As part of an effort led by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Reef Guardian Schools are teaching kids how to live, work and play in a sustainable way to help protect not just local areas, but ultimately the Reef itself.
Underscoring the phrase “think global; act local” students from the Hamilton Island public school participate in the program that includes everything from cleaning up local creeks and rivers, adopting beaches, learning catch and release techniques and helping eradicate pest species that threaten the local wildlife.
And, while there are awards and cash prizes for schools throughout Queensland which demonstrate outstanding achievements, the real objective is to empower students with the knowledge that they are the ones who will ultimately make a difference in preserving the region for future generations.
The students have also enlisted the support of the entire Hamilton Island community to participate in annual environmental and clean-up efforts. The events are led by the manager of the Hamilton Island Sports Club, Stephen Jackson, who was inspired to take action after he became aware of the staggering amount of trash scattered in residential areas of the island. “We all choose to live here because of the beautiful environment, but if we don’t look after it, we are ultimately biting the hand that feeds us. If the area becomes threatened by careless actions of a few, it will cease to be a thriving tourist destination which will cause significant harm to our local economy.”
Also reflective of the Island’s commitment to sustainability is the introduction of a new waste management and recycling facility, saving thousands of dollars in shipping material back to the mainland for processing and providing a template for environmental excellence. It includes a glass crushing plant to process the waste glass containers discarded by the thousands of visitors to the Island’s resorts each year and a baler for plastic containers, cans, paper and cardboard.
The recycled crushed glass is used on Hamilton Island for drainage projects as a replacement for sand on garden beds, saving around AUD $10,000 per ton in the cost of shipping material back to the mainland for processing and reducing the extraction of virgin sand and helping to preserve the Whitsunday Islands’ pristine environment.
As the planet’s largest coral reef system, with some 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the biggest single structure made by living creatures and can be seen from outer space.
For those who want to experience the majesty of the Reef firsthand, there are currently some great deals and promotions. The aptly named Reef View Hotel is currently offering a three-night package that includes an extra night for free, the package includes a free upgrade, airport/marina to hotel transfers, use of catamarans, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkeling equipment, unlimited use of the scheduled ‘Island Shuttle’ service and use of the gym, spa, sauna, tennis and squash court hire. In addition, kids 12 and younger stay and eat free when they order from the kids menu.
Also in Australia today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Sydney.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Sydney.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.