The Thunderbird Park team is working towards an Eco Tourism Accreditation by minimising the impact its operations have on the environment. We are also exploring ways to undo some of the negative impacts of the past.
What is Eco Certification?
As a world first, the ECO Certification program was developed to help travellers choose tourism products (tours, accommodations, attractions) that are using sustainable practices in their business operations and nature-based tourism experiences. Nature and ecotourism operators will need to fulfill a set of criteria to be awarded the ECO Certification.
The ECO Certification Program is divided into three levels and Thunderbird Park is working with EcoTourism Australia for certification under the Nature Tourism category. This category only certifies those businesses which have adjusted their operations to leave minimal impacts on their natural areas in which they operate.
We have outlined below a list of initiatives undertaken, some of which are still in the planning stage.
Reduce the waste going to land fill by:
- Compacting cardboard and paper, including paper cups and take away containers.
- Using the cardboard/paper bundles from the above compaction, as the surrounds for the compost bays.
- Encouraging guests to separate waste with general waste, recycling and cardboards bins supplied.
- Separating green waste in all kitchens and taking this waste to compost bays.
- Kitchens as noted above.
- Cardboard and paper as noted above.
- Grass clippings and pruning waste.
Efficient use of power:
- Using solar where possible – this is limited because of the extensive tree coverage.
- Providing additional storage for water, generally allowing pumping to be conducted at non-peak periods.
- Progressively replacing all electrical equipment with lower power usage options.
- Grey water from sewerage treatment used for irrigation where appropriate.
- Solid waste from sewerage treatment composted in separate bays from general compost bays.
Undertaking a revegetation program including:
- Hand removal of weeds where infestation is minimal.
- Poisoning major weed areas.
- Identifying and protecting young growth in previously weed infested areas.
- Planting endemic plants (tube stock) where needed, to ensure full regeneration.