When you think green, you think of nature and lush gardens. However, currently, there is “green” everywhere, from retail products and services to business and tourism services. Everyone is striving to showcase how environmentally friendly they are, and you have more than likely seen the surge of safari-related products and services using catchphrases such as ‘eco-friendly.’ Welcome to the world of greenwashing. What exactly is “greenwashing”? It is the attempt to make something appear environmentally sound when quite possibly, it is not.
There are endless images of lush green forests, extraordinary birds in flight to pristine streams glistening in the sunlight, all photographed beautifully, and produced at great expense. All intended to make visitors feel at one with nature.
Sadly, there is no doubt that climate is changing and the effects of which are particularly devastating to rural communities and vulnerable wildlife.
We are all trying to make more conscious decisions, going to the gym, removing negative energy, or doing our part to help the environment. Our goal is to be aware of our planet and take care of the world around us. We are here to assist you in making these sound ‘eco-friendly’ and sustainable decisions, by sharing some of our favourite eco-friendly lodges in beautiful Namibia with you.
This is a lodge reminiscent of the mysterious shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. The lodge has gone above and beyond to earn its green status from minimizing the use of single-use plastic to recruiting staff and training members from the local conservancies of Sesfontein and Puros. This water-conscious lodge utilizes less than 100 liters per person per day and actively promotes and educates guests and staff of their water-saving practices. Their fresh produce and dry goods are locally sourced from Seapride Walvisbay and support local artisan products such as craft beers from Henties Bay and craft Gin from Swakopmund. They operate 100% on solar energy, with a backup generator in the event of solar energy issues. Environmental and conservation awareness is at the forefront of this truly green lodge.
The Wolwedans lodges have followed an approach where people and the planet are equally important. Their approach to environmental sustainability ensures that the NamibRand Nature Reserve is financially viable while assuring the conservation of the Pro-Namib for future generations. While their lodges are not yet 100% plastic-free, they repurpose their plastic bottles for their BottleBricks project. They positively impact their local communities through a variety of projects. However, their key program is the Wolwedans Desert Academy – a vocation training center for hospitality, where more than 250 young Namibians have successfully graduated. They support a variety of local suppliers but also have their own community vegetable garden, managed by staff. They have embraced the ‘adopt-a-fairy-circle’ concept, which encourages guests and nature lovers to ‘adopt’ one of the thousands of mysterious fairy circles that are unique to the Namib Desert. Both these eco-friendly lodges have gone outside their comfort zone to ensure their guest and community an environmentally sound stay.
Located in the Etendeka Concession Area at the foot of the Grootberg Mountains. This breathtaking lodge is in its infancy stage of going green, with its recent plastic-free initiative being greeted with great enthusiasm and warmth. Their policy on empowering the community is that “Real empowerment is through business.” Therefore all operations on this concession directly benefit the people of the Omatendeka and Anabeb Communal Conservancies, who live in remote and isolated areas. With 90% of their staff being recruited from these neighboring communities. Their environmental impact has spearheaded their green initiatives, as they provide a fully solar-powered camp and make use of bucket showers in guest tents to reduce water consumption in the area. Their conservation efforts go beyond just their people and their environment but also the animals as they are actively involved in anti-poaching patrols and support two Lion Guardians through the Namibian Lion Trust.
Their policy of reducing their environmental impact is in clear view for all to see and experience through their practices, their use of sustainable building material and their activities.
Watch this space as we travel around Africa to find more environmentally friendly lodges for you.