Beat the January blues with small acts of kindness

Here at BIRD we are so proud of the forward-thinking offerings and philanthropic initiatives showcased by our clients around the world. And so, on this cold January day, what better antidote than to highlight the small yet hugely impactful acts of kindness that you can be inspired by and even get involved in.

Here are some of our favourites…

Skill Swap with SALT of Palmar | Mauritius

Situated on the east coast of Mauritius, SALT of Palmar is a uniquely progressive hotel which connects modern explorers with meaningful travel experiences. SALT introduces you to the people that make the places, connecting you to the community and the local way of life.

Credit: SALT of Palmar

SALT empowers guests to immerse themselves into the heart of Mauritian life, providing a platform through which you can connect directly with locals via their Skill Swap programme.  Through this programme you are invited to exchange your time, talent and skills with that of the Mauritian people, joining local suppliers to see their work or passion firsthand, from early morning fishing with fisherman Kishor to basket weaving with Mrs Reotee Bulleeram. 

“Making a positive impact is not as easy as making a negative one, but it’s worth the extra effort. It’s about being responsible, creating jobs, giving back and appreciating what we’re given, and being honest and fair. So, we sow seeds and build relationships. We support locals and respect their space. We don’t pollute or dilute. We’re part of the community.”

And the #SALTshakers don’t stop there.  You can be confident that sustainability and environmental consciousness are at the core of the hotel. Simply by staying at SALT, you will contribute to protecting and empowering local communities, creating opportunity and employment, and preserving the environment via the single-use plastic, bio-farming and zero-waste policies. With little touches such as being gifted your own stainless-steel water bottle and both still and sparkling water stations positioned around the hotel, being eco-conscious is made easy. The hotel also runs regular beach clean ups, a farming school and ongoing training sessions for the community, all of which are available for you to give back to the people and the planet.

Expansion of the Mashpi Reserve|  Ecuador

Credit: Mashpi Lodge

At the forefront of protecting the unique ecosystem of the Ecuadorian cloud forest is the idyllic Mashpi Lodge. Thanks to Mashpi’s sister company, Metropolitan Touring going carbon neutral, all guests offset their carbon footprint generated through travel through the acquisition and protection of tropical forests of Ecuador. As such, the bountiful Mashpi Reserve has recently doubled in size, expanding from 1,200HA to 2,500HA (that’s over 4,600 football fields) with the aim of protecting a total area of 15,000HA (25,000 football fields!) by the year 2040.

Through sourcing most of its food locally, supporting sustainable and local business, Masphi Lodge has lowered its carbon footprint as well as reducing traffic flow in the surrounding areas. The hotel also uses water from the nearby Torrenteer Waterfall and its numerous streams, as well as recycling, composting and effectively disposing of its wastewater through a biological wastewater treatment plant. Not only have they created a network of local, agroecological suppliers that strengthens the all-important bond between the communities from the Mashpi area, but through employing the majority of its staff locally, they are boosting the economy and providing work opportunities for locals that differ from resource exploitation such as destructive and illegal mining and logging.

Credit: Mashpi Lodge

Giving Getaways with Resplendent Ceylon | Sri Lanka

For Sri Lanka’s leading luxury hoteliers, Resplendent Ceylon, the Giving Getaways programme offers a unique and educational opportunity to give back and get involved in conservation initiatives and philanthropic work engaging with local communities through the MJF Foundation.  Spanning the brand’s three resorts; Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Tea Trails and Cape Weligama, Giving Getaways opens the door to a variety of environmental and social projects perfect for the conscious traveller.

Begin your adventure on the green foot with Tea Trails, through the reforesting programme, helping to offset your carbon emissions and assist in the development of a conservation corridor for Sri Lankan leopards.  Next, head to the spectacular cliff top site at the south coast of the island, Cape Weligama, where you will have the chance to volunteer at the nearby MJF Centre.  The centre offers educational classes and creative workshops to children from local fishing communities which you can get involved in, depending on your own personal abilities and interests.  Ranging from math classes to singing and dancing, the happiness gained from this small act of kindness is a lifelong memory to treasure.  If this wasn’t enough, Resplendent Ceylon’s newest venture, Wild Coast Tented Lodge, is a nature-lover’s paradise and provides the eco conservation effort to match.  Get involved in analysing data from wildlife captured in ten camera traps or, for those younger environmentalists among us, go a step further by applying for a space on the summer internship programme.

What could you do this January to spread a little kindness?