Sustainable Tourism in Belize & duPlooy's
About Eco Tourism & Sustainable Tourism
Ecotourism, eco-tourism, sustainable tourism ...
No matter what you prefer to call it, to us it means practicing responsible tourism and that means protecting our environment and local communities so that the jewel we call Belize today will be here for future generations to enjoy. At duPlooy's Jungle Lodge Resort, we are passionate about preserving the abundant resources that make Belize so special.
We continually strive to keep our negative impact on the environment to a minimum, doing what we can to preserve the environment in a way so that Belizeans can continue to gain employment in Belize's eco-tourism industry and visitors can continue to be enchanted by Belize for generations to come.
OUR GOAL is to provide you with a unique experience in a natural setting and to transform your vacation into an adventure
that will educate, inspire, and energize you, while minimizing our impact on the environment ...
Eco Friendly Goings On at duPlooy’s
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. Local farmers have responded positively to the growing demands of the tourism industry and continue expanding their offerings at the local market. Many of them are now working toward organic growing, starting with pesticide-free produce.
Saturday Market: Many of our guests take the opportunity to visit the local market in
San Ignacio Town. Saturday (early) is the best time and day to go, as it's the busiest market day and along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables offered, there are also plenty of food vendors preparing fresh local fare such as, tacos, tamales, pupusas (right), along with homemade breads, cheeses and yogurts for you to sample. There are also plenty of hand-made crafts and gift items to inspect and a place that sells local medicinal and cooking herbs. Do all this while sharing a taste treat and mingling amongst the locals in the festive atmosphere of this bustling market place.
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, at times causing severe erosion problems.
Organics: We purchase organic eggs and organic or free range chicken for our restaurant and organic vegetables whenever 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.
(We do admit to using chemical warfare on termites so that they don’t eat your room)
Plastic Containers: We only serve soft drink and beer products that come in recyclable containers. Our apologies to diet-soft-drink drinkers, as diet drinks in Belize only come in plastic, non-recyclable containers. We invite you try one of our exotic seasonal juices such as: Tamarind, Sorrel, Sour Sop, Carambola, and Watermelon. Better for your health!
* At the Bar you won't find plastic straws or paper napkins, as we use only cloth napkins and a special pasta noodle for straws. You may find our pasta straws a bit odd at first, however they work just as good as any traditional straw and are good to chew on and are biodegradable.
Composting and Recycling: Composting of vegetable matter has always taken place here; however Belize is behind on recycling, since there are minimal recycling programs at this time. 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 container or buy one from us.
Roofing Material: Buildings at duPlooy's, with only a few exceptions, are roofed with tile instead of thatch. Though picturesque, the palm leaf gathered to make thatch is normally gathered from the wild and not replanted. This unsustainable collecting practices endangers the population of this palm.
We have a sustainable plot of the bay-leaf palm located in Belize Botanic Gardens used for thatching projects and to provide seed for others who would like to grow the palm as a crop that doesn't require clearing of tropical forest.
Roof thatching on the Maya Cook-Out-Deck (right), Maya House, Palm Display and Staff-Palapa were all built from sustainably harvested bay-leaf cut from Belize Botanic Garden property.
Plant Conservation and Education
Our Largest Conservation Endeavor is the Belize Botanic Gardens, located adjacent to duPlooy's. Guests staying at duPlooy’s have one of our self-guide tour booklets in their room.
Just ask at the office if you would like a guided tour.
The Maya House & Palm Display (right), located within the botanic gardens, are funded by the International Palm Society. These displays are used for educational purposes, showing the many uses of palms and their importance to Belizean life and the importance of protecting our native species from unsustainable harvest.
BBG's "Grow Native" program, funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, encourages the use of native plants in landscaping and introduces local school children to the gardens and the practice of conserving Belizean plants.
Savannah Trail: Through a Darwin Initiative Funding in conjunction with Edinburgh University, we have created a Savannah Trail which demonstrates the importance of this rapidly disappearing habitat.
Rainforest Conservation Project is about preserving the Rainforest and with the support and project funding from Moody Gardens we have designated 37 acres for trails and scientific research only. Local college students have designated a monitoring plot to record plant activity in the area. Visitors can access the trails from the lodge and enjoy a rich rainforest experience.
Professional Gardening Program: March, 2012 marked the opening of a job skills training program at BBG in professional gardening and a course for beginning birdwatching. This 34-month program is funded by the European Union and is free to Belizeans who wish to pursue a career in gardening. Part of the European Union funding is also used to teach an introductory bird and plant identification course and to hold flower arranging and craft workshops.
School Children & University Students regularly visit the gardens for educational field trips . Thanks to the donation of a school bus by Sonny Merryman Bus Company in Virginia, we are able to host a greater number of school children at a reasonable cost.
Completed Projects include a three year study of several species of palms which are used as foliage in the floral industry worldwide. These palms are currently being unsustainable harvested in the wild. Our studies through a Darwin Initiative and our partner the British Natural History Museum, determined that these palms can be grown under cultivation as well as be harvested sustain ably. Belize Botanic Gardens role in this project was to research the cultivation of these palms and educate and inform local farmers.
Some sustainable practices to follow while at duPlooy's
Saving water: Its important ...so if your bath towels are fresh enough to use again, just hang them up. If you want fresh ones, just toss them on the floor and we’ll replace them for you.
Water Bottles: Bring a refillable water bottle with you or purchase one here. At duPlooy’s we don’t sell water by the bottle; however, there are water stations at the canopy bar and inside the front office where you can refill.
Electricity at duPlooy’s is produced by a combination of solar power and diesel generator. When electricity use is at its peak or there is no sunshine, the generator goes on. Help us by unplugging your electronic devices when they are charged and by turning off lights and fans when you leave the room.
Plastics: Remove items from plastic packages before you arrive. Belize has no plastic recycling and most garbage is burned or buried. Bring a market bag to use for purchases you may make so that you will not have an accumulation of plastic bags.
Batteries: Use rechargeable batteries if possible. If not, then pack them out when they are finished, as Belize does not currently have a recycling program, although we hear there is one in the works for the Cayo District.
We work hard to be Belize's Premier Nature Lodge. This is a constant learning process, so if you have any ideas to share, let us know what you think! If you would like to add an educational component to your itinerary, feel free to contact us.