Going on holiday doesn’t mean you have to take a holiday from living a sustainable lifestyle.
A sustainable holiday is about taking your approach to living sustainably from everyday life, into your holiday experience. It’s also about making sure the environment and the people in the places you visit benefit from you being there.
For the Gippsland Lakes, there are so many ways you can have a positive impact on the community, wildlife, and economy. Just by being on holiday win/win/win.
- Plan ahead. Travelling sustainable begins with packing sustainably. Grab your reusable bags, a couple of reusable containers, your keep cup and your refillable drink bottles. Lunch boxes and cold bags are always a handy addition to a day on the beach or on the water.
- Support locals. Shop local and support grown local. There are lots of great wineries, breweries, cheesemakers, growers, farmers’ markets and other primary producers in Gippsland. Many of these producers have been doing it tough with drought conditions and fires. Your support means a lot and you’re reducing food miles. Boom.
- Walk, paddle or ride. Park the car – and leave it there. The Gippsland Lakes are the perfect location to explore on foot, by water or on your bike. Save the stress, cut CO2 and don’t worry about parking on your holiday.
- Save water on holiday too. Water. We’re a country surrounded by it, but freshwater is such a precious resource. Our rivers and lakes need water too. Use it wisely.
- Leave only footprints. Sort your rubbish and recycling and make sure you take it with you or dispose of it properly. Is a bin overflowing? Don’t add to the mess which could spill onto the street, lake, bush or beach. Take it home.
- Switch off. You wouldn’t leave air conditioners, fans and lights on at home. Don’t do it on holiday either.
- Help local wildlife. Our local wildlife and those trying to protect them need your help. Report your sightings of red-banded pelicans (and their number) to the Love our Pelicans Facebook group. Spot a dolphin? You lucky devil. Take a photo and log onto org.au/trackmm. Hear some frogs? Download the FrogID app and record what you’ve heard. Citizen scientists play a vital role in helping land managers and scientists protect our local wildlife.
- Boat like a legend. Bringing your boat to the Lakes? Make sure it’s cleaned before you pop it in the water, marine pests can hitch a ride and cause havoc in their new environment. Make sure you know the boating regulations in relation to dolphins and seals and give them some space. Check out Gippsland Ports for safety information, tips and more.
- Avoid single-use plastics. Every minute, over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased and almost two million plastic bags used. If you’ve planned ahead (tip one) you’ll be prepared to refuse single-use plastic. Did you know 95% of plastic packaging is used just once and then discarded? Unless you can recycle, reuse or repurpose the packaging, it is destined for landfill or the ocean. Source: take3.org
- Take three (or more) for the sea. We know that you’ll be leaving only footprints (see tip five), but we also know that plastic pollution and rubbish travels on ocean currents all over the world. And sometimes, they wash up onto our beaches or into our Lakes. As you leave your picnic, beach spot or lakeside real estate, look around. What can you take with you to leave this place better than when you found it?