There’s an old, Native American proverb that says: “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.
The proverb may be hundreds of years old, but nowhere does it ring more true than in this current millennia, and more specifically, the 21st century. Never before has humankind seen a faster degradation of our planet, with climate change, pollution and other, man-made factors wreaking havoc in Mother Nature.
However, in that same breath, never before has there been more pressure on humankind to protect the Earth and all that she gives us. People all over the word are more aware and more in tune to their contribution to the Earth – and that is something that should give everyone hope.
When it comes to the tourism and hospitality industry, there are several factors in which a company or hotel or even a small guesthouse can positively contribute to sustainability efforts, going green and ultimately protecting Earth from further damage.
At Village n Life, we take our sustainability efforts very seriously. We are very conscious of being as green as we can in our current capacity, and to educate our staff on the principles of sustainability and eco-friendly practises and policies.
The United Nations put together a list of 5 key areas to focus on on their Sustainable Tourism Development roadmap. These are:
With a special focus on point 3 of the United Nations’ list, we recently asked three of our properties’ Facilities Managers to explain the efforts of their respective properties when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendly practises and policies.
We sent the questions to Louise McArdle, Facilities Manager for The Bay Hotel.
We have a grey water solution in place at The Bay Hotel. We recycle all of our laundry water to be utilized for staff toilets and irrigation. We also have a borehole water system in place, which means we are self-sustainable with regards to our water supply within the hotel.
Lastly, we have our own bottling plant, where we bottle our water for our guests.
As mentioned above, our in-house bottling plant produces bottles still and sparkling water. We also supply bottled water to all other Village n Life properties. Our water systems are soft start motors, which means that there is no electrical consumption upon activation.
Masibulele is our dedicated person in charge of bottling our water bottles at the hotel. Recycling is controlled by Zukisa, who ensures that all paper and boxes are put in the right cages for collection.
Yes, by our ‘Do Good Wall’ which is located by the ATM in the hotel.
We assist the Camps Bay Football Club (which is adjacent to The Bay Hotel) with greywater for their fields, as well as supplying Camps Bay Primary with greywater and borehole water.
Water: Greywater and borehole water
Plastic: Plastic is collected and separated and recycled through Green Jobs
Cardboard: Cardboard is collected at the hotel for recycling
Electricity: We have internal and external heat pumps, timers and our conversion to LED.
*’carbon footprint’: the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community.
We encourage staff to recycle through having recycling bins placed within our office area. We also recycle condemned linen for maintenance purposes.
We refurbish old bicycles for staff to use. We upcycle out-of-service products to be utilized at other properties. When staff need to make trips to other properties, we have logistic controls in place to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle use.
We do currently have signage in our rooms with regard to be being conscious of water consumption.
Yes, we use fynbos as an ingredient in our dishes and as promotion for display and retail purposes.
Amos is a local producer who supplies our kitchen with fresh fruit and veg.
Our current project brief is to reduce our electricity consumption. We are looking at ways such as solar energy and smart automation of rooms, as well as maintaining continual initiatives to teach our staff.