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How to have an eco-friendly adventure

We spoke to Elvira Museri of Anda Travel, the company that organises alternative, authentic and sustainable tours across Latin America

Elvira Museri is a revolutionary, of sorts. Since 2008, she has coordinated a steady coup d'état of the tourism industry in Argentina, overthrowing the idea of travel as complacent observation and rejecting the paradigm of enterprise over environment. When Elvira founded Anda Travel in 2008, it was with a single mission: to become the pre-eminent company for responsible travel in Latin America. “We haven’t achieved that yet,” the social entrepreneur said, before diving into her strategy for 2015. It’s a Tuesday afternoon and Elvira’s voice radiates over the muffled thrum of a shared office in Buenos Aires. Her humility might be misplaced. Now in its seventh year, Anda has grown tremendously, quadrupling its staff and preparing to formally expand tour offerings beyond Argentina. “I didn’t study tourism, so I had no clue how a travel agency should be managed,” Elvira admits. “It gave me the opportunity to develop a different model.” Going off-piste The idea for Anda arose during a trip to Southeast Asia, when ... More

Growing mushrooms, spreading hope

I was 11 years old when I discovered something that would change my entire life. That something was mushrooms. Orphaned at 7 and having had no background ... More

The secret art of pop-up books

Yunnan Province, or ‘the place south of the clouds’, is a southwestern region of China bordering Vietnam, Laos and Burma that’s home to over 25 ... More

Finding your new favourite film

One of my favourite movies is a French film with a rambling plot involving a graffiti artist, a rapper and a homeless man on a ... More

The seven steps of being in beta

My friend Angela’s restaurant was one of the first Detroit-style pizzerias in the south. The deep-dish, sauce-on-top pie garnered stellar reviews, and spawned a loyal ... More

Sailing the seas for a greener world

Sailor and scientist Lucy Gilliam travels the world by ship highlighting key environmental issues of our time

Aah, a life on the open seas. Adventures of discovery to far-flung destinations; watching the sun scatter its rays over a powerful ocean. Sounds like the stuff of dreams, of pirate movies and buccaneers - but environmental scientist Lucy Gilliam has made sailing the ocean waves her reality. I chat to Lucy on Skype and even through the screen, her passion for the sea, science and creating a greener world comes through. Lucy is helping drive a new movement, New Dawn Traders, which is championing sail as an alternative to engine power for global trading and addressing the thorny issue of environmental damage due to food miles. She’s also researching the extent of plastics and toxics in our seas, as well as working to promote women in science. From the city to the ocean With a BSc in Biological sciences and a PhD in Microbial Ecology and Soil Science, Lucy had a high-flying career at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) undertaking policy-forming research on endocrine disruptors (chemicals which can affect the hormone system) and advising ... More

Fake it ’til you make it

Say the words ‘copy’ and ‘China’ to Westerners today and most will think of Silk Alley counterfeits, Shenzhen knock-off factories, Guangdong sweatshops, or Nanjing’s legendary fake mall with its frontage of entirely bogus outlets such as Haagon-Bozs, Pizza Huh, Buckstar Coffee, KFG and McDnoalds: the brainchild of a property developer who wanted to create buzz around his new development. Not quite so amused by the knock-offs are the businesses, mostly in the West, who are losing money as a result of the estimated US$600 billion worth ... More

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