The Lodge at Chaa Creek, a top eco resort in Belize, Central America was granted the highest rating: 5 Green Stars by Eco Hotels of the World.
“Eco Hotels of The World” is a free online guide created to showcase the most environmentally-friendly hotels in the world and the most comprehensive independent listing of eco-friendly hotels available today.
All the hotels featured have been personally selected by their editors to ensure that they meet the standards required to be considered an eco-friendly hotel. Hotels cannot pay for inclusion nor Eco Hotels of The World accept commissions on bookings in that way they stay totally independent and objective.
Green Star Rating Results:
Energy Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – Energy efficient compact florescent lamps combined with automatic timers, motion detectors and photovoltaic switches as well as the utilization of natural lighting assists with the reduction of energy consumption. Our Macal River Camp facility utilizes solar power for all of its electrical needs.
70% of our incandescent light bulbs have been switched to energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps.
In addition, the following are practiced:
use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
use natural light during the day
minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water
air dry clothes/linens
wash dishes by hand
use energy efficient appliances and electronics
use low wattage fluorescent light bulbs
change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
switch off lights when not used
Water Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – Water consumption is decreased by the utilization of low-flush toilets and low flow shower heads. Rainwater is also collected to supplement water consumption. Waste water and sewage are treated with enzyme producing digestive bacterium in properly designed septic tanks.
Water consumption has been reduced by 6% between 2004 and 2006 by means of low flow toilet and bath fixtures and implementation of efficient grounds irrigation techniques.
In addition, the following are practiced:
change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes
Disposal Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – We adhere to the practice of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A written Purchasing Policy requires our suppliers to provide environmentally safe products in reduced or bulk packaging. All reusable and recyclable materials are separated from our solid waste stream. Organic kitchen waste and other organic materials such as grass trimmings are composted and then used as a soil enhancer in our ornamental gardens and in vegetable production at our Organic Farm.
Restaurant food waste is given to a local farmer to supplement the feeding of his pigs. Metal cans are crushed in a manual crusher. The crushed cans are then used as fill material in concrete building foundations. All glass bottles and jars that are not returnable or reusable are crushed in an electric glass crusher. The crushed glass is then used as additional aggregate when mixing cement. In an effort to reduce our paper consumption, our administrative staff is encouraged to use paper on both sides when printing or copying and to make maximum utilization of the electronic media. Cardboard boxes are flattened and used as ground cover at our Organic Farm to prevent weed growth and eliminate the use of potentially toxic herbicides. Remaining waste paper and cardboard is sent to a commercial recycling facility. We purchase recycled paper and our commercial printing is done on recycled paper whenever possible.
In addition the following are practiced:
use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminum
minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
zero waste in the kitchen
serve local water, not bottled water
cleaning products are biodegradable
compost organic matter
Eco-Active Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – Achieving sound environmental best management practices throughout our entire operation.
Providing real and lasting benefits to the people and communities of the Cayo District of Belize.
Complying fully with relevant environmental legislation as well as internationally accepted best practices for Sustainable Tourism.
Minimizing our use of energy, water and materials as well as minimizing all environmentally damaging emissions.
Reducing our pollution to an absolute minimum by minimizing the amount of waste generated, by re-using materials and recycling as much of the waste as possible and working to assure that all effluent discharge has minimal negative effect on the environment.
Using cleaning products that are based on natural products and have no adverse effects on the user or the environment.
Giving preference to and employing Belizean nationals at all levels of employment whenever possible.
Giving preference to and purchasing food and other operational supplies, goods, products and services that are produced locally with minimal environmental impact where and whenever available.
Supporting the protection, conservation and sustainable use of the natural environment, historical sites, natural attractions and cultural assets of Belize.
Openly communicating our policies and practices to guests, interested parties, social groups and students.
Working with and supporting others in the tourism industry, in public associations, environmental groups, Government departments and the community in general to achieve wider environmental awareness and sustainability.
Providing all employees with the training and resources required to meet our objectives.
Making year-on-year improvements in all the GREEN GLOBE 21™ key environmental performance areas. This includes measuring, recording, setting targets and communicating our performance.
We have appointed Mike Green, our Nature Reserve Manager, as the Green Globe Coordinator, who has responsibility for ensuring ongoing environmental performance, identification of environmental risks, recording of impacts and implementing environmental and social sustainability measures.
Protection Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment – minimize tree removal when building
use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
use biodegradable cleaning products
minimize external illumination
take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat. (our projects: 365 acres private nature reserve, Bay leaf palm reforestation project, Planting of native bamboo along river banks to control erosion, Participation and monitoring of a Black Howler Monkey Reintroduction Project, Participation and facilitation of the “Birds Without Borders” research project studying neo-tropical migratory birds)
hire staff residing near the resort (100% local nationals)
use local suppliers (90% purchased goods produced locally)
re-invest resort income locally (100% income re-invested locally)
pay above local prevailing wage
pay into local social security
provide health insurance or coverage
use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
provide sustainable transport to work for staff
take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.
Provide 12 educational scholarships to the children of our staff
Provide financial and material support to the Octavia Waight Centre for the Elderly
Provide financial and physical support to local sports teams and activities (Western Spirits Cycle Team, La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, several soccer teams)
Provide financial and physical support to local community improvement projects (Cristo Rey Village and San Antonio Village schools)
Provide financial and physical support to local environmental and conservation groups.
Provide on-the-job work experience for many local student education programs.
Provide summer camp activities for local youth
Provide financial and physical support of local youth organizations (Boy Scouts)
Provide financial and physical support to local people experiencing medical and other emergency situations
Provide financial and physical assistance to the Belize Police Department and local Neighborhood Watch Crime Prevention Programs