SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: Top hotel bans drink straws… and offers a free drink for every bucket of rubbish guests collect
Hotel visitors, especially the millennials, are increasingly aware of the environmental effects of their travel and expect hotels to demonstrate knowledge too. Ignore the environment and your guests will begin ignoring you.
Now The Oyster Box, one of South Africa’s most famous five-star hotels, has revealed its latest pair of green initiatives aimed to cut waste, which also encourages guests to ‘do their bit’.
“We’ve done away with plastic drinking straws on the property, through our ‘Last Straw’ campaign,” says General Manager, Wayne Coetzer. “As we are perched here on the edge of the magnificent Indian Ocean and as a single straw takes 200 years to break down, it was paramount that we join the ‘no to straws’ movement in order to play our part.”
The hotel will provide biodegradable paper straws if requested.
In addition, for every bucket of rubbish collected from the beach by hotel residents, the Hotel is offering a free cocktail or milkshake. Buckets are supplied by the hotel and once returned to the reception are redeemed for a drink voucher.
This is the latest in a series of green initiatives at the hotel, which sets an example for other establishments, arguably one of Africa’s forward-thinking hotels when it comes to preserving the environment.
Coetzer says: “The very success of tourism has the potential to undermine its long-term viability. The hospitality industry has a responsibility towards the magnificent places in which it operates to embrace the idea that together with travellers, we can create a reality where the environment is in perfect harmony with travel dreams.”
The Oyster Box practices sustainable tourism on the property in a number of ways:
- Heat expelled from the hotel’s air-conditioning system is used to warm the water of its 14 pools
- Solar heating is used to heat water in The Spa
- Grey water from showers, baths and hand basins is used for flushing toilets
- Rainwater is harvested and stored in large tanks for use in the gardens
- Performance glazing has been used on windows and doors to assist in maintaining constant interior temperatures and reduce noise
- Energy efficient lights and lamps have been installed where possible and sensors on bedroom sliding doors switch off air-conditioning immediately when doors to balconies and terraces are opened
- A sophisticated building management system controls the major service installations throughout the property to ensure maximum energy efficiency and control at all times
- Indigenous, waterwise and established plants and trees have been planted in the extensive gardens to minimise water usage
- The bulk of the hotel waste is separated and sent for recycling
- Reduced water pressure throughout the hotel save water.
- Letters and cards in the rooms & bathrooms regarding the water situation in the country and encouraing guests to change linen and towels when necessary.
The Oyster Box has 86 luxurious rooms and suites and a magnificent Presidential Suite, each room is individually created to blend colonial charm with modern convenience. Renowned for its generous hospitality, attentive service and exceptional cuisine, The Oyster Box offers a variety of superb restaurants and cocktail bars for fine dining or more casual occasions. Sustainable tourism is more than just a sales Facilities include a magnificent Spa, offering the ultimate in wellness and beauty treatment options, two swimming pools, luscious and tropical gardens and an intimate, 24-seater movie theatre. In addition, the family-owned hotel is KZN’s premiere wedding and honeymoon destination and the ‘venue of choice’ for the conference and business markets.