At Bonorong, we are very passionate about acting sustainably and seeing how little changes made in everyday life can result in bigger changes overall. Our efforts were recognised in 2013 when we won the 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 hot chocolate, and giving preference to local food producers and suppliers.
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 switch to non-lined bins that can be easily emptied, hosed out and then re-used.
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.
Reducing paper usage
The paper hand towel in our washrooms has been replaced with more sustainable eco hand-dryers.
We only have one printer in the Sanctuary - ensuring office printing is kept to a minimum and only for essential items.
Restricting the use of chemicals onsite
The cleaning products used at Bonorong are 100% organic. This is safer for our staff, our animals, and reduces the amount of toxic chemicals entering the environment.
Replacing plastic drink bottles 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 have replaced plastic drink bottles in our shop with glass alternatives with metal lids.
We'd like to do much more to improve our sustainability and we are working towards this.
If you have any suggestions for us, please do let us know.
Feel free to ask one of the keepers when you visit what else we have been doing to reduce our environmental impact!