|Responsible Tourism | Dongola Guest House | Cape Town|
|Going for Gold|
In 2012 we achieved our goal of Gold classification from Greeline, a massive achievement as we were the first (and at the time) and only Guesthouse in Africa with a gold classification for our environmental management efforts.
We no longer partner with L to E but we are now partners with the very dynamic Greenpop (www.greenpop.org). Greenpop is a social enterprise that operates in Cape Town mainly but also in Zambia planting trees in schools in impoverished areas of Cape Town and Livingstone, as well as farms and protected forests. They focus on education and aim to make green living fun. All their projects are sustainable as trees are monitored after planting to ensure a high success rate. Dongola House has helped them plant over 4000 trees in Livingstone, Zambia and Cape Town.
In July 2012 Mike and Sally traveled to Zambia to be part of Greenpop's trees for Zambia project. they spent 3 weeks planting trees at schools, farms conservation projects, before having to be medically evacuated after Sally had a serous accident involving her finger.
We have since pledged 50 trees to the Cape Town schools greening program with our first tree plant in April at Hillwood Primary School. This is the school, Chelsea, one of our housekeepers daughters attends and we chose it so we can build on our responsible business legacy by including our staff and their families.
Our next school plant will be in May at Philipi Children's center this is a project in conjunction with some of our guests.
Furthermore we have sold over 100 tree rings to our guests through our Trees for Travel program. We sell beaded keyrings which represent a tree and once the tree is planted our gust is sent a certificate with the name of the school where their tree is planted and its GPS coordinates so they can see it on Google earth.
We now have two rescued Labradors which make up the Guest Walking Department unfortunately at 15 Paddy passed away, so our dogs are also recycled.
In terms of our efforts in management our resources such as waste power and water we have done rather well in all areas. In 2012 we recycled 1570 kilograms of household waste, paper, plastic glass and metal. We do not measure our garden waste but it is also recycled at Reliance Composts depot, a carbon neutral company we also partner with.
Although we showed a 30% growth in occupancy but reduced our power usage by approximately 25% per room. we have just changed all of our lights to LED's so hope we can see another saving in the coming year.
Our water usage increased marginally by less than 1%. However we had an underground water leak, which took us the best part of 3 months to find. Without this and calculating our water usage as an average we would have shown a saving of approximately 15%. We have no plans for further water usage reductions as we have fitted all rooms with aerators , low flow shower heads and refurbished all of the toilet flushing mechanisms to reduce leaks. We are however investigating rainwater storage ad how we can best use it in the garden.