Patagonia Champions Corporate Social Responsibility

Patagonia's Corporate Social Responsibility

We’ve all heard the phrase in one way or another. “We live in a throwaway society!”, where everything is destined for the landfill, and nothing is made to last. It’s just that at this stage of capitalism, corporate social responsibility is a thing of the past. 

That’s how Patagonia’s CEO Rose Marcario feels, and she’s determined to change it. By emphasizing repairability, reusability, quality and social causes, Patagonia is setting the pace for other companies to follow. OkStraw Paper Straws would like to highlight Patagonia, and how they inspired us to prioritize social responsibility as a company.

59 percent of American shoppers believe a company’s values are important.

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Corporate Social Responsibility Pays!

When consumerism runs rampant, buying stuff takes the front seat to everything else. Electronics become unrepairable, and clothes fall apart before they’re out of fashion. Consumerism both maxes out people’s credit cards, and it destroys our planet. Producing throwaway goods increases greenhouse gases, and throwing them away causes pollution. 

If want a healthy planet, then corporate social responsibility must replace rampant consumerism. Companies like OkStraw Paper Straws and Patagonia accepted the challenge. Nowadays, too, corporate social responsibility means new and loyal customers.  In a recent survey, 59 percent of American shoppers believe a company’s values are important. So being socially responsible is both good for the planet, and for business!

 

Corporate Change Through Activism

Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard wanted Patagonia to make great products, while championing corporate social responsibility. Chouinard did this by blending environmentalism with business as Patagonia’s model. Thanks to visionaries like Chouinard, more companies like OkStraw Paper Straws can adopt this model, while staying competitive.

Not only is Patagonia an activist corporation, but it also supports activists. In 2016, Patagonia gave 100 percent ($10 million) of their Black Friday sales to environmental groups. And on September 20th, Patagonia temporarily closed its doors and joined the 2019 Climate Strike. Additionally, Patagonia donates 1 percent of all its sales to environmental causes. 

Corporate Sustainability Means Quality

Part of responsible business practices is focusing on quality over quantity. Patagonia does this by making repairable clothes instead of throwaway alternatives. What goes into products also matters, and that’s why Patagonia sacrificed sales profits to only use organic cotton. Repairing clothes cuts down on pollution, and using natural fibers helps fight the microplastic crisis. Fighting microplastics is a corporate social responsibility for OkStraw, so we’re glad Patagonia cares about it too.

 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we know also understand the cost of organic sourcing, because we practice it. While organic sourcing isn’t cheap, the dividend of a healthier planet outweighs any profit made from shortcutting. At OkStraw Paper Straws, quality over quantity takes priority. When we make a paper straw, we ensure it’s tough enough to do the job without a hitch. Using one good paper straw instead of three low quality ones saves both paper and energy. 

 

Paper Straws for a Sustainable Dividend

Admittedly, Patagonia makes repairable and reusable gear, while OkStraw makes disposable, single-use paper straws. However, we both believe that our social responsibility doesn’t stop when our products reach customers’ hands. When companies take shortcuts to make extra profit, it costs everyone in the long run. Instead of taking shortcuts, OkStraw Paper Straws works to make sure all aspects of our supply chain are ecofriendly

We at OkStraw Paper Straws spent extra capital to practice sustainable forestry, instead of clear cutting. Using organic oils, adhesives and food coloring was more expensive, but it was the right thing to do. Yes, OkStraw paper straws cost more than plastic straws, but our planet pays far less. We at OkStraw Paper Straws challenge all companies to take a minute, and ask what their corporate social responsibility is. We know ours, and it’s the Cause for Paper Straws!

Irish Teen Removes Microplastics in Water

Removing microplastics in water is a colossal challenge

Microplastics pose huge threat to our planet, and they’re everywhere. Along with being in the air and soil, microplastics in the ocean harm marine animals and humans. Removing microplastics in water is a colossal challenge, but thankfully, a new solution is here.

