We are excited to announce that the Calaveras Visitors Bureau (CVB) will be expanding our Innovations in Tourism Awards to include a sustainability category for 2019. This marks the newest phase of the CVB’s Hop Lightly program launched last year and is intended to inspire local businesses to develop their own sustainability initiatives that will qualify them to win the award.
The Innovations in Tourism Awards (click here for details on 2018’s winners) brings annual recognition to local businesses in multiple tourism categories. The winners are decided by local business owners, employees and residents for outstanding contributions to Calaveras tourism. Trophies from the CVB and a certificate of recognition from the State Legislature are awarded to winners as part of the CVB’s Annual Dinner.
More than 87% of global travelers are looking for sustainability in their travel.
You might wonder why we’re pushing for tourism sustainability in Calaveras County. Well, it turns out that not only is it good for the environment, our industry, business owners and employees, but according to a 2018 booking.com study, 87% of global travelers are looking for sustainability in their travel. This gives us an opportunity to develop and highlight another highly popular attribute in Calaveras, while benefiting our community.
So what exactly is sustainable tourism? Wikipedia defines it as:
“…visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.”
We’ve taken that concept and some suggestions from other California communities working on sustainability, to put together this ideas list to get you started:
- RECYCLING – Establish or expand the recycling of paper, plastics aluminum and glass in your business and for your customers
- WASTE REDUCTION – Eliminate disposable items for your business and customers | Sell reusable items rather than single-use | Purchase items for your business in recyclable, compostable, or returnable packaging | Go paperless wherever possible in conducting your business | Donate unwanted office furniture to local non-profits or Habitat ReStore | Buy paper products with recycled content | Bring reusable dishes and cutlery to your employee lunch room to be used, cleaned and reused | Provide straws only when requested and consider switching to paper straws, or reusable stainless steel straws | Become a Calaveras Hydration Station
- POLLUTION REDUCTION – Use and sell organic products | Use and sell locally produced items | Eliminate the use of chemical pesticides in your landscaping | Use organic cleaners for your business | Replace standard florescent lights with low or mercury free fluorescent lights | Join a local volunteer cleanup crew to pick up trash along our trails
- ENERGY CONSERVATION – Install solar panels for your business | Provide electric vehicle charger stations | Set your business climate controls to max. 68°F for heating and min. 78°F for cooling | Turn off computers or put in sleep mode when not using | Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs
- CONGESTION REDUCTION – Encourage employee bicycle commuting or carpooling where possible | Promote off-season and mid-week specials for your business consumers | Encourage use of public transportation where possible
- EMPLOYEE HOUSING – Consider renting a shared housing property to sub-let to your employees
- EDUCATION – Educate your employees and patrons by sharing our Hop Lightly guidelines across your social media channels and website
How to Get Nominated for the Sustainability Award
You’ll need to keep us informed of your business’ sustainability initiatives, and be a tourism-related business. Make sure you are signed up to receive our e-newsletters so you’re informed when we solicit nominations for the Innovations in Tourism Awards later this year. Just email us at [email protected] and we will include you in our partner newsletter subscribers list.
But don’t wait! As usual, we are always looking for updated information on anything new and exciting with local tourism-related businesses in order to better market Calaveras County and better serve the visiting public – and that includes any green initiatives you are already practicing.
Get started today on implementing some of the suggestions above into your business (and any others not listed) and become eligible for the Sustainability Award in this year’s Innovations in Tourism Awards. Together, we can make a positive difference in tourism’s environmental impact, and become even more appealing to the visiting public.
More on Tourism Sustainability
As part of our Hop Lightly tourism sustainability initiative, we now have Hop Lightly Hydrate stainless steel water bottles for sale at the Calaveras Visitors Center, which come with a free water fill up. We’re hoping these bottles will help Calaveras locals and tourists reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles. Your business can be involved by becoming a …