Sustainable Living at Northside Valley in the U.S. Virgin Islands


Here are some ways we strive to promote sustainable tourism: 

  1. Light Bulbs are exclusively Compact Flourescents.  These bulbs

         Last longer (many of these bulbs have been in these houses for 6 years.

         Burn with less heat, very important in a hot climate.

         Use 70% less electricity (kwh cost in Chicago .08, in

St. Croix .23).

  1. Bathroom showers use low-flow/stop devices and

– Optional outdoor showers water nearby vegetation.

  1. Landscaping is eco-friendly because

            – Large trees and understory plantings are cultivated.

– Mowing is limited to once monthly and is not done under trees.

– Native plants/trees are cultivated and preserved.

– Herbicides and pesticides are not used.

– Watering is unnecessary because of the type of plants that are nurtured.

  1. Hot water  – Electric small capacity heaters use timers to limit power drain.
  2. Ceiling Fans, screened windows, and shade trees keep temperatures low inside the houses, therefore air-conditioning is unnecessary.
  3. Wash and Rinse dishpans are provided for dishwashing.  Guests are invited to dispose of gray water outside on vegetation.

In addition,

The water used in each house is rainwater – a renewable resource.

We commit to recycling the following:





All the houses use a septic system – a septic will break down waste naturally as long as bleach is not encountered in the system.  We do not use bleach in our houses. 

Cleaning materials used in the houses are natural biodegradable products.  White vinegar and biodegradable dish detergent are the primary cleaning products.  Linens are washed in a front loading, high-efficiency washing machine.  They are line-dried in the sun.  Linens are made from cotton or bamboo.  Bamboo is a highly-sustainable product and is grown in developing countries as a natural resource.  Bamboo returns 35% more oxygen than most other  plant-life.    

Ginger Brown Vanderveer

Northside Valley, U.S. Virgin Islands

Homestay in Dominica

3 Rivers Eco Lodge, Dominica is delighted to announce the launching of their new community village homestay programme.

Guests now have the opportunity to stay in the home of a family in the beautiful village of Grand Fond, Dominica, through our new community village homestay programme.

This is the latest addition to our community based activities, giving guests a real experience of true life in Dominica.

Each participating family has asked to be in the programme and is looking forward to your stay in their home.

Fore more details, please email us at jem @ (remove the spaces around the @  to send an email). 3 Rivers continue to strive to assist the local community in accordance with our social policy, for a brighter, sustainable, future.


Scholarship Fund in Dominica

Scholarship Fund in Dominica. The Sustainable Living Initiative Centre – S.L.I.C. is proud to announce the launching of the Grand Fond pre School Scholarship Fund, sponsored by Miami University, Ohio and 3 Rivers Eco lodge, Rosalie, Dominica.

These scholarships have been funded by Miami University donors, and 3 Rivers Eco lodge, and it is hoped that they will be the first of many scholarships awarded as the project grows.

SLIC, 3 Rivers Eco Lodge, Lifeline Ministries and Miami University are proud to facilitate another educational project with immediate and direct benefits to the local community, following the recent success of Computer Mission Dominica, which saw SLIC, in collaboration with, the Bromsgrove School, in the U.K., and 3 Rivers Eco Lodge, facilitating the transport, training and installation of nearly 200 computers in schools around Dominica.The Sustainable Living Initiative Centre is a Dominican NGO launched in February 2005, which now has nearly 100 members. SLIC runs training programs to enable Dominicans to install their own alternative energy equipment and help to preserve the planets resources and save money! A revolving loan fund has been set up, funded by the British High Commission in collaboration with the Roseau Cooperative Credit Union, from which members can borrow the cost of the equipment they need, and repay the loan from the savings on their bills.

For more details please contact: Berns on 449 8593 or or 3 rivers eco Lodge 446 1886 or The Grand Fond pre School.

Why you should visit Ecuador

It is not a question one can give only one answer. Let’s imagine to talk to our referral traveller. He/She is a person that while travelling a foreign country tries to be aware of what happens all around: loves nature and living in it, sometimes as a job; loves the colours, the smells, the sounds of nature and dislikes when the Nature is not respected and makes his/her best to help Natural Conservation, for example planting trees in front of his house, not cutting them.
While travelling tries not lo leave too many tracks of  his/her passage and avoids those tourist initiatives which damage the natural and social environment or impact on them too heavily.
We are dealing with a Responsible kind of Traveller.
And so, the question above could sound: why such a kind of traveller should visit Ecuador?
 Everything arises from the morphology of the country. Ecuador is a vertical country, that explains its deep biodiversity. In a few hours one can go from Cotopaxi on Andes, 5000meters above sea level , to the Ocean of Esmeraldas. One leaves Quito, the capital at more than 2800 meters above sea level, and after a couple of hours is in the Cloud Forest of Reserva Ecologica Pachijal, 1000 meters below on sea level, that is four or five Ecosystem below. One day bus trip takes you from Quito to Amazonia.
In the Cloudforest leave thousands of species of birds, orchids, bromelias, insects, butterflies and…more (frogs, for example).
Such a biodiversity could only lead to a cultural diversity spread on a small territory. Are thirteen the indigenous nationalities survived after centuries of external pressure. And are alive and proud of their language and culture. In the province of Esmeraldas the afro community. And everything quite easy to visit without the trip becoming too heavy or long or dangerous.
In the area of our Reserve lived Los Yumbos, a people that connected the Coast of Ecuador with Sierra, transporting any kind of goods along the old trails, the Culuncos. When digging is easy to find rests of their stay (potteries for example). Five kilometres far from our Reserve one can visit Tulipe, a Ceremonial Site now managed by the local Community.
Have been the Spaniards here, too, and for a long while. They left many rests, some of them terrible, and the history has already judged them, others not so bad. Let’s mention the Colonial Center of Quito, the coloured roofs of Cuenca and many colonial haciendas all over the country converted to hotels.
 Once I was walking along the Malecon in Guayaquil, I was with an indigenous from Amazonia and one from Chimborazo (we were waiting for a plane to Europe that didn’t want to arrive) and when we reached the point with all the statues of heroes of the Conquer and after, the Amazonian guy said, with subtle irony  – Look, it seems that nobody lived here before the arrival of Spaniards – and bursted laughing.
Yes! Ecuador is a country with many contradictions.

And then there are the Galapagos Islands. They are there, in the middle of Ocean, many people ignore that they belong to Ecuador. They have some magic all around them, thousands come from all over the world for a visit. But many are the dangers…The new President of Ecuador, Correa, announced the will to enforce protection.  We all are glad to believe him and hope…

Renato Gregorini
Reserva Ecologica Pachijal





Lomalagi Resort owner on Travel Warnings in Fiji

Many people think that Fiji is one island when, in fact there are over 300! Most resorts are near Nadi on Viti Levu, quite a distance from the Capitol city of Suva, or on or near Vanua Levu which less developed and more tropical and lush.

In December there was a “coup” (Fiji has had 4 in the past 20 years!) which resulted in the government of the day being deposed.  No shots were fired. But many countries imposed travel advisories on Fiji — to apply political pressure — implying that it was dangerous for visitors to come to these beautiful islands.

The interim government has consulted with the EU, and many other groups, seeking assistance for restoring a properly elected democratic government. No census has been done for more than 10 years! The current voting process is 100% along racial lines because of the way the previous elections were structured. It truly was not democratic — and it’s going to take a bit of time to fix. In the meantime, it’s certainly safer here than just about anywhere else in the world! In fact, I can’t think of a safer, friendlier place anywhere else……(Ms) Collin McKenny, Resident Owner

Lomalagi Resort ~ Fiji