This new solution comes from teenager and winner of Google’s Science Fair contest, Fiann Ferreira. Both practical and highly effective, Ferreira’s microplastic harvesting method is exactly what our planet needs. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we can’t wait to see Ferreira’s method take to the waters, and fight this microplastic menace.

Microplastics: Why They're Terrible

We at OkStraw Paper Straws talk about macroplastics like plastic straws, and they’re certainly a big problem. However,  microplastics are a lurking threat, and they’re literally everywhere. In fact, scientists regularly find microplastics in the most unexpected places, like the Arctic Circle. While they’re less than 5mm in size, microplastics are a Goliath that we must confront.

 

Microplastics can come from microbeads in body washes, fibers from clothes, and even foodware like plastic straws. Unlike sustainable paper straws, plastic straws never biodegrade, and break down into microplastics. People ingest microplastics from either eating fish that swallowed them, or by drinking contaminated water. If we don’t want microplastics in our bodies, then we need to get them out of the water.

 

Ferreira's Magnetic Success

Scientists and engineers introduced a number solutions to remove microplastics from water. The Ocean Cleanup Device shows promise, but is there another way to harvest microplastics? As of July, that answer is a resounding yes, and it comes from 18-year-old Fionn Ferreira. 

A teenager from Ireland, Ferreira created a “ferrofluid” by mixing biodegradable vegetable oil and magnetite powder. This ferrofluid attached itself to microplastics in the water, making them magnetic. Ferreria then used a powerful magnet to draw out these magnetized microplastics. The results were astounding, with an 87% success rate! Ferreira certainly impressed the judges at Google’s Science Fair, who awarded him first place price, and a cool $50,000.

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How You Can Stop Microplastics

Ferreira’s method is real winner, because it’s both effective and practical. Afterall, what good is a solution if we can’t put it to use? We at OkStraw Paper Straws believe that thanks to Fionn Ferreira, the battle against microplastics is halfway over. Why do we at OkStraw Paper Straws say “halfway over”, though? Well, if we want to end microplastic waste, then we need to stop making more of it. 

If we cut out single-use plastics, then there will be far few microplastics in the ocean. Biodegradable alternatives are a great solution, but they weren’t always that good. All of that changed, however, thanks to innovative companies like OkStraw Paper Straws. Today, you can get paper straws that outperform their plastic counterparts.

Paper Straws for a Plastic-Free Ocean

Biodegradable paper straws do far more than just save sea turtles and fish. Unlike plastic straws, biodegradable paper reintegrate into the ecosystem. This solves the problem of microplastics in water. Swicthing from plastic to paper straws helps fight climate change. By now, it should be clear how you can help Mr. Ferreira fight waterborne microplastics. 

Cut out as many single-use plastics as you can, and switch to biodegradable paper and reusable alternatives. If we want to support brilliant people like Fionn Ferreira, then we shouldn’t create more messes to clean up. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we salute Mr. Ferreira for his innovative solution to finally solve our microplastic crisis.

Microplastics in Soil Hurt Earthworms

Microplastics seem to be all the rage today. We hear about them polluting the oceans, and even floating in the air. If that wasn’t scary enough, microplastics are now in the soil, and they’re hurting earthworms.

According to a recent scientific study, microplastics are causing worms to lose weight. This finding worries us at OkStraw Paper Straws, because it’s devastating news. If we want to ensure a stable food supply, then we have to tackle our microplastic problem.

 

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Earthworms are in Trouble

In a recent study by Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, scientists observed microplastics causing rosy-tipped earthworms to lose weight. While scientists are sure why microplastics in soil cause earthworms to lose weight, the details are worrying.

The plastic responsible was HDPE, commonly used in plastic straws, bags and soda bottles. Scientists determined that HDPE in soil caused earthworms to lose 3% of their body weight over a month. Without HDPE in the soil, earthworms gained 5% body weight over the same timespan. This scares us at OkStraw Paper Straws, because microplastics hurting earthworms carries serious repercussions for human beings. 

Microplastics Threaten Human Beings

So far, scientists still don’t know whether microplastics directly hurt people who swallow them. With this news, however, we at OkStraw Paper Straws believe they won’t need to. That’s because microplastics in the soil directly threatens human populations.

