Chitwan accommodation, Nepal

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SINGLE USE PLASTIC-FREE:
We believe in staying true to our eco-tourism pledge. With sustainability at the heart of our safaris, we are taking steps to keep our eco-lodges and their surrounds free of hazardous plastic. We are pleased to say that we we are 100% single use plastic free in all our rooms, common areas and activities.
PRESERVING FOOD:
Those who have been on jungle safaris are aware of the single use tetra pack juices that are served along with your breakfast or snacks. These tetra packs are difficult to recycle and are not environmentally friendly, thereby contributing majorly towards environmental pollution. We have replaced our tetra pack juices with freshly prepared ice-tea and lemonade in steel sippers. Using steel sippers cuts out the usage of single use plastic, and the lemonade or freshly prepared ice tea is a healthy and refreshing option.
From a usage of 26,000 tetra paks in 2017-2018, we are now down to 1500 this season (which are used in the bar only and are not single use).
Safari picnics are plastic free. We provide steel cutlery, food is packed in lunch boxes and wrapped in butter paper. For take away lunches we provide plant based packaging and bamboo spoons and forks.
IN THE ROOMS:
We provide organic toiletries in glass dispensers in place of the travel-sized plastic bottles in the rooms. This saves up on a large number of containers that are more often than not treated as single-use. Furthermore, this season, milk & coffee sachets are replaced by glass containers to store in the rooms. This allows us to save over 21,000 pouches that would have been thrown away. Previously, we started to reduce our plastic footprint by replacing waste bin lining with recycled paper instead of conventional plastic bags. We provide steel flasks in all rooms and also during check in guests are gifted with a steel bottle which they can fill from filters installed in common areas.
WATER BOTTLES:
We have switched from packaged drinking water to reusable steel bottles that are provided to guests at their arrival. This has led to saving over a 100,000 bottles over the course of three years. We have a water cooler with filtered water available in common areas for refills.
STRAWS:
We have done away with plastic straws.
RUBBISH:
We procure our supplies in reusable cloth/ paper packaging saving us, and the earth, the burden of accumulating plastic packaging that will ultimately have to be disposed.
EDUCATION:
On the day exam results are to be declared, the team eases the nervousness of the children at the school. To appreciate good results, the children are awarded with one of our steel water bottles. There is fun, laughter and discussion on variety of topics like the importance of education, wildlife at national parks & the harmful effects of plastic. Through our humble efforts, we aim to educate the children to care about the environment.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chitwan accommodation, Nepal

Environment

Responsible tourism is an ethos of our company and is practised from the time of site selection till the regular operations of our lodges.

We choose an underdeveloped zone as our site for building the lodge as it supports the conservation policy of not overcrowding areas and making them unsustainable with over exposure to tourism.

During the construction of the lodge, no tree was felled. The architecture includes use of local bamboo, sustainable wood in furnishing and decoration.

The 33 hectares of land, where our lodge is located was once barren and overgrazed and has been revived with the plantation of trees. Less than 4% of the total space has been utilised for construction and the rest have been filled with local plantation.

Our lodge has a checklist of 130 species of native flora and more than 5000 trees growing in the property. It constitutes Sal, Satisal, Saja, Kutmeru and types of Elephant grass. The mixes of grasses and trees had led to a variety of birds nesting inside the lodge premises. We have recorded over hundred species of birds. Guests are encouraged for bird watching walks inside the premises during their free time. Phototrap cameras are used to keep knowledge of resident species. So far we have a family of Jackals raising cubs, Small Indian Civet, Mongoose, Monitor Lizard, Rock Python, Indian Hare and a visiting Rhino.

Choosing products of 'green purchasing' and 'energy conservation' can assist minimise habitat impacts. At all our lodges we try to use them and educate our staff on why we are using such products. With this we hope we can change the attitude of tens of personnel working at our various lodges and build an institutional culture “We are part of the natural system not above it”.

As a policy, we discourage the use of plastic bottles at our lodges. Specially designed steel bottles are given to the guests, which can be refilled with filtered water, thus reducing the usage of plastic. Most of the ingredients used in our kitchen is organic and is either grown in our kitchen garden or is locally sourced.

