Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages, Sanibel, Florida

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages, Sanibel, Florida

Environment

We play our part in helping to protect the diverse and beautiful wildlife that come to our shores and follow strict guidelines to help protect sea turtles nesting on the beaches. We use obscured yellow lighting so that light cannot be seen from the beach which can upset nesting mothers and disorientate hatchlings. For the same reason, we also have a beach monitor to remove furniture from the beaches in the evenings. With some of the best beaches for shelling in Sanibel, we also promote responsible shelling by making guests aware that no live shelling is permitted on the island when they check-in with us.

We are a Travelife certified accommodation having met certain sustainability standards to improve our social, economic and environmental impact. We strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible and have advice for our staff on how we work as a team to recycle, reduce and replace to protect our planet. We have a staff “Green team” and have a suggestion box in the office for staff to place their suggestions. We explain to our guests when they arrive that we are a green resort and have signs up around the resort with advice on how they can contribute during their stay.

In an effort to reduce waste we have implemented recycling around the resort for glass, paper, plastic and food waste and provide guests with recycling facilities on their porches and have recycling bins in our kitchens and office. Within our office our policy is to only order and use environmentally friendly paper goods. We only use recycled copy paper and use two-sided printing when possible to reduce paper usage. In an effort to reduce paper usage we also encourage our suppliers correspond with us via email rather than by paper.

We have many water saving initiatives and staff are vigilant to reduce water wastage on the resort. Any water leaks are reported to maintenance immediately. Guests are informed at check-in that there is no daily housekeeping and that bed linen will only be changed on the third day of seven night stay, unless they request otherwise. Guests are encouraged to re-use towels and have washing lines available on their porches to enable towels to dry naturally. All of the shower heads in the resort are water-efficient and our toilets are being replaced with high efficiency low flush systems. We have local plants in the garden so we do not use a sprinkler system to irrigate, relying on the local rainfall instead.

To reduce our energy consumption we use “Energy Star Appliances” throughout the resort. All of the light bulbs on the property are energy efficient and we do ask staff to turn off lights when it is safe to do so. Our air conditioners do not run below 77 ºF and we remind guests to make sure doors and windows are shut. Any laundry cleaned on site has to be a full load and dryer timing has to be checked regularly. We only order and use cleaning supplies that have green certification.

Community

We support Habitat for Humanity which builds simple, decent and affordable housing using locally appropriate materials. This project assists people in becoming home-owners and our Head Office provides grants. Many of our also staff volunteer their time to help with maintenance and repairs. Another charity we support is the United Way and staff can make donations to the through their pay checks.

We support local crafts and artisans and encourage guests to visit local craft fairs and art festivals held on the island. We provide our guests with information on local areas of attraction and to use bicycles when on the Island, which they can hire from us. We also promote visits to local attractions such as the bicycling through the Ding Darling wildlife refuge, visiting the Old Schoolhouse live theatre, the C.R.OW Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife and many locally owned shops and restaurants.

We try to employ local staff and all staff gain regular training and have a certification in guest services as promoted by Lee County.

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