Planting a tree seedling in the soil

Does planting trees actually fight climate change?

As the world races to stop climate change, trees are receiving more attention for the role they play in cooling the climate – and for good reason! Trees absorb and store massive amounts of carbon, and unlike other carbon removal methods they don’t require expensive technology. Research indicates that natural climate solutions, such as forest conservation and restoration, can provide over one-third of the climate mitigation needed in the next decade to meet the Paris Agreement targets. 

In recent years, a number of tree planting programs were launched. Some of these programs aim to plant millions or even trillions of trees! Many businesses have gotten on board with the trend, launching campaigns to “plant a tree for every product sold.” 

But as tree planting becomes more popular, there’s growing skepticism about whether or not it’s actually effective. With climate change accelerating, how much should we rely on tree planting to save us? Is planting trees the best way to fight climate change or are we focusing on the wrong solution? 

This blog addresses all of these questions and a lot more!

Eco Hotel Restart Summit

Register Now for the Eco Hotel Restart Summit

Rethink the future of hospitality to come back better, stronger, and greener.

We are excited to again be partnering with the team behind Eco Hotel Summit and Eco Hotel Investment Summit for their new event: Eco Hotel Restart Summit. This event will take place virtually on June 17-18, 2021 and a percentage of proceeds will be donated to Sustainable Travel International.
Solar panels on the roof of a building near the sea

Three Steps to Decarbonize Your Hotel

Gone are the days when hotels could simply put up signs encouraging guests to reuse their towels and then call themselves “green.” As travelers become more aware of the environmental impacts of their actions, they are increasingly choosing brands that adopt eco-friendly practices. With climate change at the forefront of the global sustainability agenda, a growing number of tourism businesses are taking concrete steps to become carbon neutral.

This article provides a roadmap for reducing your hotel’s carbon footprint. We’ve broken it down into three main steps: 1. reduce reliance on fossil fuels, 2. protect forests and blue carbon ecosystems, and 3. Support innovative climate solutions that scale.

To Promote a Responsible Tourism Recovery, St. Kitts Relaunches Sustainability Charter Program

Local businesses are encouraged to sign up to participate in the program.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (20 April 2021) St. Kitts is relaunching its Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter program in an effort to promote a responsible restart of tourism on the island. The Sustainability Charter provides a framework of best practices for the local tourism industry and is led by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council in partnership with the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism. 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to update the program which was originally developed in 2017. Over the past few months, the Charter was revised with support from the global NGO Sustainable Travel International and input from more than 30 local businesses. The Charter outlines key areas of sustainability, such as waste management and community development, and lists concrete actions that businesses can take to improve their performance within each. The revised Charter addresses new best practices and pressing issues – such as the climate crisis, equity and inclusion, and health and safety – to pave the way for a sustainable recovery of tourism. The program was also expanded to offer more robust benefits and resources for participating businesses that will help them implement sustainability practices and showcase their unique sustainability story.

St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the most tourism dependent nations in the world: in 2019, the industry directly contributed over 25% of the country’s GDP and employed one in four residents. As the island gradually reopens its borders to tourists, St. Kitts’ is focused on bolstering its resilience to future disruptions by enhancing the sustainability of its tourism industry.

“Visitors come from all over the world to explore our island’s natural beauty and immerse themselves in our vibrant Kittitian culture. The success of our tourism industry depends on the quality and authenticity of the visitor experience.” said Diannille Taylor-Williams, Chairperson of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (SDC). “Going forward, we must prioritize sustainable tourism practices that preserve the integrity of our beaches, waters, heritage sites, cultural traditions, and other tourism assets. In doing so we can strengthen the competitiveness of our beautiful destination, ensure the prosperity of our tourism industry, and augment community satisfaction.” 

“In recent years, we’ve witnessed a shift in consumer preferences and an increasing demand for responsible travel experiences.” said Paloma Zapata, CEO of Sustainable Travel International. “By participating in the Sustainability Charter, and strengthening their sustainability practices, businesses can cater to this expanding market of conscious travelers. At the same time, this commitment to sustainability will preserve the natural and cultural resources their business depends on and improve the quality of life for all residents.”  

Tourism businesses of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to sign on to the Sustainability Charter, including but not limited to hotels, tour operators, transport providers, attractions, vendors, and food and beverage providers. To date, more than five businesses have signed on to the revised Sustainability Charter, including: Ital Creations, Blue Water Safaris Limited, Creative Cultured Creations (3Cs), Digital Print Plus and St. Kitts Eco-Park.

More information about the Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter is available here. To get involved or learn more, please contact info@heartofstkitts.org


Media Contact

Diannille Taylor-Williams

St Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (Ministry of Tourism)


St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council

The St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council is a cross-sector body that consists of representatives from government agencies and sustainable tourism-related enterprises, as well as other like-minded individuals or organisations. We facilitate collaboration around sustainable tourism to ensure that development preserves and benefits St. Kitts’ environments, cultural heritage, and community livelihoods. Together, we are working towards a future where community members actively contribute to destination health, while promoting the island’s distinctive identity. 

Sustainable Travel International 

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving our planet’s most vulnerable destinations. We are transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people by working alongside local communities, engaging travelers and businesses in responsible practices, and strengthening destination management. Through our work, we aim to safeguard nature, combat climate change, and empower communities to preserve the integrity of destinations around the globe. Sustainable Travel International has implemented sustainability projects in more than 100 destinations around the world and has partnered with the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism to advance sustainable tourism on the island since 2012. To learn more visit www.sustainabletravel.org

Explore our work in St. Kitts

Girl in trees

Webinar: Demystifying Carbon Offsets

This event already happened – Click here to view the recording

Have you heard about carbon offsetting but still have questions or don’t know where to begin? In recent years, tourism has come under heightened scrutiny for its contribution to the climate emergency and as a result, more attention has been put on the practice of carbon offsetting. Yet it can be difficult to sift through all the information out there and figure out how carbon offsetting fits into your journey as a sustainable traveler. Join our very own Paloma Zapata and Kaitlyn Brajcich as they demystify carbon offsetting during this virtual event. The webinar will take place at 9am PDT / 12pm EDT on April 8 and is hosted by the Impact Travel Alliance Seattle Chapter. We’ll discuss the role that carbon offsetting plays in being a climate conscious traveler and address some of those burning questions that you may have! Registration is free and all are welcome to join.
Reset Tourism Webinars

Register for the Reset Tourism Webinars

Join the Future of Tourism Coalition for our upcoming webinar series!

Tourism is at a crossroads – we must choose a different path to build a more resilient, regenerative, equitable and sustainable tourism economy. But how? Business as usual will be the default option, so unless we are intentional about change, we will revert to old models and practices. Instead, businesses and destinations must find their reset button, and utilize all the tools, support, and best practices available.