Eco Rating Mango Creek

Eco Rating Mango Creek

Name of property Mango Creek Lodge
Person completing this form Autie & Janie McVicker
Position Owner
Address of property Port Royal

Bay of Islands

Country Honduras
Phone number including country code and area code 011 504 8916 8704
Web site Mango Creek
E-mail info@mangocreeklodge.com
Type of property Eco Lodge, Fly Fishing, Kayaking, Snorkelling
Number of rooms or cottages 4 cabanas, 2 private rooms
Maximum number of guests 18
Eco memberships
Eco ratings, certifications, awards Eco Tropical Resorts Eco Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES

If yes, please attach.

  • Do you have a written environmental management system?              YES

If yes, please attach.

  • Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased  (150 words max)

    Mango Creek is a small remotely located lodge off the beaten path on the Caribbean sea. We are accessed by water only and have no public utilities. Our 4 cabanas are situated out over the water as well as our restaurant, which serves local and American cuisine. Our 22 acres of land include natural landscaping and a small fresh water pond. Our main focus is to be ecologically sensitive to our surrounding environment while providing an atmosphere for relaxing holidays to include fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, diving, hiking or just relaxing. Our guests are educated in the local culture and environment by our staff who participate in the improvement of the environment and understand the need for biodiversity to maintain sustainability. We are a tribute to local craftsmanship having all of our furniture and cabinets built on site by local craftsman and local materials.

  • Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town (100 words max)

Port Royal is located at the eastern end of the island of Roatan on the southern shore. The bay is protected by a barrier reef and several small cays and is accessed solely by water. Oakridge is the nearest town and is approximately 3 miles west by water with a population of approximately 7,000.

  • Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort (100 word max)

Mango Creek originally started out as a private residence. We quickly discovered that there was an opportunity to create something special and wished to share the beauty of Port Royal with others. Having no ability to connect to the electric grid or other public services, the property was already being serviced by alternative energy systems, which were expanded to include the entire resort. Additionally, we were conservation sensitive prior to arriving in Port Royal and built upon our beliefs that the environment needed to be protected. Our vision was created through our beliefs, needs and desire to be ecologically friendly to our surroundings.

Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating

The Butterfly Club Eco Rating has five equally-weighted categories:

  • Energy;
  • Water;
  • Recycling and waste;
  • Land and nature conservation; and
  • Community.

Each category has five levels, designated by one to five butterflies.  Through self assessment, resort operators completing this rating will determine their own levels within each category based on their responses to items listed below.

Two categories – energy and water – have similar rating systems with Levels 1 and 2 addressing conservation of existing resources, and Levels 3, 4 and 5 addressing creation of renewable energy or capturing water.

Level five in every category also requires written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record consumption; (2) test and apply additional conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific targets.   We require a copy of your policies if you achieve level 5 in any category.

Eco Rating Mango Creek Energy

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

Ö  use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners

Ö  use natural light during the day

Ö  minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment

Ö  use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water

Ö   air dry clothes/linens

Ö   wash dishes by hand

Ö   use energy efficient appliances and electronics

Ö   use low wattage fluorescent light bulbs

Ö   change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request

Ö   switch off lights when not used

  • Other energy conservation activities? Please list:

We have designed and situated our buildings to allow for the use of natural lighting, eliminating the need for electric lights during daylight hours and for maximum natural airflow to minimize the need for fan usage.

Level 1 = four or fewer energy conservation activities

Level 2 = five or more energy conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – renewable energy: Indicate proportion (%) of energy from each source:

45% solar

23% wind

0   hydro

32% generator

0   public utility

Other energy sources? Please list:

We currently have a 2kw wind turbine that has been installed but not operational. We expect this to be functioning shortly, which will increase our overall renewable energy from 68% to 81%.

100% TOTAL

How were these proportions developed?

Wind power was developed using a manufacturer’s performance curve and an average wind speed of 12mph. Solar percentage was developed using actual daily average current readings based on an average of 10 hours/day of sun. Generator usage is limited to 2.5 hours/day and current readings were taken at the beginning and end of each operating cycle and then averaged to determine its proportion. All readings were obtained over a prolonged period of time.

Level 3 = renewable energy is employed and is less than 1/3 of all energy

Level 4 = renewable energy constitutes 1/3 – 2/3 of all energy

Level 5 = renewable energy constitutes 2/3 or more of all energy.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record energy consumption; (2) test and apply additional energy conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific energy targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Energy Level 5 (required).

Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) = 5  

Eco Rating Mango Creek Water

Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:

__  low flow faucets and showerheads

Ö  low water use toilets

Ö  change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request

Ö  use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered

Ö  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap

n/a  treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes

 Ö  Other water conservation activities?  Please list.

We have composting toilets in our 4 cabanas

Reuse grey water from laundry for watering plants

Level 1 = three or fewer water conservation activities

Level 2 = four or more water conservation activities

Levels 3, 4 and 5 – capture and treat fresh water and manage waste water. Capture water: Indicate proportion (%) of water from each source:

80% spring

0   river

18% rain (used for gardens only)

2% reuse grey

0  public utility

Other water sources? Please list.

100% TOTAL

Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?

Ö naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:

Our water has been tested and is not treated. Test results prove that our spring water is purer than the local bottled water and therefore treatment is not required. But because we store 46,000 gallons of fresh water, which is well in excess of our needs we add approximately 16 ounces of chlorine to every 20,000 gallons to protect it from bacteria growth.

___  chemically.  List chemicals used:

Waste water management:

Ö  septic tanks (separate systems for grey and black water)

___  cesspools

___  other? List methods:

Composting toilets in our 4 cabanas.

