We aim to operate with sustainable & environmentally friendly management
HOW WE STRIVE TO BE SUSTAINABLE
From the very beginning of Lawaki Beach House it has been our aim to operate with sustainability and environmentally friendly management, and have a low impact on local culture and tradition.
Living traditionally on Beqa is more or less automatically sustainable:
- water comes from natural springs directly to our wells and storage tanks
- growing Organic vegetables is simple in our rich volcanic soil
- vegetable and food waste is very welcome for our pigs and chickens
- garden waste is quickly converted to compost for our vegetable gardens
- We have minimized our use of fossil fuels by establishing and increasing our solar plant for lighting, fans, and fridge/freezers, so that now we only run our generators as emergency back-up.
- Our hot water is on-demand and gas-fired, rather than a continually heated storage tank, to minimise our use of bottled LPG gas.
- Our kitchen stoves also use bottled LPG gas.
- We depend on boats to transport guests and our supplies to and from the mainland, so we are unable to completely remove the need for fossil fuels, but we always use the most economical boat for each task, and maintain our engines to avoid excessive fuel wastage.
- Each bure has its own septic tanks, located underground and more than 30m from the seafront. At our low usage levels these provide efficient treatment of waste water.
- On-going seawater quality testing has recorded no sewage pollution has occurred in our marine environment since the Beach House opened.
- Grey water runs off into gardens of ginger and banana plants, which remove any excess nutrients before they can enter the marine ecosystem.
- We use no-bleach and low-phosphate detergents to avoid adding pollutants to laundry and kitchen run-off water
While it is relatively easy to write policies for environmental sustainability, it is not always simple to enact these on such a remote island. Out biggest challenge remains rubbish disposal, as, along with most of the world, Fiji has a problem with practical recycling.
- Rubbish is split into recyclable and non-recyclable
- Cans and plastic bottles are taken to Navua, to the city waste disposal unit
- Paper, cardboard and thin plastic are burned or buried on the property
- Vegetable and fruit waste is composted, other food waste is fed to pigs and chickens
However, in reality the only effective way for us to deal with solid rubbish, particularly plastic, is to reduce our usage. We minimise small-scale packaging and firmly resist plastic water bottles.
We ask you to do the same when visiting our island, and in particular if you bring non-degradable waste, particularly non-rechargeable batteries, to the Beach House, please take it away with you for disposal on the mainland.
MARINE PROTECTION & REEF SUSTAINABILITY
- Lawaki Beach House helped to establish, and continues to support, a marine protected area on our doorstep and surrounding area. We have a «no take» policy, so fishing, or shell or other souvenir collection is not allowed inside the MPA.
- Guests are requested to only snorkel and kayak around high tide to avoid damage to the corals, and to enter at a marked point. A briefing board explains why it is important not to harm the reef.
- Boats are only allowed to approach the resort in a designated marked area, to minimize damage to corals at low tide.
- Moorings have been set in front of the resort in the sand/seagrass area so that no anchoring is done on the reef.
- Staffing is organised to reduce the impacts of full-time employment on the busy life of the village. Rotational employment gives people the chance to gain work training and experience, earn income when needed, but still spend a lot of time within their community.
- We are working with our neighbouring communities income generating opportunities such as handicraft sales and cultural immersion programmes for guests.
- We hosted a workshop by the University of the South Pacific with local artists and students from USP and Australia to create arts from nature and rubbish with the topic “Global Warming”.
- We helped to organise an ocean awareness event for schoolchildren during “The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count”
In 2011, the Loloma Charity (in Fijian “from the heart” or “a gift of love”) was established. Utilising donations from friends and family, mostly in Switzerland, we have been able to provide a great deal of support for the children of the Uluinakorovatu Primary School in Naceva:
- Loloma lunches: regular weekly cooked lunches for students
- Laptops and printers for teachers
- A small library
- A wooden school boat (acting as a school bus on this road-free island), using funds donated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington
GET IN TOUCH
We live out on the island of Beqa which has internet that comes and goes, so please give us 24 hours to respond 🙂