This Maui eco lodge accommodation is 100% “off the grid”. Electricity is generated on-site with 80% solar power and 20% Bio-diesel. We buy our bio-diesel from Pacific Bio-Diesel. We are researching wind power possibilities and hope by the beginning of 2010 to have one.
We provide natural well water on property for drinking and water catchment’s for landscaping. 50% of our buildings are constructed from Bamboo or recycled materials. We recycle ours and our guests' waste including glass, cardboard, paper, plastic and aluminium cans. We bring our recycling once a week to the county's collection station. We let our guests bring their recycling to a collection station on our property built especially for this reason. We feed our food waste to the worms and we also have a larger compost area for the acid peels and larger quantities.
We do have a commercial worm station that is used in schools/universities and communities. Organic gardens and fruit production help feed our staff/ residents. All organic waste is composted and used on-site. Office paper waste is shredded and composted or fed to our worm farm.
We buy our food locally at the Farmer's Market. We have done several fundraisers for Maui Tomorrow, a non-profit organization which is primarily involved in the sustainable development of Maui. We support the Maui Unity Church, the Tibetan Dharma Center and the Nuns of Bhutan. We have organized and preformed concerts and raised money for schools and different charities. We have a newsletter that goes out to all our formers guests. We make copies of information on when we have an up-coming event. We have an announcement board in our house with the latest news and information about what is happening.
We have signs to inform guests to take short showers. We have a guest booklet that the guests need to read. In this booklet, we have all the information about how to save energy. We need guest-cooperating as we are totally off the grid and if there is no awareness, we can run out of energy. We store our energy in batteries from our solar panels.
We have a 120,000 gallon pond. We have irrigated our food gardens. The water from our showers feeds directly to our banana patches. Sheets are washed once a week. For towels, we encourage guests to use them until they really need washing. We tell the guests why we need their cooperation - we run our entire system on solar power. We do have a state of the art water-conserving laundry machine. We buy bio-degradable laundry soap at the local store. We also make our own cleaning product: white vinegar mixed with a bit of soap and water. This cleans perfect windows. We use these products everywhere.
We are 100% organic and apply the permaculture method (Permanent Agriculture for a Human Based Eco-System) We have a tree chipper and make our own mulch. We have a lot as we have over 50 coconut trees and other plants that need constant weeding. We make a garlic mix to spray out plants. We have a bee hive with about 5000 bees. Over 50% of our land is natural jungle. We support Wild Animal Species Control. We let them have monitor stations on the land. We don't encourage guests to support them financially but we make them be aware of nature. We ask them to use the trails and show them the native plants. All is explained in further detail in our booklet.
At this Maui eco lodge, we support our neighbours; our massage therapist lives in our community, our office help lives also on the land, our handy man lives in the neighbourhood and our tour guides are local people we know. We buy mostly in organic local shops which are owned by island people. We own the retreat centre and have lived on the land since 1988. We run it as a family enterprise and educate young people who are interested in sustainable living. We buy as much as we can from our neighbourhood and local farmers.
We try to run as much of a paper-free office as we can. We work at home to avoid transport pollution. We have a solar powered recording studio where we have recorded and released over 19 CDs. We have a guest booklet for our guests with a lot of information on how to be sustainable. We need their awareness and therefore we teach them to be more sensitive to Mother Nature's gifts. Our guests are welcome to attend any of the classes the Kahua Institute provides.
I am the Co-Founder and Spiritual Adviser of the green building company Bamboo Technologies, a member of Greenmaven.com and board member of the Himalayan Alliance for a Clean and Sustainable Environment (HAFCASE). We are hosts for WWOOFERs since 2000; (Willing Workers Of Organic Farmers) a network that provides people work-study for organic farming and sustainability. I am advisor to the Bhutan Government for sustainable building with bamboo and a member of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, Hawaii Chapter.
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