Luxury hotel resorts are spearheading the effort to be more eco-friendly in an effort to stave off the environmental issues facing The Maldives.
The low-lying country, made up of 1,200 islands, is facing catastrophe, according to an article in National Geographic, and the resorts are trying to implement measures that will make it more sustainable.
The effort is being led by the hotel company Soneva, which started more than a decade ago by desalinating water to eliminate plastic bottled water being imported to its island.
Soneva Fushi was also the first resort in the Maldives to recycle plastic on-site and has instituted a Waste to Wealth program.
“Our priority is taking waste from the resort and transforming [it] into valuable products,” said Gordon Jackson, Soneva’s area waste to wealth manager.
The issue is serious. Perhaps even grave.
Climate change is threatening the country, with many estimating that within the next century all of its islands could be under water.
“With an average elevation of about 4 feet, and with literally zero hills or mountains, the Maldives is the world’s lowest-lying country. It will not survive the sea level rise caused by anthropogenic climate change,” wrote environmental writer Stephanie Bernhard in a piece for Slate.
According to National Geographic, Jackson and his team take recycled glass like ketchup bottles and make beautiful sculptures that are then sold at the island’s art studio for guests to take home.
Soneva has made more than 30,000 blocks from glass, cement, and styrofoam for building projects throughout the island, and their stored compost is reused for the island’s organic herb garden.
The Soneva Ocean Stewards program teaches local kids how to swim so they can learn to snorkel.
“This is in the hopes that they’ll see and explore the (coral) reef and help to protect it,” said Jackson.
Gili Lankanfushi, another luxury resort property, is also doing its part working to eliminate all plastic on the island.
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