Responsible tourism: Galapagos multi activity vacation
Commitment to Sustainability: We are committed to environmental sustainability. People come to the Galapagos to enjoy nature, and we must help ensure that this incredible environment remains pristine for many generations to come. Therefore, our local partners have been leaders in hotel sustainability on Galapagos is constantly looking to innovate. We invite you to review our following eco-practices, and if you have any comments or suggestions to please share them with us, as we understand that sustainability is an ongoing process.
Waste Management: We do not sell any disposable plastic bottles here. We instead invite our guests to fill their water bottles from our jug of purified drinking water. If our guests do not have their own water bottles, they may purchase one from our reception desk or ask to borrow a drinking glass. We do sell bottles of beer and soda, but only in reusable glass bottles. The field lunches we prepare are packed in reusable hard plastic containers with metal silverware. We strive to produce zero plastic, paper, cardboard, or Styrofoam waste from these lunches. We separate recyclable glass and plastic from all our trash. We separate the organic waste from our kitchen to be used for future composing or livestock feed.
Water and Electricity: Our table linens, towels, and bed sheets are preferably sun dried to save electricity. We use low-flow shower heads in order to save water. We use energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs. We offer a towel reuse program, which gives guests the power to help us conserve water and electricity. We use motion sensors on our hallway lights, so electricity isn’t wasted when no one is present. We have a professional regularly check and maintain our air conditioning system to ensure that it remains energy efficient.
Our local tour operator is socially and environmentally committed to sustainable ecotourism practices. They proudly preside over ASEC (Ecuadorian Ecotourism Association), where they have the opportunity to contribute to Ecuador´s tourism industry both at an operational and political level. ASEC looks after the welfare of local communities through development initiatives and environmental conservation practices. They helped establish the first certification standards for nature-based hotels, and are currently in the process of becoming the first Ecuadorian operator to be Ecotourism certified by the new Smart Voyager for operators standard.
They also work closely with the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and abide by Leave No Trace camping and environmental standards.
If you are our guest, you can expect: - To receive information to help you minimize your impact on local cultures, plants, and animals. - That your trip costs and fees will contribute to the welfare of community members and the conservation of their natural environment, since we hire local guides and use local services. - To travel in small groups to ensure minimal environmental impact. - To avoid areas which are under-managed or over-visited.
Our Galapagos trip is a land based program, rather than a liveaboard boat trip. The reason for this is that land programs directly benefit the sustainable development of the small Galapagos communities. These traditional fishing and small merchant towns have unsuccessfully struggled to forge a living amongst strict commercial and national park limitations. Although tourism is the logical development alternative, the great majority of Islanders have not been able to participate or benefit from off shore boat operators. Land tours are now revitalizing the local economy and allow Islanders to integrate themselves in the tourism economy.
Cleaning and Hygiene Products: Our cleaning liquids are all biodegradable and are stored in reusable containers. We provide our guests with only biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
Launch of Carbon Neutrality Project: Our partners have partnered with Hacienda Tranquila to work towards carbon neutrality by reforesting native trees. Casa Opuntia is funding the planting and nurturing of 10 endemic Matazerno hardwood trees each month, or 120 trees per year. After approximately 3 years since initial planting, each Matazarno tree we plant should absorb roughly 148 kilograms of CO2 per year. With help from the fact 50% of San Cristobal’s power comes from renewable wind energy, this reforestation project should make us carbon neutral by 2015. By 2016, Casa Opuntia should be sequestering more CO2 than it is emitting. These numbers are not perfect and do not factor in food or the shipping of products and supplies; however, this is merely the first phase in a larger sustainability initiative.