I want to start this page by stating that we definately DO contribute to global warming. We cannot completely avoid this. What we ARE trying to achieve is a minimal impact, and offset as much as possible.
Please read the fantastic paper by Sydney University which discusses the term 'carbon neutral'. It is quite entertaining and also states "... as Standard Life Investment noted in 2006 “there is no common agreed definition of the term ‘carbon neutral’ and there is evidence of this being exploited for PR purposes”. To this we might add that there is also evidence of
exploitation for financial purposes.". To which we respond - we are not doing this for financial gain by way of exploitation, although we have found that many practices used to reduce our carbon emissions have the financial benefit of reducing our bills as well.
We also recognise that carbon offset by planting trees is regarded as a 'bandaid' solution by many sectors of the 'carbon community'. Planting trees is often simply replenishing areas that humans have cut down in the past. Purists say that until we have replaced what we have cut down, it doesn't really count. I tend to agree, and we will do our bit to get humanity heading in that direction.
We also recognise that using flourescent lights, and other 'environmentally friendly' products have very badaspects in disposal. Heavy metals and other very bad elements are piling into our landfills, and causing real problems.
Again, we are doing our bit in being aware, and minimising the impact.
For us, the whole point of this attempt at carbon neutral status is that EVERYONE can do thier small bit - flawed as it might be. Simply becoming aware can change your behaviour slightly. Think about the number of times you dont turn the light off when you walk out of a room because you will be 'back soon', or leave the TV on, or drive when a walk would have been cheaper, nicer and better for you? Think about the number of times you leave doors open when you heat the house. How often do you heat rooms that don't need heating?
On this note - a little about what we have done!
- We have automatic door closers on every room so a room doesnt get heated unless it needs it
- We have connected to natural gas, which is more environmentally friendly - even in Tasmania where we have a significant proportion of hydro electric power
- We are using flourescent light and energy saving lights in the entire hostel
- We have compost bins to recycle natural waste
- We have a recycling bin for recyclable products
- Oh yeah, we are also planting trees to help soak up the carbon emissions tha twe are responsible for. We are planting Tasmanian natives, and regionally suitable trees.
And what we WILL be doing ...
- Solar panels to supplement our power/heating requirements
- Glazing our windows to reduce heat loss
- Install a rainwater tank for watering the gardens
- Insulating the ceiling to prevent heat loss
The list goes on, and it is growing. As we learn more, and are encouraged by people like you who have taken the time to read this page, we will be able to do more. If you do appreciate our efforts for the environment, please mention this when you book, or check in. It will help us encourage more of the industry to try.