Sustainable and Responsible Tourism
Responsible and sustainable tourism is based on the principles of environmental integrity, social justice and maximizing local economic benefits which all add to “making a better place for people to live in and better places for people to visit“. This concept focuses on tourism that maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures, habitats and species. Responsible tourism provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful interactions with local people and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues. Responsible tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility and action to make tourism more sustainable.
Responsible and greening tourism strategies were not only set in place for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, however this large scale event has provided a platform to launch and communicate various projects for now and beyond.The Action Plan provides the framework to enable the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality stakeholders, both public and private, to use their creativity, to form partnerships, be proactive and mobilize the necessary resources for a full-scale greening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and beyond.
The Green Goal Action Plan by Host Cities for the World Cup lists interventions that will reduce the carbon footprint and encourage responsible tourism actions. Nelson Mandela Bay as a Host City is committed and excited to host not only a spectacular 2010 event from a logistics point of view, but also stage an event which is based on the premise of sustainable development – economic development, social equity and environmental integrity. The implementation of the “Green Goal Action Plan” and practice of responsible tourism can only improve our attractiveness as a destination for investors and visitors, while improving the facilities and infrastructure for all who live and work in the Bay permanently. Creating environmental legacy opportunities will give our surroundings and infrastructure a major long term boost.
Practical Tips to make sustainability happen within your business
Incorporating greener practices into your business is one of the most effective ways to make a difference, not just to your own bottom line, but also to the environment – both now and for the future. Every little thing you do makes a difference and it does not always have to cost large sums of money in fact responsible tourism practices can often save you money.
Reduce the operational costs of your business and Have major environmental benefits, primarily through the conservation of natural resources and the lowering of associated greenhouse gas emissions
Tips for reducing your energy consumption and improving energy efficiency:
Heating and air-conditioning
- Ensure heating and air conditioning is turned off when not required. You can do this by adjusting time switches to minimise usage.
- Ensure that hot water systems are installed close to where the most frequent use occurs.
- Ensure all equipment is well maintained to ensure it is working optimally to prevent unnecessary energy wastage.
- Place the air-conditioning unit out of the sun and away from heat sources to maximise effectiveness.
- When replacing outdated equipment, take the opportunity to select new equipment with a high energy efficiency rating, which will also significantly reduce operating costs.
- Install solar heating where appropriate. Solar heating boosted by gas power, when necessary, can help reduce both gas and electricity costs.
- Use sensors which stop the air-conditioning when a person leaves the room.
- Install timers on spa pools to prevent spa jets continuing after use.
- Install solar heating for appropriate hotel facilities, e.g. to heat the swimming pool.
- In summer, use blinds and curtains to block out heat to minimise the need for air conditioning.
- Use natural lighting in room design to minimise the need for artificial lighting. When incorporated at the design stage, a natural lighting approach can reduce a building’s energy requirements for lighting by 40-50%.
- Where appropriate, consider putting in sky lights to improve the use of natural light.
- Turn off lights when room is unoccupied.
- Install sensors and timers in all indoor and outdoor areas so lights are switched off when not required.
- Consider introducing key cards for hotel guestrooms, thereby ensuring that lights and electrical equipment are only operated when rooms are occupied.
- Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent and low-energy light bulbs. Energy saving globes can last 5 to 10 times longer and consume 60 to 80%less electricity.
- Use the energy-saver or power-saver mode on your computer.
- Switch off your computer and printer completely when not in use for long periods.
- Select energy-efficient equipment when purchasing new or replacement refrigerators or freezers. Also select the smallest appliance that will fit your needs.
- Ensure the seals are working efficiently to prevent energy wastage form cold air escaping.
- Do not place your refrigerator or freezer near a heat source such as an oven or against an uninsulated wall exposed to the sun as it needs to use more energy to maintain cold temperatures.
- Turn off appliances – at the power point – when not in use. Even on stand-by mode appliances use energy.
- Operate dishwashers, washing machines etc. with full loads only.
- If purchasing a new dishwasher, select one with a short wash cycle, which can save both energy and water.
- Operate laundry washing machines using cold water.
- Hot water requires far more energy (60% of the machine’s energy consumption is used in heating the water).
- Air dry laundry rather than using electrical dryers wherever possible.
By reducing water usage one can save significantly in terms of finances on an annual basis. It’s important that we all play a role in minimising water consumption, particularly when you consider that:
A leaking tap can waste 9 litres in one day or more than 2,500 litres in one month, while leaking toilets use much more.
