A fasinating eco-friendly travel project is in motion - the aim? To photograph every country in the world without the carbon footprint. All my travel is carbon compensated and 1 hectare of tropical forest is preserved for each 100km travelled.
Like many people, I love traveling; but I often get fed up of traveling to cities very quickly. Many of my friends dream about Sydney, New York, London, Bali, Bangkok... But whatever the city, I find the content stays the same; Just an assortment of concrete structures lining up, separated by roads and transport. Sure, the design may change - but it's always overcrowded, noisy and polluted. What I really love about traveling is discovering the wilderness, in all kind of diverse environments. Every place is truly unique, each and every species evolved to live in a particular environment, every place is a new discovery.
Sometimes you don't know where or how you'll sleep, what food will be available, or even if there's any other humans nearby. It's the only way to really travel in my opinion. But each time I found myself exploring natural sites, I found human pollution - waste, roads, dumpsters... No place was completely natural for me, every spot was spoiled in one way or another to cater for the masses. Humans have done an excellent job at reshaping their environment for better and worse all over this planet. For example, look at the land requirements for agriculture; causing direct mass deforestation worldwide resulting in the loss of habitat for millions of species and driving climate change at an alarming rate.
With the aforementioned realisation, I decided something must be done. So I personally made it my mission to do something to preserve those natural areas; and I've done this by using photography to capture the best natural places to urge people to act and preserve them. That's how Anywhere Anytime Photography was born. The project consists of traveling to every country in the world in my lifetime and to capture as many natural places as possible. I always try to reduce the impact of my travels, but my mission will inevitably contribute to pollution via transportation. So I decided to carbon compensate each and every trip by financing the preservation of one hectare of tropical forest for each 100km traveled.
I really started this project in January 2015 with a 5 month world tour in more than 40 stopovers in Europe, Asia, America and Middle-East, completely financed by sponsors. When I returned, I noticed that people were quite receptive to environmental protection, and my sponsors multiplied. Each of them get free commercial use on all the photos that I take in exchange for their support. Need to sleep in a hotel for the night? No problem, they offer me housing in exchange of photography for their website. I literally provide all my photography free of charge to NGOs and environmental associations meaning they can use their funds more effectively instead of towards pricey photography costs.
So, after 1 year and 3 months, I have had the opportunity to travel in 40 different countries, with more than 55 stopovers. The preservation of more than 270 hectares of tropical forest has been financed, 22 tons of carbon have been compensated and more than 20 partners support me on each trip.
For each country, I try to find the most preserved natural places. My last trip was to Svalbard, an Island near Greenland, which is so wild that it's essential to have a rifle if you depart the city limits because of the thousands of polar bears around. And It goes without saying that my favourite trips were in the most wild and natural of places: Svalbard, Norway's Fjord, Cambodian Forest and Switzerland's mountains... Who wants to travel somewhere everyone already took a selfie on? I guess that is the explorer in me.
I do my best to inform friends and other travellers to environmental solutions. In my experience I have found that most people are highly responsive to climate change, but they don't know all the solutions. Yet, solutions exist today: Cleaning up nature in groups, donate to environmental projects, purchasing green alternatives... The list goes on.
So I decided to launch Zero ecoimpact, a free online platform that gathers all those solutions, and rewards those who act with eco-friendly alternatives. The platform isn't quite finished yet so watch this space. Many travellers, companies, political figures and individuals have already subscribed thus far so I'm very optimistic with this project. When people start adding environmental donations or actions to their daily life, we will all begin to see positive changes to this world.
In the meantime, I have 157 countries to travel to so wish me luck out there...