. They often have leafy tops that grow above the ground that should also be eaten to optimise the amount of food these nutritious plants can provide. Root vegetables contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and are hardy, cool-season crops. Once harvested, they survive for a relatively long time compared with other vegetables.

10. Sprouts such as alfafa sprouts, sprouted kidney beans and sprouted chickpeas are made from a process that dates back 5,000 years when Chinese physicians used sprouts medicinally because of their extremely high nutrient content. The sprouting process doubles, and in some cases triples, the nutritional value of the plant. Seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout, therefore they carry the risk of bacterial growth, so sprouting needs to be carried out carefully. Sprouts are delicious as a side dish topped with a light dressing or in soups, salads and sandwiches to add a nice crunchy texture.

Raddish - Plant Food

11. Tubers such as lotus root, ube (or purple yam), yam bean root and red Indonesian sweet potatoes grow downward, anchoring the plant into the ground, where they absorb and store valuable nutrients for use during the winter or drier months. Typically high in carbohydrates, they are a valuable source of energy. They can be eaten in a huge variety of ways, including boiled, baked, or as a sweetened pudding. White potatoes are the most common type of tuber. Growing and eating the less common types of tubers makes our food system more resilient while, in most circumstances, providing more nutrients.

For detail on all the ingredients mentioned here, read the full report Future 50 Foods here.

Be a Digital Nomad

Be a Digital Nomad

Across the globe people are tapping into a new way of incorporating travel into their daily life – nomadic living. The modern nomad, or digital nomad lifestyle, is often synonymous with the pursuit of sustainability. Fear of climate change and an increased awareness of health and wellbeing are central components to this.

Globalisation has brought us a new kind of professional freedom. Freelancers are at an all time high and thanks to the rise of social media coupled with this new ease of digital marketing it has never been more accessible to earn a living as an individual or small self-run organisation. More and more people simply need a laptop and wifi in order to work.

With rising rates of pollution, limited exposure to nature, and ever increasing house and rental prices, living in the large metropolitan cities of the world has become less than desirable. More and more people are giving up their homes in the cities for eco lodges, communities and tropical co-working spaces.

Numundo
Credit: NuMondo.org

Young people especially – who have few attachments, children, mortgages or spouses – indulge in the freedom of work and travel. Life is no longer a commute to a 9-5, but instead life, work and wellbeing are one. Holidays are no longer a set number of days a year – but are daily morning swims or weekend trips to the beach or jungle between batches of work.

Organisations like NuMondo are growing in traction – people are choosing to take prolonged vacations working and living in eco-communities as a break from “real life”, as opposed to conventional holidays. Numondo even offers a conscious travel academy (see more here) to prep you with all the tools you need to be a sustainable traveller and or a digital nomad.

Numundo

I personally left my 9 to 5 job in the bustling polluted city of London to pursue a way of life which freed me and allowed me the space to continue to work and live in unpolluted, nature-filled environments where I was also living in a state of reduced consumption and almost carbon neutral. Sustainable communities are popping up all over the world, and I set off last year to live for four months with a self-sustaining community on an eco-lodge and biodynamic farm in Costa Rica. The community is called Tierra Valiente, or Brave Earth. They currently run a retreat centre, biodynamic farm and ecolodge as they continue alongside to build the accommodations to house the rest of their future community.

My daily duties included managing compost, tending to a nursery of baby plants, learning about permaculture and regenerative farming methods, and helping out with their communications and retreat centre. They are creating a living laboratory example of how to set up and run a self-sustaining community successfully in the hopes that others too may adopt this and find more sustainable ways to live long-term as one viable solution to tackling the future of climate change. Being surrounded by the most luscious, vibrant and wild nature, hiking every other day, learning about plants and permaculture, eating food with the highest nutritional value due to the healthy soil it’s grown in, and being surrounded by other amazing community members whose commitment to sustainability goes above and beyond was the most nourishing way to live for my mind, body and soul.

Numundo

But just how sustainable is this way of life? There is simply no getting around the fact that air travel is almost always involved. So how does an extra two or three flights a year compare to the carbon footprint you leave living in a metropolitan city vs. a sustainable community?

In the shorter-term, there is no throw away culture, no takeaway fast-food or coffees. Instead the farm is constantly planting more and more trees and plants, water comes directly from a spring at the neighbouring mountain, 80% of all food consumed comes directly from the farm or neighbouring farms and – aside from short trips into town – there is little to no travel involved.

Numundo

In the longer-term, living this way for a period of time increases and creates a new awareness around sustainability, consumption and generally how to live a way of life that is more harmonious with nature. The long-term benefits are also that people will integrate this mind set and way of life into their everyday – whether its uprooting entirely and converting to this lifestyle long-term or adopting aspects of it when back in the metropolis.

