If you have yet to hear about the focus on green living and minimising your carbon footprint you must have been living under a rock – in which case you are doing your part for the cause as you do away with the conventional lifestyle. As an avid traveller I am always looking for new ways to experience different aspects of the world`s wonder.
With all this talk of environmental awareness I knew it was time to explore the world before it is affected by the far-reaching consequences of global warming.
I want to share with you my green holiday in Queensland and how I managed to reduce my carbon footprint.
From the outset I was determined to keep the idea of being green and therefore invested some time in researching possible carbon neutral ways to travel. Virgin Australia has an option for passengers to fly carbon neutral on their flights. You can opt to pay the carbon surcharge which is paid directly to the Government for initiatives with industry and household assistance for the Carbon tax.
Ecotourist holidays suggest embracing a vegetarian diet on your travels. In Brisbane I found a number of delicious options to whet my appetite. My favourites were Kitchen Sanitarium at Eagle Street where I munched on Dukkah spiced cauliflower with Lebanese cous cous, spinach, pepitas and tzatziki. The best part was the fact that the menu told you the added health benefits of chowing down on each dish. Sassafras in Paddington served me up a fantastic Sassa vegetarian breakfast complete with organic tofu, haloumi and avocado.
For day trips I was mindful of attending nature-based activities that kept environmental awareness at their forefront. In Wynnum I went to the Mangrove Boardwalk which was developed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure easy and safe access to the mangrove forest without endangering the environment. They have created nearly 800m of walkways to peruse the beautiful landscape. The boardwalk enables visitors to take their time through the beautiful and lush mangroves and witness exotic wildlife in their natural setting.
I am a real animal lover and I go out of my way to spend time with the furry creatures of the world (not to mention the feathered and skin ones too!). Sometimes, however, it is impossible to experience animal sightings in the wild and you do need a bit of a helping hand. In keeping with the focus on green holidays I found the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket. It is rated as one of the top ten zoos in the world that embraces the concept of interacting with animals in their natural settings. They have a number of green initiatives including sustainable water consumption, using recycled materials for the park and planting a eucalyptus plantation to support their 130 koala residents.
When I first contemplated embarking on a green holiday in Queensland I thought it was going to be quite difficult to find options. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the many initiatives practiced by leading tourism groups. It was refreshing to know that there are as many people practising the concept of living green as there are people talking about it.
I have only offered a small snippet on the ways to explore Queensland with an environmental conscience. For more ideas visit www.experiencequeensland.com
Mary Ann Keeling is an ecologist who just visited Australia. Loves to live&travel sustainably, and learn how to reduce the impact of her flights to Australia with a carbon offset program.