An Eco-friendly Travel Guide to Austraia
by Dustin Casey
(Dustin is a corporate travel agent who spends his free time seeing foreign lands and writing about his experiences)
To protect Australian wildlife, we must protect our environment as well. The sustainable development and survival of wildlife depends on a vibrant and thriving ecosystem (and vice versa). Whether you’re about to tour the Australian rainforest or get up close and personal with the big red kangaroo, an eco-conscious trip will help ensure that this country’s beautiful natural habitats and creatures continue to thrive. Help support wildlife conservation by participating in eco-tourism in the following ways:
Green hotels are eco-friendly properties that support environment sustainability, including water conservation and energy reduction. Green practices like water-saving techniques and waste recycling programs can help preserve the natural habitats that are home to Australia’s beloved wildlife.
For example, every month in the U.S., the New Orleans InterContinental recycling program kept $1,000 worth of establishment-related materials, such as napkins and towels, out of waste streams, according to the Green Hotels Association. Similarly, a Chicago Hyatt experienced waste hauling reduction by 80 percent.
Search for hotels that are committed to using energy-saving measures such as LED light bulbs, low-energy lighting, low-flow shower heads and toilets, solar-heated amenities, composting and local food sourcing. For luxurious eco-lodging in Australia, Greenbang.com spotlights the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island and Allawah Retreat. Explore more green hotels and eco-friendly lodgings by visiting itsagreengreenworld.com.
Town locals may attempt to illegally sell you historic artifacts, items from endangered species or even living organisms, such as flora or fauna. Not only is trading flora and fauna a risk to biodiversity, it’s an environmental crime.
The importation and exportation of exotic and native species threatens Australia’s wildlife, agriculture and ecological communities. As you explore villages, be aware of dealers who may try to sell you prohibited and restricted goods. Visit Australian Customs and Border Protection Services for more information on restricted imports, such as heritage goods from Papua New Guinea, cosmetics and even credit cards. In addition to counterfeit credit cards, thieves may target a vulnerable traveler and try to steal personal information by “shoulder surfing.” Visit Lifelock for information on shoulder surfing and other scams that could quickly end your green vacation.
Make a difference with even the smallest eco-tourism efforts:
- Embark on your trip with the bare essentials and challenge yourself to simple day-to-day living
- Feast on local cuisine and home-grown produce from farmers markets; in the words of Beautiful Accommodation’s Travel Blog, become a “locavore”
- Use green transportation, such as the Indian Pacific, Ghan and XPT trains, Greyhound Australia bus or Coral Princess boat
- Participate in cultural traditions and become immersed in local music and art; embracing and understanding a local region’s culture helps support their way of life
- Volunteer at an orphanage, help clean up a community affected by a natural disaster or give back to local communities by donating school supplies or other basic necessities