I for one have tried to adopt the 80/20 rule (80% of all I consume coming from within 100 miles away, with 20% from overseas) and purchase all my fresh produce from local UK farms – using Farm Drop and Hackney City Farm Veg boxes, eating seasonally, setting up my own compost system in my garden, and trying to only buy local and natural cosmetic products and clothes.

My experience in Costa Rica was truly life-altering. My goals and dreams for the future have shifted – they now lie in finding a way to live as carbon-neutral as possible and in a place that is truly sustainable – both for the planet and for my own wellbeing.

NOW過度旅遊指南

NOW guide to Overtourism

「過度旅遊」是指某個旅遊地點的遊客數目太多,以至其帶來的壞處,超過了好處。現時世界 上不少旅遊勝地,都出現了過度旅遊的問題。雖然自從人類開始「度假」到其他地方遊覽以來, 過度旅遊的問題就出現了,但隨着人們旅遊的能量不斷上升,且逐年增強,這問題發展到今天, 已變成一項緊急的現代議題。

我們許多人都經歷過發現一個本來無人知曉的新地方所帶來的喜悅,那可能是家附近一處別具 郊野風情的野餐地點,也可能是茫茫大海中一個隱秘的熱帶小島,之後我們會懷着無比興奮的 心情,大力向友人推介,以至那地方終於成為人人「必去」之地。跟着,旅行社看上了那地方, 大事宣揚,以至冒名而來的人數目不斷增加,超越了那地方承受能力的極限,令到原先大力介 紹那地方的人,悔不當初。

一個地方成為熱門旅遊點後,弊端不少,諸如垃圾遍地、人龍處處、遊客舉止失態等等。不用 多久,你原先發現的秘境勝地,已變成人人不宜的爛地方。

Venice Crowd

多年以來,不少妄顧可持續原則的旅行社,以重量不重質的方式經營,千方百計吸引遊客到同 一地點旅遊,從不理會這做法對當地居民和風貌的影響。開初的時候,或許是沒有需要限制遊 客的數目,或保護當地社群和生態的。大家以為,當地人都渴望做遊客生意,而當地風貌會永 世不變。其實,對許多旅遊點來說,此情已經不再。

近年,過度旅遊問題屢屢成為報章新聞,在不少旅遊城市,例如威尼斯、聖塞巴斯提安和巴塞 隆那,都發生過本地人對遊客數目和遊客舉止表示抗議的事件。其實長久以來,新聞媒體已一 直以不同方式,報道相關的問題。在一些國家,例如泰國,遊客前往當地尋花問柳、吸食毒品、 胡作妄為,早已將一些旅遊勝地變成擠擁不堪的人間地獄,而在一些國家,為開闢土地興建度 假酒店,森林不斷受到砍伐,從大地消失。

面對此情此景,我們可以怎樣出一分力呢?旅行社需要更負責和更透明,為了客人的安全和舒 適,積極化解過度旅遊的問題。廉價機票和酒店越來越普及,而地球人口不斷膨脹,事情只會 更形惡化。我們作為奉行可持續旅遊原則的旅客,也可以一盡己責,幫助解決過度旅遊的問題。 以下是一些有用的提示。

– 小心選擇目的地,只到那些刻意限制遊客數目的國家旅遊,例如不丹,或那些採納可持續旅 遊模式的國家,例如哥斯達尼加。

  • 不論到甚麼地方旅遊,都走遠一點。舉例說,到古巴旅遊的人,大多只會到夏灣拿觀光, 但你可以往內陸走,藉此分散遊客壓力
  • 選擇在淡季或平季旅遊,不要集中在旺季,這樣做不但可以紓緩旺季的亂局,還可以為當 地商店帶來平穩收入,無需過度依賴旺季。
  • 多向當地人打聽,他們能夠說出遊客每天的聚散時間,讓你避開人群,也能夠向你介紹一 些景色怡人的海灘或景點,媲美(甚或超越)旅行社所推介的。
  • 到熱門旅遊國家遊覽,不要跟隨標準行程,舉例說,到斯里蘭卡看佛寺,不要去別人建議 的那一座,改去另一座,兩者大概相差不遠。

– 到熱門城市旅遊,入住當地人經營的酒店,不要光顧 Ai r bnb。有這樣一個說法,在威尼斯, 由於 Ai r bnb 的數目不斷增長,以至不少本地人無法置業或租到房子。

  • 選擇其他目的地。旅行社會投入巨額廣告費,將同一旅遊點不斷重複向客人推介,所以你 應該自行做資料搜集,發掘其他目的地。
  • 做一個負責任的遊客,購買當地的食物,入住當地人的酒店,光顧珍惜環境的旅行社,避 免乘坐郵輪和入住不奉行可持續原則的連鎖酒店。

如果你想了解多一點,請瀏覽 Responsible Travel(「負責任旅遊」)的網頁,網頁創辦人 朱斯汀.法蘭西斯和其他作者經常在那裏發表關於過度旅遊問題的文章。

翻譯:SP

按此觀看英文資料並與親友分享

Through the NOW Lens: Climate Apartheid

Climate Emergency

As the world becomes more conscious of our climate emergency, it is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a recent report from a U.N.’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, has said – you can read the full story in The Guardian.

