G Adventures Wants To Know How You Want To Change The World

G Adventures introduces the G ProjectAdventure travel company G Adventures is well known for its grassroots and sustainable approach to travel. Working closely with local guides, the company offers unique and affordable trips to nearly every corner of the globe, while still delivering authentic travel experiences that respect the health of the planet and the people that live on it. Now, they’re taking that philosophy one step further by launching the G Project, an initiative that invites us to share our ideas on how we might be able to change the world, while giving us an opportunity to do just that.

The concept behind the G Project is simple. G Adventures and its non-profit Planeterra Foundation are seeking submittals for ideas that could have a positive impact on our planet. They could be something simple and small, but still meaningful, or it could be grandiose and far-reaching. What ever it is, they want to hear about it, so if you have such an idea that you’ve been dying to share, be sure to visit the G Project website and fill out the online application.

Submissions are being accepted in the categories of Community, Freedom, Beauty and Knowledge between now and June 3. Each of the proposals will be showcased online, where they’ll be able to garner attention from others who can rally behind the ideas that they feel are the most relevant and viable. On June 4, the top 16 contenders will be posted on the G Project website and sent to an esteemed panel of judges for further review. That panel includes the likes of conservationist Jane Goodall, survival expert Les Stroud and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, amongst others.
On June 24, the judges will narrow the field down to just four finalists, who will be invited to attend the first ever Summit in the Jungle in Costa Rica. Once there, they’ll get the opportunity to pitch their ideas directly with the hopes of claiming the top prize – $25,000 and a chance to actually bring their dream to life.

It isn’t often that we’re given the opportunity to have a positive and lasting impact on the planet, but the G Project is going to give someone that chance. It should be interesting to see what creative ideas come out of this project and just how big of a change it can make.

[Photo Credit: G Adventures]


Cruise Line Takes Sustainability From Sea To Shore, Wins Award

cruise lineSustainable Travel International (STI) is a global non-profit charged to help destinations, businesses and travelers protect the environment, adapt to climate change, preserve cultural heritage and more. This week, STI awarded their first-ever, Gold-Level Eco-Certification to a cruise line, honoring Royal Caribbean International for attractions and tour operations at their island in the Bahamas, CocoCay.

Encouraging green travel, STI awards certification for businesses that are engaged in responsible travel practices that focus on economic, socio-cultural and environmental sustainability.

CocoCay is the first operation of its kind to receive the certification, which rates on-island tours, island operations, workplace practices, guest communications and environmental management policies. Rated by an expert third-party, independent of Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean, the CocoCay operation demonstrated an ability to successfully apply its at-sea sustainability initiatives to its on-shore operations.But Royal Caribbean did not just get lucky. Winning the award took a global focus, much like we saw when sailing to their private destination of Labadee in Haiti, just after the major earthquake of a few years ago. Then, Royal Caribbean was self-charged to deliver thousands of pounds of food and supplies to the devastated island, which was also home to resident Royal Caribbean employees who work at Labadee when ships come calling.

“Royal Caribbean developed a very thorough, attainable action plan, designed to implement higher levels of sustainability over time,” said Robert Chappell, Sustainable Travel International’s Senior Director of Standards and Certification in a press release.

Will more cruise lines follow Royal Caribbean and work to get their own private islands certified green and sustainable? Probably. Other cruise lines as well have been working to make a green impact. By recycling cooking oil used on ships as fuel for vehicles on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line is making a difference.

Princess Cruises shore power program made history debuting in environmentally sensitive Juneau, Alaska, in 2001, expanding to Seattle in 2005, and then to Vancouver in 2009. Currently nine of the line’s ships have the capability to “plug in” to a shore-side power source, representing an investment for Princess of nearly $7 million in equipment.

“I’m excited to see them expand their action plan while developing innovative new solutions that are leading the way in the cruise industry,” added Chappell.

STEP is among the first global standards to be formally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay is the first cruise line private island to receive the certification.

Want to know more about Sustainable Travel International? Check this video:



[Photo Credit – Flickr user kuddlyteddybear2004]

5 Must-Try Food Trucks In Vancouver, Canada


fresh local wild


It’s been more than a year since the launch of the pilot project that expanded Vancouver‘s street food from hotdogs and chestnuts to fresh international fare and local cuisine. Because of the project’s success, the number of mobile eateries has expanded, meaning it’s harder to find the really worthwhile carts and trucks. To help guide you, here are five must-try mobile eateries in Vancouver.

