Golden Bay Eco Resort - Our Environmental Initiatives
New Zealand's South Island: "A pristine wilderness" "Great outdoors that is wilderness without being too wild" "A beautiful destination that is unspoiled."
Probably nowhere is this stewardship more evident than in Golden Bay which is almost as pristine a destination as you can get without actually travelling into the wilderness.
Over the last three decades people from all over the world have moved to Golden Bay for that very reason - our local polling booth has the highest proportion of Green Party supporters of anywhere in New Zealand!
Whilst all this is true, it brings with it a responsibility as a tourism operator to protect the very environment that people often travel half way round the world to see.
We aim to do this whilst still providing a five-star experience for our guests. With this in mind we have taken the following initiatives:
- Little blue penguins would normally burrow under the undergrowth in the native bush; when the bush was removed this was no longer possible. We provide, maintain and monitor penguin nesting boxes as an alternative accommodation and protection.
- The main stream that runs through the property is an important habitat for native fish as it is one of the few year-round coastal streams in Golden Bay. We maintain this by keeping it shaded from the sun and pools have been constructed to encourage native fish. We do not allow fishing in the stream.
- Developed a small wetlands to encourage native fauna and flora.
- All buildings have a low visual impact from Tukurua Beach. This is achieved by using shrubs and other plantings whilst still maintaining a sea view and privacy for our guests. The front villas are built as low as possible; all buildings are painted using regressive colours and a backdrop of trees are used for all buildings.
- Installed a sophisticated waste water treatment system that will not only prevent pollution of the beach but also provides purified waste water that fertilises some of our 10 acres.
- Protect Maori archaeology. Adrift In Golden Bay is situated on the site of a Maori settlement; the ground where the villas are built was probably a garden for growing Kumara (sweet potato or yams). "Tukurua" translates as "Two Streams", one of which flows through the property between the villas and onto the beach. The Maori would have collected shellfish to eat and left many shells behind on the side of the stream. These middens or rubbish dumps are protected from erosion by rock work and vegetation.
- Use of locally sourced furnishings, building materials and craftsmen where possible. Fisher and Pykel (NZ) fridges, dishwashers and cook-tops. Methven (NZ) tap-ware and showers in bathroom. Nikau (NZ) furniture, NZ made spa baths, NZ made settees and arm chairs. Locally made beds (Nelson and Golden Bay). Locally grown timber on floors (villas 1 and 2), beams and ceilings. Locally made kitchens (Golden Bay and Nelson). Employed local builders (Golden Bay) for all accommodation
- Use locally sourced, home grown or organic food where possible. We source the following; Bread (Nelson), Yoghurt (home made), Bacon (Nelson), Eggs (mostly from our next-door neighbour, always free range), Jam (Nelson), Tomatoes (Nelson. home grown or Golden Bay when available), breakfast cereal (made here) and strawberries and raspberries (home-grown spray free, both fresh and preserved).
- Use sustainably harvested timber in our outdoor furniture and the imported timber floors.
- Employ low toxicity materials. We use natural oils rather than solvent-based finishes for our interior wood surfaces where practical and use eco-friendly cleaning products where possible.
- Design low maintenance buildings. Low maintenance exterior cladding and roofing is used throughout.
- Conserve water. A dammed spring and stream allow us just to "borrow" water for domestic and irrigation on the way to the sea. We use dual flush toilets and water saving shower heads. Apply bark mulch to gardens.
Reduction of Impact on the Environment - Energy Conservation
- High solar gain in villa design- large window area facing east to warm villas in the morning. Ample thermal drapes
- Buildings have a good thermal envelope- Villas comply with or exceed the current insulation standard, double glazing on the rear villas, our houses and the studio.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate air for cooling in summer and heat distribution in winter.
- Trees on the northern boundary which were shading 2 villas in winter have now been cut down and replaced by more appropriate native shrubs.
- Good design in villas and studio avoids the need for air conditioning. Large opening windows and doors catch the sea breeze, generous roof overhangs give shade mid-day.
- Discourage heavy use of fossil fuels. We do not allow jet skis use by guests or encourage helicopters as a mode of transport. All recreation options are non-powered - kayaks and paddle boards rather than motor boats.