NOW believes that this situation can only be resolved if the rich and the super rich step up and dig deep. That’s rich companies, rich governments and rich countries, of course, but also – and possibly mainly – rich individuals. As Oxfam found way back in 2015, it’s the world’s richest 10% that produce half of the world’s carbon emissions, while the poorest half contribute just 10%. Lessening general consumption, sorting out overpopulation or even taming trade in China isn’t the solution – rather, it’s the richest 10% of the planet who are directly responsible either through consumption or control for the majority of global emissions and broader environmental impacts.

Climate Refugees
Credit: UNICEF

Drill this down to wealthy individuals, and recent studies have shown that those who drive big cars, frequently fly business and first class or on private jets, have two or more homes and invariably live in “self-proclaimed climate progressive countries” are actually responsible for half of the total lifestyle consumption carbon emissions in the world, says climate scientist Prof Kevin Anderson – you can read the full story in The Irish Times here.

abouther.com
Credit: abouther.com

Since the beginning of time, life has never been equal for those that have and those that have not. Life for the rich, specially the super rich, has always and will always be more privileged. Which is why the rich need to do the right thing and stand up for equality and the basic human rights of all those living on the planet today. But will they? Let’s face it, with exception of the Bill Gates and a few others, most of the rich and super rich do not seem to care enough about anything that does not touch them personally. Are we loosing a sense of our shared humanity? Read more about a new privatized African city that heralds climate apartheid here.

American congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently shook up environmental politics in the US by releasing a broad outline of a Green New Deal – a plan to make the US a carbon-neutral economy in the next ten years, while reducing both poverty and inequality. Welcomed by many as a radical and necessary step, president Trump responded in typical style by suggesting in a tweet that this would mean an end to all transport, travel, oil, gas and even cows – you can read the full story in the Global Policy Journal here.

Emissions by world population
Credit: Oxfam

In his report, Philip Alston criticized governments for doing little more than sending officials to conferences to make “sombre speeches,” even though scientists and climate activists have been ringing alarm bells since the 1970s.  “Thirty years of conventions appear to have done very little. From Toronto to Noordwijk to Rio to Kyoto to Paris, the language has been remarkably similar as States continue to kick the can down the road”. More from Huffington Post here.

We all need to push for a huge change in attitudes and behaviour – both within ourselves and within the rich – so that we all take responsibility for the carbon pollution of our chosen lifestyle. But rather than bang on about having less of everything, we need to target the rich to act. It’s been found that the top 770 million of super rich individuals produce 35 times the carbon emissions of someone in the bottom half, and 175 times the amount of someone in the poorest 10%. And they are spread unevenly around the world – some 40% live in the US, around 20% live in the EU and 10% in China.

globaljournalist.org
Credit: globaljournalist.org

As Nicholas Beuret, Lecturer at the UK’s University of Essex, cleverly points out: ‘Given the problem is overwhelmingly (dare he say it) rich white men, we don’t do ourselves any favours by assigning blame to whole populations – be it humanity, Americans, or even the whole global north’. Instead, he says, rather than signing up for local protests, meat free Mondays or no more holidays, we’d be better off targeting the rich – or as he says, “eating the rich”, with reference to a saying attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau who said, ‘When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.’ Now there’s food for thought.

60 Seconds with Lindsey Ueberroth

Lindsey Ueberroth

Lindsey Ueberroth is CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand that celebrates the sustainable practices of hotels worldwide through its GIFTTS (Good Initiatives for Today’s (Tomorrow’s) Society) programme. Born into the travel industry, she has immersed herself in global cultures by visiting more than 100 countries, and makes a personal investment in doing her part to support communities in need through regular philanthropic work. Find out more at www.PreferredHotels.com.

One word that describes you?

Curious.

What project are you most proud of when it comes to sustainability?

Our company partnership and my personal relationship with Wine to Water, a non-profit that is committed to providing clean water and sanitation to people in need around the world. In 2017, I dedicated two weeks of personal vacation time to travel to the Amazon on a mission trip to dig water wells with Wine to Water to benefit the local population, and I currently serve on the organization’s board. As a company, we have implemented Wine to Water Filter Build programmes at various corporate events, which provide clean water for 10 years to hundreds of families.

