Choose green accommodation
It’s fantastic to stay in accommodation knowing that you’re supporting the community. It may be that team members are local, food is grown on or near the resort, and furnishings are made by nearby craftspeople. When choosing your hotel, look out for key points like involving local people, greener energy sources and on-site gardens.
The Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom is a fabulous example of accommodation that incorporates the community. Sukumari, an elderly lady from the community weaves and sells screw pine from her shop within the grounds, Smt. Shantha provides chai from a copper samovar on the old plantation tea canoe within the Coconut Lagoon, and a local man is employed as the resident naturalist.
Elsewhere, The Kanha Earth Lodge features bungalows made from local materials including mud plaster and Dhole’s Den in Bandipur is an eco-friendly safari lodge and homestay that grows organic fruit and vegetables, uses wind and solar energy, and has a biodiversity garden and bio-digester.
One of our favourite resorts for an eco-friendly holiday in India is the Spice Village in Periyar. Solar energy provides 75% of power at the resort, food is sourced within 50 miles of the resort and any food waste is turned into vermicompost to fertilise plants and gardens. Organic fruit and vegetables are grown in the garden and farmed by the local community, with milk and poppadums also supplied by neighbouring residents. The Spice Village even makes its own paper from old magazines, newspapers and pineapple crowns to produce notepads, paper garlands and letters for guests.