Awareness of the world and what it takes to be a responsible and ethical traveller is becoming more and more widespread.
Here at Wind Sand & Stars we are doing all we can, both at home and overseas to ensure that everything we do has as small an impact as possible on the environment and communities we work with.
No area of our work is so unimportant or so humble that we cannot try to do it more responsibly. We recycle paper, plastic, glass and cardboard, banana skins, and even staff! Asking permission first, we have managed to salvage wood and additional shelving units for the office, and a rather handsome filing cabinet.
We use paper that is manufactured from 100% wood free ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) pulp sourced from sustainable managed forests. This paper is totally recyclable and manufactured within an ISO 14001 accredited mill, also conforming to EMAS (Eco-management and Audit Scheme), and is one of the first papers to carry the FCS (Forest Stewardship council) certification.
We give small sponsorship to local and international charities. This mostly involves huge hardship on behalf of our staff – one has run the 250km Atacama Marathon to raise money for Water Aid, and one staff member has rowed across the Atlantic and cycled the route of the Tour de France to raise money for cancer charities.
Wind Sand & Stars is committed to ensuring that we are responsible, ethical and environmentally aware in all of our activities, both in the UK and overseas.
We are especially proud of the trading friendships we have established with the Bedouin of South Sinai. All of our journeys bring work and income to the local people, as well as bringing fun and learning to those who journey with us. The partnerships they involve add to the understanding of different peoples, and they cross gender, race and religious divides.
This unique relationship with the local communities in their home environment brings with it responsibility. In all our journeys, we endeavour to:
Several recent news items feature South Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine. These reflect both its enduring appeal and a heartening interest in support for tourism in the region. From our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4 delved into the archives at St Catherine; fast forward to 11 minutes...
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“The whole trip was AMAZING – thank you so much.”
Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017
“We got more out of our little adventure than we had ever hoped for, thanks to a country of huge diversity and historical interest and to a very special guide.”
Cunningham family, Jordan tailor made, April 2017
“So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine; the fantastic warmth of welcome from the Egyptians, Fathers Justin and Nilus, and the unique history which we felt privileged to be given access to. In my book, how could one not enjoy and be inspired!”
Julia Palmer, St Catherine Retreat, February 2017
“Huge thanks to all at Wind, Sand & Stars for an amazing trip. John’s passion for Ethiopia fires his erudition and he gave us more insights into the country, past and present, than we could ever have gained from local guides.”
Christine Dunmow, Exploring Ethiopia’s Orthodox History with John Binns 2016
“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich.”
Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014