Sustainability is a journey. We are constantly learning more about our place in nature and how we are all connected. It’s an evolution.
For the Pointhouse that has meant designing livable spaces in tune with our coastal environment, consuming less, educating guests on responsible practices and being proactive to combat the latest climate challenges.
As a Gold Certified business with Sustainable Tourism 2030 we are charged to be leaders and set attainable goals to constantly improve our personal and professional sustainability practices. The focus this past year has been on water and waste management.
Water is the biggest concern as the Sunshine Coast has experienced several consecutive years of drought with severe restrictions on water use. Residential water use in the SCRD peaks in July. With re-doubled conservation efforts we were able to cut our water consumption for the Pointhouse accommodations by 41% in July with an average of 22% reduction across the YTD despite the number of turnovers being only slightly fewer in 2022. Unfortunately we do not yet have metering at the Annex guesthouse which is also supplied by the Chapman water system. Encouraging longer stays and water-wise practices among guests and team members has made a difference to the community water supply without negatively impacting the visitor experience.
The second area we concentrated on was waste management. Just as we don’t store enough water to get us through increasingly longer, hotter and drier periods, we also have limited capacity for waste in our regional landfills. Weekly compost pickup keeps organics out of the waste stream as long as both residents and visitors participate. Mixed recycling(Sechelt) and trash collection(Sechelt & Halfmoon Bay) is biweekly to encourage reduction of both those streams. Management of all the waste generated from 4 different locations with alternating pick up schedules, including green waste and trips to the community recycling centre and Habitat for Humanity, keeps us hopping. Personally and as a business we are trying to decrease the amount of all streams by mindful buying policies, ie: buying less plastic in the first place, decreasing food waste with menu planning, more frequent shopping, growing commonly used ingredients and bulk buying-the bigger, the better! We really appreciate the guests who take the time to wade through all our notes, compost and diligently clean and sort their recyclables and take the rest of the suggestions in our Responsible Visitors Charter to heart.
Tourism can be a powerful and transformative force for sustainable development not just within the tourism and hospitality industry but within the spheres of environment, government, and culture.