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  • Island Intern Advocate: Clarissa Caldwell on Sustainability

    Our next Island Intern Advocate, Clarissa Caldwell, is an editor and journalist for Justmeans.com, the world’s leading source of information on sustainable business. As a staff travel writer for Justmeans, Clarissa covers everything from offbeat eco-destinations in Madagascar to how to go about eating meat sustainably while on vacation. Clarissa’s coverage exemplifies a truly sustainable way of thinking about travel. We sat down to learn more about her travel experiences, her views on sustainability, and of course, the Island Intern candidates.

    Amble Resorts: Have you ever had a travel experience that contributed to your will to work towards a sustainable future?

    Clarissa Caldwell: I somehow ended up going to Antarctica. It was breathtaking. I hope there are always places where we can see untouched natural beauty, and I hope our grandchildren will see them, too. It hurts to think that the bright blue ice is melting… Nature’s art is at risk.

    AR: In your opinion, what impact has social media had on environmental consciousness among travelers? What impact do you think it could have?

    CC: Well, social media is a big news-spreader. Spreading good news is good, and a little awareness can go a long way. More importantly: travelers can make a fuss about big companies via social media, and when the Marriott greens up their supply chain, things get greener across the board. Also, social media can help small eco-businesses get the attention they deserve, too.

    AR: What is the biggest issue facing sustainable development today?

    CC: I feel completely unqualified to answer that question. Here’s one that I wonder about, though: how can the world preserve the culture and ecology of a place, and yet help it benefit economically and socially from tourism? An obvious question, but a difficult one to answer.

    AR: What most inspires you about the Island Intern candidates? Does any one candidate or message stand out to you so far?

    CC: They’re so energetic! And creative. I like the candidates that focus on giving. A lot of them have traveled and can do flips or ride bicycles backwards — cool, yes — but I like the ones who are really invested in sustainability.

    Clarissa CaldwellTo hear more from Clarissa, you can follow her on Twitter: @cdccdc and check the Island Intern Contestant page to see which videos Clarissa comments on as her favorite applicants.

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    Post by Emily Kinskey

    When Emily’s not dreaming up her next journey, she’s brainstorming creative ways to get other people to travel as a member of Amble’s marketing...MORE

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    4 Responses

    1. Hannah says:

      Hi Clarissa,

      Your question, “how can the world preserve the culture and ecology of a place, and yet help it benefit economically and socially from tourism?” is such an important one. It makes me think about something as simple as our *attitudes* when we travel. I know a lot of people in college volunteer abroad. Before I did this myself, I considered the contribution that volunteers gave was a one-time thing; building a farm or house, planting crops, etc.

      Once I went on these trips myself, I realized that this one-time contribution was a very small element of the experience. Let’s be honest; a group of Honduran men would build their agricultural warehouse just fine without the physical labor of a petite girl who had never done construction before! The REAL contribution I made was learning about their social and environmental issues, spreading awareness in my local community when I returned home, and supporting their organization (RedComal – which addresses social/environmental issues in Honduras). It’s crucial for us not to see ourselves as “benevolent volunteers” but as lasting partners in mutual progress, with a lot to learn!

      It’s important to proactively and consciously build meaningful cultural bridges when we travel and see ourselves as global citizens, NOT as one-time visitors.

    2. Hi Emily and Clarissa,

      Love the post! I hope you’ll take a look at my intern contest video.

      As I learned in a recent research project on Sustainable Tourism as a Response to Climate Change, one of the challenges facing environmentally and culturally sensitive destinations is the vast difference in sustainable development practices around the world. Some areas use government regulation which is usually randomly enforced with limited success, and other areas use self-regulation based on some sort of “green certification” which is often loosely defined.

      When sustainable tourism was a travel alternative, like adventure tourism, or culinary tourism, this was probably somewhat acceptable. But with the rapid acceleration of global warming there there is a new urgency for standardized criteria, diligent and uniform enforcement, and widespread awareness of sustainable tourism development and practices.

      Thanks for bringing attention to this issue!

      Jennifer

    3. Lilly Chapa says:

      Great question regarding encouraging tourism while preserving the area. I think we need to focus on changing the typical Westerner’s view of travel: many people define a good vacation as going somewhere exotic but staying in a touristy resort that is just like home. We need to encourage people to travel more simply and realistically, picking out places to travel based on the ecology and culture, not on which resorts provide the best entertainment. This will help keep the integrity of travel destinations while truly exposing travelers to the powerful experience of immersing themselves in a culture foreign to them.