Earthworms provide important nutrients for yielding healthy crops, which farmers need. If microplastics kill off earthworms, then farmers won’t be able to grow enough food to feed people. This means microplastics have the potential to cause crop failures, and food shortages. 

No Where is Safe From Microplastics

“But how do microplastics get into the soil?”, you may ask. Microplastics are incredibly invasive; storm clouds and wind storms can carry them across long distances. When microplastics enter rainstorms, they get carried down to the ground, and leech into the soil. Worms then eat these microplastics, lose weight and die, causing food shortages.

As with other forms of pollution, microplastics in the soil will disproportionately affect developing countries. Because developing countries have less safeguards against food shortages, microplastics will kill vulnerable people through starvation. We at OkStraw Paper Straws believe that unless we cut out plastics, the consequences will be deadly.

How You Can Fight Microplastics

Because HDPE microplastics hurt earthworms, let’s first cut out products that use this material. Instead of using HDPE-based plastic bags and plastic straws, switch to reusable bags and paper straws. These flimsy plastics are difficult to recycle properly, so the best safeguard is to not use them.

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we encourage everyone to join us in cutting out plastics. Not just for the turtles and fish, but for those earthworms, and even human beings. OkStraw organic paper straws are safely biodegradable in both the ocean and the soil. Our paper straws hurt neither turtle nor earthworm, and they don’t threaten food security. So do it for the worms, do it for the people, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

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Prague Bans Plastic Straws and Foodware

Prague Bans Plastic Straws and Foodware

The war on plastic waste keeps on marching, and this time, it’s coming to Central Europe. After dealing with litter, the Czech capital city of Prague finally decided to take action. Starting on May 1st, 2019, Prague no longer allows single-use plastics at music festivals hosted in the city.

Prague’s single-use plastics ban includes plastic straws, cups, food containers and cutlery. Consequently, music festival goers can no longer purchase food and drinks contained in or packaged with single-use plastic. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we eagerly look forward to Prague leading by Central Europe’s fight against plastic in the arts.

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Show's Over for Single-Use Plastics

Famous worldwide, Prague is the Czech Republic’s political and cultural capital. Among Europe’s funnest cities, Prague has no shortage of music festivals. While they’re fun for attendees, these festivals generate plastic waste, and Prague’s had enough. Therefore, Prague’s municipal government decided to ban single-use plastics at these events. 

While the government named rap and pop music, Prague’s single-use plastics ban covers all music festivals. Moreover, Prague took the extra step, and banned single-use plastics at all art events. This includes painting, dancing and acting events. OkStraw Paper Straws commends Prague for comprehensively eradicating single-use plastics. Art often represents our values, and Prague’s resolution sings gracefully.

Ecofriendly Alternatives to Plastics

Prague now wants music festival goers to use porcelain, glass and metal foodware instead of single-use plastics. While this seems sensible, some critics voiced their concerns. Critics worry that intoxicated festival goers may injure themselves with these utensils.Additionally, drunk and disorderly festival goers could hurt others by throwing glasses and porcelain plates. 

This places Prague’s festivals at a dilemma. Prague wants to fight single-use plastic waste, which we at OkStraw commend. However, we don’t want to see metal, glass foodware become a safety hazard. Is there a good compromise, then? Absolutely, because biodegradable foodware like paper straws and bamboo cutlery are safe, ban compliant plastic-free alternatives. 

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Paper Straws for Prague

OkStraw Paper Straws is one of these outstanding biodegradable foodware companies. Our paper straws are safe for festival goers who take liberties with Prague’s many outstanding brews. With OkStraw’s Straws custom print offerings, Prague’s music festivals can have their very own paper straws, and protect the River Vltava.

Prague now joins other cities that banned single-use plastics at venues, including Orlando, and events like Glastonbury. With the EU phasing out plastics by 2021, Prague is staying proactive and well prepared for a plastic-free Czech future. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we raise our drinks to the amazing city of Prague, and give a resounding “na zdravy!”

