Accommodation providers offering everything from cabins nestled in woodland settings to urban backpacker hostels have caught onto the eco-tourism movement. The green revolution has captured the attention of travellers and the tourism industry, driving environmentally sustainable practices, including reduced energy consumption and the use of environmental cleaning products. Today we take a look at the eco-tourism movement.
Thirty years ago Australian eco-tourism was largely the domain of small, nature-based tour operators but the movement has increasingly been embraced by the mainstream.
Walk into any city hotel room and you will notice the change: The small sign posted in the bathroom encouraging guests to refrain from using a daily linen service; the carefully selected bottle of organic, sulphate-free shampoo in the shower; the unlabelled, refillable bottle of dishwashing liquid under the sink; the nearby paper recycling bin.
Accommodation venues have also started listing energy reducing initiatives and other green credentials – including the use of eco-friendly liquid products – in their brochures and guest information folders.
For every cynical guest discounting these changes as simple cost-cutting, many more are embracing the measures as a sign operators care for the health and future of its guests and the environment.
Evaluating the authenticity of green assertions can be difficult as terms such as green and eco-friendly can be bandied without independent scrutiny.
In Australia there are several eco-certification schemes in place including:
- Ecotourism Australia, a respected eco-certification organisation for nature-based operators but less suited to city accommodation properties;
- Green STAR Ratings – Most travellers will be familiar with STAR ratings and the Eco-Friendly STAR logo identifies venues which have undertaken energy efficiency, waste management, water minimisation and guest education;
- EarthCheck (Green Globe) is an international green credential certification body which allows operators to measure their resource use and waste outputs;
- Some operators self-evaluate their green credentials outside of official accreditation schemes, motivated by the opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint.
Some of the simple measures being implemented by hotels, parks and hostels in rural and metropolitan settings include linen reuse programs, low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, sensor lights and the use of refillable guest products such as shampoo or laundry powder.
Easily-accessible bins for recyclable products such as papers and milk and juice cartons have become widely available at caravan parks and hotels.
Environmental cleaning products reduce water and soil contamination. Biodegradable, low-toxic products are available to replace most chemical cleaners.
Perth-based Envirosafe Solutions supplies its Extreme Green range of eco-friendly industrial liquids to accommodation providers across Australia.
Director Murray Simon said eco products not only delivered results comparable to harsh cleaners but were economical and sustainable. He added that efforts to reduce environmental impacts helped hospitality operators connect with their guests.
“Discerning travellers are increasingly seeking out green credentials when choosing accommodation venues – they would rather spend their money at environmentally-responsible enterprises.”
Envirosafe Solutions’ environmental cleaning product range includes dishwashing liquid, glass cleaner, gentle, triclosan-free anti-bacterial handwash and biodegradable, low-phosphate laundry powder.
As Australian eco-tourism moves beyond nature-based operators to mainstream accommodation providers, the use of environmentally sustainable practices and products – including eco-friendly industrial liquids – has been embraced. For more information on eco-friendly products tailored to the hospitality industry phone 1300 88 90 70 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.