Sustainability and Meaningful Travel: Connecting You to the World on Earth Day and Beyond

Context Staff Volunteering for Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day 2023, our team participated in service projects within our local communities.

As travelers become more conscious of their impact on the cities they tour, our global teams at Context are leading the way in creating meaningful experiences that connect guests to the communities they are visiting. As a Certified B Corp company, Context has made a public commitment to using business as a force for good, with a particular focus on sustainable travel.

Sustainable Travel: A Core Value of Our Company

Since our founding in 2003, our team of staff and experts around the world have been dedicated to minimizing our operational impact on the environment and supporting local communities. This commitment is reflected in every aspect of our operations, from our tour design process to thoughtfully selecting which cities we host guests in. By prioritizing sustainability, Context Travel ensures that its travelers can experience local culture in a way that is responsible and respectful.

B Corp Certification: Travel as a Force for Good

As a certified B Corp company since 2009, Context Travel is part of a global movement of businesses that are committed to using their resources to create positive social and environmental change. B Corp certification is a rigorous process that assesses a company's impact on its employees, community, and the environment.

Arts, media, and culture are the cornerstones of who we are and what we support at Context. To give something “Context” is to connect the dots between eras, geographies, and cultures. It’s to weave us all together as part of a larger, shared narrative.

We scour the globe for experts, historians, artists, conservationists, ecologists, religious scholars, and archaeologists to connect with our clients and share their passion for their field of study. In doing so, we employ thousands of such scholars, partner with historical societies and museums as partners and patrons, and support conservation efforts for nearly every world heritage site. We are exploring a partnership with UNESCO and have existing relationships with We Are Venice and other local preservation societies within cities where we offer walking tours.

Our staff at Context believes in working with other mission-oriented companies. We choose every one of our suppliers and vendors with care. On our walking tour experiences, we make sure to highlight the off-the-beaten-path venues, the mom-and-pop shops, and other B-Corp and sustainable operators.

Creating Meaningful Travel Experiences

At Context, creating meaningful travel experiences is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that travel has the power to connect people to the world around them, and we are committed to doing so in a way that is responsible and sustainable. By choosing Context, travelers can be confident that they are supporting a company that shares their values and is dedicated to creating positive change.

We are a walking tour company, so the primary services we offer our travelers promote a healthy and active physical lifestyle. Exploring a new city on foot provides a much more robust experience than tours via car, bus, or boat. Additionally, our personalized itineraries offer curious travelers a chance to share their passion for history and culture with a local expert – further supporting that scholar’s unique research.

We have also heard from both our experts and our travelers that our online lectures - meant to be more accessible way to connect with our scholars as well as an enriching experience for those traveling - has done an incredible amount for their mental health and well-being. Several of our frequent travelers have even credited Context experiences with getting them through the pandemic. To continue our efforts to foster accessible learning, we also offer free online events with our dedicated scholars!

We believe that interpersonal connection is at the core of the touring and online learning experiences we provide. And that connection that our experts foster each day does an incredible amount for the mental well-being of our community, especially during times of physical isolation.

Celebrating Earth Day with Context Staff Members Around the World

On Earth Day, we are reminded of the importance of protecting our planet and its natural beauty. At Context Travel, we are proud to be part of a global community of businesses that are committed to making a positive impact. By choosing sustainable travel options, we can all play a part in creating a better world for future generations.

With a team of more than fifty full-time employees dispersed across the world, we were able to kick start our Earth Day celebrations this year with a wide variety of community service projects. From the historic center of Florence to the heart of Mexico, we’re excited to share some of the learnings and contributions our team has made to service our hometown communities.

Supporting Children in Florence, Italy with Mission Bambini

Four of our teammates in Florence – Cristina Aleeshia, Sabrina, and Maria – were able to spend a day working alongside staff members at Mission Bambini to provide assistance and care to the families that rely on their services.

Mission Bambini is a local organization that provides a range of services to families in need – including child care, educational resources, household supplies, and emergency support. Their team’s dedication and hard work helps to make a difference in the lives of many families in the Florence area.

Caring for Animals with Norfolk, Virginia Animal Care Center

Earth Day is a time to celebrate and protect the natural world around us, including the animals that inhabit it. One way to do this is by volunteering at a local animal shelter, which is exactly what our Client Experience Manager, Brittany, did to celebrate this year's Earth Day.

“I had the pleasure of participating in the Pack Adventure program and was paired with a lovable dog named Saturn for the day. Together, we set out to explore the Elizabeth River Trail, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air while getting some much-needed exercise. Saturn was a joy to be around, and I couldn't help but fall in love with her sweet personality.
During our adventure, we even stopped at a local brewery for lunchtime, where Saturn was showered with attention and treats from all the locals. It was heartwarming to see how much joy and happiness she brought to those around her.”

Supporting Local Food Banks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Our Advisor Experience Manager, Jamie, was inspired to support 412 Food Rescue, an organization founded in 2015 to address the disconnect between food waste, hunger, and environmental sustainability.

Jamie spent a day delivering packages to food pantries and development centers around her home city, ensuring that perfectly good surplus food was being directed to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Her efforts helped to ensure that valuable resources were being put to good use, while also reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills

Cleaning up the Beaches in La Paz, Mexico

Together with a group of about 25 people and a few furry companions, our Travel Portfolio Manager, Sarah set out to clean up the beaches near her home. Their crew worked hard to pick up litter and debris, making sure to dispose of everything properly. Sarah shared that it was inspiring to see everyone come together with a shared goal of making their local environment cleaner and healthier for both people visiting and local wildlife.

Supporting Literacy in Prisons Across America

Over its 50+ years of operation, the Prison Book Program has made special efforts to distribute information and resources that can be helpful to incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Volunteers like our Fulfillment Associate, Emma, help to make this mission possible and create a more just and equitable world for all.

The Prison Book Program believes that everyone has a right to read and that books can be sources of enlightenment, enjoyment, and transformation. By providing access to books and resources, they aim to lessen the dehumanization and isolation of incarceration and create a connection to a community of caring people.

What can you do this year to support your local community?

This Earth Day, we encourage you to find ways to get involved in your local community and support organizations that are making a positive impact on the environment and the people around us. Whether it's volunteering your time or donating resources, every effort counts in the fight for a more sustainable and just world.

New Tour Spotlight: Ecology of Venice

We are excited to have recently re-launched one of our most popular tours, Ecology of Venice. Our three-hour excursion through the Venetian lagoon is hosted by a marine scientist who discusses the history and evolution of the lagoon and its impact on the environment. During our time together we visit salt marshes and seagrass meadows and explore the effects of climate change and rising waters on the area.

This boat tour includes a visit to the site where MOSE, a critical system of barriers that close off the lagoon during high water, was built, and a discussion of its technical and political issues. The tour aims to provide an understanding of the physical processes in the lagoon, the modifications that are underway, and their impact on the environment and the future of Venice. A portion of the proceeds from every tour is donated to We Are Venice.

Key Takeaways

Context Travel's commitment to sustainable and responsible travel is not only good for the planet and local communities –  but also provides travelers with meaningful experiences that connect them with the world respectfully and responsibly.

As a B Corp company, Context is leading the way in using business as a force for good, and our dedication to creating positive social and environmental change should inspire us all to make a difference.

Our entire team will be taking this Earth Day as an opportunity to reflect on our impact on the planet and consciously choose sustainable travel options that support companies like Context in their mission to create a better world for all.

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