Halloween Paper Straws

Trump Curbs Climate Change Impact Research

The Trump administration just ordered a government agency to stop predicting the long term impacts of climate change. The order came from the US Geological Survey (USGS) director James Reilly. Reilly, a Trump-appointed former oil geologist, ordered scientific assessments to only make climate change predictions up until the year 2040. 

The Trump administration limiting the predictions of climate change to 2040 is a serious blow to saving our planet. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we believe this new prediction model, just like the Trump administration’s view on plastics, is dangerous and shortsighted. Fighting climate change is an uphill battle, and to win this battle, we must know its long term impacts.

Trump vs. Climate Change Scientists

Before this change, the USGS used 2100 as the year to study climate change impacts. By using 2100 in their computer models, scientists were better able to predict how climate change will progress. With the scope of their research shortened to 20 years, climate scientists can’t make accurate enough predictions, and can’t recommend the best strategies.

 

While we at OkStraw Paper Straws focus on cutting out plastic waste, we know climate change is humanity’s biggest existential threat. As earth’s temperature rises, more cities will become flooded, countries will be too hot to inhabit, and droughts will starve people. Because of these effects, climate change is a major economic, geographic and humanitarian threat to our planet. 

The Shortsighted Trump Administration

Climate change is also a major national security threat, according to the Pentagon, because it makes natural disasters worse. With the recent devastation brought on by Hurricane Dorian, the Trump administration should take this threat national security threat seriously. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is doing just the opposite. 

In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised climate change for melting ice, and opening new trade route paths. Pompeo saying something says the Trump administration acknowledges that climate change is happening, and they’d rather chase a dollar now than plan for the future. 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we acknowledge how absurd the Trump administration’s view on climate change is. Afterall, what good will a bigger economy and more trade routes do if climate change makes our planet unliveable? Unless President Trump has another planet ready for us to move to, we’d strongly suggest he wake and start taking climate change seriously.

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Plastic Waste and Climate Change

So what does a company that sells paper straws have to do with limiting the impact of climate change? Far more than you would think, as a matter of fact. When we think of plastic waste, microplastics and so on, we mainly see it as a threat to marine animals and environmental safety. While all of this is true, plastic also causes climate change.

Producing plastics requires drilling for fossil fuels, which emits huge amounts of carbon. In fact, according to the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the plastics industry produces up to 14 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. If we want to slow down climate change, then cutting out plastics will go a long way.

Paper Straws to Fight Climate Change

That’s where OkStraw Paper Straws comes in. Our mission is to break our addiction to single-use plastics, both healing our environment, and lowering our carbon footprint. Unlike some irresponsible and shortsighted companies, OkStraw neither demolishes virgin or tropical forests, nor practices clearcutting. Instead, we source our organic paper from ethical forestry practices, in compliance with the Sustainable Forestry Council (SFC).

 

At OkStraw Paper Straws, we can only hope the Trump administration wakes up to the serious impact of climate change. After all, saving our planet doesn’t end when the next president takes office. President Trump has the opportunity to leave a sustainable legacy, but he’s squandering it by curtailing climate scientists’ research. OkStraw might be a little paper straw company, but even we can do our part to fight climate change.

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Great Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup Progress

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

If you read the news about plastic waste, then you probably know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Growing exponentially, the Garbage Patch poses an existential threat to the marine animals, and the people who rely on the ocean for sustenance. In order to fight this plastic waste menace, scientists and engineers set to work, and created Ocean Cleanup. 

 

While it shows great promise in plastic harvesting, Ocean Cleanup launched to a rocky start. Debuting on October, 2018 Ocean Cleanup experienced problems, but now it’s fixed, relaunched, and already showing promising results. This news thrills us at OkStraw Paper Straws, and we eagerly look forward to hearing Ocean Cleanup’s further successes. 




What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Plastic waste is a huge threat to our planet. Not only does it contribute to climate change, but plastic waste also doesn’t biodegrade. Much of this plastic waste ends up in the oceans, where it kills marine animals who ingest it. In fact, so much plastic enters the ocean, scientists predict that plastic will outnumber fish by 2050. While we know this prediction all too well at OkStraw Paper Straws, it still scares the daylights out of us. 

