Help Support Eco Tropical Resorts and Eco-tourism

I’ve just created a store via Cafe Press to highlight the Eco Rating/Butterfly Club via organic tops and a remarkable tote that is extremely useful. I had to get 2 to try them out, and they work great for groceries, library books, and other things.

Proceeds from the sales will help keep Eco Tropical Resorts a going concern helping to promote eco lodges in the Tropics practicing sustainable tourism.

To see the online shop: Organic Tops

The Lodge at Chaa Creek-Green Globe Certified Silver

19 March 2009, BelizeThe Lodge at Chaa Creekhas achieved the prestigious Green Globe Certified Silver status under the global Certification programme. The global programme recognises The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s commitment to operating at the world’s highest environmental standard and becoming Belize’s first ever Green Globe Certified business.

Prior to achieving Certification, The Lodge at Chaa Creek successfully Benchmarked against key environmental indicators including energy and water consumption, total waste production and community commitment. 

The Lodge at Chaa Creek chose to demonstrate their commitment to the environment by undertaking Certification – the highest level of the Green Globe programme. The Certification process involves either an onsite audit or offsite assessment by an independent third party Green Globe Accredited Assessor. The successful completion of the Certification process demonstrates The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s strong commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability.

         About Green Globe

Green Globe is the worldwide Benchmarking, Certification and performance improvement system assisting the travel and tourism industry to attain sustainability. Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. 

Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global (which promotes markets, develops and manages the Green Globe program for GGAP) says: “I am delighted that The Lodge at Chaa Creek has achieved Certified Silver status. The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a prime example of an organisation committed to environmentally sustainable tourism. They have demonstrated through a variety of initiatives, that their business and its employees can make a difference by reducing their environmental impact. The commitment they have shown by participating in the Green Globe programme and the achievements they have made within the programme set an example for other businesses to follow.” 

About The Lodge at Chaa Creek

The award-winning Lodge at Chaa Creek has pioneered natural history travel to Belize since 1981 and is Belize’s premier destinations for a wide range of adventures.  Set within a private 365-acre nature reserve, Chaa Creek hosts an internationally recognized Natural History Centre and Butterfly Farm,  miles of nature trails for hiking, birding, mountain biking or horseback riding, a fleet of canoes, an exquisite spa, conference centre, and access to all regional Maya archaeological sites and natural attractions.   Chaa Creek’s cottages, suites and villas are set in lush tropical gardens nestled along the verdant banks of the Macal River.

For more information please contact:

 

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

P.O. Box 53

San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

Tel:   +501-824-2037

Fax:  +501-824-2501

Email:  <reservations@chaacreek.com>

Web:  www.chaacreek.com

 

         Claire Hendrie

         Relationship Manager

         EC3 Global

         Tel:   +61 7 3238 1931

         Fax:  +61 7 3211 4734

         Email:  claire.hendrie@ec3global.com

         Web : www.ec3global.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chaa Creek’s Green Credentials A listed by Conde Nast

Cayo Ditrict, Belize,February 25, 2009 – Chaa Creek has raised the green bar in Belize as the country’s first home-grown lodge to be formally recognized as a member of the elite eco-friendly international community by Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Hotels and Spas Guide.

Recommendations to this elite group are selected for their individual charm, character and superior service, and only properties that meet the exacting requirements are included in the Guide.

Conde Nast Johansens inspects each recommendation annnually to ensure that it maintains high standards, and awards each included property the Conde Nast Johansens Mark of Excellence wall plaque as a sign of approval.  The plaque is a guarantee of exceptional accomodations and serves as a valued endorsement for more than 13 million of the world’s most discerning travelers.

The Conde Nast Johasens Guides are published for discerning travelers who seek top-quality facilities and services.  They are the most comprehensive illustrated reference guides to independently owned hotels, inns, resorts, spas and conference facilities throughout the Americs, Great Britain and Europe, and the only guidebooks to carry the prestigious and widely-recognized Conde Nast seal of approval.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is carefully tucked away amidst lush tropical gardens along the verdant banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the ancient Maya Mountains.  Individually designed thatched accomodations reflect an atmosphere of elegance where charmingly decorated rooms and suites offer fine fabrics, furnishing and antiques.  These spacious cottages include private sun deck verandas for viewing whildlife and interacting with nature.

Chaa Creeks 365-acre nature reserve, home to the lodge, also hosts an internationally recognized Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Rainforest Medicine Trail, miles of trails for walking, birding, mountain biking, and for horsebackriding, a fleet of canoes, a full service spa, conference centre, and access to Belize’s Maya archaeological sites.

Staffed by dedicated professionals, this romantic little lodge blessed with understated Belizean charm and a spectacular jungle setting guarantees a unique and truly intimate experience.

For more informatio about The Lodge at Chaa Creek, contact the property at 501-824-2037, reservations@chaacreek.com or visit the web site at http://www.chaacreek.com.

