Shopping responsibly for your tourism business

Results of the first visit to Palesa Guesthouse

Palesa Guesthouse is a small accommodation establishment with only five rooms, but the property can still have relatively high resource consumption because it has a swimming pool, bar and basic conference facilities. Samson, the owner and host, has already installed some energy- and water-saving equipment and has incorporated some resource saving practices in the business.

Like several other businesses participating in the Gee Pee Responsible Tourism Challenge, Palesa’s recyclable waste is set aside and collected by informal waste collectors, but Samson also makes an effort to compost some of the business’ organic waste from the garden. These measures are small and much can still be done to make Palesa more resource efficient, but what is important is that Samson recognises that there is room for improvement and the need to change the way his business operates.

Samson has a good mindset when shopping for Palesa’s supplies. He chooses office paper made from recycled content and buys as much as he can locally. Some single serve-items have been replaced with items in bulk; an example of this is by providing sugar in bowls in the dining room instead of in single sachets. Similarly, some disposable items have been replaced with reusable items; an example is by using cloth serviettes instead of paper ones, and providing toiletries in refillable and reusable bottles instead of the single-use containers that are often found in many accommodation establishments. This is not only cheaper, but it also reduces the amount of packaging waste produced.

These measures are very easy for businesses to implement. It may mean a little bit more effort, but making use of reusable items and items in bulk is cheaper and it improves your responsible tourism credentials because it uses fewer resources and produces less waste.

We used a technical sheet to record what responsible practices Palesa Guesthouse were involved in when we did the first site visit. You can view the full results of this first visit here.

One Comment on “Shopping responsibly for your tourism business

  1. Pingback: Waste pickers make the job of recycling easier | Better Tourism Africa

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