b'PROFILESTravel sustainability goes along with supporting small businesses. When you travel responsibly, you buy from the locals, who are the people that are making the greatest impact in their communities.- JESSICA WOODALLby reducing their carbon footprint, but to become authenticallyDiscovering a communitys hidden gems, including regional engaged in the places they visit, to create a memorablehandmade items, is part of travel sustainability. experience, and support the local economy. Proudly displaying her travel mementos on a bookshelf, Woodall With her passport stamped in more than 21 countries, plus visitingsays, They offer a unique conversation starter, as they are not your 43 U.S. states, the title of Mrs. Georgia Earth has allowed Woodalltypical souvenirs. Instead, I look for items that are handmade and to continue advocating for the environment, tourism, and localhave a unique story behind them.businesses. Engagement in the local community is a significant part of Recently, Woodall engaged with the locals during a trip toWoodalls mission. The pageant has taught me the power of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and became immersed in thecommunity, she says. You achieve great things working together culture. We ate local food and bought goods from local makers,as a community.went scuba diving, snorkeling, and hiking, she says. We also took part in the countrys natural and eco-friendly experience,More than picking up trash and saving the planet, Woodall says, including meeting a coffee grower and chocolate maker. There are a lot of things people can do to become eco-friendlier, like growing your own food or supporting a community garden.School Garden: Jessica Woodall, Mrs. Georgia Earth, helps promote Valdosta City Schools gardening program. 36 SG MAGAZINE| WINTER 2022 BUSINESS + CULTURE37'