Thursday, May 24, 2018

How Eco Friendly is the Star View Guest House?


We try, we really do. We want to be as Eco-friendly as possible, but its really hard in Nepal. When I saw this list of 21 ways to make your rental property more Eco-friendly I just had to see how well we match up. How many of these does the Star View provide? 14 out of 21. I think you need to grade on a curve here, because it’s not always easy in developing nations.

Not only do we do as many of these things from Trinette’s list as possible, but we’ve put up trash baskets around the village and sponsor village clean-up days. We also plant trees, support the organic farmers whenever we can and always change the sheets between guests, none of which are the cultural norm in Nepal. We are also starting a mt. bike rental concession for the village. Our goal is to attract butterflies, so we are actively pursuing income generating projects, Changunarayan Women's Crochet Circle, hand-loomed pashmina, bike rental and two online websites: original thangka paintings and handcarved, wooden masks. and Everything you need to know about Nepal.


If you’re going to the San Francisco Bay Area I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Farmhouse Oasis. But if you go to the other side of the world, you can be assured that you’ll be just as welcome and just about as eco-friendly in Star View Guest House, Changunarayan Village, Nepal. Take a gander at this breathtakingly stunning vacation rental in California.

Thanks to Trinette at the Farmhouse Oasis and to Airbnb for keeping the environment in the mind of the consumer. It really is the only thing that matters on our planet. It’s a fight for our lives.


