Earth Day 2018 calls for the end of plastic pollution and a ban on single-use plastics. Want to take action? Book a trip on April 22nd, and kimkim will donate its 5% service fee to 5 Gyres, a nonprofit working against marine plastic pollution through research, education and advocacy.

This Earth Day brings a call for the elimination of single-use plastics and regulation of disposable plastics. If you haven’t already heard, our oceans are quickly becoming clogged with plastic waste—by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish (if calculated by weight). 

Photo by Sergio Izquierdo for 5 Gyres

In the same timeframe, the plastics industry is also projected to consume 20% of all oil production, mainly to produce single-use plastics. Not only does this signal an ecological catastrophe, but it’s an imminent threat to tourism. Who wants to swim or snorkel through trash?

That's why kimkim has pledged to donate its 5% service fee* for all trips booked on April 22nd to 5 Gyres, a nonprofit organization taking action against the global crisis of marine plastic pollution.

Why 5 Gyres?

Through science, education, and adventure, 5 Gyres empowers action toward a world free of plastic pollution. 5 Gyres is a member of Break Free From Plastic, an international movement sharing the common values of environmental protection and social justice, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition, which works toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact. As of 2017, they also hold special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Since 2009, 5 Gyres has taken part in a number of landmark initiatives. Their discovery of microbeads in the Great Lakes led to a U.S. federal ban, known as the Microbead-Free Waters Act. 5 Gyres is currently enacting a two-year investigation on pollution in San Francisco Bay with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and plans to lead an expedition to Indonesia this summer to collect data for its Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution.

How kimkim Supports Sustainable and Earth-Friendly Travel 

Even if you don’t book a trip on April 22nd, we hope that you’ll be heartened to know that many of our specialists are longtime advocates of sustainable travel and use as little plastic as possible, encouraging their own travelers to do the same.

  • Our Nepal specialist, Raj, who is a member of Travelers Against Plastic, has declared his Kathmandu office a plastic-free zone, aside from reusable rice sacks.  
  • Our Myanmar specialist, Anne, is a team leader for the Mandalay branch of Trash Hero, which aims to bring communities together to clean and reduce waste. On Earth Day, she will be partaking in a cleanup of Mandalay Hill, joined by the local government, tour guide association and other community environmental groups.
  • Our Slovenia specialist, Miha, always uses refill bottles and takes travelers to eat at local restaurants where there is almost no plastic involved, and avoids the use of plastic takeaway containers. 
  • In Vietnam, our specialists at Footprint Travel began collecting and recycling paper at the start of April 2018. They also forbid the use of plastic bottles in the office, and are planning to develop a water refill station project in Hanoi. 
  • In Cambodia, our Asia cycling specialists at Grasshopper Adventures participate in Refill Not Landfill, which aims to cut down on the millions of plastic water bottles discarded in Cambodia each year by offering an alternative: reusable aluminum bottles. The flasks can be refilled free of charge at designated venues across the country.

We’ll be sharing more stories about them —and a number of other specialists — later this week.

Earth Day Fundraising Update (April 23, 2018):

We raised $3,249 to donate to 5 Gyres! Many thanks to the following travelers for booking with us on Earth Day:

Krish I., Julie J., Nichole E., and Lakshmi J. for each booking trips to Jordan
Rosanne K., who booked a 9-day trip to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand
David M., Evan W., and Ann B. for each booking trips to Nepal
Alex B. and Lindy F., for each booking 10-day trips to Peru
Yevgenia Z., who booked an 8-day road trip around Portugal
Dennis R., who booked a 6-day trip to Sri Lanka
Sharon C. and Lauren R. for booking trips to Norway
Rob S., who booked an 11-day tour discovering Bulgaria's highlights 

*Kimkim connects you directly to local, knowledgeable travel specialists. We don’t charge anything until you decide to book your trip through us. A 5% service fee is added to the total price of the trip to help us run our business, provide a secure payment platform and provide customer service.