duPlooy's Environmental Message
ECO-TOURISM, ego-tourism, echo-tourism, eeko-tourism. No matter how you say it, it means trying to practice responsible sustainable tourism. At duPlooy's we do strive to keep our negative impact on the environment to a minimum. We aren't finished yet, but below are some habits we've picked up and the reasons why.
- Solar Living: Our long-time goal of moving to total solar power has been met with our recently installed state-of-the-art solar system which provides quieter, more reliable power than our diesel generators. We still ask you to think about your electricity use (it's a good habit) and turn off lights and fans when you leave the room and unplug electronic items when fully charged or not in use.
- Purchasing Locally: What!...No foie gras!! We use local foods wherever possible and buy imported food items from local suppliers to support our belief that buying as close to home as possible is the best. Through active membership in Belize Organic Producers Association, we encourage organic farming and help support small farmers.
Where's the beef? Not here. We reckon anyone can survive for a few days without red meat. Cattle are responsible for a lot of destroyed rain forest, cleared to provide pasture and to plant food for them. More land is needed to provide food for the cows than for humans. The land they graze is often allowed to become over-grazed causing erosion problems. (We are too polite to gointo their little methane problem).
- Organics: We purchase organic eggs and organic or free range chicken for our restaurant and organic vegetables where possible. We have chosen not to grow our own vegetables, as we believe that supporting local farmers and encouraging them to switch to organic growing is important. duPlooy's and Belize Botanic Gardens have been organic properties since 1988.
- Composting and Recycling: Composting of vegetable matter has always taken place here, but we are behind on recycling since Belize has no recycling programs. Paper can be shredded and added to compost, bottles can often be donated to local producers to be used for honey, hot sauce, etc. Plastics are a problem here and that is why we ask you to bring your own water bottle or buy one from us. Please try not to buy small bottles of water.
- Plant Conservation and Education: Our largest conservation endeavor is Belize Botanic Gardens, located adjacent to duPlooy's. You can read more about BBG in the Activities section or go directly to the Belize Botanic Gardens website . Over 150 native orchid species have been collected and placed in the garden's native plant house. BBG's "Grow Native" program, funded by the Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust, encourages the use of native plants in landscaping and introduces local school children to the gardens and the practice of conserving Belizean plants. Local school children visit the gardens for educational field trips and University classes, both Belizean and International can learn a lot about Belizean plants ex-situ by visiting the gardens. A Maya style house is used for Traditional Healer's workshops and there is a palm display, funded by the International Palm Society, which is used for educational purposes, showing the importance of Palms to Belizean life and the importance of protecting our native species from unsustainable harvest. Other projects include a 3-year study of the viability of cultivating 3 species of chamadorea palms which are used widely in the floral industry and presently unsustainably harvested from the forest. Currently we are working with the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, on a Savannah trail via a Darwin Initiative Grant
- Roofing: Buildings here are roofed with tile instead of thatch. Though picturesque, the palm leaf gathered to make thatch is normally not replanted and the leaves are gathered from the wild. Unsustainable collecting practices endanger the population of the palm. There is a farmed plot of the bay leaf palm used for thatch in Belize Botanic Gardens for later thatching projects and to provide seed for others who would like to grow the palm as a crop that does not require the clearing of rain forest.
- At The Bar you will find a lack of plastic straws and paper napkins and we only serve soft drink and beer products that come in recyclable containers. You may find our pasta straws a bit strange, but they are biodegradable. (Remember, if your straw fails before you finish your drink, the bartender will think you didn't like the drink!) Sorry, diet soft drink drinkers, diet drinks only come in plastic or non-recyclable containers. Try one of our exotic juices such as: Tamarind, Sorrel, SourSop, Carambola, and Watermelon. These are seasonal so not all available daily. And better for your health. We also try to lessen our waste in general by not using disposable or single use containers and products as much as possible.
- You Can Help Out too. If you are going on trips, find out who else is going, coordinate, and share a few rides. This will save the environment from yet more diesel fumes.
Our Mission: To provide a unique experience for visitors in a natural setting while
minimizing environmental impact.
We work hard to have Belize's Premier Eco-friendly Accommodations.
It's is a constant learning process, so if you have any ideas to share, please do!