Trinette’s Must-Have List for Creating an Eco-Friendly Airbnb

http://1chicretreat.com/how-one-airbnb-owner-is-killing-it-with-an-eco-luxury-niche/
    1. Have a natural non-toxic mattress.
                          No, we have foam mattresses.
    2. Have natural, non-synthetic bedding materials.
                           No, we can get natural fiber mattresses but they are not comfortable. We have sheets that don’t wrinkle and excellent quality blankets, imported from Korea.
    3. Use natural non-toxic cleaning products.
                           Yes, we purchase an organic house cleaning product for kitchen and bathroom cleaning and use vinegar, lemon, baking soda that we make up ourselves. We are trying to get borax and such to make our own clothing detergent, but it’s really hard to find such things in Nepal.
    4. Use natural non-toxic paint and finishes.
                           No, this would be impossible in Nepal, but we use a lot of bamboo with just small amount of varnish and no paint.
    5. Use natural non-toxic soap for hands, dish soap, and shampoos/amenities.
                           No, we are trying to find a source in Nepal for the ingredients.
    6. Use natural essential oils for scent, never synthetic perfumes or diffusers (no Fabreeze or plug-in scent things). You can get an aromatherapy diffuser or just make your own room spray with essential oils.
                          Yes, we use non-poison methods for insect removal and use natural incense for scent. We are fortunate to be able to open the windows throughout most of the year.
    7. Install reverse osmosis water drinking filter (don’t use plastic water bottles). A shower filter or whole house filter is a big bonus to remove chlorine from shower water.
                          Yes, we have reverse osmosis water filter and offer it free to guests. We remind them to fill up before they leave so they won’t need to buy water. Our glasses and cups are glass. We are in the process of installing a whole house water filtration system so we can recycle the water. It has no chlorine, but who knows what’s in it? We have 90% of our water trucked in from the river near Nagarkot, but it’s completely untreated now.
    8. Provide a compost bin for guests and compost food waste. Provide a trash can that separates out recycling and trash (our recycling can is always more full when a guest checks out then the trash is). Most Airbnb’s only provide one trash can and it’s not environmentally friendly. I like the Simple Human trash can that has two slots, one for recycling and one for trash.
                             Yes, although we do not have an extra trash can, we separate the recycling for our guests. We compost and make sure the street dogs, village goats or chickens get our cooked scraps. Our village tractor comes by to collect trash and even recycles the plastic. It’s in its infancy, but we are proud of the effort being made by our municipality.
    9. Use biodegradable trash bags, as well as eco-toilet paper and paper towels.
                              No, these aren’t available here, but we do use the reusable, environmentally friendly shopping bags and limit plastic packaging whenever possible.
    10. Buy furniture without fire retardants and stain guards on them.
                               Yes, such things are not available here in Nepal, but even if they were we would not use them.
    11. Buy throws made with natural materials.
                                Yes, we use wool throws in our rooms.
    12. Use solar power for house or pool.
                                 Yes, we have a solar water heater and a solar panel to help provide back-up electricity as well as a battery. Sorry, no pool.
    13. Use salt water to treat pool or this amazing company that uses hydrogen peroxide instead of chemicals (we are planning on doing this when we have the money).
                                  Yes, although we don’t have a pool, we are in the process of getting a water filtration/recycle system to filter the gray water.
    14. If you provide coffee, tea, sugar, and creamer, make sure it’s organic (and local if possible).
                                   Yes, we buy only the finest quality of organic coffee from Nepal, as well as teas. We have refined, unrefined and even stevia sweeteners. We use Ayurveda brown sugar for our deserts.
    15. Don’t use pesticides or insecticides anywhere on the property (there are companies that treat pests with all natural essential oils).
                                  Yes, we never use poison. Sometimes we get a rat or mouse from the nearby garden that takes up residency in our kitchen. We use live traps and also have an electronic, sonic machine that discourages them from coming in. We also use the electronic bats for mosquitoes and flies to keep them out of the kitchen; this is a village, after all. We have mosquito nets in the guest rooms, so if you don’t want to kill anything you can still get a good night’s sleep. Our windows have mosquito netting/screens.
    16. Provide a HEPA air filter in sleeping areas.
                                No, we just open the windows. The climate is pretty mild and although they say Nepal has a lot of pollution we are above the Kathmandu pollution line. Part of the reason they say it’s so bad is because none of the water is treated. Although we don’t suggest you use the tap water for brushing your teeth, you are welcome to all the filtered water you need, for either when you are here or when you leave. We hope to help people buy less plastic.    
    17. No teflon or aluminum pans! Provide cast iron, ceramic, or stainless steel pans. Use glass storage containers rather than plastic.
                               Yes and no. We do not have teflon or aluminum in our kitchen, but we do use plastic containers for storage. However, we reuse many bottles and jars for a long time to reduce waste. We buy food in glass containers whenever possible.
    18. Provide wood, stainless steel, or silicone cooking utensils.
                              Yes, we only use wood and stainless steel cooking utensils. Actually, we just bought a silicone pastry brush and spatula for baking. I got excited when I saw them in the store.
    19. If you provide any spices, oil, etc, make them organic and high-quality.
                         Yes, we use organic and locally grown as often as we can and are growing a few herbs on our rooftop. We use locally milled, unprocessed mustard oil and coconut oil for cooking and butter as a condiment. We only use Himalaya salt and never MSG.
    20. Use as many natural materials and textures as possible, on rugs, curtains, furniture, pillows, etc.
                        No, we do whenever possible, other than pillows stuffed with old rags, these are not usually available here.
    21. My last suggestion isn’t eco-friendly per se, but it’s golden advice so I’ll list it anyway: have nice pots and pans for your guests and good sharp knives. Our last guest mentioned how much they appreciated our good quality pans and that our knives were actually sharp; they said that is “so rare in a rental.” We also have a feedback card that we ask guests to fill out before they check out if they have time. We have received lots of great feedback from that practice and have integrated requests into our rental, making it even better.
                          Yes, our kitchen is equipped with a food processor, bread toaster, refrigerator and oven, none of which are the cultural norm in Nepal. We even have a fire extinguisher and only use the reverse osmosis filtered water in our cooking. Our vegetables get a peroxide or vinegar soak prior to being served raw. We are also beginning a micro-fiber greens project so our guests can have more salads and healthy greens. The greens in Nepal can have a harmful parasite during the monsoon.