Paradise, Preserved: Our Commitment to Sustainability
In the colorful pages of Aruba’s tourism history, De Palm Tours emerges as a stalwart advocate for sustainable tourism, a resolute defender of the environment, and a shining example of corporate social responsibility. Since earning EarthCheck certification in 2018, De Palm Tours has proudly stood as the sole EarthCheck certified tour operator on the enchanting island of Aruba. This achievement not only underscores our unwavering commitment but highlights our unceasing quest for environmental harmony and the preservation of Aruba’s unspoiled natural beauty.
At the heart of our sustainability journey lies The Giving Palm, an internal foundation that symbolizes our dedication to nurturing sustainability, promoting charitable initiatives, championing volunteerism, and offering unwavering support to our local community. The Giving Palm acts as our guiding light, steering us in our mission to elevate Aruba for its residents, its guests, and the generations yet to come.
If it’s the shimmering azure waters that beckon you, understand that their pristine allure is no accident. For centuries, Aruba’s islanders embraced simplicity, living in harmony with nature. Island life has always been about the core values of connection, culture, and nature. Nearly one-fifth of Aruba, comprising around 8,000 acres, stands as protected wilderness. And this only scratches the surface of the bountiful marine life that envelops us!
However, over the decades, plastic products have accumulated along our shores, increasing with each passing year. Plastic, an ever-present entity, never truly vanishes; it simply deteriorates into minuscule pieces. Aruba’s predicament is far from unique – each year, ten Caribbean Island nations collectively produce plastic debris weighing more than 20,000 space shuttles!
For our petite island, this issue grew into a formidable challenge. Embracing sustainable practices became an imperative – to preserve our cherished paradise, swift action was essential. As Aruba’s oldest and largest tour company, we bear the mantle of responsibility to set the standard. Our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental protection not only exemplifies our core values but serves as an inspiration to catalyze similar actions. This is why we’ve allied ourselves with EarthCheck, the foremost scientific benchmarking certification in sustainable travel.
Remarkable Facets of Our Sustainability Initiatives:
The Green Team
Introducing the backbone of De Palm Tours – our exceptional Green Team. These passionate individuals are at the forefront of our commitment to sustainability, driving our efforts with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.
Their daily mission revolves around ensuring that every aspect of our operations seamlessly aligns with the highest sustainability standards. They’re not just here to make a difference, they’re here to pave the way towards a more sustainable future.
One of their central objectives is to become masters of waste separation. Recycling, composting, and waste reduction are their specialties, and they’re on a mission to educate and inspire every team member to become sustainability champions. Their belief is that knowledge empowers change, and they’re here to share that knowledge far and wide.
But their impact extends beyond the recycling bins. Our Green Team is the driving force behind our eco-friendly initiatives, always striving to minimize our environmental footprint. They’re dedicated to making every aspect of our operations more sustainable, from the ground up.
Quarterly Cleanup at the Natural Bridge
We take immense pride in our role as stewards of Aruba’s natural wonders. As a testament to our commitment, we organize and actively participate in quarterly clean-up initiatives at the iconic Natural Bridge, underscoring our dedication to the preservation of this beloved site.
Reef Restoration Center with Scubble Bubbles
Collaborating with ScubbleBubbles marks an exciting milestone in our sustainability journey. Together, we are embarking on an innovative endeavor to establish an advanced reef restoration center. This initiative holds the potential to make a substantial impact on the rejuvenation of our marine ecosystems and the enhancement of the underwater environment’s health.
Were you aware that a significant percentage of the coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean, ranging from 50% to 80%, has experienced significant degradation over the years? Scubble Bubbles, a scuba diving club formed by passionate young divers committed to conservation, conducted extensive research on restoration techniques, drawing inspiration from successful coral restoration efforts on other islands.
In 2018, we joined forces to create a coral nursery composed of underwater “trees” constructed from PVC pipes. These “trees” possess the remarkable ability to facilitate the growth of new coral. Maintaining the health of the coral reefs necessitates regular dives to remove invasive algae and fire coral. We are proud to announce that we now manage three reef nurseries at De Palm Island, a noteworthy achievement! Once these coral colonies are fully established, they will be transplanted into the coral reef located in our snorkeling area, providing vital support and ensuring their continued well-being. Additionally, some of the coral will find a new home along the De Palm SeaTrek trail, creating a thriving habitat for marine life that visitors can explore and enjoy.
Reducing our footprint to help Aruba flourish
Trash kills more than just your snorkeling vibe – it puts sea creatures in at serious risk. Our team will teach you about proper wildlife etiquette before visiting the home of the Shoco, Wara Wara, Prikichi, Landcrab, and other wildlife. And when it comes to land excursions, like our Jeep & UTV tours, we have thoughtfully selected trails to protect the flora & fauna!
From sailing Palm Pleasure 70% by veil, to our 100% battery-operated & 100% environmentally friendly sub, Atlantis, we like to save on fuel, energy, and water wherever we can. Seemingly small efforts add up, like re-using purified wastewater to irrigate plants, and installing low flow fixture taps to prevent waste. And leftover food? It gets donated to a pig farm!
Aruba is a tiny island, and as plastic products become more widely used, waste builds up. Our team regularly participates in cleanups in our community, and weekly cleanups around De Palm Island. As stewards for the environment, our entire team is educated in sustainability practices and each one is encouraged to do their part in keeping our home pristine.
Education and Awareness
We are deeply committed to fostering awareness and understanding among our guests and team members when it comes to sustainability. Our dedication to educating others about Aruba’s distinctive environment extends to topics such as the significance of mangroves, the intricate growth processes of coral reefs, effective waste management practices, water consumption reduction, and much more.
At De Palm Tours, we’re not content with merely being Aruba’s leading tour company, we’re leading the charge toward a more sustainable future. Our journey is marked by our prestigious EarthCheck Silver Certification, and we’re reaching for the stars with our sights set on Gold and Platinum Status.
What’s on the horizon? Imagine solar panels glistening under Aruba’s sun, the quiet hum of electric vehicles exploring the island, and the roots of The Giving Palm nourishing our beloved community.
Now, here’s where you come in – your role is the heartbeat of this transformation. In our gift shops, you’ll find not just mementos but opportunities to make a difference. Choose reef-friendly products that not only capture the essence of Aruba but also help protect it. As you traverse our beautiful island, let mindfulness guide your steps, leaving a lighter footprint and ensuring Aruba’s lasting health.
Rest assured, your safety takes center stage. Our state-of-the-art zero-chlorine disinfection system, especially crucial in our waterparks, along with eco-conscious cleaning products, provides peace of mind throughout your journey.
Join us in sculpting a sustainable Aruba, where nature’s wonders, vibrant culture, and pristine beauty are preserved for generations to come. Together, we’re forging a brighter, greener future.