Sustainability is more than just management of energy, water and waste. It is about people and place and most importantly the creative interaction between a business, its customers and the community around. Beyond the simple metrics is a spirit that connects to the “wellness” of one and all.
At Green Globe we like to think that our members, through sustainability, promote their “Greenhearts” and like the native wood of Guyana which shares the same name, Greenhearts are strong and durable, creating amenity and wellbeing that lasts for generations to come.
Here are some examples of Greenhearts from the expanding number of Green Globe members across the Caribbean.
At Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the resort team involves guests in turtle conservation by linking with the Oracabessa community group in the neighbouring parish of St Mary. There are educational benefits for the visitors, as well as involvement in community partnerships to assist in marine conservation.
Jamaica Inn General Manger, Kyle Mais, says, “We live on an island and depend on the sea for so many aspects of our way of life. It feeds us, creates our beautiful beaches, brings us together as a community and the economic gain from attracting visitors, to see our sea turtles for example, is extremely important.
“One very important piece of the puzzle is the condition of the coral reefs. Over the years, reefs and their inhabitants have been threatened by climate change, overfishing, pollution and other human-made pressures.
“Through a partnership with local fishermen, Jamaica Inn Foundation is aiding in the establishment of a fish sanctuary to protect our sea creatures, assist the fish population in recovering and planting coral to help rebuild the reefs. Our mission is 500 percent more fish biomass in 5 years.”
At Hermitage Bay in Antigua the nurturing and sharing of a healthy food culture with guests is celebrated throughout the resort. The creation and tending of organic gardens are proud achievements by resort staff and provide fresh greens, herbs and vegetables to enhance the resort’s cuisine. The aim is to ensure guests can be well through eating well.
Guests are encouraged to tour the organic gardens, then journey further afield with farm tours to organic suppliers at the nearby Christian Valley. Hermitage Beach General Manager Rachel Browne says, “Eating healthy is not a fad, it is a way of life and is the gift we offer to all of our staff and guests. From our gardens’ fresh produce to the fresh seafood from local fisher-folk, and we endeavor to keep wellness and wellbeing the focal point of what we deliver.”
When we speak of wellness we also think about soothing the body and relaxing the mind. For the relaxation of the whole body, True Blue Bay, Grenada promotes the practice of centering and attaining oneness at the resort’s Yoga studio. Relaxation through breathing techniques and stretches truly releases the tension of travelers who seek such a respite. More interesting then, is to be a part of “chocolate yoga” a feature of Grenada’s annual Chocolatefest, which is held in May. The production of chocolate is an important and growing industry for the country and to bring together exercise, relaxation and this organic produce is truly a unique and rewarding Grenadian experience.
Spa treatments are also a very popular way to de-stress and the various oils, scrubs and other products used in these treatments are often created from local ingredients. At the Morena Eco-Resort in Curacao, spa services include a local ingredient that is truly unexpected. For visitors needing to treat tired feet, the pedicure treatments is administered by, of all things, fishes. That’s right … to really connect with nature, guests immerse their feet in a fish bath where these little workers clean away the dead skin. Apparently it’s a mutually beneficial experience and, like many of our Greenheart initiatives, demonstrates a novel approach that is inspired by local ingenuity.
As the tourism industry continues to grow across the Caribbean, Green Globe members and other sustainable businesses use the generosity of their Greenhearts, to promote wellness for people, and prosperity for community. Sustainability is truly for all around, and as our Green Globe members demonstrate, can be realised in creative and engaging ways.