 

So what is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s actually two giant circular currents of plastic waste that countries on the Pacific Ocean generate. Located between California and Hawaii, and between Hawaii and Japan, these two garbage masses mostly consist of plastic waste. With at least 1.8 million pieces of plastic, scientists predict the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly growing the day. Unless we use ecofriendly alternatives to plastic, this massive oceanic patch will grow out of control.

Enter The Ocean Cleanup

Based out of the Netherlands, The Ocean Cleanup’s star creation is a plastic harvesting device. Ocean Cleanup consists of bloating booms in the Garbage Patch, and fine screens attached that catch and contain plastic particles. After containing these plastics, cleanup crews can then take this waste to shore, and properly recycle them. 

First presented by CEO Boyan Slat at a TEDx conference in 2012, Ocean Cleanup underwent a lengthy development phase.The Ocean Cleanup device finally made its debut on October 2018, but had to go in for repairs this January. Relaunching on June 2019, Ocean Cleanup announced that the device is successfully harvesting plastic waste. 

In addition to harvesting visible plastic waste, Ocean Cleanup can now capture microplastic pieces as small as 1 millimeter. Microplastics are a big problem, because unlike biodegradable paper, they never dissolve, and continue polluting the environment. If anyone is serious about harvesting plastic waste, then they have to capture microplastics.

A Future Without Plastic Harvesting

While Ocean Cleanup’s plastic harvesting is fantastic news, we at OkStraw Paper Straws know it’s only half of the fight. If we truly want to end the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, then we need to stop generating plastic waste. Thanks to tons of ecofriendly plastic alternatives on the market, plastic’s days are finally numbered. 

 

Unlike plastic straws, OkStraw’s paper straws are fully biodegradable, requiring no special composting or recycling facilities. As longtime Pacific coastal residents, we at OkStraw witness the impact plastic waste has on our beaches and waterways. Because of this, we extend our most heartfelt gratitude to the people behind Ocean Cleanup for all they’ve done. There may still be tons of plastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but you’ll never find an OkStraw paper straw among them.

OkStraw Paper Straws at Comida Expo San Diego

Comida Expo and Okstraw Paper Straws

OkStraw Paper Straws is excited to announce Comida Expo is coming to our hometown, and we’re going! Comida Expo will be at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California on October 26-27, from 12:00-4:00 PM. Attendees can find us at Booth 312, right at the heart of the expo. 

For attendees focusing on cafe supply, bar supply and restaurant supply, be sure to stop and meet us at OkStraw Paper Straws. With competitively priced and high strength paper straws, OkStraw is the one-stop shop to meet your eco-friendly foodware supply needs.

OkStraw Paper Straws and Comida Expo

Comida Expo is a food and beverage trade show for the Hispanic and Latino market. With venues at three locations in Southern California, Comida Expo is right in the heart of the action. Attendees include brokers, buyers and distributors who come from across the U.S. and Mexico. For folks in the Hispanic restaurant supply, Comida Expo is a must-attend hospitality trade show.

With chances for brand exposure, networking and vendor engagement, the reasons to attend Comida Expo are endless. Additionally, Southern California is the place to be for both Hispanic foods and eco-friendly foodware. With more cities banning plastic straws, businesses need sustainable alternatives. That’s why OkStraw will be at Comida to deliver to the Hispanic food and beverage industry our unbeatable paper straws.

 

Strength Comes in 4-Plies

Comida Expo attendees will find all the popular offerings from OkStraw Paper Straws, and then some. Along with our affordable-but-tough 3-ply paper straws, OkStraw’s 4-ply paper straw inventory keeps getting bigger. Our 4-ply paper straws have unbeatable strength and longevity: how does 5 hours in a drink sound? 

