Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel Commitment to Sustainability
Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel is committed to environmental sustainability. People come to Galapagos to enjoy nature, and we must help ensure that this incredible environment remains pristine for many generations to come. Opuntia Galapagos Hotel has been a leader in sustainability practices and is constantly looking to innovate, as we understand this is an ongoing process.
Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel has partnered with Hacienda Tranquila to work towards carbon neutrality by reforesting native trees. Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel is funding the planting and nurturing of 10 endemic Matazerno hardwood trees each month. This means that we are planting about 120 trees on San Cristobal Island per year. After approximately 3 years since initial planting, each tree Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel plants should absorb roughly 148 kilograms of CO2 per year. This reforestation project should make Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel carbon neutral by 2015. Considering that 50% of San Cristobal Island's power comes from renewable wind energy. By 2016, Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel should be sequestering more CO2 than it is emitting.
These numbers may not be precise; however, this is merely the first phase in a larger Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel sustainability initiative. Besides fighting climate change, this reforestation project helps to restore San Cristobal Islandīs highlands to its original natural state. San Cristobal Islandīs Galapagos tortoises, finches, and other species depend on endemic forests for survival and are threatened by the invasive plant species that Hacienda Tranquila is working to remove. By 2020, Hacienda Tranquila aims to reintroduce Galapagos tortoises to the land they have restored in San Cristobal Island. We hope Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel's and Hacienda Tranquila's partnership can serve as a model for how private businesses and conservation organizations can work together to brighten the future of our planet.
Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel doesnīt sell any disposable plastic bottles and we invite our guests to fill their water bottles from our jug of purified drinking water. We do sell beer and soda in reusable glass bottles at the Galapagos Hotel. The field lunches that the Galapagos Hotel prepares are packed in reusable plastic containers with metal silverware. Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel strives to produce zero plastic, paper, cardboard, or Styrofoam waste from these lunches. We separate recyclable glass and plastic from all our trash. We separate the organic waste from at the Galapagos Hotel kitchen to be used for future composing or livestock feed.
Opuntia Galapagos Hotelīs table linens, towels, and bed sheets are preferably sun dried to save electricity. Our Galapagos Hotel has motion sensors on our hallway lights, a towel reuse program, low-flow shower heads and energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to help us conserve water and electricity. As an Opuntia Galapagos Hotel policy, the air conditioning system is regularly check and maintain to ensure that they remain energy efficient.
Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel uses biodegradable cleaning products which are stored in reusable containers. Opuntia Galapagos Hotel rooms display only biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
We purchase organic coffee and hand-picked local organic fruits from San Cristobal Islandīs charitable volunteer organization, Hacienda Tranquila. Chicken, fish, eggs, and other foods served at Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel, when available are also local.
Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel Partnership with Hacienda Tranquila
Hacienda Tranquila, located in San Cristobal Island, is the only charitable organization in the Galapagos that addresses environmental, social, and community issues. Surprisingly their projects generally strive to address all three issues at the same time.
Hacienda Tranquila has received a grant to install solar panels, but will not be able to use all of the energy the panels generate; therefore, they will give a portion of the energy to the neighboring school in San Cristobal Island, providing a living example of renewable energy to the next generation. By doing this, Hacienda Tranquila will not only be making itself more sustainable, but the San Cristobal Islandīs community as well. Hacienda Tranquila's chief project is clearing invasive plants from San Cristobal Island and reforesting the land with native and endemic species. They will eventually reintroduce Galapagos tortoises onto the newly restored land in San Cristobal Island and bequest their 50 hectare property of former farmland over to Galapagos National Park. Invasive species are not only a concern for wildlife; they are overtaking crop fields of the nearby community of farmers and threatening to destroy livelihoods in San Cristobal Island. Hacienda Tranquila also helps to remove invasive plants from farms in exchange only for the promise to nurture a garden with San Cristobal Islandīs native and endemic plants. This great organization in San Cristobal Island, also conducts an English class for the neighboring school, has helped the community to replace their old 8 km water pipeline, and works with disadvantaged children. Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel is now supporting Hacienda Tranquila by purchasing fruits and coffee from their organic farm, arranging volunteer tours, and funding their planting of native and endemic trees. Casa Opuntia Galapagos Hotel is proud to partner with this great organization which is working to make the Galapagos a better place for its animal, plant, and human residents.
About San Cristobal Galapagos Island
The capital of the province of Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the southern tip of San Cristobal Island. In Spanish San Cristobal Island was named after the Patron Saint of seafarers, "St. Christopher", and its English name was given after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. San Cristobal Galapagos Island has an area of 558 kmē and its highest point rises to 730 m. (2395 ft). The largest fresh water lake in the archipelago, Laguna El Junco, is located in the highlands of San Cristobal Island.