There are a lot of businesses on Koh Lanta helping to make the island greener by adopting eco-friendly practices, such as not using plastic straws or plastic water bottles, recycling, and composting. Here we look at two Koh Lanta resorts making the island greener with their eco-conscious policies.
There are, of course, many more, which we will look at in future posts but, for now, we’re highlighting Mook Lanta Eco Resort and Cozy Guesthouse. They both do a lot of great eco-friendly things, and show how resorts on Koh Lanta can reduce the impact they have on the environment.
Mook Lanta Eco Resort
Mook Lanta Eco Resort is close to beautiful Long Beach and the bars, restaurants and shops of Phra Ae village.
The resort has 24 wooden bungalows built on stilts, overlooking a beautiful tropical garden. The English owners, Nick and Melissa, go to great efforts to make Mook Lanta as environmentally friendly as possible. They admit that they are not perfect, as it isn’t always easy to be entirely eco-friendly and still provide guests with the comfort and luxuries they expect on their holiday. They also have to compete with other resorts on value and facilities. However, they have a number of policies that really reduce the negative impact their business has on the environment.
At Mook Lanta, they reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible. Guests will find complimentary plastic bottles of water in their rooms upon arrival, with a note explaining that they will not be replaced each day, as is standard in many of the resorts in Thailand, because this creates a huge amount of plastic waste.
One plastic bottle is thought to take at least 450 years to decompose, and Koh Lanta seriously struggles with disposing of the number of plastic bottles thrown away by tourists each day.
Guests at Mook Lanta can refill their plastic water bottle for free with drinking water provided at reception. They also have the option of buying Trash Hero reusable bottles, which can be refilled for free at over 65 places on Koh Lanta, and the scheme also runs in over 20 locations in Thailand.
Find out more about the Trash Hero water bottle scheme.
Mook Lanta recycles all of its plastic, glass, cans, and cardboard; dispensers with shampoo and body wash are provided in the bathrooms rather than single-use plastic bottles; room laundry is done every three days, but available more frequently on request, and guests are asked to leave towels on the floor of the bathroom if they would like them replaced; they have reusable cloth laundry bags to reduce use of plastic bags.
Tea and coffee are provided for free in their restaurant instead of in each room, in order to reduce trash generated and electricity consumed; they use paper straws instead of plastic ones in their bar, and only give them to customers when requested; most of their left-over food is given to their own and their staffs’ pets; they limit the number of plastic bags they use and encourage guests to do the same by using reusable shopping bags; they recommend guests bring their litter back to the resort from the beach, so they can recycle it.
If guests are leaving and have any items they no longer want but which could be used by someone else, such as unfinished suntan lotion or other toiletries, they can leave them at reception rather than throwing them away; they take part in regular beach cleanups with their guests; guests can leave their beach toys for others to play with after they leave and, at the end of high season, these are given to Children of the Forest (an organisation providing protection, education, and healthcare to abandoned, abused and orphaned Karen and Mon children) when the children come to Koh Lanta for their annual holiday; they support Koh Lanta’s coral propagation project and Lanta Animal Welfare, and they work with the community to keep Koh Lanta clean and beautiful.
Linda and Anders, the Swedish owners of Cozy Guesthouse in Phra Ae village, also go to a lot of effort to protect Koh Lanta’s environment and reduce the amount of trash generated by guests staying at their popular guesthouse.
At Cozy, they separate almost all of their garbage for recycling – plastic, glass, paper, cardboard, batteries, metal waste, electronic waste and bigger items, such as broken fans. These are all sold for a small amount of money to a ‘recycling man’, who comes around every week to collect their recycling. He then takes it to Krabi where he sells it on. The money Cozy make from selling their recycling is shared among staff at the end of the high season.
Guests are provided with Trash Hero refillable water bottles to use during their stay, which they can refill with free drinking water at Cozy. This significantly reduces the number of plastic bottles guests will use during their stay. Guests are offered a fabric bag to use for shopping, to reduce the amount of plastic bags they use.
At Cozy’s bar and restaurant, they only put straws in drinks if requested, and use paper ones rather than plastic. They also sell reusable bamboo straws. They use recycled bottles for water, soda water and soft drinks, and paper boxes and paper bags are given out with take away food rather than Styrofoam boxes and plastic bags.
Wherever possible, they use LED lighting. They don’t have single-use small shampoo or soap in their rooms, and only clean guests’ towels and sheets when guests request it (or check out..!). Rooms have electronic key cards, so that when guests go out and take the key with them, the power goes off in the room (apart from the fridge). Everything left in the rooms, such as clothes, towels, sunscreens, is given to staff who hand it out to people on the island who need it. They also give their food waste to the Keep Lanta Clean compost pick up service.
Find out more about Keep Lanta Clean’s food waste collection.
Everyone Can Make a Difference
Even the smallest effort to be eco-friendly is important – you don’t need to be an eco-warrior to make a difference! It isn’t always easy in everyday life to be eco-friendly but the most important thing is to be aware and to care, and to make as much effort as possible whenever you can.
Every little effort helps. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to be environmentally friendly all of the time, but each of us, as individuals or as business owners, can do some relatively simple and hassle-free things to help, as Mook Lanta and Cozy Guesthouse show.
As business owners, it’s actually the smart thing to do because a lot of these eco-friendly practices save money as well as waste.
Let’s hope that more Koh Lanta resorts take inspiration from these two places, and that Koh Lanta can be an example of how to be a thriving tourist island without damaging the environment.
Are there any Koh Lanta resorts you know about, or you’re the owner of, that have some great eco-friendly policies? Let us know about them so we can feature you too. Leave a comment below or email us with your suggestions.
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