Just off the coast of Australia, at the southern tip of the Great Barrier reef, there’s a small coral cay, unlike many others. There, visitors from around the world stay at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort where they can learn about the conservation and sustainable management of the environment. The 41 room destination was created in 1984 and is focused on informing visitors how to enjoy the pristine area without damaging it.
The resort itself has been able to keep energy consumption low by using solar technology. In addition to generating their own power, the island also desalinates seawater for drinking, maintains a wastewater treatment plant, and recycles most of its trash. In 2005, Peter Gash took over the island and has been working to make the island 100 percent sustainable by 2020. His team was able to have the island and surrounding area designated as a “green zone” which is the top level of protection.