For us, responsible tourism is about making a better place for guests to visit and stay. We truly believe that this can only be achieved by minimizing negative economic, environmental and social impact. We have a great policy toward responsible tourism. We are dedicated, committed and hardworking and do our best to achieve our goals for responsible tourism. Our achievement to date is proof of how successful we were in the last couple of years.
ENERGY SAVING PRACTICES
We do our best to minimize the negative impact on the environment by following eco-friendly activities. In July 2017, we took an initiative to clean the beach and seashore area surrounding our homestay, by picking rubbish, bottles, and plastic bags. This event was a big success and has been appreciated very much by local municipality and communities. As a part of reducing carbon footprint, we use solar water heater for hot water, LED bulbs in all bedrooms and low-flow shower heads in bathrooms to reduce water consumption at our homestay. By the end of 2018, we plan to have solar water pump, street lights, and rainwater harvesting technique in our homestay. Our longtime plan is to shift to 100% renewable energy.
We support ‘Susthira, a program launched jointly by the municipality and the Kerala Initiative to Save Agriculture and Nature (KISAN) to make municipality plastic-litter-free. We have dedicated plastic collection bins at our site for recycling plastics bottles and bags. In addition, we also use an Aerobic kitchen bin compost system for any food waste generated in our kitchen. All generated compost is used in our vegetable farm.
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITY
We use organic locally sourced produce to prepare traditional, authentic and natural food in our kitchen. Majority of the raw materials for cooking such as egg, milk, seasonal fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish etc are bought directly from nearby small-scale household farms, local fishermen, and local market.
We always come up with innovative ideas to support and generate economic benefit to the local people. On 18th Aug 2017, we invited the Kudumbhasree team, a poverty eradication, and women empowerment program implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the government of Kerala to our homestay, to demonstrate the process involved in preparing ayurvedic medicine called “Oliyon”, for 24 foreign guests. The Kudumbhasree team showed different types of herbs used and also invited them in the medicine preparation process. All medicines were sold directly to guests by the Kudumbhasree team. Our next plan is to set up a local food fest for our guests, including other guests staying in nearby homestays in December 2017. We shall be inviting all nearby household to participate in this program and ask them to prepare different types of traditional food for guest. We will ask household to buy raw materials directly from small-scale local farms and fisherman’s. Our guests will be encouraged to buy and eat food at this food fest.
PROMOTING LOCAL ARTS
We arrange platform to see traditional, cultural and martial art activities for our guests. All these activities are organized by local communities with the help of local guides. For example, during “Theyyam” season, a ritual dance practice in Hindu religion in Kannur
district, we take our guests to nearby local temples or house who organize these events. They also serve food for the guest. Other local cultural activities we promote are "Muthappan and Kalaripayattu. This provides more enjoyable experience for tourists and helps in creating a good bond with local people, greater understanding of local, cultural, social and economic issues.
We have always been keen on supporting and providing opportunities for physically challenged people. Currently, we have two housekeeping staffs who are mute and one staff looking after booking and reservation who is handicapped. In addition, we have started small-scale handicraft shop at our homestay. During spare time, these employees are involved in craft making. All these crafts are sold to tourist directly by our staffs. Our main aim is to create additional job and income for them.