Sweet holy Moses, smell the roses!

WindsorEats has been named the winner of a Ontario Tourism Award of Excellence in the Sustainable Tourism category.

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Sustainable Tourism Award is presented to an organization, individual, or initiative that has made a viable and maintainable contribution to the practice and promotion of sustainable tourism in Ontario. In addition to functioning with paperless ticketing for their tours and events and implementing green measures at their festivals, events and tours, WindsorEats also partnered with the Essex Region Conservation Authority to provide a portion of experience sales directly to planting new trees within Windsor-Essex.

After enduring several severe climate-induced weather incidents that hampered our tourism season in 2019, including flooded waterfronts that postponed our iconic Dinner on a Pier event, WindsorEats is officially ensuring our focus is on a Triple Bottom Line. Triple Bottom Line is when business success is no longer defined only by monetary gain, but also by the effect on people and planet.

Every ticket WindsorEats sells to one of our experiences will now include a 2% contribution to ERCA, specifically to plant trees and grow the tree cover in the Windsor-Essex region, which has some of the lowest tree cover in all of Canada.

Cycling in Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario, with WindsorEats.
Cycling in Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario, with WindsorEats.

“Trees have been identified as the biggest weapon in the fight against climate change, and in the Windsor-Essex region, merely 8.5% of our landscape consists of natural areas,” says Susan Stockwell Andrews, President, Essex Region Conservation Foundation. “Millions of trees need to be planted locally and we are incredibly grateful to the WindsorEats team for becoming our first official ‘Partner in Sustainability’ to support this effort. We hope many other businesses will follow their lead in demonstrating corporate social responsibility, and extend our sincere congratulations to WindsorEats for this well-deserved recognition.”

With each ticket purchased to an experience, guests will receive as part of the tours correspondence an outline of the environmental initiatives their purchase is supporting in Windsor-Essex, as well as details part of WindsorEats’ triple bottom line initiatives. This will help educate the guest as well as provide a sense of giving back to the community they are visiting.

While larger economic impacts can be made, the true highlight of the initiative shows other small businesses that they don’t have to be a large corporation to make a difference. WindsorEats is a small business with only 2 full time staff and contributing what we feasibly can to make our region a better, cleaner, more sustainable community for not just visitors, but also for locals to enjoy.

The Essex Region Conservation Foundation hopes that other organizations will follow WindsorEats’ leadership and join the Partners In Sustainability movement.

WindsorEats has become the first Partner in Sustainability for the Essex Region Conservation Foundation.
WindsorEats has become the first Partner in Sustainability for the Essex Region Conservation Foundation.

“We are so delighted to welcome WindsorEats as our first Partner In Sustainability, and hope that many other local businesses – big and small – will also want to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility by supporting this initiative,” said Susan Stockwell Andrews, the Foundation’s

Partners in Sustainability is intended as a flexible model whereby businesses can support tree planting efforts in a way that works within their business operations. This effort further builds on WindsorEats’ longstanding commitment to sustainability, which includes promoting cycling and trail use, using biodegradable cups at events, and applying an environmental lens to when planning and implementing events.

Not only is WindsorEats helping take care of our community by increasing tree cover, WindsorEats is ensuring each member of the WindsorEats team receives a more livable wage when working with us. We increased staff wages 20% and feel providing our team with a more livable wage will directly correlate to great experiences being led by individuals who are happy with and proud of being your host.

By focusing primarily on walking and cycling experiences, WindsorEats is also encouraging others to get more comfortable using alternative modes of transportation and hopefully lead to less daily travel by vehicle.