 

For Comida Expo attendees in the cafe supply business, OkStraw Paper Straws has you covered. Our 4-ply Boba Paper Straws are plastic straw ban compliant, but they don’t sacrifice performance. Not only are they rated for 5 hours, but they come with diagonal cut tips, making them perfect for piercing sealed tops. How can we make bubble tea paper straws strong enough to piece a bubble tea lid? Well let’s just say it was top secret!

boba paper straws -the perfect paper straw for boba tea and bubble tea with a diagonal cut tip for piercing the top of boba tea and bubble tea lids.

Spoon Straws and Bendy Straws

Finding plastic ban-compliant straws can be a real struggle for folks in restaurant supply, but OkStraw Paper Straws makes it easier. Comida Expo attendees selling slushies will find OkStraw Spoon Paper Straws perfect for their needs. Available in 4-ply and in multiple sizes, OkStraw spoon paper straws hold up to any blended ice drink, and won’t collapse or go soggy. 

Comida Expo attendees in restaurant supply know they need straws for everyone. However, it’s challenging to find good bendable paper straws. At OkStraw Paper Straws, we say challenge accepted.  OkStraw’s Bendy Paper Straws are ADA-compliant, making them a real alternative to plastic bendy straws. Try our bendable paper straws at Comida Expo and you’ll agree, the plastic straw is finished.

Come See Us!

From humble 3-ply, to specialty 4-ply paper bubble tea straws, OkStraw Paper Straws has you covered. With custom prints available, fast lead times and certified biodegradability, OkStraw has your business covered. When you’re at Comida Expo San Diego, come see OkStraw at Booth 312, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!

Italian Island of Capri Bans Plastic Straws

The global war on plastic waste keeps roaring on, and this Spring marked yet another victory. With mayoral approval, Capri’s local government banned single-use plastics from the island, including plastic straws. 

This tiny Mediterranean island joins other world-famous beachfront destinations that gave plastic the boot. With Capri banning items like plastic straws, the island’s visitors will soon get a taste of a plastic-free lifestyle. At atOkStraw Paper Straws, we’re elated to hear Capri say arriederci to single use plastics in favor for ecofriendly alternatives like paper straws!

Capri's Plastic Waste Problem

Located off the coast of Naples, Italy, Capri is legendary destination for international tourists and movie stars alike. Cliffside villages, designer boutiques and a sea cave adorn this Mediterranean gem. However, lurking beneath this beguiling surface lies a serious problem.

 

Capri hosts 2.3 million tourists every year, and every one of them leaves their plastic waste behind. With a population equivalent to Chicago visiting this tiny island every year, Capri is struggling to manage this plastic waste. As a result, Mayor Giovanni De Martino just approved a ban on all-single use plastics from the island. 

For a Sustainable Capritian Future

Capri’s single-use plastics ban covers plastic straws, water bottles, bags, cutlery, and stirrers. From now on, all single-use materials on Capri Island must be biodegradable. Otherwise, violators of the single-use plastics ban face fines of up to €500. Although the ban took effect on 1 May, Capri’s government gave local businesses a 90 days to comply

 

While it’s great to hear Capri reject single-use plastics, they would still be covered by another plastics ban. Capri is part of the European Union, which already pledged to phase out single-use plastics in all countries by 2021. Nevertheless, we at OkStraw Paper Straws believe Capri made the right decision to ban single-use plastics. 

Paper Straws for Capri Island

We at OkStraw Paper Straws share much in common with Capri’s residents. Much like Capri, our hometown San Diego is a world-famous destination. Likewise, hosting millions of visitors means we both have to deal with plastic waste. So rather than worry about dealing with plastic waste, why not do away with it? We think so, and that’s why San Diego banned single-use plastics.

 

Thanks to innovative companies like OkStraw Paper Straws, single-use plastic alternatives are here better than ever. OkStraw’s paper straws are fully biodegradable, making them compliant with Capri’s single-use plastics ban. OkStraw paper straws degrade naturally, and never contain harmful chemicals. Once an OkStraw Paper Straw does its job, it returns to the planet that bore it. On the island today, back to nature tomorrow, OkStraw’s paper straws are Capri’s newest ecotourists.