Sustainability in Small Steps
Sourcing environmentally responsible products can sometimes be a challenge for small businesses. While costs of paper items such as cups, napkins and stationary will always be a factor in running a business, determining whether or not to use sustainable products (such as recycled materials, new technology or green alternatives) can pose big questions. How much more should we as a company spend on green alternatives to lower our carbon footprint? What products are available in our area? Will the sustainable products provide the same quality? Luckily for Passions of Paradise, a new vendor has allowed us to procure some innovative products that go the extra step in helping us reduce our carbon footprint and further our commitment to ecological sustainability.
Passions of Paradise has recently made a commitment to providing guests on the boat with a new range of eco-friendly products, and has looked to Enviromart Australia to provide these new items. Founded in 1996, Enviromart Australia offers a wide variety of eco-friendly organic and ecologically sustainable alternatives to help organisations and individuals reduce their carbon footprint. Passions of Paradise has purchased recyclable paper cups, recycled paper serviettes and low-volume serviette dispensers, and for an upcoming exhibition, paper for promoting the event made out of elephant dung. You read that right: elephant dung.
Passions of Paradise is participating in Cairns Regional Council’s ECO-Week (May 29-June 5), with the featured event being ECO-Fiesta held on May 31, and will be hosting an information stall throughout the day. To accentuate the stall, Passions is creating signage to sell t-shirts to raise money for the Australian Rainforest Foundation; the paper for the signs has been sourced from Enviromart, and is made from elephant dung and other recycled materials. The paper is produced by a Sri Lankan company called Maximus, and was established in 1997. Originally Maximus was set up to recycle waste printing paper; soon after starting up, they realised that many more materials, such as rice paddy straw, cinnamon and banana could all be recycled to add to the distinct paper product. It did not take long however to realize that the six resident elephants were a living, walking natural material source, and it was not long before paper was being made out of recycled elephant dung. The benefits to this process were numerous: Previously, the elephants were under threat from shooting by farmers, as the elephants would trample into their farms. Maximus, after starting the dung-paper project, reinvested the profits into electric fences to keep the elephants out of the farmers’ territory.
Another product Passions is debuting on the boat is recyclable paper cups, called BioCups. Produced by BioPak, BioCups are made from high-grade recycled materials and are printed using soy or water based inks. All the paper is sourced responsibly from managed plantations and coated with Ingeo™, an innovative corn-based bioplastic. All components of the cups are made from rapidly renewable resources and are certified carbon neutral. These new cups replace the plastic cups that were previously on-board; while the plastic cups did contain a biodegradable agent in their manufacture, the new cups are a much better, more sustainable product. Our vessel uses thousands of cups each year, so we are excited that now these materials are both made from recycled materials and are recyclable and biodegradable as well.
Lastly, Passions have purchased two Tork Xpressnap serviette dispensers. This innovative dispensing system reduces napkin usage by at least 25%, and has advantages including fewer refills, lower labour costs, better hygiene for customers, and a smaller footprint for the environment. The serviettes in the dispensers are unbleached and made from 100% recycled fibre, meaning that no trees were harvested to make them and the materials used to make them aren’t filling up landfills. As an added bonus, these serviettes can be recycled or home composted after they have been used.
So, when you come out for a day on board Passions of Paradise, we hope you’ll notice these little differences in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and promote the sustainability of our operation. Passions of Paradise is always looking for ways to further reduce our carbon footprint, so if you come out with us for a trip to the reef, and can think of anything we could do better, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Remember: We have one planet, let’s take care of it!