Checking taps regularly can help reduce water bills by up to 5%.
Potable water resources are consumed not only by drinking but also through recreational facilities, gardens doing the laundry and cleaning of surfaces.
Showers are the most significant users of water in hotels. Yet water efficient shower flow show rates of less than nine litres per minute
Tips for reducing your water consumption and managing potable water
- Fix leaking taps, pipes and toilet cisterns.
- Encourage staff to report all water leaks needing attention.
- Use a mop and bucket rather than a hose to clean external areas.
- Place notices about water conservation which suggest ways that staff and guests can minimise their water consumption around the complex.
In the bathroom:
- Encourage staff to minimise water use when cleaning –particularly toilet flushes.
- Use a highly rated water-efficient showerhead (using around 10 liters per minute) rather than older models (using 20 to 30 litres per minute). Using water efficient showers reduces the volume of hot water needed as well as the energy required to heat the water.
- Use passive infra-red (PIR) sensors for urinals in the men’s toilets. These generally use 20% less water than a normal urinal flushing system.
- Install dual-flush or water saving toilets, which use approximately 4 to 6 litres, less than half the water quantity used by a standard single flush toilet which uses 10 to 15 litres per flush. In a 100-bed hotel, dual flush toilets could save over 200,000 litres of water per year.
In the kitchen:
- Use only full loads in the kitchen and laundry washing machines unless they have the option of a smaller load setting.
- Operate dishwashers and washing machines on the Economy cycle.
- When purchasing new appliances or replacing old ones, select those which have a short wash cycle that uses less water.
- Use insulated covers for spa pools and swimming pools to reduce evaporation, which can exceed 200 litres per day for larger pools in hot climates.
- Watering plants and gardens in the early evening or later can achieve water savings of up to 25%.
- Group plants with similar watering needs and give them the appropriate amount of water. Plant drought resistant plants where possible.
- Ensure automatic watering systems are turned off in rainy periods.
- Consider diverting surface water runoff and water from roof gutters to the hotel’s gardens landscaped areas, instead of directly to storm water drains.
- Consider a water tank – in the current climate, with record populations, high water usage and the worst drought in generations, water tanks in urban and rural areas are becoming more and more of a necessity.
The more waste a business produces the more it is costing the business. Many businesses in the tourism sector are needlessly spending money on the handling, transporting and disposing of waste that could have been avoided in the first place, or that could be minimised, reused, or recycled. Tourism operators can both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their resilience to the impact of climate change by improving waste management practices.
Tips for reducing your waste:
- Encouraging purchase decisions that avoid creating waste in the first place;
- Creating opportunities for staff to be creative about waste reduction opportunities;
- Establishing waste reduction targets with key stakeholders and contractors; and
- Reusing and recycling materials.
- Conduct a waste audit. It will help to identify the types of materials that are currently thrown out and the areas within the operation that are producing the most waste.
- Set up a recycling system within your operation for paper, plastics, aluminium and glass.
- Consider composting food waste from restaurants and hotel kitchens.
Reduce your waste:
- Work with suppliers to ensure that they minimise packaging and take back packaging which isn’t readily recyclable. This includes polystyrene packaging for electrical appliances.
- Avoid single-serve products such as sugars, butters, condiments and coffee.
- Use bulk dispensers in hotel bathrooms rather than small packages of soap, shampoo and conditioner.
- Provide newspapers on request only.
- Provide information on guestroom TV screens rather than in printed form.
- Provide guests with the option of deciding whether to re-use linen and towels.
- Buy reusable glassware, table settings and serving equipment for events.
- Buy refillable printer cartridges that can be sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.
- Fabric rather than paper serviettes.
- Rechargeable batteries.
- Email to send information.
- Reusable envelopes for internal mail.
- Ceramic mugs in offices, to avoid polystyrene cup waste.
- Cardboard boxes for packaging and moving.
- Packaging and pallets.
- Sell or donate obsolete equipment to community groups.
- Newspapers, office paper, junk mail and used phone books.
- Fluorescent light bulbs.
- Plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles and jars.
- Cooking oil.
- Check if your old equipment can be upgraded before you purchase new products.
- Consider donating your old computers to charity, schools or community groups.
Kitchen Waste Composting:
- Compost waste fruit and vegetables, peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, bakery products and other leftovers from the kitchen using appropriate methods. These food scraps contain valuable nutrients that can be composted to produce rich soil additives.