Here are some sustainable approaches towards resort operations followed by Six Senses Holistic Environmental Responsibility.
The resort has adopted a new direction by combining organic gardening using permaculture principals and an on-site recycling program. An organic raised bed garden is being built using a combination of recycled materials.
The results may surprise you. The idea is to use the area as an educational tool for the local community to demonstrate that the concept of waste is essentially a question of perception. We are experimenting building beds using old beer bottles, wine bottles, mud bricks and aluminum cans to grow a range of different organic vegetables (yard long beans, chillis, buttercrunch, lolla rossa, oak leaf, cos and rocket lettuce as well as a range of herbs).
So, rest assured if you feel like having another bottle of wine or a few more beers you will be contributing to a good cause. Another interesting aspect to the garden is the direct comparisons we can draw between conventional organic garden beds drawing its goodness from our home made compost and mulches and our state of the art hydroponic raft system fed by a nutrient solution.
At the edge of the main walkway through the garden there is a wooden door leading into the fungal kingdom - a mushroom cultivation hut where we grow oyster and woodear mushrooms on sawdust for use in the kitchens and the host canteen.
Once the mushrooms have extracted the cellulose and lignin from the wood the resulting rich compost is then used in the garden as mulch.
A waste management practice is implemented to minimize the impacts of waste on the environment. The procedure includes reducing, re-using, re-cycling and disposing of waste appropriately.
Waste is systematically disposed by the appropriate channels. Paper, glass, aluminum, plastic and metal is recycled. We reuse old bed sheets for wrapping cloth and laundry bags. However, there are some things which we cannot dispose of safely in this area, for example batteries and any electronic waste. These are often mixed with other rubbish, where they either end up being incinerated or buried. In either case, they release very toxic chemicals into the air and water.
We have switched to rechargeable batteries to reduce electronic waste. Only wet garbage from the kitchen is used in animal husbandry purposes such as the pig raising farm. Organic waste from garden goes through a recycling process by allowing it to decompose, after a couple months it turns into natural soil conditioner and fertilizer in the resort's garden and vegetation projects. Only small amounts of waste are delivered to the municipal landfill.
We are continuing our support for the Sirinart Rajini Mangrove Ecosystem Learning Center.
These former and abandoned shrimp ponds have been turned into a healthy mangrove ecosystem, so that others can learn from these trial and error outcomes.
The results will be included in the Learning Centre. Admission is free for tourists and they can learn about the importance of mangrove ecosystems and the relation between mangrove forests and fishing livelihood.