The path to sustainability

Since the July newsletter, Explore Lake Simcoe (ELS) has met with a number of businesses located in the Lake Simcoe watershed that integrate sustainability into their daily operations. The ELS project exists to work with and expand the efforts of business owners who make the health of the natural environment a priority. Read about the efforts of three of these businesses in the remainder of the August newsletter.  By sharing experience and knowledge between members of the Lake Simcoe watershed business community, we strive to continue to raise the bar and improve sustainable practices. Keep your eye out for more examples and stories in upcoming newsletters.

Each business takes a unique path towards sustainability. For those businesses just starting out initial steps may be small, but effective. Businesses who have been operating with a sustainable ethic for years may have to dig deeper and find new ways to innovate. Thus, the ELS project highlights stories that describe the efforts of businesses just starting out with sustainability and those who reflect the gold standard. The opportunity to learn from others is invaluable and hopefully information sharing will inspire others to get on board. If you feel you have a story to share to contribute to the learning of others, please contact us at info@explorelakesimcoe.com and we can meet with you to explain what participation in the program entails.

Sometimes just the thought of what is required to make a change can stop us from acting, yet once new practices are in place and routines are established operations run smoothly with little effort. In this way, sustainable practices can become the new normal. However, the research and learning curve required to implement new practices can take time and effort, and this is where Explore Lake Simcoe can help.  Any change begins with a commitment. Identify what you want to change, and why it is important to your business. Next, identify the manageable steps forward you want to implement.

There are many benefits to be gained from implementing sustainable tourism initiatives.  Reducing waste in any area can result in financial savings; whether this is related to food waste, fuel or daily supplies, water use or energy. More tourists are looking to support businesses that take steps to protect the environment. The Explore Lake Simcoe website provides information that potential customers can use to help them select sustainable providers.

The path towards sustainability can require both simple and complex actions. Changes like the installation of energy-efficient appliances or lighting can have a quick payback and are simple to implement. Other actions may require a more creative approach. Innovations like this toilet tank with a sink on top of it – using greywater for flushing–or a solar park bench that provides both a seat and a place to charge electronics can inspire us to “think out of the box.”  Join us as we grow the sustainable tourism movement in the Lake Simcoe watershed. We can be reached at info@explorelakesimcoe.com.

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