Which is your favourite part of your job?

The international nature of it! It is intellectually and emotionally stimulating to work with such a global, diverse group of colleagues based across 85 countries and have the opportunity to learn about different cultures, business practices, and local customs from them on a daily basis.

Which is the part that you enjoy the least?

The airport process when I travel, which is approximately 170 days a year.  Once I am on the flight, I enjoy the journey and look forward to the experience that awaits me upon arrival.

Who is your greatest influence?

My parents, who gave me the gift and passion for travel at a young age and have always been my mentors.

Best advice you’ve been given?

You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more than you speak and never be afraid to ask questions.

What was your Plan B?

I love my job and do not plan on ever needing a plan B, but my other dream career would be to work as a location scout for the movie industry.

What is your personal indulgence?

Massages.

The latest IPCC Report noted that our planet will reach 1.5C by 2030 (not 2050 as was originally suggested). How would you suggest we get people to ‘do more’ in 2019 to help this situation?

Some people need a little nudge to realize that small steps can drive sustainable efforts for miles. We need to do a better job of showcasing those who are doing the right things in sustainability to get everyone to act more – whether solo or as a company. Everyone enjoys recognition, a little competition, and being part of a community, so creating more positive reinforcement around those taking the most effective, impactful steps will magnify what we need and want to accomplish, inspire everyone to do more, and foster greater momentum.

How is Preferred encouraging their member hotels to provide a truly sustainable travel experience for guests?

Through our GIFTTS programme and our partnership with organizations like NOW and Clean the World we encourage hotels to be active in their communities to make a difference. Most travellers today across every demographic are choosing to be more loyal to companies that emphasize sustainability programmes, and it is our job to make our hotels’ best practices for sustainability more widely known so they can grab travellers’ attention.

What are you, your family and/or your company doing to reduce and offset your carbon footprint and inspire others to do the same?

You have to walk the walk not just talk the talk when it comes to making change. For our 2019 Preferred Global Conference in Monaco, we did offset the carbon footprint for all of our 54 attending associates’ flights and hotel stays by donating to ClimateCare, a Profit with Purpose business that works with forward-thinking organisations to help turn their climate responsibilities into positive outcome (www.climatecare.org). We are currently evaluating if we will be able to do this for all internal meetings with a long-haul flight component moving forward. At our offices around the globe, we have self-nominated ambassadors for our GIFTTS programme. All of our offices have worked to eliminate waste and the use of plastic. They recycle, and practice anything that creates more efficiencies. Making a conscious effort to be sustainable creates a more healthy environment, as well as comraderie.

What is your personal favourite place to stay and/or travel company that’s trying hard when it comes to sustainability?

Cavallo Point in San Francisco, which offers an exceptional luxury stay while focusing on sustainability. It has LEED Gold Certification, and does everything it can to be as green as possible, including using radiant heat floors to ensure energy efficiency, refillable dispensers for soap and other guest amenities, and food from local growers, whenever possible.

What other steps do you take to make your daily life more committed to sustainability?

The quest for sustainability in an ongoing process. At home, my focus is on energy efficient practices – appliances, lighting, recycling, and utilities – which are easier to manage now and are good for not only the environment but also my budget.

What do you think must happen now to help make our planet, people and profit more committed to sustainability?

It must be now that we all take the time to witness firsthand the devastation that has already and is currently taking place in destinations and communities that don’t affect us personally. While that is often a difficult, sad experience, we learn the most from personal interactions and need to be storytellers on these communities’ behalf to ensure they cannot be ignored or forgotten.

If you could have one hour with a world leader, who would it be and what would you say?

So many – too many! I would be more interested in spending an hour with a younger person who is deeply motivated to change the world and understanding what motivates them, who they see as leaders, what they see as obstacles and opportunities, and how they think our industry could help them and further their cause. I find more inspiration in the people I meet on a daily basis who want to make a difference than the tradition world leaders we all know and admire. Their stories have already been told. It’s time to start telling others and making more of these in the here and the now.

Any regrets so far?

None


Note from NOW

NOW is proud to be an Alliance Partner of Preferred Hotels & Resorts since October 2018. We invite their 650 independent properties across 85 countries to join the NOW Force for Good Alliance to provide them with a differentiation, sustainability solutions and structures for action that raises the bar on accountability and transparency with no greenwash allowed.

These five extraordinary places to stay are taking the lead in providing their guests with sustainable travel experiences and they take responsibility for their total impact on communities and the environment wherever they are. Find them in NOW Track & Book:

INDIA: The Leela Palace New Delhi
MEXICO: Banyan Tree Mayakoba
NETHERLANDS: Grand Hotel Huis Ter Duin
SWITZERLAND: The Alpina Gstaad
UK: Merchants Manor