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By Sunita Mager – If you’re looking for a country that welcomes Eco-friendly, responsible and sustainable tourism, look no further. Though in its infancy, there are many local organizations that are focused on sustainable and responsible tourism. Big Cities such as Siem Reap are working to meet high demands for a cleaner city.  Organizations are actively communicating the impacts of some of the biggest environmental problems. Here is a glimpse of local initiatives, organizations and enterprises that are paving the way to a better, cleaner and more sustainable Siem Reap. What you can do to support them during your stay? Read on.

Changing The Way We Consume Water

If you’re visiting Cambodia and you haven’t heard of the Refill Not Landfill campaign, read on. This newly founded initiative kicked off in October 2016 and aims to deal with the plastic waste in Cambodia by revolutionizing the way water is consumed by tourists. Launched by 40 members of Siem Reap’s hospitality and tourism industries and development sector, the goals is to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced in the kingdom, and even change its entire landscape!

How do they do it? When visitors purchase one refillable aluminum bottle, they can refill their bottle with water for free at designated water refill stations throughout the city! The great thing is that one single bottle will last four years and can replace as many as 4,380 plastic pottles. Phare is one of the partners and you can purchase a bottle in our boutique store and refill on site as well.

Reduce And Don’t Use

Another strong initiative that is making a clear footprint within the kingdom is Plastic-Free Cambodia. Founded in 2015, the organization consistently tackle plastic head on by educating the local community and businesses about the environmental hazards plastic causes, by problem solving and team building workshops, and by an annual challenge in July. This challenge asks to avoid the top 5 single-use plastics (plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic bags and styrofoam boxes) or pick one and stick to it. Could you do it? Click here for more information about Plastic-Free Cambodia and how you can leave a clean footprint behind on your next visit.

Rolling On Green

There is so much to explore and discover in Cambodia. When visiting Siem Reap, it’s a great escape to rent your own bike and let the winds take you in any direction. For a totally green experience, Gree e-bike provides clean, pollution-free motor bike rentals and tours. Bikes are powered by electricity and run on a rechargeable battery plus they are completely noiseless and generate no emission. The company offers tours as well which can be found here.

Then There Are The Famous Elephants

…And who doesn’t want to see one? But unfortunately, since the beginning of the 20th century, Asian Elephants have declined rapidly from an estimated 100,000 to 35,000, according to Ride Bicycles, Not Elephants, a community organization that raises awareness of the harmful effects of rides and the torture they endure. Fact is that wild elephants need to be tamed at an early age to be trained for riding on – and you don’t want to know the details methods they use! (More about the methods can be found when googling “Elephant Crushing.”). As a circus that produces non-animal shows, we are very much against riding on elephants and would not recommend this activity to anyone.

Socially Responsible Enterprises

Throughout the city of Siem Reap, there are many other social enterprises that work with and give back to the local community. Some of these are the New Leaf Eatery, Haven, and the Green Gecko Project that run Rehash Trash, Footprints Farm and Purple Mango Non Profit Wellness Center . There are truly a variety of ways to help Cambodia become cleaner and more sustainable. We believe that the more aware the visitor is, the better choices and contributions can be made. Let us hear of your experience in the Kingdom of Wonder. Share your travels with us and tag us @pharecircus. Happy travels!