At Bonorong, we are very passionate about acting sustainably and then seeing how the little changes we make in everyday life can result in bigger changes overall… Our efforts were recognised by winning the 2013 EPA Sustainability Innovation in Industry Award.
Some of the sustainability initiatives we are implementing
at Bonorong include:
Keeping it local
Only stocking fair trade coffee and giving preference to local food producers.
Restricting the use of chemicals onsite
The cleaning products used at Bonorong contain 100% organic ingredients. This is safer for staff and animals, and reduces the amount of toxic chemicals entering the environment.
Reducing plastic use
Plastic bags have been removed from the gift shop and paper carry bags are now given to guests for their purchases upon request.
The garbage bins that we have in the park at the moment require a plastic bag liner to catch the rubbish. These are emptied daily and while we try to re-use any plastic liners that are in a fit condition the system means that we do go through a large number of plastic bags every week. What we plan to do is phase out these plastic liners and use non-lined ones that can be easily emptied, hosed out and then re-used. This is part of our hope to reduce the number of disposable items we use and replace them reusable, more durable alternatives.
Replacing the plastic drink bottles in our shop with glass alternatives
Many of our marine animals have trouble distinguishing floating plastic from food and will eat small plastic fragments such as bottle caps and rings, and bits of broken plastic. Seabirds are regularly found with their stomachs packed full of these items which can lead to serious injury and starvation.
To help reduce this risk, we are replacing plastic drink bottles in our shop with glass alternatives. Most of the drinks in our fridges are now in glass bottles with metal lids, although we have had trouble sourcing glass alternatives for some essentials such as water. We are pursuing some avenues for this and will hopefully be successful soon.
Reducing paper usage
The paper hand towel in the washrooms has been replaced by more sustainable eco
While at the Sanctuary, guests are encouraged to recycle glass, cans and plastics through the placement of recycling bins in high traffic areas.
Sanctuary waste is divided into separate bins for paper, cardboard, aluminium, glass and plastic. These are then collected and recycled.
Bore water is used for watering lawns and gardens through a grid of manually rotated sprinkler ports. This water reticulates back into the water table to be reused.
Greywater from the Sanctuary is collected and processed by an Envirocycle system for use in the toilets.
Of course, we would like to do much more to improve our sustainability and we are working bit by bit towards that. Ask one of the keepers when you visit what else we have been doing to reduce our environmental impact.