July 21st 2009
Want a free eco-audit?
Magnetic Times recently reported on State Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor's launch of what he thought would result in “guilt-free” tourism: Tourism Queensland's “Sustainable Regions Project". And Magnetic Island was designated as one of five pilot locations for the program which includes eco-audits and assistance to businesses in becoming more sustainable. Now, this week, consultant, Ms Kim Forde, from Missing Link - Resource Coordinators, is on the Island and has conducted over eight free audits so far, but has time for two more before she finishes her visit.
Kim Forde told Magnetic Times, “I am on Magnetic Island this week and am conducting eco-footprint audits for Magnetic Island tourism businesses, across the range from bike hire to accommodation to the Fantasea ferry and everything in between.”
Earlier this week Kim Forde said, “So far I have done 8 audits, with some great results in terms of very efficient eco-practices, and have another 8 committed to for next week. I actually have space to do 2 more if I can get businesses to contact me and let me know.
"The audits, which comprise a site visit and review of current practices, and looking at your current energy bills, waste generation and water consumption give me an idea of how you can improve your business and save money at the same time.
“As Tourism Queensland is picking up the bill for my time, the service is free to all participants, and they receive a report which documents their current eco-footprint, as well as a specific list of recommendations for improvements that they could make.
“The good results so far may be from an awareness created by the Ergon Solar Cities project (which we also support) and/or because businesses are at the top of their game, or want to be, and so know that the coming trend is to reduce their consumption of natural resources to remain economically viable (essential in these days of Global Economic Crisis) and with an increasingly “green aware” consumer, who makes choices based on how he/she sees you operate your business.
“If you are doing great things, then you deserve to be recognised for those efforts. Best practice initiatives I have seen so far include:
·MI Sea Kayaks, who collect every piece of waste that they take on their tour, and recycle everything that can be recycled to minimise their impact on the waterways and the amount of rubbish going to the dump; and who coordinate their tours with the ferry and MI Bus Services so that people don’t need to use a private vehicle to experience their breakfast trip;
·Richard Poutney from MI Bike Hire who offers bikes as a wonderful way to see beautiful Magnetic Island and is reintroducing his electric bikes in September;
·Fantasea who have the most efficient diesel engines that can be used in their ferries and whose advertising is minimised by sharing with others in regional booklets;
·Shaws on Shore, who have let their roof be a place to house solar PV collectors for the Ergon Solar Cities project, but who are saving by using energy efficient air-conditioners set at 24C (their most effective setting)
·Provenance V who ensure their food is minimal packaged and who ask their clients not to use fins, so they don’t stand on the reef and damage coral.
·Brett from Bungalow Bay who, apart from having a minimal energy reception and foyer area with open buildings and natural lighting, is progressively revegetating with native vegetation along the creek line that runs through their property.
·The All Seasons Resort who are looking at opportunities to save energy whilst providing the best of service and educate their visitors on why and how they are doing this
·And the Butterfly House Design who are helping to pull together the industry on MI to maximise their effectiveness whilst having minimal office facilities."
So the opportunity exists to join the list of the audited and in doing so reduce your footprint and pick up some valuable free publicity.
For businesses interested in having Kim visit for an eco-audit you can call her on 07 40939005.
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