1. Fresh Local Wild

You’ll find this truck in the downtown core on the south side of West Hastings, just east of Burrard. The menu offers West Coast staples like the Chicken Fried Oyster ‘Po-Boy’ and Tuna Melt, as well as seasonal seafood sourced from local fishermen and ethical farms. Personally, I love eating poutine in Canada, and they serve their own spin on the fries and gravy meal with the “Local Seafood Chowder Poutine,” a mix of clams, mussels, salmon, cod and double-smoked bacon, and their “Chanterelle Mushroom Poutine” with Quadra Island chanterelles, cheese curds and green onions. Their focus is on being part of the change concerning unstable food sources, over-consumption of fossil fuels and over-harvesting of natural food resources. For example, they’ve created the industry’s first carbon-negative food truck. What’s also interesting is the moving eatery boasts having the city’s “only mobile dining patio,” making the vehicle even more like a typical restaurant.


feastro


Feastro, The Rolling Bistro

Located on the corner of West Cordova and Thurlow Streets, this food truck serves brunch and lunch all day. Items like huevos rancheros with homemade salsa, maple grilled ham steak bennies topped with Howe Sound beer and cheddar cheese and “Fisherman’s Pie” stuffed with Pacific scallops, red snapper, Alaskan line-caught ling cod, prawns and truck-smoked salmon make this a sustainable yet flavorful roaming eatery. Their focus is on creating unusual combinations with local ingredients, and you’ll be surprised that such delicious food can come from such a tiny kitchen.


re-up bbq


Re-Up BBQ

With various locations, this mobile eatery serves southern style pulled-pork sandwiches that transport you from British Columbia to the deep south. One of the perks about having a menu with only a few items – pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket and southern sweet tea – is you learn how to slow-cook the dishes perfectly. While you’ll get authentic southern flavor, this food truck places an emphasis on health and sustainability by using locally sourced and organic ingredients. You can find them Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hornby and Georgia Streets. On select Saturdays, they move to 800 Robson, between Horby and Howe. Additionally, each day you’ll find them at their cafe at River Market at Westminster Quay from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. At this location you’ll also find additional menu items.


japadog


JAPADOG

While technically they do sell hotdogs, this mobile eatery is anything but ordinary. Probably the most famous food cart in Vancouver – and for good reason – JAPADOG serves wieners with Japanese-style toppings. Some menu items include the “Okonomi,” made with Kurobuta sausage with bonito flakes, the “Yakisoba,” created by topping an arabiki sausage with Japanese noodles and their signature hot dog, the “Terimayo,” topped with Teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed (shown above). While you’ll find JAPADOG in an array of forms throughout the city, their mobile shops are located at Burrand and Smithe, Burrard and Pender and Granville and Pender from around 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later.


moms grilled cheese


Mom’s Grilled Cheese

Located at Howe Street and West Georgia, on the corner of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this cozy food truck operates under the idea of bringing home to the road. They specialize in classic home-style grilled cheese made with love and precision. All their breads are artisanal and made fresh daily, with gluten-free options available as well. You can choose between making your own grilled cheese and choosing the breads, cheeses and add-ons, or ordering the daily special. For example, on Mondays they serve a thick slice of homemade meatloaf topped with mozzarella and marinara and served on French bread, while on Tuesdays you can get “Sam’s Special,” a helping of turkey and brie on cranberry pecan bread.

What’s your favorite mobile eatery in Vancouver?

Sunset Magazine’s ‘Westphoria’ Blog Celebrates The Weirdness Of The Western States

chickenIt’s no secret that the 13 states comprising the Western U.S. are a bit unusual. Enter Westphoria, Sunset magazine’s 4-month-old blog dedicated to celebrating all that’s quirky, kick-ass, and distinct about the Left Coast, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions. Think retrofitted teardrop campers, chicken “sitters,” bike-powered farmers market smoothies, and, uh, hotel rooms designed to resemble giant bird nests.

For those of you living on the other side of the Continental Divide, Sunset is the nation’s top Western lifestyle magazine, focused on travel, gardening, design, green living, food and the outdoors. Understandably, we’re big fans here at Gadling.

Westphoria is sort of like Sunset’s black sheep little sibling: edgy, on-trend, a smarty-pants with a sweet soul. Categories include themes like “House Crush,” “Made in the West,” “Dream Life,” “Food” and “Wanderlust.” I’m hooked.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Green Garden Girl]

‘The Perennial Plate’ Partners With Intrepid Travel For Online Food Documentary Series

food documentariesI’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I despise most of the food shows currently on television and online. That’s why I got so excited when I heard about “The Perennial Plate,” a weekly online documentary series, “dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.”

That angle by virtue does not a good show make. But Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, the team behind the show, have the ideal background to make this concept work, which it does. Throw in a collaboration with well-regarded Australian adventure company Intrepid Travel, and you have the makings of a cult classic.

In case you’re thinking this is another “No Reservations,” or “Bizarre Foods,” the focus is different in that the duo explores the increasingly connected global food system, minus the machismo. That said, there’s plenty for those more interested in armchair travel.

Klein has an impressive resume as a chef, filmmaker and activist, while “camera girl” Fine has a background in graphic design and writing, and has previously released short, food-based films. Together, the two have completed two seasons. The first took place over the course of a calendar year in their home state of Minnesota. The second was filmed across America, taking viewers on a journey of “where good food comes from, and how to enjoy it.”

Season three, which premieres in October (check their site for dates), is the first since joining with Intrepid Travel. The season kicks off with a tour of Vietnam. Future episodes will include China, Japan, India, Argentina and Italy.