During the building of the resort, we sourced all building materials from within Vanuatu. All louvres were made from recycled cedar from a house that was badly damaged in Cyclone Pam. Coral dug from the foundations of each building has been used to build retaining walls and fill for other buildings. Much of the furniture was constructed locally from trees that died in cyclone Pam or from locally sourced sustainable timber sources.
We have invested heavily into solar technology to run the entire resort. After a recent upgrade to the system our resort runs on less than 20 litres of Diesel per week. The water pumps and pool pumps now run on their own solar system, and we are installing the first heat pump hot water system into the new hilltop villas this year to reduce our gas usage.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs are mostly sourced from the resort garden or from our local villages. Our seafood is caught by local fisherman and the beef, prawns and pork are locally grown, grass-fed and organic. Towards the end of 2020 we are looking to invest in our own laying chickens, who will then also eat the food scraps.
Many lessons have been learnt in the garden as with money lost. Not being used to a tropical garden, well a garden at all, we lived in an apartment and had pot plants, we went with what looked great in other peoples gardens or what looked great on pinterest. We, however, are in a micro climate, and do not receive the same amount of rain fall as the mainland. Many of the flowers and plants demanded too much water for our drier climate and died. Lesson learnt – look at what the locals in the village grow and what is growing in the natural surrounds and you won’t need to water the garden with 15,000 litres of water everyday. Bananas and pawpaws gave us that lush tropical garden, and they grow fast, plus we use them in the bistro and bar.
Water is filtered through a 5 step process, eliminating the need for bottled water, and we do not sell or supply single use water bottles. We do however have re-useable water bottles that are supplied in your villa from our friends @mygreenfootprint – you can purchase your own if you like.
Our waste water is treated through an E-bin septic that filters waste through a 4 chamber system allowing gardens to be watered with the grey water.
We choose cans for soft drinks as metals are recycled here in Vanuatu, and plastic is sent to town weekly for recycling. We only sell locally produced Tusker beer in glass, as these bottles are sent back to the factory for sterilising and re-used – the same applies for Cascade sparkling water. Any other glass from the bar is crushed and used in concrete slabs.
Composting has been a difficult area for us, as we have 9 acres of gardens, so our balance of food scraps to garden waste is not balanced. We ow pass all food scraps onto the local village for the pigs and chickens. When we have our own chickens this will be an easy transition.
We do not use garbage bags in our kitchen or bar, the bins are sterilised after each service. Paper and cardboard are burnt with garden waste. We strongly discourage the use of straws but do have paper straws if you require one, and we do not use umbrellas or plastic stir sticks in our drinks – we rather use something that will decompose, like fruit or a flower.
We are also actively trying to safeguard our reefs, so we ask guests not to wear sunscreens that are not approved for reefs and please do not touch or walk on coral. It dies if you touch it and is bleached from sunscreens.
We no longer supply snorkels and flippers, due to the amount of damage and breakages – this wasn’t a financial decision – it just got to a point where we had 120 sets of snorkels to dispose of, and our only options are to burn them or land fill them, neither option terribly appealing. Buy your own set, keep them safe at home and use them each time you visit us, or any other amazing reef.
We encourage our guests to visit the Turtle Sanctuary here on Moso Island. Hawkesbill Turtle numbers have depleted over the past 100 years by 80%, and these guys are doing a remarkable job.
Our entire team is Ni-Vanuatu as was our building team. We also support our local villages for transportation of guests, goods and building materials, make annual donations to the local school/village and employ 50% of our staff from the local villages. We believe in giving back to the local community and encourage our guests to drop in and visit the villages.