EVERYDAY ECOTOURISM HEROES EDITION 9: MARGARET HEFFERNAN
While in movies superheroes command the spotlight, in real life heroes often work behind the scenes. Whether it’s their humility, commitment or diligent focus on creating positive change, normal, everyday heroes – like the ones we’ve been telling you about for the past couple of months – are often the ones who are changing things without you realising it, the ones who encourage and inspire, but in a natural way, because that’s just how they are.
For no one is this truer than for Back Country Bliss Adventures’ manager and part owner, Margaret Heffernan. Owner Jason Heffernan describes her as committed, conscientious and caring, and notes that she is always encouraging others to be better.
“Margaret works behind the scenes, however by frequently educating our tour guides, they are better educated to share our eco friendly ways with guests,” he explains. Jason notes that Margaret has been the one responsible for Back Country Bliss Adventures’ waste reduction strategy, ensuring that as much as possible is recycled, staff are educated on waste separation, leftover food is frozen or donated to local wildlife carers and food scraps are used for Margaret’s worm farm.
“Margaret has gone above and beyond to ensure we reduce our day to day waste,” Jason notes. He also explains that Margaret is the one who sorts the business’ rubbish to reduce the company’s footprint and makes sure that that they are leading by example, including by providing reusable BPA free water bottles to all their guests to use, and washing and refilling these at the end of every tour.
Margaret has also set up educational signs around the workplace to help people sort their waste, keeps the team up to date at staff meetings and has replaced as many chemicals and cleaning products as possible with eco-friendly versions.
The results? Back Country Bliss’ food waste has been reduced dramatically, with almost none ending up in regular waste. Thousands of single use water bottles have been avoided, and local animal carers, to whom spare and leftover fruit is donated, are better equipped to rehabilitate injured animals.
Margaret, thank you for all that you do for Back Country Bliss Adventures and for protecting and preserving our beautiful planet! Thank you to Jason for this nomination.
For more information on our other Everyday Ecotourism Heroes, check out the other articles in this series:
- Edition 1: Ronda Green, Araucaria Ecotours
- Edition 2: Zane Robnik, Park Trek
- Edition 3: Jess Leask, Kings Ningaloo Reef
- Edition 4: Zak Kelly, Whitsunday Segway Tours
- Edition 5: Tracey Larkin, Mt Barney Lodge
- Edition 6: Alex Crowe, Broger’s End Kangaroo Valley
- Edition 7: Elizabeth Hackett, Magnums Backpackers
- Edition 8: Judith Muir, Polperro Dolphin Swims
Is there someone in your business who you think is an Everyday Ecotourism Hero? Tell us about them!
[All images sourced from Back Country Bliss Adventures' Facebook page]