Level 3: Water is captured (from springs, rivers, rain or prior use) and constitutes less than 1/3 of water from all sources.  Water is treated chemically.  Water disposal does not minimize damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 4:  Captured water constitutes 1/3 to 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests

Level 5:  Captured water constitutes more than 2/3 of all water.  Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests.   In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record water consumption; (2) test and apply additional water conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific water targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Water Level 5 (required).

Your Water Level (select 1 – 5): =5

Eco Rating Mango Creek Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:

Ö  use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items

Ö  buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation

Ö  purchase in bulk to reduce packaging

Ö  recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminium

Ö  minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment

Ö  zero waste in the kitchen

Ö  serve local water, not bottled water

Ö  cleaning products are biodegradable

Ö  compost organic matter

Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.

Waste material from compost toilets is used in flower beds

All soft drinks and beer are purchased in returnable glass bottles

We supply our guests with reusable water bottles for their use during their stay. We do not provide or sell bottled water to our guests.

Level 1 = four or fewer recycling activities

Level 2 = five recycling activities

Level 3 = six recycling activities

Level 4 = seven recycling activities

Level 5 = eight or more recycling activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record recycling and waste; (2) test and apply additional recycling and waste conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific recycling and waste targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Recycling and Waste Level 5 (required).

Your Recycling and Waste Level (select 1 – 5): =5 

Eco Rating Mango Creek Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:

Ö    minimize tree removal when building

Ö    use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds

Ö    maintain organic gardens as food source for resort

Ö    use biodegradable cleaning products

Ö    minimize external illumination

Ö   take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.  Please list actions and projects:

We have installed 4 moorings in the harbour for boats to use at no cost to help preserve the fragile turtle grass.

We have instituted a no hunting policy on our land.

Our fishing program is catch and release.

We have established an informal conch preserve in conjunction with the Roatan Marine Park.

We have installed lobster “condos” along our shore which provide a safe habitat for the lobsters

We have planted mosquitoes and sand fly deterrent plants throughout the resort

We grow plants that attract local birds and have begun to catalogue the various species of birds found around the resort

We are researching various types of natural herbicides and pesticides

Level 1: one or two land and nature conservation activities

Level 2: three land and nature conservation activities

Level 3: four land and nature conservation activities

Level 4: five land and nature conservation activities

Level 5: six or more land and nature conservation activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record land and nature conservation activities; (2) test and apply additional land and nature conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific land and nature conservation targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Land and Nature Conservation Level 5 (required).

Your Land and Nature Conservation Level (select 1 – 5): =5

Eco Rating Mango Creek Community

This category addresses policies and activities regarding staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the community.

Check all activities that apply:

Ö    hire staff residing near the resort          100% local nationals (1 USA Volunteer)

Ö   use local suppliers                                  95% purchased goods produced locally

Ö   re-invest resort income locally             100% income re-invested locally

Ö   pay above local prevailing wage

Ö   pay into local social security

Ö   provide health insurance or coverage

Ö    use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc

Ö    provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community

Ö    provide sustainable transport to work for staff

  • take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.

Largest employer in the Port Royal area of the island

Supply fresh drinking water to the local community in times of dry weather and water shortages

Provide education for our staff to obtain certification and knowledge in various services

Educate our staff in the use of biodegradable cleaning products

Outreach to the community regarding the need for conch and fish preservation

Provide lodging and meals for staff to minimize travel between home and resort

Provide funding to support a local child in school

Level 1: one or two community activities

Level 2: three to five community activities

Level 3: six to seven community activities

Level 4: eight to nine community activities

Level 5: ten or more community activities.  In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record community activities; (2) test and apply additional methods to support the community; and (3) work towards specific community targets.

Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Community Level 5 (required).

Your Community Level (select 1 – 5):= 5

YOUR OVERALL ECO SCORE (add your level for each category and divide by 5and enter the result with the decimal point, e.g. 3.6): =5

We have three final questions which are not part of the eco rating:  

  • Please describe your single most important eco achievement:

Awareness. Before Mango Creek Lodge was built, our area of the island was completely ignorant of the need for conservation. Our many programs and charity to the locals have put us in a position of trust, allowing us to educate the community. With the assistance of our staff and local government there have been tremendous improvements in conservation efforts in the Port Royal area. We were also instrumental in eliminating the illegal netting of fish in the southeast end of the island.

  • Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.

We have purchased 4 new 47 watt solar panels that will be set up to operate our new fresh water pump. We are looking at ways of improving our renewable energy sources to produce more power and also methods to better monitor our energy consumption. With some modifications, our sustainable energy production will be increased further allowing us to decrease our need for our generators. We are also actively working with the local park services to identify and preserve a large parcel of land adjacent to Mango Creek with the intent to protect it from development. Additionally we are researching methods for plastic recycling which is becoming a major problem on the island and hope to work with the local community to better manage the disposal of all plastics.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add to this eco rating?

Enforcing an area of total conservation on our 22 acres allows us to protect iguanas, agouti, birds and sea life from human predators. Our fly fishing programs place us in areas of the highest concern along our shoreline and reef and allow us to observe and monitor the conditions in these sensitive areas. Additionally we work with the Roatan Marine Park Service in efforts to preserve the fragile reef and underwater systems in our area. Finally, we educate our guests and neighbours on the importance of protecting the local environment through the use of our extensive library, education programs and ecological briefs. The island of Roatan is making positive progress toward conservation through the hard work of our mayor and we are hopeful that additional conservation laws will be put forth and enforced further enhancing existing regulations, which we will support.

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