HISTORY OF DEVELOPING LOCAL RECYCLING CENTER

In January 2005 the Black Sheep Inn invited the Mayor of Sigchos and the local town council to a meeting.  One of the agenda items was to determine if the Mayor would be willing to send the county garbage truck to Chugchilán twice a month.  The Mayor frankly said “NO!”   He said that we needed a location for a landfill.   
But he also set into motion the idea of purchasing land so that Chugchilán could manage and reuse their waste.  This process was slow, as the community had to shop for several properties and convince people that they were NOT making a traditional garbage dump, but rather a space for separating and processing waste.  

 

After selecting the final site, the Mayor did not have enough funding to purchase the land, so both the Black Sheep Inn and the Italian Missionary Mato Grosso group pitched in.

 

Up until then the village plaza had been swept on Monday’s after the weekly market and trash was conveniently thrown into a small canyon in front of the school.  Now the garbage is being collected in four recycling stations in the plaza separating organic and inorganic waste.   The classified garbage is brought to the new recycling center property.   

 

Black Sheep Inn built a small adobe building on the property for storing recyclables: hard and soft plastics, scrap metal and cans, cardboard, glass etc.  50% of the village waste is organic which is being composted and non-recyclables are placed in a small landfill.   The recycling center was partly funded by the Black Sheep Inn winning the ECOCLUB.com Ecotourism Awards 2006.

 

The recycling center is made out of handmade/sun-dried adobe blocks and the windows, door and roof structure was salvaged from an old market building that had been torn down in Chugchilán’s plaza, in order to make room for a new ‘park’.  Therefore the center itself is built out of natural and recycled materials.  Organic compost has been used to fertilize the new park.

HISTORY OF DEVELOPING NATIVE TREE NURSERY
Native-Tree Nursery Using Plastic Garbage

(this project also received funding by winning EcoClub’s International Ecotourism Competition 2008) 

Black Sheep Inn is spearheading the creation of a native tree nursery in the high Andes using discarded plastic bottles and abundant organic fertilizer. 

 

Deforestation in this part of the Andes started over a thousand years ago with the Incas.  The high sierra landscape is now sparsely forested with non-natives of pine and eucalyptus.  Native trees are extremely beneficial as windbreaks, controlling erosion, improving soils, defining property boarders, attracting native wildlife, providing firewood and ultimately attracting more rain!   

 

This project is relatively simple using organic fertilizer, discarded plastic drinking bottles and a large public property to grow native tree seedlings and distribute them throughout the community.  Part of the property needs to be fenced, a roof-water collector and water storage tank will be installed on a small building which is up hill from the proposed tree nursery, a composting toilet will be built to further produce fertilizer for the trees: basic supplies will be purchased for growing trees and current village employees will be trained on nursery maintenance. 

 

Currently, village waste is separated into organic and inorganic (a large quantity of non-recyclable plastic bottles are collected) and transported to a one hectare property for processing outside Chugchilán.  This project will use the abundant organic fertilizer and large amount of plastic drinking bottles to start the native tree nursery.   

 

Black Sheep Inn planted hundreds of native trees on its property over 10 years ago.  There are now mature trees that are producing seed-stock and branches that can be cut for strikes (many of the native Andean trees can be propagated by putting cuttings carefully into fertile soil).  Species at the Black Sheep Inn include: Capuli (Prunus serotina), Quishuar (Buddleia incana), Yagual (Polylepes Incana), Racemosa (Polylepis Racemosa), as well as Alder (Aliso), Acacia (Mimosoideae) and Broom (Retama). 

 

This project will be completed with collaborations from local town council, Mayor, tourists, Peace Corp Volunteers and Italian Missionaries.  All of these parties have a history of working together successfully. 

Collaborations and Donations:

Italian Mission has offered to install a water connection on the property and provide sawdust.  Laura Schreeg, an ex-US Peace Corp volunteer, has built four native tree nurseries in the high Andean sierra; she is enthusiastic to advise locals on native tree propagation.  She is in regular contact with the Black Sheep Inn via the internet.  There is a current US Peace Corp agricultural volunteer in Chugchilán who is enthused about this project and will give hands-on technical advice and instruction on how to grow seedlings.  The local Mayor has a tree nursery established on the solid waste disposal site of Sigchos and will be able to share valuable expertise. There are an excess of plastic drink bottles available from the village that can be used for seedling containers.  Black Sheep Inn has mature native-trees that can be used for both seed-stock and strikes.  Black Sheep Inn also has technical experience for installing composting toilet and roof-water collecting system.  Lechero fence posts can be cut from the Black Sheep Inn’s property and planted at the native tree nursery site.   

 

Economic Investment:

Wire fencing, transportation, shade cloth, nursery enclosures, water tanks, roof gutters, wood, composting toilet barrels, metal meshing, cement, cinder-blocks, and seeds.  The village worker has a budget for working 3 days per week yet currently only works 2 days per week. 

 

Michelle Kirby & Andres Hammerman
Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador
http://www.blacksheepinn.com 

Top 50 Eco-Lodges – National Geographic Adventure Magazine 2009
Winner, ECOCLUB.com Ecotourism Awards 2006 & 2008
Skål International Ecotourism Award 2006
Smithsonian Magazine/Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Sustainable Tourism Award 2005