Luca De Marchis, GM The Sands Kenya
Why do you consider The Sands an eco-friendly outfit?
The Sands at Nomad and the Nomad Restaurant were the first in Diani to stop using plastic bottles and straws.
We also have a sustainability department, which monitors our carbon footprint and puts up measures to reduce it.
We have energy consumption and waste production records dating several years back, data, which we use to reduce our social and environmental impacts.
There are two restaurants and bars (forest and beach), a diving centre, a recycling centre, a marine education and conservation centre as well as an organic farm, which produces healthy fruits, herbs and vegetables for the restaurant, as well as acts as a ‘recycling, reuse, and repurposing’ location for waste items with recyclability.
We also provide support, location and financing to local conservation and social welfare initiatives too.
You are right next to the ocean. How do you help take care of the reef?
The diving teams from The Dive Centre and School remove ghost nets, which kill sea life.
We also have sea turtle monitoring and conservation programmes.
We have two Kenya Wildlife Service honourary wardens who work on site and also around the greater Diani area taking care of conservation related issues, both terrestrial and marine.
What does the future of eco-friendly hotels look like?
It’s the way to go! Climate change, erratic weather, flooding, forest fires are so frequent nowadays and are testament to the past bad decisions we have made as humans.
More people are realising that we cannot afford to not consider our impact on the environment, which means that more people are making eco-conscious decisions whether its buying a recyclable bottle or choosing a more eco and social friendly holiday destination.
Why should more resorts be eco-friendly?
Firstly, to save mother earth and secondly, to set a good example for others to follow.
We wanted to be sustainable in part to pave the way for others to follow and see that it is possible for a large hotel to go green.
More and more agents and clients are looking for sustainable tourist destinations, there is enough business for eco-resorts to share.
Sadly, too many resorts think that by giving money to an orphanage or another organisation they can wave the ‘eco-flag’. Those days are over.