Celebrating 50 years of Adventure Travel

Making a Difference While Traveling with MT Sobek

November 14, 2019 by Chris Bettencourt

Even since our earliest days exploring the trails to Everest Base Camp, MT Sobek has been committed to taking an active role in the preservation of the cultures and landscapes we visit, supporting local organizations that share our values.

Today, MT Sobek takes this commitment one step further. Starting in January, we are working to fully eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from all of our trips! Plastic waste has been shown to be a significant contributor to the declining health of wildlife populations around the world, especially in our oceans. MT Sobek’s water bottle initiative will remove hundreds of pounds of plastic waste from the ecosystem every year.

We would also like to share the stories about how we work with our local teams to preserve and protect the areas we travel. From the trails of Yosemite National Park (above) in our own backyard to the faraway forests of Lebanon and beyond, our MT Sobek staff, local teams, and guides are working to preserve delicate ecosystems and cultures for generations to come. Here are a few of their stories.

Our Wild Borneo and Borneo Family Adventure help to support the mission of Sticky Rice’s foundation in funding community projects in the village of Sayap, Malaysia. Palm oil production is one of the main sources of income in this region, and palm plantations are a huge contributor to deforestation and the consequent damage to Borneo’s diverse wildlife, including the iconic orangutan (above). The foundation aims to combat this by providing skill training and jobs to local villagers as an alternative to working on harmful palm plantations.

In Scotland, our trips help reduce the effect of tourism on the fragile habitats and landscapes on the Isle of Skye by supporting the John Muir Trust’s conservation efforts in the area. Through our support of the John Muir Trust, we help to replace commercial plantings with expanded native woodlands and maintain over 40 miles of trails to minimize the impact of hikers on the surrounding landscape.

Patagonia has long been a destination close to our hearts, and we are especially proud of the work our local teams have done in Jeinimeni National Reserve, the incredible region we explore on our Smugglers’ Trail trip (above). This area has been reclaimed and restored through teamwork between Tomkins Conservation and our local guides, who worked to develop this very special trip. Formerly private land was reacquired and donated back to the Chilean park system by Tompkins Conservation, and its trails today are maintained in large part because of hikers visiting the park.

Small actions really do add up to big changes, and there is so much still to be done as we seek to leave a softer footprint. We can all do something to ensure the health of our planet for future generations. From reducing carbon emissions to identifying greener practices, MT Sobek is committed to doing our part and welcome our guests to help us in our efforts. Have a great idea or want to get involved? Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, or email us at info@mtsobek.com to share your ideas or obtain more information about how you can join us in this shared effort to leave a softer footprint.

About the Author Chris Bettencourt

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