    4. Amanda Throckmorton Amanda says:

      Yes, media outlets are definitely holding business to social obligation. Its great to watch small business gain followers and gain media attention. Case and point, Amble Resorts and the Isla Palenque Island intern contest. It’s been amazing to follow!

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    Our next Island Intern Advocate, Clarissa Caldwell, is an editor and journalist for Justmeans.com, the world's leading source of information on sustainable business. As a staff travel writer for Justmeans, Clarissa covers everything from offbeat eco-destinations in Madagascar to how to go about eating meat sustainably while on vacation. Clarissa's coverage exemplifies a truly sustainable way of thinking about travel. We sat down to learn more about her travel experiences, her views on sustainability, and of course, the Island Intern candidates.
    Amble Resorts: Have you ever had a travel experience that contributed to your will to work towards a sustainable future? Clarissa Caldwell: I somehow ended up going to Antarctica. It was breathtaking. I hope there are always places where we can see untouched natural beauty, and I hope our grandchildren will see them, too. It hurts to think that the bright blue ice is melting... Nature's art is at risk.
    AR: In your opinion, what impact has social media had on environmental consciousness among travelers? What impact do you think it could have? CC: Well, social media is a big news-spreader. Spreading good news is good, and a little awareness can go a long way. More importantly: travelers can make a fuss about big companies via social media, and when the Marriott greens up their supply chain, things get greener across the board. Also, social media can help small eco-businesses get the attention they deserve, too.
    AR: What is the biggest issue facing sustainable development today? CC: I feel completely unqualified to answer that question. Here's one that I wonder about, though: how can the world preserve the culture and ecology of a place, and yet help it benefit economically and socially from tourism? An obvious question, but a difficult one to answer.
    AR: What most inspires you about the Island Intern candidates? Does any one candidate or message stand out to you so far? CC: They're so energetic! And creative. I like the candidates that focus on giving. A lot of them have traveled and can do flips or ride bicycles backwards -- cool, yes -- but I like the ones who are really invested in sustainability. Clarissa CaldwellTo hear more from Clarissa, you can follow her on Twitter: @cdccdc and check the Island Intern Contestant page to see which videos Clarissa comments on as her favorite applicants.
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Our next Island Intern Advocate, Clarissa Caldwell, is an editor and journalist for Justmeans.com, the world's leading source of information on sustainable business. As a staff travel writer for Justmeans, Clarissa covers everything from offbeat eco-destinations in Madagascar to how to go about eating meat sustainably while on vacation. Clarissa's coverage exemplifies a truly sustainable way of thinking about travel. We sat down to learn more about her travel experiences, her views on sustainability, and of course, the Island Intern candidates.
Amble Resorts: Have you ever had a travel experience that contributed to your will to work towards a sustainable future? Clarissa Caldwell: I somehow ended up going to Antarctica. It was breathtaking. I hope there are always places where we can see untouched natural beauty, and I hope our grandchildren will see them, too. It hurts to think that the bright blue ice is melting... Nature's art is at risk.
AR: In your opinion, what impact has social media had on environmental consciousness among travelers? What impact do you think it could have? CC: Well, social media is a big news-spreader. Spreading good news is good, and a little awareness can go a long way. More importantly: travelers can make a fuss about big companies via social media, and when the Marriott greens up their supply chain, things get greener across the board. Also, social media can help small eco-businesses get the attention they deserve, too.
AR: What is the biggest issue facing sustainable development today? CC: I feel completely unqualified to answer that question. Here's one that I wonder about, though: how can the world preserve the culture and ecology of a place, and yet help it benefit economically and socially from tourism? An obvious question, but a difficult one to answer.
AR: What most inspires you about the Island Intern candidates? Does any one candidate or message stand out to you so far? CC: They're so energetic! And creative. I like the candidates that focus on giving. A lot of them have traveled and can do flips or ride bicycles backwards -- cool, yes -- but I like the ones who are really invested in sustainability. Clarissa CaldwellTo hear more from Clarissa, you can follow her on Twitter: @cdccdc and check the Island Intern Contestant page to see which videos Clarissa comments on as her favorite applicants.
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