The Biggest Carbon Loser Challenge was hosted by local tourism organisation Scenic Rim Escapes Inc.
Congratulations to Barry Marshall and Jennifer Seale, owners of Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages, for their enthusiastic participation in the program and their great results in the challenge – they reduced their carbon footprint by 10,250kg.
Southern Cross 4WD Tours came in a close second, helped by making the decision to purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle which reduced their fuel use by 31 percent and provided more seats, also reducing the need for a second vehicle on future tours.
The 13 finalists had a combined carbon reduction of almost 100,000 tonnes - equivalent to 22 less cars on the road.
The Biggest Carbon Loser Challenge initiative involved a series of free specialist workshops hosted by the Ethos Foundation, to educate and challenge operators in the Scenic Rim region to improve their business' sustainability for better efficiency and real dollar savings.
Following the workshops, participants were given the chance to implement sustainable practices into their business, which were analysed by independent judges from companies such as EC3 and Tourism Queensland.
Some of the program’s outcomes included:
- improved ability to measure carbon consumption;
- carbon offsetting through tree planting;
- investing in growing their own fruit and vegetables;
- reducing car use through carpooling and better trip planning;
- composting and using worm farms to reduce landfill waste;
- becoming more aware of food miles - the energy and transportation involved in acquiring food products; and
- installation of solar energy and heating, rainwater tanks and other appliances to reduce carbon consumption.
Local tourism operators also devised innovative action plans such as installing heat pumps and solar panels, purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles and using more rigorous maintenance programs.
Look out for the Biggest CARBONLOSER Recipe Book which will collate all the finalists’ case studies about their business' sustainability journey. It will be uploaded onto the Sustainable Scenic Rim website shortly.
For more information about The Biggest Carbon Loser Challenge visit www.scenicrimescapes.com.au/scenic-rim-low-carbon-diet.html.