Recently, as more people are becoming aware of the need, there has been an increase in the number of establishments that claim to be “Green” or environmentally conscious. This is fantastic and those that are making the effort deserve our support, but many others are making false claims, an example in this area would be for a an eco-lodge that is green due to being surrounded by a National Park, having a large(non- indigenous plant) garden as well as a nice view. To my mind this does not make for a green lodge as they are not really making an effort to be more environmentally aware and conscious.
So what are We doing that I can claim that we are an eco-lodge?
To begin with, all our power is produced by us, we are completely off-grid and use a combined hybrid Wind Turbine-Solar combination to provide us with all our power needs. Our hot water is supplied using Solar geysers, although we do have gas geysers as a back up on days with insufficient sunlight. All our cleaning products are completely bio-degradable and are certified to break down within 6 days of being used. We supply all our own fire wood rather than driving to fetch it and by doing this we assist with the removal of non-indigenous trees. We encourage all our guests to assist us by re-cycling as well as separating of compost materials that we use in our tree planting and we are actively rehabilitating an old Pine plantation back into natural vegetation.
We also support a local nursery who supply us with all our trees that are planted here and all our Guests are given the choice as to whether or not they would like to plant trees to assist in reducing the amount of Carbon Dioxide produced by driving here. . The benefits to this is that we are able to ensure that all trees planted here are from this area as well as not having to have them delivered from further afield as well as creating more awareness about potential climate change.
All of this, I feel allows us to call ourselves green and, hopefully, to improve the area in the long term.