What Is Sustainable Tourism?
To us, being an Eco-Friendly hotel means three things:
(1) Getting off the grid
(2) Supporting the Local Community
(3) Minimizing Carbon Footprint
Being sustainable is something that’s hugely important to us. It’s more than just a philosophy – it’s a way of life and an ethical way of doing business. We’ve worked hard to get ourselves to where we are today, and we’re happy to share with you some of our accomplishments.
Clean, Renewable Energy
We are proud to be a 100% Solar Powered Hotel. This is not an easy thing to do anywhere, however in a remote part of our humid, windy and salty island it’s been a real challenge. It’s been worth the effort though! Thanks to our four separate solar power systems, we’ve powered all of the rooms and amenities, including things like the pool pump (which heavily reduces the chemical consumption.) Even our hot water is solar powered, and there are more than 600 gallons of hot water, so enough for everyone to shower as they please. Our restaurant has DC powered freezers, further reducing our dependency on fossil fuel based power. The best part about solar power though? When the rest of the town is experiencing one of it’s frequent power outages, our solar energy system keeps on working!
We have multiple rainwater collection systems, and we work hard to manage the water consumption of the hotel.
We have onsite permaculture gardens that produce some of the organic food which you’ll find in our restaurant. We also have an off-site Organic Aquaponics Farm, and we work with local growers to make sure our restaurants can provide healthy, organic meals which are all locally grown. We also recycle and compost our organic waste at the farm, reducing our impact on the environment.
Supporting the Local Community
Locally Hired Staff
Although we do have international staff, we do our best to providing jobs to local Dominicans rather than bringing in only foreign workers, as many large resorts tend to do in developing countries. We actively work to combat that trend through training programs for dependable locals, even if they lack the skill sets needed initially. Our efforts have helped bring our internal staff numbers – and that of the members of The Extreme Hotel Collective – to more than 70% Dominican.
We aim to provide learning opportunities for locals, community members and tourist alike, so that we can spread the ideals of what sustainable tourism really is. Our organic farm offers farm tours in which guests can learn about sustainable agriculture – and the really interested parties are welcome to apply for our Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program.
We also host local schools at our children’s circus camp, and support local NGO’s helping combat the Dominican Republic’s lack of quality education for local children, such as The Mariposa Foundation for girls and Inspire DR for boys.
Low Carbon Footprint
Conscious Use of Resources
We’ve thought a lot about how to use less, while still keeping the level of comfort high. Low wattage bulbs and low consumption fans have been installed in all of our rooms, along with low flow water taps in the bathrooms.
When it comes to housekeeping, we hang dry the laundry and use environmentally conscious cleaning products. One of the most important things we’ve done is change our daily room cleaning to every-other-day room cleaning, as daily cleaning is be one of the biggest wasters of natural resources in the Hotel industry. Our guests have fully supported us on this decision, and we thank you all for keeping your space tidy so we can keep our water use down.
The hotel is also purposefully not air-conditioned. We’re on an incredibly windy beach, and when our building was designed a huge effort was put into naturally cooling the building through intelligent ventilation systems, which maximize the circulation of our year-round winds. Reflective paint and lots of green vegetation also help to reduce the heat during the hottest months. Most people have no problem sleeping, and in the winter months many people even sleep with blankets!
Working together with ourorganic farm we have planted over 2,000 trees, further offsetting our carbon emissions. That’s more than any other hotel in the region!
Doing Your Part
We encourage guests to help us in our efforts by doing the little things like turning off appliances and lights when they leave the room. It is an ongoing effort to use as little energy as possible and to be one with our environment. The experience of our guests is always important to us. We hope you appreciate our efforts towards a healthier planet and encourage you to come and find out how much fun an eco-hotel can be.