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Eco Rating Table Rock Jungle Lodge

Name of propertyTable Rock Jungle Lodge
Person completing this formColleen Spring
PositionOwner
Address of propertyOn the Macal River in the Jungle, Mile 5 Cristo Rey Road, PO Box 179 San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
CountryBELIZE
Phone number including country code and area code+501 834-4040
Web siteTable Rock Jungle Lodge
E-mailinfo@tablerockbelize.com
Type of propertyEco-Lodge
Number of rooms or cottages5
Maximum number of guests18
Eco membershipsN/A
Eco ratings, certifications, awardsEco Rating at Eco Tropical Resorts 3.8 out of 5.
  • Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy?     YES/NO

If yes, please attach.

  • Do you have a written environmental management system?                  YES/NO

If yes, please attach.

  • Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased  (150 words max) At Table Rock, we are committed to the core values of sustainable tourism: helping the environment, aiding the local community, and educating travellers about both. The resident American owners have worked to make 105 acres of  Table Rock Jungle Lodge unique by preserving the natural surroundings, keeping the number of rooms limited to five, employing local villagers, and by replenishing one of Belize’s earliest natural resources, the Mahogany tree. In addition to the jungle canopy, Table Rock is home to a small working farm where you can gather exotic tropical fruits and visit with our resident donkeys. We produce our own electricity and supply the majority of our water needs with purified rainwater. We invite you to join us in our lifestyle at Table Rock Jungle Lodge, to rediscover yourself, and to experience the beauty and adventure that is Belize. (All our land is owned outright).
  • Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town (100 words max) Table Rock Jungle Lodge is located on the Macal River in the jungle of Belize’s Cayo District.  Only 5 miles south of San Ignacio, a town of approximately 20,000, and 70 miles east of the international airport in Belize City, Table Rock is positioned close to all the major Mayan archaeological sites and natural wonders of Western Belize.
  • Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort (100 word max)

Originally intending to change lifestyles and attempt to live off the land, the owners found themselves frequently entertaining friends and family who just had to see what was going on in Belize.  The owners began playing host so much so that they ultimately decided to open this unique eco-lodge in order to share it with people who have similar interests and passions for nature and community around the world.

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 Table Rock Jungle Lodge Energy

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

_X__  use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
_X_  use natural light during the day
_X__  minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
_X__  use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water
___  air dry clothes/linens
_X__  wash dishes by hand
_X_  use energy efficient appliances and electronics
_X__  use low wattage fluorescent or LED light bulbs
_X__  change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
_X__  switch off lights when not used
Other energy conservation activities? Please list:

  • Cabanas have no or minimal electrical outlets to conserve electricity draw.
  • High draw electrical items, such as hair dryers, toasters, and electric coffee makers, are prohibited.
  • No microwaves, televisions, or jacuzzis on the property.
  • We utilize butane-powered refrigerators and freezers.
  • We utilize gravity feed for water pressure, rather than an electric water pump.

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:

___  solar
___  wind
___  hydro
_100%*__  generator
___  public utility
Other energy sources? Please list:
*The generator is run only 6-7 hours every two days while charging a large battery bank.  This battery bank then supplies our power needs for two (2) days.
100% TOTAL
How were these proportions developed?

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) =   3

Eco Rating Table Rock Jungle Lodge Water

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

_X_  low flow faucets and showerheads
_X_  low water use toilets
_X_  change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
___use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
_X_  use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
__  treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes
Other water conservation activities?  Please list.

  • We reclaim rain and river water which is the source for all of the lodge’s water needs.
  • Guest rooms display Water Conservation Tips lists.
  • Dishes are washed by hand.
  • We limit water usage and irrigate specified areas with “gray water” from showers, sinks, and laundry.

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:

___  spring
_50%__  river
_50%__  rain
___  reuse gray
___  public utility
Other water sources? Please list.

100% TOTAL

Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
___  naturally.  Indicate method: charcoal, ultraviolet light, other? List:
_X__  chemically.  List chemicals used: Minimum recommended amounts of chlorine

Waste water management:
_X__  septic tanks
___  cesspools
___  other? List methods:

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): 4

Eco Rating Table Rock Jungle Lodge Recycling and waste

Check all that apply:

_X__   use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
_X__   buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
_X__   purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
_X__   recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminum
_X__   minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
_X__   zero waste in the kitchen
_X__   serve local water, not bottled water  Our local water is purified & bottled water from Belize.  This is what we serve due to health issues.
_X__   cleaning products are biodegradable
_X__   compost organic matter
Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.

