Discover Waitomo: no use for single-use plastic

Discover Waitomo, guardians of the famous Waitomo glowworm caves, has a long history of sustainable practices. With environmental monitoring, support for scientific research and cave conservation already in place, the company has gone one step further with a commitment to going completely plastic-free by 2021.

Travis Donoghue, General Manager at Discover Waitomo, says the company made the decision to move to ethically sourced products for the benefit of Waitomo, with kaitiakitanga (guardianship and conservation) underpinning the work they do.

“We are doing our part in making New Zealand a global example for eco-friendly and sustainable tourism,” says Travis. “We take our responsibility as kaitiaki of our special region very seriously.”

The new range will mean that visitors are reducing their own carbon footprints. Each purchase from the new recyclable and reusable range will contribute to more trees being planted in the Waitomo area.

Energy efficient
At the beginning of 2019, Discover Waitomo unveiled New Zealand’s first solar power micro-grid technology system at Ruakuri Cave. Working with their partner, the Ruakuri Holden Trust, the company created a Caterpillar micro-grid solar power battery system that powers the Ruakuri Visitor Centre and Ruakuri Cave.

According to the developers, this kind of micro-grid energy solution sets an exemplary precedent for the tourism industry to supply energy in an eco-friendly manner.