Celebrating Sustainability on World Tourism Day
This year, we are excited to celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27th!
In consideration of the 2017 theme of 'Sustainable Tourism' set forth by the United Nations General Assembly, we are happy to recognise some of the best sustainable companies on the Gold Coast, as well as ideas for adopting more eco-conscious habits when it comes to traveling.
World Tourism Day 2017
"This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture and respect your host." -General Taleb Rifai, World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary
Part of being a responsible traveler is doing your best to choose eco-conscious, forward-thinking companies who promote positive interactions within nature and the local culture by taking steps to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
From boutique hotels to restaurants, tour companies, transportation, local events and shopping, we can all do a little more to make sure we're supporting those who strive to keep our planet looking beautiful!
Local Examples of Sustainability
Plastic Waste - Boomerang Bags
Outstanding members of the Burleigh Heads community, Tania Potts and Jordyn de Boer founded Boomerang Bags in 2013 as a way to reduce plastic pollution on the Gold Coast and afar.
Using all donated materials, and with the help of a network of dedicated volunteers across the country, the Boomerang Bags community has made more than 45,000 bags for local and national use. Since there is currently no ruling against single use plastic bags in Queensland, as opposed to the current ban across Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory, it's more important than ever to offer an alternative to plastic while grocery shopping and otherwise.
Local Clean-Up Events - Jala Yoga
Another Burleigh Heads local making a splash in the sustainable community, Jala Yoga owner Mollie Cox is not only a talented yoga practitioner, but a dedicated marine conservationist.
For more than 2 years, Mollie has organised a monthly outdoor yoga class, followed by a group clean-up effort on the beach, lunch and a swim. Best of all - it's completely free to participate! Not only does cleaning up the local beach help keep it looking pristine, but it also reminds everyone involved (and watching!) to clean up after themselves in order to avoid harming the environment and local marine life. Be sure to sign up for the next event on October 22nd!
Food, Games & Entertainment - Currumbin RSL
Touted as the "greenest club in Queensland," our Gold Coast neighbours at the Currumbin RSL have committed to several impressive sustainable practises, including planting their own vegetable and herb garden and implementing a gardening program for seniors, using locally-sourced ingredients, composting kitchen scraps, installing energy-efficient LED lighting and energy-saving devices on air conditioning units, utilising rainwater tanks, and much more.
As one of the most popular hubs for eating, live entertainment, gambling and holiday celebrations on the Gold Coast, we hope more RSL clubs around the country follow in their footsteps.
Family-Friendly Dining - Dune Cafe
Overlooking the lovely Currumbin Lagoon in the Palm Beach Parklands, the Dune Cafe is the perfect sustainable dining option for families and friends. Sitting adjacent to the children's pirate park with a large grassy area for dogs or a game of cricket, guests of all ages will be taken aback by the beautiful surroundings and easygoing atmosphere.
With a menu focusing on local, organic and sustainable fresh food items, Dune Cafe also offers live music on the last Saturday of every month. Another perk? They offer discounts for those who remember to bring their own 'keep cup' for takeaway coffees!
Coffee, Art & Workshops - Dust Temple
Another Currumbin local, Dust Temple is one of the Gold Coast's best coffee shops slash creative event spaces. With homemade pastries, lovely music, top notch coffee drinks and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that's like a combination of an industrial warehouse mixed with an art gallery, Dust Temple is absolutely worth a visit.
Whether you're on vacation or live in the area, their offering of sustainable workshops and events, most of which support the local creative community here on the Gold Coast, are an excellent way to get involved. Sign up for Life Drawing, a Poetry Slam or Songwriters Session and meet inspiring folks while fine-tuning a new (or old) skill.
Accommodation - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
A recognised member of Eco Tourism Australia, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat offers accommodation in the gorgeous Lamington National Park, located just a 40 minute drive from the Gold Coast.
A true example of sustainability in accommodation, O'Reilly's currently applies a number of sustainable practices - greenhouse gas strategies, construction from recycled materials, natural spring water supply, support of local suppliers, research of the local fauna, and even endangered species recovery projects - all of which make it one of the best choices for sustainable accommodation in Australia. The lush setting within a rainforest certainly doesn't hurt either!
Tour Company - Australian Sunset Safaris
Offering a range of weekly eco-adventure tours departing from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australian Sunset Safaris provides eco-conscious exploration around some of Queensland's most scenic hotspots.
Choose from the multi-day Moreton Island, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef, or World Heritage Rainforest Tours, and rest easy knowing you're supporting a company who gives back while exploring more of the natural beauty Australia is known for.
Australia Sustainable Tourism Resources
The following sites provide useful information for travelers looking for reputable eco-conscious companies to support in Australia:
- Eco Tourism Australia - Organised by type of eco experience and state
- Going Green Solutions - Resources for sustainable living and local companies in Victoria, Australia
- Greenfinder - A list of environmentally friendly, green, sustainable, and eco companies across Australia
- Green Getaways - A list of sustainable accommodation options, organised by travel style and location
We're wishing everyone a great World Tourism Day, and hope you'll visit the Mahiya Showroom to browse our range of ethically-sourced, hand tooled leather accessories the next time you find yourself on the beautiful Gold Coast!