Many of us have been dreaming of going away while being in lockdown. Just to give you some holiday envy we thought we’d share an experience of how you can be eco-conscious when travelling.
A Simply employee who went on holiday at the beginning of the year when times were ‘normal’ and stayed at an eco-committed hotel. This hotel is a great insight into the future of truly sustainable hotels.
It belongs to a local company that has a core value of protecting the environment. They commit to providing a zero-plastic experience for all guests by providing reusables, upcycling and buying products in bulk to reduce waste.
On arrival. guests are gifted a reusable water bottle which can be filled up with cold, filtered, still or sparkling water 24/7 at several stations around the hotel. All drinks from the bars are served in reusable glasses, so no waste there.
In the bedroom bins, instead of using a plastic liner, they’ve upcycled material such as old pillowcases into liners that get washed and reused. This environmental consciousness extends to bathroom bin too where there are fully bio-degradable bags. They don’t offer single-use bottles of shampoo and soaps, they have two refillable bottles, one for hand soap and one for shampoo and body wash. They skip the unnecessary items; who really uses the shower cap anyway?
In the rooms, there’s a kettle and cups but if you wish to have a hot drink you’ll need to pop to the shop where you can (for free) fill up reusable jars with tea, coffee, sugar, milk etc to take to your room, cutting down on huge amounts of single-use packaging from individually wrapped tea bags, coffee sachets and UHT milk cartons. You can also purchase locally made and upcycled eco-committed products such as bamboo straws and toothbrushes, shampoo bars, games, bags, etc. These items are sold without profit for the hotel, with the craftspeople benefitting from these sales.
They are committed to buying upcycled materials for furniture and art around the hotel, including bedroom wall displays of fish made from plastic bottles and carved wood statues. The light fittings are also made from reused materials including wine corks and one from ocean plastics. The wet floor signs are even crafted out of wood!
Several dispensers of eco sun cream are dotted around for guests to help themselves to. This locally made product is 100% natural and non-polluting, reducing the risk of damage on coral and underwater life. If you like the sun cream, it’s available to buy at the hotel.
There are also many projects and activities going on that you wouldn’t notice just from walking around. The hotel is home to a marine discovery centre, an interactive educational centre that aims to show and protect the treasures of the island’s lagoon as well as supporting the local ecological restoration project. The scientists there have been part of several important environmental projects including the restoration of the mangrove. You can even grab a mask and snorkel to discover the underwater trail, an educational trail that makes you aware of the fragility of underwater life and the urgency to protect it.
In hotels, you don’t have much choice in how things are run, for example, if you want a drink and they give you a plastic bottle or a single-use cup, you have to hope that it can be recycled successfully. There has been a growing number of businesses talking about how they’re going to reduce carbon and plastic in the future, but here is a business that has implemented change rather than just saying they will. This hotel is making great headway into a greener future and we hope that more businesses will follow in its footsteps. You never know, people might take some of this with them and make changes in their everyday life.
We all need to come together to help protect the world we live in – we only have one after all.