Is it eco-conscious or eco-con?

Eco conscious at Rawnsley Park Station

Is that outdoor adventure eco-conscious or an eco-con?

Is it an eco-con? You be the judge. With feel-good words like ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘green’ flooding the tourism industry, as a responsible traveller, it can be really tricky to pick genuinely sustainable businesses out of marketing hype. There is still a lot of “greenwashing” going on unfortunately. Luckily, there are five easy ways you can find out whether a tourism business is walking their talk. Ecotourism Australia suggests:

  • looking for products certified by a third party (ie. recognised eco certification programs)
  • asking for proof of environmental claims
  • expecting more than just single initiatives (such as reusing towels or recycling)
  • questioning vague advertising language and
  • holding companies to account if they say they’re going green – or if you spot something they say they are doing and they aren’t (again, such as not reusing your towels when they say they will – this happens a lot in hotels)

By making informed travel choices and sharing your ecotourism experiences (good or bad) with your network, you can help drive sustainable innovation in tourism.

How to spot greenwashing

To find certified nature tourism and ecotourism operators in Australia visit Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Guide. You can also check out the Seven Sins of Greenwashing (developed for home products but a very useful overview) or contact the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) if you believe that a business in Australia is making untruthful environmental marketing claims.

Read the full story about greenwashing and how to spot an eco-con on Ecotourism Australia’s website.

Rawnsley Park Station (image above) is an Advanced Ecotourism, Climate Action, and Nature Tourism certified operator based in South Australia – and also one of Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Leaders. A great example of a very eco-conscious business.

AUTHOR: Kristi Foster, courtesy of Ecotourism Australia
IMAGE: Ecotourism Australia / Rawnsley Park Station, SA