In partnership with fanute, a linen rental company with a focus on sustainability, we bring you some of the sustainable innovations that guesthouses around SA have implemented. The GHASA members showcase that you don’t need to have a sustainability manager or committee to make a difference – big or small, every accommodation provider can do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. Here, we chat with Lynda van Niekerk of Ninety North Guesthouse in Ferndale, Johannesburg to see what they’re doing to help save the environment.
We specialise in business travellers coming into Johannesburg, as well as elopements and very small garden weddings on weekends. Although we would love to convert to a totally green energy system through solar, we don’t have the capital for it at the moment. However, for many years, we have been doing our best to be environmentally friendly and sustainable in the small ways that we can manage.
A big sustainable initiative for us is that we separate all waste. We have a green bin that is collected weekly by Kabusha Green in which we place mixed recyclables such as glass and plastic bottles and containers, aluminium cans, paper and cardboard packaging.
All food waste – whether cooked or raw – is placed in an airtight bucket layered with BOKASHI. The Bokashi ferments the food and after standing for about 3 weeks once full, we tap off the liquid and use as a liquid fertiliser on the garden plants.
For many years, we have been doing our best to be environmentally friendly and sustainable in the small ways that we can manage.
There are several buckets in rotation, and after a couple of weeks the fermented food waste is layered into our compost. Fermenting food waste means that we do not have food going rotten in our bin, no bad smells and this also alleviates a lot of flies. The garden benefits of course! We have found the BOKASHI bin better than a worm farm in that we don’t have to sort peelings and we don’t want non-indigenous worms, which tend to die quite often or need a worm sitter when we are on holiday!
Future plans, when financially viable for us, would be to install solar power across our north facing roof and convert all ceiling lights to led (all our lamps currently use led bulbs). We would also like to look into the feasibility of heat pumps for hot water – we currently switch off geysers when there are no guests in residence – as well as water butts for rain collection.