Since it’s inception, the lodge naturalists have been participating in annual bird census conducted by Bird Conservation, Nepal. In addition, we also provide all help to the forest department for census patrolling, devising tourist routes or in providing vehicles, while also informing them about regional misuse of forest, if any.

We maintain a Barahi nature blog where we update information about the local flora and fauna, culture and wildlife for the guests who are keen on the subject.

We believe local people hold the future of the forests in their hands and can either help protect or destroy them. If we wish to conserve our forests, we must look after the needs of local people by helping to improve their ability to earn livelihoods, which in turn will help to enhance their standards of living. We conduct an intensive annual training program for our lodge naturalists and staff during the off season monsoon period. The training includes wildlife observation skills, communication skills, recording and documenting observations, activities of the Conservation Cell and others.


Today our lodge is run by a passionate team of wildlifers and hospitality professionals with a team of over 300 people committed in providing an incredible wildlife experience. The team includes naturalists, nature guides, boat men, trackers and a marketing team based in Delhi.

Besides its mainstay of running wildlife lodges, we are keenly engaged in conservation and community development activities which is now looked after by our Conservation Cell founded in 2010.
We believe local people hold the future of the forests in their hands and can either help protect or destroy them. If we wish to conserve our forests, we must look after the needs of local people by helping to improve their ability to earn livelihoods, which in turn will help to enhance their standards of living. We conduct an intensive annual training program for our lodge naturalists and staff during the off season monsoon period. The training includes wildlife observation skills, communication skills, recording and documenting observations, activities of the Conservation Cell and others.

Community

Our lodge is set mostly in a remote location away from regular tourism hubs which helps to ensure that the benefit of eco-tourism is distributed far and beyond and overcrowding of resources is avoided.

We continuously strive to deliver the best possible guest experience, while still integrating the conservation of jungles and the people living around. We are inspired by the hope of reaching people in remotest areas of our country as they are the front runners of wildlife conservation. Though a drop in the ocean we believe we are making a significant contribution to wildlife conservation and the rural economy wherever our lodges are.

We offer local people good working conditions, a fair wage, and empower them with training opportunities. The lodge has 95% locally appointed staff, a fifth of which is female staff. Women are encouraged to take challenging positions by training them.
Staff Training is an integral part of our operations. Staff is trained by the head of departments as well as visiting consultants in the areas that help them improve in their daily lives like hygiene, etiquette, first aid, English language and team building.

As a lodge, we promote the culture of Nepal throughout our trips. All guests are briefed by mode of presentations that highlight the history, flora, fauna and cultural aspects of Chitwan.

The lodge has introduced day long nature walks upto ‘Madi’ village of Chitwan National Park. The village survives without electricity and exemplifies traditional Tharu living alongside the jungle. Guests are offered an authentic Tharu lunch.
Tharu cultural dance performances are organized by the lodge on alternate days. This is an amazing way of expressing the significance of festivals, farm land and the tradition of united families in the life of Tharus. The cultural performances are organized at the lodge after sunsets. Dancers are paid a monthly salary based on fair wages and visitors are encouraged to purchase their traditional dresses, ornaments etc.

Guests at our lodge are encouraged to support local produce like honey, lemon grass plants, bamboo and woodwork which are stocked at our souvenir shop for sale. We also encourage the guests to visit the conservation centers, the village and museums. We organise village visits and workshops as a part of our special experiences.

The lodge participates and invites villagers to conduct cleaning campaigns in the community forest every month. Lodge also seeks time to time permissions from Forest Department to conduct cleaning campaign by the lodge staff in National Park as well. Our lodge staff have also conducted the village road maintenance drive from time to time.In addition, during the earthquakes, we independently supported Safe to Travel Nepal Campaign through our social media pages to spread the positive messages.

Through our conservation cell, the lodge has funded for the building of traditional watchtowers called Machans in Madi village, building of museum and other development work in Chitwan. We have also donated wire for proper fencing of the community forest and bicycles to the children for commuting and sewing machines to the village girls.

We also like to encourage guest participation for betterment of the community. Though as a policy, we prefer in donating things of utility over financial help. The guests have so far donated school bags, notebooks, uniform, dental kits, bicycles and sewing machines at localities identified by the lodge.

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