Ecotourism, the buzzword today in the travel and tourism industry, is extremely open to interpretation. For some, it’s merely another marketing keyword. To us, it means providing visitors with a unique nature oriented experience, while keeping the impact to the environment and community negligible. In fact, we undertake various projects to improve the environment everyday.
At the Machan, we...
- are 100% off grid and generate all our energy from renewable sources (solar and wind). In 1994, we were the first individuals in Western India to install a 2 KWh photovoltaic array with a battery bank and invertor; today our captive solar capacity has grown to 14 KWh. Our hybrid system also generates 8.5 KWh of energy from wind turbines and this acts as our main stay during the monsoons. Although expensive to install, we believe in renewable energy due to its minimal environmental impact and long term carbon efficiencies
- use only CFLs for all our lighting needs and are increasingly moving towards using LEDs
- cook 50% of our staff meals and 20% of our guest meals on parabolic solar cookers which further reduces our dependency on fossil fuels
- provide pure mountain water for consumption, from our 300 foot deep bore well
- recycle 80% of all grey water and use this to water plants on the property
- organically grow all the flowers that we use daily, on our own property
- have 4 km of private paths, on which guided trails are conducted to expose our guests to the beautiful flora and fauna of the region
- limit our accommodation so that each guest can have over 1 acre of green space, thus reducing the stress on the forest while providing a private and serene experience
For the forest and wildlife around us, we...
- dedicate 10% of our profits to the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats
- conduct in-depth research studies on the environment and share these with relevant NGOs
- create perennial waterholes with salt licks to aid animals, especially in the summer months
- build earthen bunds to raise the subsoil moisture level, and raise the water table
- treat all our trees for termites annually, leading to only 5% of trees being affected by termites today (as compared to 50% a few years ago)
- prune trees annually (especially during dormancy) to improve health and growth
- heavily patrol the area to prevent hunting, tree cutting and overgrazing
The villagers and local community benefit because...
- we employ around 50% of our staff from the local community
- we provide free electricity to villagers homes, half an kilometer away
- buy all our fresh produce directly from local villagers
- provide support for projects that lead to the development of the villages around us (such as grid electricity, stable water supply etc.)
And for our staff, we...
- provide paid internships to naturalists, that wish to study the flora/fauna of the Western Ghats
- conduct training in hospitality, as most of our staff have never worked in hospitality before
- support personal development initiatives (one of our own staff is a teacher at the local village school!)
- educate them on relevant environmental matters and encourage them to lead greener lives