Volunteering in Portugal, fight food waste

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Volunteering in Portugal, fight food waste

Environment

Our projects are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this challenge – a sense of achievement, broader horizons and some wonderful memories. But we make sure that local people, the environment and wildlife benefit too.

This project is all about avoiding waste. All food within the volunteer house is either composted (scraps) or donated to the food waste project to be distributed amongst Lisbon's homeless population. Volunteers learn about the importance of avoiding food waste.

Additionally, the accommodation that you will stay in is very sustainable. All furnishings are made out of recycled produce such as pallets. Fresh produce is purchased from a company that sells plastic free items that have been rejected by supermarkets because they don't look quite perfect. Domestic essentials such as washing up liquid and toilet rolls are purchased from Portuguese suppliers who do not use plastic. Any products that unavoidably contain plastic will be shredded so that they can be used in making further produce.

The accommodation sells plastic-free deodorant, plastic-free toothbrushes and other plastic-free items. There are solar panels on the accommodation.

Our company takes an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid. We also offer the option of travelling there by train to cut down on carbon emissions. Our volunteers are given a pre-departure briefing where they are encouraged to minimise waste and to live in a way that will not have a detrimental effect on the country. This extends to not wasting water or electricity.

Community

This project has been established to help people in the local community. Food is distributed to homeless people and those who are living below the poverty line.

The project also helps the local economy. Our participants spend money on food and leisure; rent is paid to the local landlord. Contractors who help with maintenance of the property have often come from life on the streets. They have been helped by charities to train them up in DIY and subsequently gain employment. Where possible, all maintenance is done by people who have lived on the streets or suffered hardships.

Cultural sensitivity - Our pre-departure briefing includes a special session entitled ‘Responsible Tourism’ where we discuss cultural differences and sensitivities as well as advising volunteers on appropriate conduct. People a briefed on what is considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and dressing. It is encouraged that all volunteers learn some Portuguese prior to departure, and they get a helping hand whilst out there as well.

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