Footsteps Eco-Lodge Online Eco Rating

Person filling in this form: David White
Date: May 24, 2015
Footsteps Eco-Lodge Online Eco Rating score: Perfect 5 out of 5 Butterflies

IDQuestionAnswer(s) givenPoints receivedResult
74What is your name?David White0.00N/a (survey question)
75What is the name of your lodge/hotel/business?Footsteps Eco Lodge0.00N/a (survey question)
78What is the url of your website?http://footstepsinthegambia.com0.00N/a (survey question)
76What is your email address?david@footstepsgambia.com0.00N/a (survey question)
77What is your role with this hotel/lodge/business?Founder/Owner0.00N/a (survey question)
107Use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners.
Mark yes or no.
yes1.00Correct answer
108Use natural light during the day.
Please answer yes or no.
Yes1.00Correct answer
109Minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment.
Yes or No.
Yes1.00Correct answer
110Use on demand or solar heating for hot water.
Yes or No.
Yes1.00Correct answer
111Air dry clothes/linens.
Yes or No.
Yes1.00Correct answer
112Wash dishes by hand.Yes1.00Correct answer
113Use energy efficient appliances and electronics.Yes1.00Correct answer
114Use low wattage fluorescent light bulbs.Yes1.00Correct answer
115Change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request.Yes1.00Correct answer
116Switch off lights when not used.Yes1.00Correct answer
117You use alternative energy. For example solar, wind, hydro, or biogas.
Please mark what percentage of alternative energy you use below.
Over 2/3 or 66% up to 100%3.00Wrong answer
119Do you monitor and record energy consumption as an aid to work towards conserving of energy?Yes2.00Correct answer
157If you use alternative energy please mark those you use below. If you don’t use any please check None.Solar1.00Correct answer
93Use low flow faucets and shower-heads.Yes1.00Correct answer
94Use low water use toilets.Yes1.00Correct answer
96Use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered or use the bare table top.Yes1.00Correct answer
97Use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap when at all possible.Yes1.00Correct answer
98Do you treat swimming pool and/or fountains with chlorine-free processes or have no pool or fountains?Yes1.00Correct answer
99Collect rainwater for re-use.Yes1.00Correct answer
100Do you reuse gray water for irrigation.


Yes1.00Correct answer
101Do you use Xeriscaping in your landscape?
Xeriscaping refers to a method of landscape design that minimizes water use.
Yes1.00Correct answer
102Do you have other water conservation activities?Yes2.00Correct answer
103Capture and treat fresh water. Capture water from renewable sources including spring, river, rain, and in some cases wells, depending on how they’re used.
Please choose an answer only for the renewable sources you use.
Captured water is employed and is 2/3 or more of all water used.3.00Correct answer
104How is captured fresh water treated?Naturally2.00Correct answer
106Do you monitor and record water usage as an aid to work towards conservation of water?Yes2.00Correct answer
162Have you installed a water meter?
Some systems don’t allow this. Please check yes if this is the case for your hotel or business.
Yes1.00Correct answer
163Do you water the garden and grounds at night or the very early morning?You only water part of the year but it\’s during those times1.00Correct answer
164Do you water deeply but less often?
This will encourage plants to grow deeper roots, so that they need water less frequently.
No0.00Wrong answer
165Do you use mulch, a ground cover like straw or newspapers, on your garden to retain moisture?
If you don’t have a garden, do you use it on any vegetation you have?
Yes1.00Correct answer
175Do you ask visitors or display notices to use as little water as possible?Yes1.00Correct answer
120Use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items?Yes1.00Correct answer
121Do you buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation?Yes1.00Correct answer
122Do you purchase in bulk to reduce packaging?Yes1.00Correct answer
123Do you recycle paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum?Yes1.00Correct answer
125Do you have close to zero waste in the kitchen?
This is accomplished by buying in bulk and composting food waste, excluding items that can’t be composted like meat.
Yes1.00Correct answer
126Do you serve locally filtered water instead of bottled water?Yes1.00Correct answer
128Do you compost organic matter?Yes1.00Correct answer
130Do you work towards specific recycling and waste targets?Yes1.00Correct answer
131Do you purchase products made with recycled materials?Yes1.00Correct answer
132Do you replace disposable items with items that can be reused?Yes1.00Correct answer
133Have you developed and shared recycling education programs in your area?Yes1.00Correct answer
134Do you educate your staff on the importance of recycling?Yes1.00Correct answer
135Do you host a neighborhood/area clean-up day?Yes1.00Correct answer
136Do you go to schools in your area to impress the importance of “Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle”? Children are our future.Yes1.00Correct answer
166Do you have recycling bins located in each guest’s room with clear instructions?Not in the rooms but somewhere else1.00Correct answer
167Is two sided printing standard practice in your establishment to decrease your use of paper?Yes1.00Correct answer
168Has your establishment switched to bulk dispensed bathroom amenities?
This means refilling shampoo, soap, etc. rather than using small purchased items that then get thrown out.
Yes1.00Correct answer
176Do you encourage your community to recycle?Yes1.00Correct answer
137Do you minimize tree removal when building?Yes0.00Correct answer
138Do you use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides and pesticides in your gardens and grounds?Yes0.00Correct answer
139Do you maintain organic gardens as food source for the resort?Yes0.00Correct answer
140Do you use biodegradable cleaning products?Yes, when I can find them1.00Correct answer
141Do you minimize external illumination when possible?Yes1.00Correct answer
142Do you take additional specific actions not listed here to preserve the local habitat?Yes2.00Correct answer
143Have you left part of your land in it’s natural state?Over a 1/4 of your land3.00Correct answer
161How big is your lodge?
We will use the maximum number of guests to rate how big your place is.
The smaller an establishment is, the less resources it uses.
11-20 people2.00Correct answer
169Do you have designated trails or pathways to keep visitors from walking through pristine areas?
If this is not possible because most of your land is protected, you may mark yes.
Yes1.00Correct answer
170Have you labeled local flora to inform visitors about native vegetation?Yes1.00Correct answer
171When building or planning you minimize removing local flora.Yes1.00Correct answer
172Do you have part of your land as a true nature sanctuary, with no access by people so that it can remain pristine?
This helps the local flora and fauna.
Yes1.00Correct answer
173Do you put out literature about the local plants and animals so guests have easy access to it?Yes1.00Correct answer
174Do you make a point of informing visitors to stay away from local wildlife?
Encounters with people stresses wildlife.
Yes1.00Correct answer
144Do you use local suppliers for most of your needs?Yes1.00Correct answer
145What % of purchased goods for your business are produced locally?More than 3/4 (76% and above)3.00Correct answer
146Do you pay above local prevailing wage?Yes1.00Correct answer
147Do you hire staff residing near the resort if at all possible?Yes1.00Correct answer
148What % of your employees are local nationals?More than 2/3 (67%) are local natives.2.00Correct answer
149Do you re-invest most resort income locally?Yes1.00Correct answer
150What % of your businesses income is re-invested locally?More than 2/3 (67%)2.00Correct answer
151Do you pay into local social security?Yes1.00Correct answer
152Do you provide health insurance or coverage to your employees?Yes1.00Correct answer
153Do you use regular staff meetings or discussions to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc.?Yes1.00Correct answer
154Do you provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community?Yes1.00Correct answer
155Do you provide sustainable transport to work for staff unless they can walk?Yes1.00Correct answer
156Do you take any additional action to support the local community that aren’t listed in this Eco Rating?Yes2.00Correct answer
159Do you encourage your visitors to directly benefit the local community by leaving printed matter or having discussions about the local businesses and encouraging them to spend locally?Yes1.00Correct answer
160Do you encourage your visitors to learn about the local customs and culture?Yes1.00Correct answer
158Do you have written Policies and Procedures for running your business in a sustainable manner?
This question about whether you have Policies and Procedures applies to all categories and counts for 1 point for each category, Energy, Water, Recycling and Waste, Land and Nature Conservation and Community. You cannot get a perfect score without it.
To get credit for this you need to email a copy to
Yes5.00Correct answer
177Please list the extra activities you practice if you answered yes to any of the questions asking that.

