Sunday, June 25, 2017

Island Resorts

Australia: Pumpkin Island’s Amazing Eco-Achievement

This gorgeous resort on Queensland’s lush Capricorn Coast has become the first private island in Australia to gain “carbon-positive” status.

(Image Courtesy of Pumpkin Island)

When it comes to small islands, the environmental impact of people is readily felt – garbage can’t simply be trucked to a landfill, erosion causes obvious damage to the shoreline and beaches, and natural habitats, once destroyed, rarely come back to full health. Every decision to alter an island has visible and often immediate consequences, and perhaps this is why island owners tend to be keenly aware of the importance of sustainable living. On Pumpkin Island, a boutique resort in Australia’s tropical paradise of central Queensland, the owners have taken this green ethos to the extreme.

(Owners Laureth Craggs and Wayne Rumble)

Wayne Rumble and Laureth Craggs, the friendly South African couple who bought Pumpkin in 2003, now have the honour of owning Australia’s first “carbon positive” island resort. Not only is Pumpkin Australia’s first carbon-positive island, but it can boast of being only the second in the world to achieve that status, preceded only by the extensively-managed Galapagos archipelago. Through careful management and participation in emission-offsetting programs, the island, including all business travel associated with running it, now puts less waste into the environment than conserves.

According to Laureth, they used sustainable energy sources like wind and solar power, reduced waste, and limited boat transfers to help reach their ambitious target. Through participation in a sustainability project managed by Tourism Queensland, Capricorn Enterprise and EC3 Global, they also partnered with Cleaner Climate Ltd. to offset their carbon output with a hydro project in Vietnam. So what motivated this green movement on the island? According to the owners, it was the beautiful Great Barrier Reef environment right outside their door.

(Image Courtesy of Pumpkin Island)

“As Pumpkin Island is located in one of the most celebrated, cherished ecosystems and one of the 7 wonders of the world, we are constantly inspired by our surroundings. The island’s sustainability policies and initiatives encourage an awareness of the importance of conserving our environment in order for future generations to share in the beauty and serenity provided by pristine surroundings,” they said.

Wayne and Laureth described their philosophy as seeking harmony with nature; “Pumpkin Island strives to promote meaningful responsible travel to a pristine natural area, which conserves the environment and its resources and improves the welfare of its visitors by being in close contact with nature.” Indeed, each season brings with it new wonders; in October, humpback whales can be seen migrating through the Coral Sea, and turtles can be glimpsed on the island as mating season begins.

The small, 5-residence resort also aims for an intimate feel that goes beyond the conventional, mass-marketed holiday. The simple beach cottages are secluded and feature a breezy décor, and on Pumpkin, the focus is on its unspoilt nature – and on giving visitors a taste of a new lifestyle.  “We would like to show guests what travel can be like. They share in the lifestyle of Pumpkin Island and remain friends with the island after they leave. Pumpkin Island is a life experience, rather than a brief holiday.”

Read more about Pumpkin Island’s green achievement: Link

Visit the official Pumpkin Island website: http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/

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