October 15, 2012
Are your genuinely good intentions transparent enough?
I am reminded as a contrast of the numerous occasions when one is told to add a US$ 1 (voluntary of course) to their hotel bill but have always wondered as to what they do with it and also what they do on their own. If they indeed do something, they are real bad communicators for I can bet every dollar that not one customer knows about it.
Likewise, the “Change for Good” programme on many flights is a great concept that gets better use of the coins but again one never knows to date how they get used and more importantly how is the airline reciprocating the customer contributions. I am like many others searching for answers – seeking the elusive genuineness – hoping to find the soul in it.
You can make your vacation meaningful too!
Would you go on a safari that promises an experience of a lifetime spotting cheetahs, lions and rhinos and lets you enjoy a wonderful evening in a luxurious tent on a moonlit night – I bet you would but here is what makes it meaningful. The Micato Safaris in Africa send a kenyan child to school for 12 years for every safari booked. And as part of its 25th year celebration in addition to above donates one book to a Nairobi Library, one “Huru kit” (a collection to sanitary supplies to help keep girls from missing school) and a gallon of water for every gallon used by its guests. All the making of a genuine sustainability.
A meaningful vacation- not compromising on luxury or sustainability
Built with trees blown down by Hurricane Felix. The glassware comes from a project that keeps 40 teens off the street and off drugs by teaching them a craft. Candles purchased from an organization that teaches disabled children. The morning oatmeal comes from an enterprise where single mothers produce solar-dehydrated fruit and, in exchange learn valuable skills. The straws crafted from local wood hand made by a formal employee who now runs the business full-time.
These are just some of the many aspects of the Cayuga resorts in Costa Rica where as Hans Pfister, President and Co-owner says – ” We have the opportunity to show guests that without ‘sacrificing’ much a more sustainable approach to living is possible “. Indeed luxury sustainability at its very best born from the heart and imbibed as a culture.
I would happily spend nights at this resort and feel good about it.
Corporations, there’s more that can be done
Here’s my last example- with reference to projects that I have seen from tobacco firms and oil firms which surprise me for it appears more as redeeming exercise. By very nature of the industry in which they are, ecological and health damage are part and parcel of it. Yet most of its efforts if not all is spent on sustainability efforts in ecological and health preservation – an area where credibility is least possible from a customer perspective. I wonder why don’t these companies spend in other areas, education, community development, human capital etc where a lot more positivity can be attained. It brings back to the same question – are you being sincere with what you are doing.
Be Genuinely Meaningful
Will the Genuine, Sincere, Authentic believer and practitioner of sustainability stand up ? More than 400 brands across the globe are studied in the #meaningfulbrands study by Havas Media every year- and we have learnt from our research that 70% of them today are meaningless.
Are you one of the desired 30%?
So, ask yourself this- are you genuinely meaningful?