As Eco Resort in one of the most pristine environments in the world, the question arises on how we can operate sustainable and strive for more sustainable practices in the future to lower the impact of our hotel operations.
Our Jungle Camp in Khao Sok, has a clear goal in becoming the leader of all-encompassing environmental friendly practices. That said there are limits and boundaries to accomplishable targets and long-term impacts to consider, before heading down the sustainability highway. The following lines shall shine light onto certain practices, their outcome as well as indicate potential future developments to reduce the environmental footprint Our Jungle Camp carries.
Even before the first construction effort´s it was clear that the resort will be built with the surrounding environment in mind, this included constructing buildings in an open vernacular way from re-growing resources. By incorporating the luxury of nature into the overall concept, reductions in electricity consuming appliances like water pumps, air conditioners and their like could already be avoided on the drawing board.
In the next step, our operational and consumption materials such as plastic water bottles, plastic straws, small scale packaging and so on have been miraculously taken from the menu.
Even though we are situated in one water richest regions of the world, wasting and spoiling fresh water is more than a peculiar offense. From monitoring water flow and using water saving devices like flow restrictors over using biodegradable soaps and detergents and the separation and filtration of grey and black water through grease and settlement traps, Our Jungle Camp intents to keep its water outflow into the environment as low as possible. We have managed to reduce water consumption in the past year by over 30% with implementing simple water saving measures.
Gravity fed water allows us to keep large pump usage to a minimum, during the night, walkway and general light sources are operated with timer and sensor devices to reduce unused electricity. By being as close we are to one of the biggest hydroelectric dams of Thailand. We consider our electricity purchase from a renewable energy source and therefore have neglected the utilization of Solar- or Photovoltaic systems. Nonetheless do we run our entrance sign lights on a small panel to teach the local children about this exciting form of electricity production. For all additional large consumption appliances, we have found reasonable gas operated substitutes or overall neglected their broader usage at the resort.
With many of our day to day ingredients being farmed on our onsite Organic Farm, we have further managed to cut waste production while educating our staff about farming vegetables, fruits and processing them into Thai and Foreign delicacies. Additionally, have we initiated a food forest, where local species of Durian, Mango, Banana and other tropic species are displayed and saved for future seed saving.
With our new recycling building, we have created a dedicated space to introduce large scale composting, soil mixing and general waste and trash separation. As usually here in Thailand, all created waste ends up at the same landfill, it is for us of utmost importance to separate recyclables already on our property. We have created an incentive scheme with all proceedings to be distributed among our local staff. Whereby the following prices are paid and lead to additional monthly incentive payments of THB.
- Glass Bottles at 0.5-1.0 THB per kg
- Aluminium Cans at 35 THB per kg
- Paper, Cardboard, etc., at 5 THB per kg
- Kitchen Oil at 9 THB per litre (or re-used in our bar candles)
- Main Organic Waste to be processed in our compost
We are glad that the produced educational materials for sustainability, wildlife and environment has been used extensively from the guests, our staff and the local community alike. Our Jungle Camp is proud to be staffed 95% by local staff mainly from Amphoe Phanom in Surat Thani Province. By providing fair above average salaries, with an incentive bonus structure, health and accident insurance as well as vocational training (First Aid, English, Health & Safety, Hospitality & Service) and holiday and vacation days, we believe to set the way in sustainable human resource management much needed for low turnover and long term involvement of our human capital.
We are fortunate to enjoy the full support of the Khao Sok and surrounding communities, due to the long term impact and collaboration of the Jungle Life Camp. Through which we have operated 4 monthly Full Day or Overnight Environmental Education Camps for government school classes or children from the local community. Along with school break activities on topics like English Language, Nature Skills, Farming and Recycling, we believe we are on the way of having a long term impact on the youth in the community who hopefully become advocates of the sustainability movement.
Additionally, are we in an active partnership with “The Andaman Center for Migrant Education”, we offer all our guests the option to make a 100 THB contribution with their booking, which we will match in the end of the year through this collective effort the following donations have been made in the past years:
|23,000 THB +23,000 THB||
18,000 THB + 18,000 THB
Furthermore, deserves the “Womans Weaving Collective” in Cheow Lan Village our attention, not only are we offering their great Thai Silk products in our reception shop but we are also organising CBT (Community Based Tourism) activities to the local villages of Khao Phang and Cheow Lan.
For the near future, the most low-hanging fruit, literally is the maintenance and continued reforestation of our privately owned forest land. Not only have we managed to protect approximately 80 rai of prime rainforest but also replanted indigenous tree species on 40 rai for future generations to come. While staying in our tree house accommodations, you will notice that we have also tried to secretly reforest a nearby Rubber Orchard, and we would always advocate to shoot some seed bombs into the in the region so prevailing monocultures of palm and rubber plantations.
Also on the plan along with reducing our physically waste production, is the manufacturing of biodegradable and organic products, like soaps, shampoos and other cleaning products. We see great opportunities in using the Jungle Life Camp, our surrounding community youth and our guests to help us in the effort to reduce Our Jungle Camp´s environmental impact and to maintain Khao Sok as a pristine nature destination for future generations to come.
If you have any ideas, inputs or would like to make a difference in any other way, please do not hesitate to get in contact directly via firstname.lastname@example.org