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Crystral Creek Meadows, NSW
My Green Butler is the world’s first smart guest service that encourages resource conservation. It promotes a new concept that could empower tourism to cut its environmental footprint with the helping hands of paying guests. The invention was developed by Crystal Creek Meadows, a small family run tourist accommodation business in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales. My Green Butler persuades guests to save energy by setting consumption targets, advising on suitable adaptive behaviours (e.g. natural ventilation) and recommending sustainable activities. The smart service offers guests feedback which psychologically rewards them as they see their accomplishments contributing to increased satisfaction while lowering consumption.
This invention tackles a major concern for tourism, the world’s largest industry, as accommodation accounts for 21% of the sector’s carbon emissions. Tourism’s annual growth is +7% per annum meaning the savings from technical efficiencies are out-weighted by escalating demand. This is resulting in a continued high contribution to global environmental impacts including the destruction of nature, leaving tourism at risk from extreme weather events and the loss of nature attractions.
Accommodation owners and managers, especially small to medium operations, lack the expertise to make significant progress beyond technical efficient savings and neglect the idea of engaging with guests to conserve resources. Meanwhile, guests are key to achieving sustainability because they consume +95% of resources and waste in self-contained accommodation (in hotels it is 50%).
“Like many service industries if tourism viewed their customers not as a negative environmental footprint but instead as helping hands we might transition to more sustainable lifestyles” explains Dr. Christopher Warren My Green Butler inventor and proprietor at Crystal Creek Meadows.
The My Green Butler innovation meets several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which include Responsible Consumption and Production, Fostering Innovation and Life on Land. Dr. Warren conducted his Ph.D. research to test his invention and found that guests adapted behaviour after receiving My Green Butler – saving 38% firewood, 33% electricity, 21% water and 20% gas whilst staying at tourist accommodation.
“Using My Green Butler persuades guests to apply twice as many adaptive behaviour actions like using natural ventilation and choosing to take shorter showers. This experience can be applied at home to help increase sustainable lifestyle behaviour”, explains Dr. Warren. He is now sharing the research findings with major tourism groups around the world including the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Griffith Institute for Tourism, and presenting at conferences in China, Africa, and Europe.
Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages & Spa Retreat offers 4 ½ stars fully self-contained accommodation nestled in beautiful Kangaroo Valley just 2 hours from Sydney. From these tiny resources they have managed to bring up three children, establish Australia’s first carbon performance programme for a tourism destination called the Green Kangaroo, and now become leaders in sustainable tourism innovation which they share globally. “Our responsible business practice enhances their health and happiness to give guests a better holiday. Our service empowers people to change behaviour and knowledgeably tread gentler on the planet”, says Dr. Warren.