We’re super excited about our nature-based adventure in Croatia, traversing the country from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Along the way in Split, we’ll spend time with our community partner Green Sail for an EcoWalk to learn about the ways that tourism and ocean conservation intersect and how we as travelers can do our part to keep a healthy environment. We talked with our Green Sail ambassador, Ornela, to get a bit more background and here’s what she had to share.
Tell us about how Green Sail started. Who started it, when and why? Give us some historical context.
Green Sail was initiated by the UK based family, Seuren, who was passionate about raising ecological awareness within nautical sector. Aiming to encourage sustainable nautical tourism in Croatia, the initiative developed very fast by establishing charter and marina programs.
Through these programs, Green Sail attracts various stakeholders interested in sea protection through land-based activities due to increased coastal development. Today, we facilitate the process of pollution prevention among more than 50 charter, marina and other partners, their guests and associates. We work constantly with our partners by providing them informative and educative activities and materials. Together, we try to prevent all kinds of sea pollution and engage people in environmentally friendly behaviour with an emphasis on recycling and reducing plastic products.
We are really happy to see that more and more people are aware that our well-being, our economy and our survival need healthy seas and oceans and consequently start turning their activities into ecologically responsible ones. Influencing this kind of change is the biggest reward we can imagine.
What is your role within Green Sail?
As a Green Sail Ambassador, my role is to manage our projects and relationships with partners to conduct educational and other environmental activities. Changing people’s habits is the hardest aim you can set for yourself. My role is to get to people’s hearts by passing on to them the green message to help ensure the health of our vital earth systems, especially seas and oceans.
Talk to us about the Green Sail team. Are they volunteers or is it a full time job?
Some of us are employed, some are volunteers and some of them occasional supporters. Each of our tasks is different, but we all certainly share the same excitement when it comes to sea protection. We are all well aware that the state of our seas and oceans substantially affects our climate and weather conditions as well as our personal health and we find that it is our responsibility to engage in doing positive steps for preserving healthy environment for future generations.
How do you feel that Traverse Journeys is aligned with Green Sail’s values?
As massive number of annual tourists have taken toll on our seas and oceans and it is beneficial to learn from companies like Traverse Journeys that offer travellers the chance to travel sustainably and possibility to hear about good social and environmental practices around the world. Traverse Journey’s primary goal is to provide responsible travel opportunities that actually alleviate the negative impacts tourism can have and foster all the great advantages tourism can offer to local communities.
What are the 3 things you’re most looking forward to about the with Traverse Journeys Nature Escape Croatia trip and our Eco Walk together in Split?
We are truly looking forward to meet people interested in local environmental strivings, people who are really responsible travellers and share our experiences and knowledge from the ground. The Green Sail team will gladly share the knowledge on Adriatic Sea pollution threats and the ways our initiative is trying to tackle those problems.
Apart from Green Sail’s ecological projects, we will enjoy sharing all the cultural and historical curiosities on ancient times of Split region.