  • We reuse as many items as possible, such as grocery bags and plastic containers for food storage.
  • Most kitchen scraps and waste are used to feed our donkeys and laying hens.

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): 4

Eco Rating Table Rock Jungle Lodge Land and nature conservation

Check all that apply:

_X__   minimize tree removal when building
___   use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
_X__   maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
_X__   use biodegradable cleaning products
_X__   minimize external illumination
_X__   take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.
_X__   Landscaping with native plants
Please list actions and projects:
–Established the Table Rock Mahogany Reforestation Project: After decades of logging mahogany, Belize has had its most ancient trees decimated. Our property manager, Mr. Herman, who was once a “mahogany hunter” for the British, and Alan, a certified tree lover, got together one afternoon and decided that they could help put back what was once taken out by starting to replant Table Rock with seedling mahogany trees. Currently, nearly 1,000 mahogany trees have been replanted on the property. Alan has his sights set on increasing that number in the years to come, allowing future generations of Belizeans to be able to admire and appreciate the country’s national tree once again.

  • Implementing and sponsoring the Adopt-a-Mile program to keep stretches of roadside litter-free.
  • Creating numerous habitats for the local bat population, which reduce the number of biting and annoying insects dramatically, thus decreasing the need for pesticides. The end result is that guests at Table Rock dine in a high-canopied rainforest setting under a natural thatched roof without the need for screening.
  • Clearing underbrush from forested areas and maintaining that level of forestry maintenance in order to promote the healthy growth of existing mature trees and reducing the impact of wildfires
  • Encouraging the planting of trees and plants necessary for wildlife
  • Not keeping any wild animal captive unless in an emergency situation where there is no alternative. As soon as possible seeking an appropriate “home” for any captive animal or returning them to the wild
  • Actively discouraging hunting of protected species within the community
  • Actively discouraging the trafficking of flora and fauna, internationally, nationally and locally
  • Actively encouraging and promoting the work of the Protected Areas
  • Conservation Trust (P.A.C.T)
  • Giving preference to products that are environmentally friendly
  • Giving preference to those products that are from sustainable sources
  • Purchasing products with the least packaging possible

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): 4

Eco Rating Table Rock Jungle Lodge Community

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

Check all activities that apply:

_X__  hire staff residing near the resort          _93__% local nationals
_X__  use local suppliers                                _80% purchased goods produced locally
_X__  re-invest resort income locally            _100__% income re-invested locally
_X__  pay above local prevailing wage
_X__  pay into local social security Table Rock covers 100% of the Social Security contributions for our workers, rather than deducting the standard payment from our employees’ paychecks. In addition, the Belizean Social Security system functions not only as a retirement fund, but as workers compensation, disability insurance, maternity coverage, and general health coverage.
_*__  provide health insurance or coverage *Please see above.
_X__  use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
_X__  provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
_X__  provide sustainable transport to work for staff
_X__  take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.

  • Hire local villagers
  • Helped found the local chapter of the Humane Society
  • Support “Angel Says Read” library book donation charity
  • Tutor local students
  • Contribute to local specialty events and needs, such as
    • Rotary Club scholarship drives
    • Cristo Rey Village Internet Cafe
    • Cristo Rey Village Festival of Lights (to support arts in the schools)
    • Pedestrian safety programs
    • Cristo Rey Primary school projects

_X__  Have enrolled your staff in any personal green training/certification schemes such as ecohelpline.com green leaf certification.

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): 4

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):  3.8

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

  1. Please describe your single most important eco achievement:

This would definitely by our sustained effort at preserving the pristine rainforest canopy at Table Rock by planting over 2000 trees, including more than 900 mahogany trees which had been exterminated in our area due to non-sustainable logging practices.

  1. Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.
  • Completion of Green Leaf Certification for the balance of our staff
  • Completion and implementation of an additional 8,000-gallon rainwater catchment that will be used for the lodge and farm
  • Investigation of supplemental uses for solar energy
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