UNESCO defines Sustainable Tourism as "tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment”
The concern is that without a commitment to sustainability principles, tourism and hire operators will place priorities on their money-making activities to the detriment of the environment, the local community and future would-be visitors.
Lake Escapades acknowledges these concerns and has accordingly oriented its entire operations towards offering adventure activities that leave a nil or negligible net impact on the environment while at the same time supporting the local community in every possible way.
Without having a pristine environment in which our hire activities may be conducted and without contributing and giving back to the local community, we simply do not have a viable business. We are here for the long-term and we will do absolutely everything possible to keep our activities and those of our customers from negatively impacting the environment and the local community, keeping the area available in its current state for future generations to experience and enjoy.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY POLICIES
Our policies include the following:
No single-user plastic bags - any plastic used in our operations is cycled and reused a number of times until complete product failure, with an overall target for total elimination of consumer plastic by the end of 2019
We acknowledge and recognise the traditional land owners of the geographic area covered by the Noosa River and Lakes system, the Gubbi Gubbi people - refer to gubbigubbi.com and dyungungoo.com for more details
Fixed maximum number of customers - we are a small hire operator and wish to remain so, setting a maximum acceptable average of just 25 customers per week
We operate under all mandatory statutory regulations covering our operations including those imposed by Noosa Council, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QP&WS) and Queensland Transport
Waste removal - we support QP&WS's policy of not providing rubbish bins in the Cooloola Recreation Area which encompasses the Upper Noosa River and the Noosa Everglades, by educating our customers to carry all their own waste out with them at the end of hires for either handing to us or placing in suitable public-use receptacles. Any waste handed to us is channelled into either recycling, composting or disposal facilities provided by Noosa Council
We support local suppliers and manufacturers by buying locally whenever possible - including all boat supplies, fittings and consumables and camping equipment supplies, and boat maintenance and servicing requirements
Ourselves and our staff and support personnel are all local residents, from the local community
We participate in local volunteer and social organisations focused on maintaining the local environment, community facilities and community interaction and participation
The solar power collection system at our operational depot offsets the carbon emissions from the use of our traditional petrol-powered vehicle by a factor of approximately 10 times, due to the mostly very short distances we travel in connection with our business operations. We're also tracking developments in the use of electric motor vehicles and their feasibility within our operations
The petrol-powered outboard motors used on our hire fleet boats are all modern, lean-burn and fuel-injected, keeping exhaust emissions to a minimum and in line with Australia's current move towards adopting stringent overseas marine engine emission standards. Any existing 2-stroke engine will also be replaced with the cleaner and quieter equivalent 4-stroke engine so as to minimise emissions and noise levels
Our commitment is to remain focused on providing truly sustainable hire and adventure activities that leave no trace of our customers having ever been in the area. Future customers should not see or experience any environmental wear and tear caused by our operations. The above policies pursued by us are also not static and will change and expand over time as we strive to make our business truly and fully emissions neutral.