With the growing tourism in Iceland, it becomes ever more important for everyone involved to put in their best effort creating an atmosphere of responsible tourism in Iceland.
Iceland’s wilderness remains largely intact and undisturbed which makes it unique and very precious. Iceland’s tundra vegetation is also extremely vulnerable to outside disturbance despite the fact that it is resistant to the harsh climate. The rapid growth in tourism is subjecting this fragile environment to an unprecedented level of strain. We are committed to sharing our love and respect for Icelandic nature with our guests providing a one-of-a-kind experience. We do our best to lead by example, such as staying on marked tracks while driving and even when hiking, where possible, never littering and treating nature with respect and care, and inviting others to do so as well. Our effort is to promote attitudes and practices which protect our wilderness areas and keep them intact for generations to come. We are continually striving towards new and creative ways to evolve our company in harmony with Iceland’s beautiful but fragile nature.
Our guidelines to protect the Icelandic nature are:
- Take nothing but pictures.
- And trash if we are to find any on our tour and in our daily lives.
- Kill nothing but time.
- Make nothing but memories.
- Leave nothing behind.
Sustainability declaration and environmental responsibilities
We believe that if a company, such as Tinna Adventure, wishes to thrive in the future the only way to achieve this is to work in harmony with nature, local communities, and the people living in them. Every time possible, we seek to purchase local goods to reduce long-distance procurement and to abolish the use of products made by companies who fail to recognize environmental guidelines or their worker´s rights. We make donations to organizations and support charities in various ways. This declaration is revised annually in the effort to continually better ourselves.
Supporting and Respecting Local Living
- We strive to offer trips that enable our customers to engage with local people. This effort is something that our customers enjoy because it gives them an opportunity to learn more about local customs and culture.
- We like to use local food products to support small local farmers and producers. This also decreases carbon dioxide release.
- Constant monitoring, re-focusing, re-thinking, and adapting to changes both environmental and cultural to ensure a perfect balance between limits and usage.
- Thinking long-term in all of our plans and actions.
Leave No Trace
As a tour operator in Iceland, we are acutely aware of our obligation to protect and conserve the environment to the best of our ability. To not do so would, of course, be socially irresponsible and reckless. It would also be counterproductive and destructive to our business. The primary demographic of Tinna Adventure’s clientele is focused on enjoying the Icelandic natural environment in its most pristine form. This is one of the factors which motivates us to adhere strictly to a “leave no trace policy.”
Our staff is required to:
- Remove all waste in Tinna Adventures tour areas of operation; “we carry out, what we carry in.” Additionally, the team must also dispose of any garbage found in the area, even when that waste is not connected to the operation of our tours.
- Properly dispose of all waste, for example, recycle all recyclable materials. This applies to areas in the field of operation, not just the facilities of Tinna Adventure.
- Inform clients of the “leave no trace policy” and explain how it applies to them.
- Discourage the taking of natural ‘souvenirs’: take only photographs.
- Ensure all participants minimize their environmental impact by keeping to marked paths and trails whenever possible.
- Ensure no contaminants enter water sources or systems.
- Take care that all areas visited will be left in a condition which is at least as good as the condition in which we found them.
- Drive on marked trails, cross rivers in designated places and make sure not to damage the areas we visit.
Limited Paper use and recycling
- We decided not to print brochures and limit our advertisements in printed mediums to a few selected local mediums. This step was taken to decrease the usage of toxic chemicals used to break down ingredients for paper production and ink, as inks used in industrial printing affect the environment in various harmful ways.
- We recycle all paper at the office.
Recycling and leaving no trace
- We recycle all waste, paper, plastic, and bottles at the office and encourage our team to do so out on the field as well.
- On our tours, we make sure not to use disposable cups or utensils
- We bring containers on all of our tours to make sure nothing gets left behind, food, waste, or toilet paper.
Code of conduct in contact with wild animals
- When in viewing wild animals we strive not to disturb their daily routine and treat them with the utmost respect.
- We don’t feed wild animals and make sure not to interrupt the balance of nature while striving to see the animals in their natural habitat.
- During nesting season we make sure not to come too close to the bird’s nesting areas.
- During the birthing season for the reindeer, we stay away from the areas where the female deer go to give birth.
Honor your host and our shared heritage
- Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions, and social conditions. It’s a great way to build an understanding of the local community and excitement for your adventure ahead.
- Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect with the local community and its people more meaningfully.
- Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress, and communication codes, to its music, art, and cuisine.
- Always ask before taking photographs of other people since their privacy matters as much as yours.
Protect our planet
- Reduce your environmental impact by being a guardian of natural resources, especially forests and wetlands.
- Respect wildlife and their natural habitats.
- Purchase products that aren’t made using endangered plants or animals. In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors.
- Reduce your water and energy consumption whenever possible.
- Leave only a minimum footprint and a good impression behind.
Support the local community
- Buy locally made handicrafts and products.
- Respect the livelihoods of local vendors and artisans by paying a fair price.
- Do not buy counterfeit products or items prohibited by national/ international regulations.
- Hire local guides with in-depth knowledge of the area.
Be an informed traveler
- Take appropriate health and safety precautions before and during your trip.
- Know how to access medical care or contact your embassy in case of an emergency. In Iceland, the emergency number is 112
- Research well before engaging in voluntourism.
- Choose tourism operators with environmental policies and community projects in place.
Be a respectful traveler
- Observe national laws and regulations.
- Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation. Abusing children is a crime.
- Refrain from giving money to begging children and support community projects instead.
- Take photos instead of protected cultural artifacts as souvenirs of your trip.
- Provide honest travel reviews upon your return and promote your positive experiences.
These tips for a Responsible Traveller were developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and are based on the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
Here are some additional tips for travelers when visiting Iceland.
Before your trip
- When visiting Iceland, the travel is always by flight or by boat. You can offset your carbon emission by making a carbon offset payment to a reputable source such as climate care.com, myclimate.org
- Travel light. Lighter luggage reduces the fuel use on flights.
- Save paper. Only print out what is necessary. It might be enough to store vouchers and such documents on your cell phone.
- Unplug appliances, turn the heating down, and stop your newspaper before leaving home.
During your trip:
- Bring a water bottle and avoid buying bottled water. You can drink the water from both tabs and streams in Iceland.
- Travel on a durable surface. It takes years for nature to recover from an off-road ride by a car, and it is not because you are walking that it should be otherwise. The environment in Iceland is quite fragile, and the moss and lichens are growing very slowly. Stick to footpaths where they are available. Avoid stepping on sensitive vegetation and keep erosion at a minimum.
- Learn about the recycling methods in Iceland and recycle. (You get a refund for cans, glass, and plastic bottles.)
- Buy local products. Taste local food and buy locally made souvenirs.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport as much as possible.
- Leave what you find. If you used rocks or driftwood for camping, put them back in place after use.
- Do not light any fires. As stated in the first point, you can severely damage the soil.
- Off-road driving in Iceland is not an option. Enjoy walking.
- Respect the wildlife. Although they look cuddly, do not try to run after the sheep. Birds should be left alone, especially during nesting season, and never touch a bird’s nest.
- Minimize pollution and carry out all litter. Pick up litter. If you follow these bits of advice, not only will it help you enjoy the Icelandic landscape better, but it will also help our beloved island to host more people like you. Before arriving in Iceland, you can also sign the Icelandic Pledge for responsible tourism.