Waste has become an increasing problem as more and more products are sold as In “disposable” This has led to massive problems of overflowing landfills, polluted waterways, lakes, and oceans, and in increasing factor of serious public health issues leading to beach closings and illness of the public.
These issues are further complicated by socio-economic factors such as poverty and poor access to healthcare. It is imperative for sustainable tourism operations to continue to find ways to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to waste.
Refusing unnecessary packaging, reducing the waste that goes to land fills, reusing waste for compost or energy sources, and recycling are all strategies of sustainable tourism.
Some basic strategies to consider include:
Bulk purchase and choosing products with minimal packaging.
Eliminating or reduce the use of plastic carrier bags.
Using rechargeable batteries.
Provide filtered water in replacement of bottled water.
Reduce printing and use both sides of the paper.
Using dispensers in showers and vanity areas of hotel rooms.
Walt Disney World has set the industry standad with their goal to send zero waste to land fills and to half the amount they send by 2013 from 2006 baseline levels.
Some of the Walt Disney Company strategies include:
Using biosolids resulting from the waste water treatment process, food, and animal manure to compost and then give away to local agricultural operations. About 11,000 tons a year are given to local farmers.
Incorporating waste reduction into the design of products, programs, and facilities.
Reducing waste through innovative product development, supply chain management, and end of life recycling.
Recycling scrap metal (over 1200 tons a year)
Recycling cooking grease and using to power trains. (740 tons a year)
Recycling electronics (over 100 tons a year)
Communities can significantly turn pollution problems around. For example the Richard A. Heyman Environmental Proteciton facility in the Florida Keys has helped the commity go from dumping 10 million gallons a day of waste water with phosphates and nitrates into the sea to now dumping zero gallons.
The Mission statement reads: "The City of Key West Utilities Department envisions itself to be a leader in environmental protection while improving the quality of life. We will exceed federal, state and local compliance guidelines to preserve our environment by using state-of-the-art technology. We will promote teamwork and a safe workplace atmosphere through communication, education and quality training."
In 2005 Key West was presented with the Florida Department of Environmental Protections highest award for Operations Excellence. In 2004 the Florida Rural Water Association awarded OMI and Key West the Earl B. Phelps Operations Excellence Award. OMI and the City of Key West are extemely proud of these accomplishments, and they are a testament of Key West's commitment to protect our environment.
The Responsibility of Environmental Quality Last Updated on 2014-10-29 10:15:51Environmental quality is the responsibility of the tourism industry, the tourist business, the tourists, the suppliers, and the developers. These entities work together to create sustainable tourism, playing a significant role and influencing each other.
The Tourism Industry
The tourism industry is the umbrella that everything else falls under. Focusing on sustainable tourism practices sets a standard for other sectors in the world to follow. The tourism industry is the fastest growing industry in the world---relatively unknown places are being visited and well known destinations are significantly increasing in popularity. The environmental quality of destinations is a reflection of the tourism industry and what it deems to be acceptable for the most part. Because this industry is growing so quickly, it has the power to shift toward being ecofriendly and sustainable on a global scale.... More »
Coastal Habitat Protection through the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup DayLast Updated on 2014-04-09 22:05:47
Founded in 1972, the Ocean Conservancy has been working for over 30 years to promote coastal habitat protection through empowering and educating people to defend the ocean (Ocean Conservancy, 2014). The Conservancy recognizes that trash in the ocean compromises the health of people and ocean wildlife. In efforts to combat ocean pollution from trash, the Conservancy sponsors an initiative called the International Coastal Cleanup Day. This initiative has been sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy for over 25 years.
Highlights from the 2012 International Cleanup Day include (Ocean Conservancy, 2012):
561,633 volunteers participating globally
17,719 miles of coast covered
10,149,988 pounds of trash collected
The Ocean Conservancy also initiated a program to track the types of trash collected during the cleanup, and disseminate the... More »
Blue Community Series Part 3Last Updated on 2013-11-25 12:53:19
Dr. Reese Halter hosts Part 3 of the Blue Community Coastal Habitat & Marine Environment series that presents best practices for sustainable tourism at the Walt Disney Company. This video focuses is on Water, Waste Management, & Reducing Plastics. The video features Tammy Brister, Manager, Environmental Integration, Walt Disney World Resort.
Florida Leads in Waste-to-Energy Capacity, but Can ImproveLast Updated on 2013-05-01 00:00:00
According to the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, there are now 11 waste-to-energy plants in the state, which makes it the leader in the capacity to burn municipal solid waste (MSW) to create power in the U.S., yet that is only part of ther picture.
There have been a number of innovative solutions studied over the past several years in the state, which include burning methane produced from decomposing solid waste to produce energy, or harvesting the gas for resale, using bagasse, a sugar cane byproduct which is normally added to waste streams, to produce energy to run turbines and more recently, plasma arc incineration of MSW has been added to this spectrum of solutions.
This process promises to burn cleanly with little production of ash; the cinders that remain from the trash is then used as aggregate for concrete or road building. There is... More »
Water Conservation, Waste Mngt., & Reduction of Plastics Strategies Are Needed to Protect Coastal Habitat & Marine EnvironmentLast Updated on 2013-04-09 00:00:00
Water conservation, waste management, and reduction of plastics are all key strategies for sustainable tourism and the protection of coastal habitats and marine environments. Dave recalls that in the late 70's water conservation was essential to the survival of Marin County during a severe drought. We have both witnessed the marine litter on our beaches and waterways, and have become increasingly concerned particularly with the pollution in our oceans in plastics which now accounts for 90% of the oceans pollution.
The good news is that many in the tourism industry realize that addressing these issues is vital to sustainable tourism and protecting the natural resource values that allow the tourism business to succeed.
Sustainable tourism businesses have found that water conservation is an important strategy that can pay dividends in several ways... More »
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