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.
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 »
Disney’s Commitment to the Circle of LifeLast Updated on 2012-10-19 00:00:00
Two years ago nine of the top ten American publishers of children’s books — including Disney — used paper from endangered rainforests. Most of the publishers have now committed to sustainable paper and Disney has just announced it will also stop buying paper linked to rainforest destruction. Robin Averbeck, Forest Campaigner for the Rainforest Action Network, tells host Steve Curwood how the organization helped Disney to develop its new paper policy.
LISTEN TO THE STORY
CURWOOD: In the Lion King, Disney celebrates the Circle of Life that moves us all. Well now the Disney Company itself is moving towards a new sustainability. After negotiations in the wake of protests from the Rainforest Action Network, Disney has announced it will reduce paper use, and make sure all it does use is responsibly sourced and... More »
Dr. David Randle interviews Dr. Reese HalterLast Updated on 2012-08-22 15:02:23
Dr. David W. Randle interviews Dr. Reese Halter where they discuss topics such as what science has to say about issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, new renewable technologies, their observations re: recent Walt Disney World, lessons from nature, sustainable fisheries, whales, impact of fertilizers on the oceans, and sustainable tourism.
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