Anglesea park family work for a greener globe

October 03, 2005
Anglesea park family work for a greener globe

Tim Bone of BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park has a tireless team of workers going day and night making the park more ecologically responsible.

They help nail down cost creep and give benchmarked core indicators to the bottom line at the clean and convenient park close to Anglesea River and much loved Victorian surf beach.

The workers are worms (That is Tim feeding them, right) and they are part of a Green Globe 21 program that has led the Bone family to take a fresh look at their popular park and how they run it.

It is ground breaking as it steps away from a single focus on the economics of a business and embraces the principles endorsed by 182 governments at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The opportunity is for an ecological tourism education process spanning international tourism.

The BIG4 Anglesea Director says his family has operated BIG4 Anglesea for more than 20 years and the commitment to investing in the environment pays off in better management of the park’s resources.

Camp kitchen has space to spareHe and his father Peter agree that they and their big Holiday Park clientele have learned that environmentally sustainable tourist operations work in an Australian caravan park setting.

The beautifully presented Holiday Park has the potential to make a big environmental impact on its busy holiday beach-side area. In peak times the BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park 'guest list' can be 600 to 700 and Tim and Co. involve them all as far as possible in being environmentally responsible. For a start each morning at 9am children are invited to learn about worm farming.

'The children are already open to looking after the environment because of education programs in schools, but both they and their parents really appreciate that we are an environmentally conscious Holiday Park,' Tim told GoSeeAustralia.

'Feed the worms' scrap bins are in cabins and strategically placed throughout the park. They come with instructions on the right scraps in a profile of what keeps worms happy.

The good word on wormsIt is all practical stuff which any caravan park can build on as much of the basics are already in most parks, Tim says.

But short-term it is not. BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park is now an Australian leader. It is internationally benchmarked by Green Globe as the first Australian park to achieve to this status. There can be no resting on laurels won with Green Globe the core indicators must improve each year.

Green Globe is the not-for-profit global certification and improvement system which assists the international travel and tourism industry to attain environmental sustainability.

Nationally there are systems like the Gumnut scheme and there are excellent checks and balances which work at both levels, Tim says. BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park is also involved in Gumnut.

'The first step into environmental sustainability is to look honestly at your business', Tim told GoSeeAustralia. Tim’s wife Sophie led BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park into a critical analysis of what the park did.

Guests help feed the eco cause'Then we made many changes to our operations to make a difference and we set about educating our clientele in environmental care', He said.

'It is really important that this kind of commitment is not a one-off and I think it helps that park owners make their own budget commitments to achieve environmentally sustainable goals. This will mean the process is followed through', he said.

'I have big plans at the park in terms of a central sorting facility for all guests to use. This will be in place early next year', Tim said.

'In our first year we have halved the amount of waste going to landfill. When I have the central sorting facility up and running I expect we will reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill by up to 80 per cent', he said

BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park has benchmarked its energy use, water consumption, waste production and disposal and put an integrated environmental and social policy in place.

Native plants and compost save waterChemical use is assessed and BIG4 Anglesea staff now carefully measure the amounts they need. The amount of biodegradable product used is identified and re-used. Paper consumption is checked and opportunities for recycling taken.

'This means we will use less non-renewable resources, we save on costs and secure a sustainable commercial and ecological future,' Tim Bone said.

 

Tim and Co. bought a mulcher which has covered garden beds in a thick water-retaining layer and there are compost bins throughout the park.

This helps drought proof the gardens which are filled with low water maintenance native plants. In their turn the native plants bring native birds. Which provide the added benefits of insect control, natural beauty and bird songs.

Tim Bone tracks park performanceNative birds are a particularly relevant aspect of the National Gumnut system, Tim says. And, of course, the worm farms provide fertiliser for the gardens and lawns

Which is an ecologically sustainable cycle which can lead to International tourism businesses based on the triple bottom line of: Economic, environmentally sustainable and socially committed.

Tim says there is already a bottom line benefit from April 2004 to April 2005 at BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park of between $5000 and $7000 as a direct result of the environmentally sustainable benchmarking.

Heather Koch, of Green Globe Asia Pacific told GoSeeAustralia that Green Globe 21 endorses the World Tourism Organisations global code of ethics for tourism and sets a frame of reference for the responsible and sustainable development of world tourism.

Consumers are increasingly responsive to environmental sustainability and consumers say they will choose an attraction or accommodation provider that is part of a green accreditation scheme over one that is not.

The most popular room at BIG4 AngleseaThe Green Globe mission is to deliver the best travel and tourism benchmarking and certification products and services in the world to facilitate sustainable travel and tourism for companies, communities, eco tourism and tourism infrastructure, Heather Koch said.

The Green Globe 21 Company Standard requires an Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy; compliance with the prevailing Legislative Framework; above baseline Environmental and Social Sustainability Performance (assessed through the Benchmarking process); an operating Environmental Management System; and continual Consultation and Communication with public and clients, she said.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = 'urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags' />st1:PersonNameCathy Parsons/st1:PersonName, Chief Executive Officer, Green Globe <?xml:namespace prefix = u1 />u1:placeAsia/u1:place Pacific and GGAP International says, 'Green Globe is currently working on expansion in key glou1:PersonNameba/u1:PersonNamel markets. Recognition of the Green Globe brand in u1:country-regionu1:placest1:country-regionst1:placeAustralia/u1:place/u1:country-region/st1:place/st1:country-region continues to grow through a range of initiatives including Geelong Otway Tourism and Redland Shire's subsidy schemes and our alliance with AAAT and support of the Green STARS program'. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = 'urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office' />/o:p

'Green STARS currently has over 60 participants around the country who receive an introduction to Benchmarking and Green Globe Affiliate benefits.  With international offices and websites now in u1:country-regionu1:placest1:country-regionst1:placeChina/u1:place/u1:country-region/st1:place/st1:country-region, u1:country-regionu1:placest1:country-regionst1:placeNew Zest1:PersonNamealan/st1:PersonNamed/u1:place/u1:country-region/st1:place/st1:country-region and u1:placest1:placeSouth America/u1:place/st1:place, Green Globe aims to significantly increase awareness, promotion and distribution of the program in these regions' she said.

Editor's note: See 15 Oct 2005 - Come Camp With BIG4, FREE  in GSA Forums General.