Friday, November 2, 2007

Eco Tourism


Sustainable Architecture

  1. Accommodation consists of rustic eco cottages, safari cottages and huts made of natural materials that are designed to be small, low impact and which blend with the local environment.
  2. Cement - The cement usage in the construction of Rivertrail Eco-Camp is minimal and baked mud bricks, stone, natural mortar, cultivated wood and bamboo have been used instead. 90% of materials used are renewable natural materials.
  3. Furniture in the cottages are made of cane & cultivated bamboo and minimum wood, plastic and metal have been used. Bamboo saplings have been planted to replace the bamboo used during construction.
  4. Natural Terrain Maintained - The natural terrain and topography of the Eco-Camp has been maintained and landscaping is minimal. Only native plants have been planted.
  5. Solvent Paints - Red Oxide natural paints and natural plaster of Paris were used for interiors and exterior walls instead of solvent paints.
  6. Televisions - Not used except for showcasing wildlife films
Energy Conservation & Management

Rivertrail has been designed and constructed keeping in mind maximum energy conservation.
  1. Large Windows – Large windows not only let the cool breeze and nature in; they also allow ample natural light.
  2. Natural Material Construction – Rivertrail is made of Mud, Stone, Grass, Bamboo and Social Forestry Wood that are breathable and have high thermal mass allowing the cottages to be warm in winter and cool in summer.
  3. Minimum Lighting - Minimum lighting is being used with each unit having separate power connection.
  4. Dimmers provided - Dimmers has been provided all over the camp to enable reduction in ambient light as per requirement.
  5. Manual Control - the room lights and the air-conditioning are started only when the guest’s actually retires to their room from central control.
  6. No Air-conditioning - No air-conditioning is used to save power and eliminate pollution caused by it. Fans are provided for cooling when the breeze dims.
  7. Traditional Cooling - In summer wet mats made of Vetiver (Khus) grass is hung on the windows to considerable reduce the heat and at the same time a gentle pleasant scent of the khus creates a soothing environment.
  8. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) / Fluorescent Tubes which provide as much as light as ordinary bulbs but consume substantially less energy are used as primary means of lighting.
  9. Diesel Generator – In case of load shedding, a small, efficient diesel generator is started only when the guests retire and during meal times.
  10. Bio Gas - EcoMantra uses a sustainable approach to waste, sewage, recycling and water management with on-site managed waste disposal using Bio Gas plant to convert the human and animal waste into energy to heat water.
  11. Own Electricity - The Camp has plans to generate its own electricity using scheffler solar for kitchen, convectional heaters for hot water and wind power for lighting.
Water Conservation
  1. Water Management: The campsite takes its water from river Kundalika and it is filtered twice before it reaches your tap.
  2. Soap water from Bathrooms –are used for plantation like banana etc. that are not affected by the alkali content of the waste feed.
Waste Management
  1. The campsite has its own solid waste and sewage treatment systems for collection, recycling and disposal of the waste.
  2. Bio- Gas - A policy of ‘zero garbage’ according to which all organic waste and night soil is utilized for the process of Gobar Gas Plant and transformed into bio gas, which is then used to heat water. Waste out of gobar gas is used to make fertilizer feed.
  3. Organic Waste - The kitchen waste is used in ‘Vermiculture’ or Rapid Organic Compound.
  4. Non Organic Waste: All non-organic waste is sold to scrap merchants.
  5. Zero Disposable Items - No disposable items such as plastic cutlery, tissue paper or paper plates are used in any our Eco-Camps.
  6. Recycle- The Eco-Camp uses 50% - 100% PC (post consumer) paper for all paper work.
  7. Non-decomposable but combustible waste - Items like packing materials consisting of cardboard boxes and paper bags are bought back from the campsites.
  8. Non-decomposable and non-combustible waste - Wastes like plastic bags, aluminum foils, glass bottles are as far as possible avoided or are carried back to the city where they are either recycled, destroyed or buried in garbage dumps.
Ecotourism and Community Tourism
  1. Local Employment - EcoMantra hires only local people from the immediate community for its full time staff, even in management positions. Local guides - Locals are employed on full time and/or part time basis to inform guests of local customs, local flora and fauna, local architecture and cross-cultural issues.
  2. Local Cuisine – Our village cooks cook local cuisine and minimum 2 local dishes are served at all meals. We purchase food locally for our operations as much as possible.
  3. Volunteer and Reforestation Program - Volunteer reforestation program utilizing guests to plant native trees are practised.
  4. The Clean Act: The Clean Act activity conducted while trekking cleans up the nature trail
  5. Sponsoring Ecotourism for Underprivileged: We organize environmental education excursions for underprivileged children and senior citizens
Sustainable Operations
  1. Minimum Impact - We ensure that there is zero or minimum negative impact on the local environment / communities in which we operate
  2. Smaller Groups - There is a limit on the maximum number of clients that is compatible with the environmental sensitivity of the area visited.
  3. Nature Awareness and Education - EcoMantra places great emphasis on educating guests, staff and locals on natural issues of India and the world.
  4. Guest Participation Program - This allows the guest to voluntarily participate in the environment conservation programs. We reciprocate by giving free/ discounted camps in future. Photography and Wildlife interaction - We encourage wild life photography and viewing as long as it does not disturb the flora and fauna. However, personal interaction with the wild life is discouraged.
  5. Potted Plants- The campsite does not use fresh cut flowers anywhere in the Eco-Camp and decorative potted plants have been used wherever required.
  6. Stationary - All stationary used at the Eco-Camp is made from recycled products.
  7. Zero Pesticide - Neither pesticides nor herbicides are used on the campsite.
Ecotourism Training
  1. Environmental training - All Ecomantra Eco-Camp managers and staff undergo ‘Environment training’ to understand different eco-friendly operations of the Eco-Camp and how to protect the environment.
  2. The Eco-Camp managers and staff are encouraged to give their ideas to improve the eco-friendly initiatives of the Ecomantra Camps.
  3. Environment Workshops - Eco-Camp managers and staff undergo regular classes and workshops to update their knowledge about the environmental practices of the Eco-Camp.

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