- Reduce vehicle use within business. Use bicycle transport within property when possible. All staff live close by and mostly walk to work along beach. All the family combines business shopping trips with personal shopping.
- Regularly upgrade our vehicles with modern cars and our tractor with a new, fuel efficient diesel.
- Drying racks are provided for guests as an alternative to using a dryer.
- Reduce 'food miles' by using home grown or locally produced food for our breakfast hampers.
- Discourage "travel intensive" touring. Minimum stay of 2 nights or 4 nights in summer (except for last minute bookings), with a long stay price incentive. Most recommended activities in Golden Bay are walking based.
- All path lighting is solar powered as are guest flashlights.
- Use low energy LED lighting where possible.
- A solar panel and wood (all grown on the property) are used to heat the hot water for house and studio.
- Instant gas water heaters in all villas means there is no energy loss in storage.
- Equipment is turned off when unused.
Reduction of Impact on the Environment - Waste Reduction
- Refillable, locally produced bathroom amenities are used instead of packaged products.
- Collect and compost all vegetable waste. We have an extensive fruit and vegetable garden where this is put to good use. We often, in summer, have surplus produce to give away to our guests.
- Buy only efficient and high quality appliances that should have a long life.
- Donate replaced items such as surplus bedding and towels to Takaka Hospice shop.
- Bulk products and reusable containers for all of breakfast hamper except milk. Use soap pumps instead of cake soap.
- Reduce plastic shopping bag by using reusable bags for shopping and provide them for guest use.
- Reduce paper use by providing free internet access and free loan of a laptop to encourage reading the news on-line or via satellite TV (BBC World). We print only a minimum of paper, choosing rather to use a computer or on-line data storage. All bills are paid by internet banking.
- Recycle or reuse all cardboard, glass and plastic.
- Bulk, eco-friendly cleaning products are used throughout our accommodation business.
- Reduce wasted products. All left-over food and toiletries etc. are offered to and used by our employees.
- Support local groups through donated goods. Used bedding, towels and appliances are donated to the refugee centre and the Takaka Hospice shop once they are not to our standard.
- Help keep the local environment clean. We collect any rubbish off about 2 km beach when going for a walk, run or bike ride.
- Support the local church which runs several community programmes.
- Support 3rd world community. Give monthly support for 2 children and an enterprise group through Tear Fund. Support Trade Aid.
- Limit noise pollution for neighbours (and guests). Adrift Accommodation is in a quiet, rural, residential area so we do not allow jet ski use by guests or encourage helicopters as a mode of transport. Our ride-on lawn mower was selected for low noise emission.
- Encourage support for local industry. Whilst displaying local arts and craft at Adrift In Golden Bay, we actively encourage guests to visit local artisans rather than purchase product from us. This encourages guests to get involved with the local community and help support the local industry.
- We are hoping to eliminate all "single use" plastic from our business operation, we are most of the way there just one more item to find an alternative for.
- We are working toward a paper-less office and business. We hold paper-less staff meetings using the latest collaborative software and we are rapidly converting all of our operations to cloud-based applications without the use of printed paper.
- We have replaced many of our garden power tools with ones using rechargeable batteries, so much quieter too!
- Many common ornamental plants have become a serious problem in New Zealand as they grow and spread very rapidly, displacing New Zealand's often unique native flora. Here in Golden Bay the problem is very serious because of our almost 12 month growing season. We have over the last few years started to attempt to eliminate the following invasive noxious plants:Agapanthus, Gorse, Broom, Arum Lily, Ivy, Morning Glory, Japanese Honeysuckle, Tradescantia (Wandering Willie) and Banana Passionfruit. We have reduced the population of these to a minute fraction of what was on our 11 acre block of land.
- We are attempting to eliminate all rats, stoats, ferrets and weasels as these eat the eggs and attack the young chicks of New Zealand's many ground nesting birds. We are trialing a New Zealand invention, the Goodnature Rat Trap, a high-tec "set and forget" trap.
- We have installed a AED (defribillator) available for use by our local community, 24 hours a day, as the closest one was 4 kilometers away.