Today is the worlds Earth Day – time for Babel to reflect on the year that has passed. At Babel Guesthouse we try our best to think green! Step by step we are making progress, finding new ways to save the Cambodian environment from plastic exposure! We want to cause as little damage as possible as a Guesthouse. Last year we stopped using plastic straws and replaced them with reusable Bamboo straws. During this year alone, we saved the environment around 13.200 plastic straws. We also placed new soap dispensers in every room of Babel, so we didnt have to use soaps covered with plastic in every room every day. And during the year we have been using green linen bags when we buy our groceries.These are small steps, but important steps for Babel to become a bit “greener”.
More trees – more oxygen, greener city! Earlier this year Babel donated a tree at the new site of Phare – the Cambodian Circus. The idea of planting trees and get much needed donations this way is wonderful, but the circus itself is also wonderful! We have always supported the circus, we always recommend this breathtaking show to all our guests! Luckily we have a lot of guests who are environmentally conscious, and we talk a lot with our guests about enviromental problems in Cambodia. Our guests seems to be very interested in the way we work trying to find new ways to be greener. We get compliments every day about our Bamboo straws, and people often ask us where they can buy them. We have gotten so many requests now, so we decided to order hundreds of them. So now we have Bamboo straws available for sale in packages of 10 here at Babel. This really is fair trade (!!) as it is made by a local family who makes a living out of growing Bamboo on their land to make these wonderful ecofriendly straws.
Another wonderful fair trade little company is Kumae. They take use of African methods and make paper out of banana trees. The paper attached to the bamboo straws in the picture above is made by them. We went to the countryside to visit them a few weeks ago, to learn about the whole prosess of making this beautiful paper. For now Kumae is just a tiny little company (see the picture below) with only 6 staff. These 6 people used to live on the garbage dump, earning their living by collecting garbage. We hope this company will grow, and give as many people as possible from the garbage dump a better life. The company who took us to this field trip is Naga Earth. They produce bio diesel from used cooking oil. They gave us a container for our kitchen, that we fill up with our used cooking oil. When its full we give it to them so they can make bio diesel out of it. And for our generator at Babel Guesthouse, we will replace the harmful diesel that we now use, and we will start using Naga Earths ecofriendly bio diesel only. They also make soap, that we hopefully in the future can start using in the rooms at Babel. Another exciting change we are doing is to replace the awful take away boxes we have now with the biodegradable take away boxes made out of sugar cane. Ecosense is the name of the company – we are so excited to get the beautiful boxes here for our guests to use on their visit to majestic Angkor Wat! Every year Babel Guesthouse do a garbage picking event around the streets of Siem Reap, to create awareness about the growning problem with littering. This year the event was an initiative from Cambodian students from Build Bright University! How wonderful is that?
Of course Babel wanted to join in. The more the marrier. So we invited Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Hostel 543, YOLO bar, Beatnik and Angkor What bar to come to Babel for a presentation about Plastic Pollution. We joined forces and sweated our way through the streets of Siem Reap along the riverside, picking as much garbage as we could. Here is a little video describing the way that we at Babel have been working to try to be greener during the last year. Hope you enjoy it!
There are so many other small things we can do save the Cambodian environment from plastic exposure and create awareness. We are eager to learn and we love to talk with our guests and friends about environmental problems and how to reduce our impact.
Remember – THERE IS NO PLANET B!!!