If you have any suggestions to improve the Online Eco Rating, please list them here as well.  The Eco Rating is a work in progress and will be updated as new ideas are suggested.

Q20/ we operate only composting toilets at Footsteps which use zero water.

Q23/ we have the only freshwater eco-pool in Gambia which uses no chemical whatsoever. see

Q26/ we use a perma-culture model and retain moisture in the ground using peanut hay ( mulch ) plus our own compost

Q28/ we use tube wells x2 which are 110mm wide and 18 metres deep, they are filtered and the water is pumped using solar 12v pumps into 1000 litre tanks, from there the water is gravity fed to its destination.

Q30/ we only keep a record of how much water we use in order to know if we have sprung a leak, otherwise we are as water conscious as any business can be.

Q31/ our system does not allow for metering.

Q41/ we serve our own filtered water from our tube wells also bottled, some guests require that option.

Q46/ we teach awareness on a number of green issues this being just one, we invite the local schools to visit for fun educational mornings also we hold training days for Gambia\’s school of business management.

Q52/ we buy our soaps from \”My Farm \” in blocks and cut it ourselves as well as other products such as local homemade jams, mornings tea and bamboo based creams ( Shea butter )

Q55/ we don\’t use pesticides of any kind.

Q56/ we have three dedicated full time gardeners growing fruits and vegetables at the lodge, everything else comes from the gardens surrounding Footsteps and are grown by local people, usually a relative of staff.

Q59/ We have a no plastic bag policy at the lodge.

Q63/ Our head gardener gives info tours about the role of the trees, bushes, herbs with regard medicine, religion and culture upon request.

Q65/ Kunyoong Nature Forest is on our doorstep, we act as wardens for this, the land that Footsteps sits on is only 80 metres by 40 metres. This was to have as small a footprint as possible.

Q70/ we pay our staff salaries all year round, not just in season, over 70 % of the staff at Footsteps have been with me since the day we opened and even before as many actually built the lodge with me, i.e., our General Manager is Dodou Touray , he was part of the building crew, same for Lamin Camera, Buba Manneh, Alieu Jarju, Karamo Touray, Kunjang Bass, Buba Low, Buba Jatta and Sarani Darboe. see

Q72/ All of our staff are from the local village of Gunjur..

Q74/ All income is reinvested locally.

Q80/ We actively support local entrepreneurs such as Lamin Bojang and his Gunjur Village Museum project, in the making now for 4 years he is coming to be opening in November and I am currently building a new website for him.see

Q82/ Please see

Q83/ Please see

Just to close we have been awarded by Travelife their Gold Certification twice and most recently the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for consistent 5 star reviews from our guests 2015, this the 4th consecutive award from them.
I apologise if I appear to be blowing my own trumpet a bit but honestly I couldn’t be any more proud of our achievements and most of all my staff.

I should also state that we burned to the ground on February 24th 2007 due to a bush fire and my dedicated staff were my support network rebuilding Footsteps again and I have them to thank for where we are now.

Thats it, hope you enjoyed your trip ! :)