Elysian Retreat on Long Island offset 150 per cent of its carbon emissions in 2019. Picture: Supplied
Elysian Retreat on Long Island offset 150 per cent of its carbon emissions in 2019. Picture: Supplied

Whitsunday retreat paves way for eco-conscious travellers

ONE Whitsunday island resort has proved going green is "the way of the future" after it was revealed it offset 150 per cent of carbon emissions over 2019.

Elysian Retreat on Long Island was the first solar powered island resort on the Great Barrier Reef and switched over to 100 per cent solar power in April last year.

A fully commercial kitchen, spa, restaurant and bar as well as 10 airconditioned villas are run off the solar and batteries.

This week, the switch proved positive when owners found out they had saved about 39,420 litres of diesel from being burned every year.

This did not include the additional fuel it would have been taken to transport the diesel to the island on a barge, which Elysian Retreat manager Charlton Craggs believed would have pushed their saving even higher.

All 10 bungalows at the retreat are totally solar powered. Picture: Supplied
All 10 bungalows at the retreat are totally solar powered. Picture: Supplied

Mr Charlton said it was rewarding to see their hard work on the island was paying off.

"It was great because we spent a lot of effort on the solar and at first, we didn't really realise we were going to be the first 100 per cent solar powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"That's just what we wanted to do, set up solar and be sustainable."

Mr Craggs said he believed sustainable tourism was "the way of the future" and hoped Elysian Retreat would prove to other owners that it was possible to have a positive environmental impact while providing a unique island experience.

"We get a lot of guests that come just because we are a small family owned resort … and they like the fact we are 100 per cent solar, that we have our own vegie patch and that we try and make our food on the island," he said.

Elysian Retreat manager Charlton Craggs said he had noticed travellers were more environmentally conscious. Picture: Supplied
Elysian Retreat manager Charlton Craggs said he had noticed travellers were more environmentally conscious. Picture: Supplied

"People are definitely more conscious these days.

"The carbon footprint when travelling is something people have become more aware of."

The carbon emissions from the retreat are offset with carbon credits that go toward the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity project.

The project involves native reforestation project in the Australian Outback in a region where more than 90 per cent of land has been cleared.

By planting up to 40 native trees and shrub species, it is hoped the reforestation will save native animals from the brink of extinction.

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Mr Charlton said there were also more plans in the works for the retreat with the goal of becoming totally self-sustainable in the next few years.

He hoped to launch a revegetation program to grow more native plants on the island and expand the island's edible garden as well as have chickens roaming and reduce food packaging.

"There's just small things we want to do but at the end of the day will make a massive difference," Mr Charlton said.

"We hope to be an example for everyone else."


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