Charity's clean, green way to help those in need.

Guests of the Cordis, Auckland hotel can bathe a little easier in the knowledge that any leftover soap from their stay will be recycled for those in need. Beyond Skin Deep (bsd.) is a local company that re-purposes used soaps for communities who need a little help with hygiene promotion.

At last count the hotel has recycled about 135kg of used soap which is cleaned, crushed and filtered once it leaves the hotel, then moulded into fresh bars. From there it is handled by a global charitable organisation, Rapid Relief Team, across North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The hotel has also recently celebrated the first birthday of its food waste recycling system ORCA, which turns the waste into water rather than composting it, and continues to work hard to cut back on its use of plastics.


Bra Mission to Fiji

Travel broker Sarah Weaver is making her fifth visit to Fiji this month and says this time she "felt compelled to give something back to the community".

"On a recent trip with the Top 20 travel consultants from Travel Managers we had the opportunity to visit a remote school and gave the children much-needed books, pens/pencils, bubble makers/wands and medical supplies. To see the joy on their faces to meet us, let alone give them these gifts was priceless. This time I wanted to give something to the women and teenagers, who always show so much kindness to visitors."

Sarah's chosen act of charity for her upcoming trip is bras, which she acknowledges are a "luxury item" for many Pacific Islanders, and she has pledged to collect as many as she can to donate on her upcoming trip. If you want to help out, please send any donations to Sarah at 25 Waipuna Place, Rototuna, Hamilton 3210.

Trend Alert

Intrepid Travel's predicted travel trends for Kiwis for 2019 lean heavily towards the display of a strong social conscience alongside a heightened sense of adventure.

On the ethical travel side of things, the travel company is forecasting more burned out people "opting for uncharted expeditions to unknown places with little connection to the outside world", and more people travelling at Christmas time to avoid consumerism.

One of the coolest trends ahead, it says, is the use of travel to empower women in developing countries as tourists explore ways to make a difference based on where they go and what they buy while there.

Intrepid Travel says there's a trend of more women travelling to support the local sisterhood in places such as Jordan (pictured), Morocco and Iran. Photo / Getty Images
Intrepid Travel says there's a trend of more women travelling to support the local sisterhood in places such as Jordan (pictured), Morocco and Iran. Photo / Getty Images

This includes more women visiting developing countries to support the local sisterhood in places such as Jordan, Morocco and Iran. And women will travel to empower themselves by visiting destinations outside their comfort zones — think climbing Mt Kilimanjaro or exploring the spiritual side of India.

Ease Your Conscience with Norwegian Airline

In a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation, Norwegian Air Shuttle has been named the most environmentally friendly airline flying between the US and Europe. The council looked at the carbon footprint of 20 major airlines and found the Norwegian company came out on top due to a combination of seat numbers and use of newer planes with a lower fuel burn. Other airlines to rank well included KLM, Air France, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic, while British Airways was the least fuel efficient airline, followed by Lufthansa.

Branson's Beef

The Virgin Group has announced it is reducing the beef served throughout the hotels, trains and airlines of its business (except for Virgin Australia) in a bid to cut back on the greenhouse gases produced and save rainforests. Beef will not be completely eradicated from its menus but the amount served has halved, and it does not appear at all on the offerings at Virgin Hotels. Owner Sir Richard Branson says beef accounts for 15 per cent of greenhouse gases and he has not eaten beef for four years.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor.


"I love cooking at home and exploring foreign supermarkets when I'm on holiday, so I always try to use local ingredients and make my own meals where I can." — Sophie Ellis-Bextor, singer

TIP: If you're one of those people who likes to do their research on arrival at a destination, consider returning that massive stack of brochures and maps to the hotel concierge/information centre before you leave. Not only do you save weight in your luggage and paper waste, but the brochures can probably be used by someone else (as long as you haven't spilled coffee all over them).