Thursday, 17 October 2019

WHAT PLASTICS ARE EASIER TO BE RECYCLED?- HDPE vs PET

Did you know- Just knowing what kind of plastics are able to be recycled is one step towards reducing one's personal footprint in any environment.

Did you know that PET bottles (like the plastic water bottles seen on roadsides, floating in oceans or washing down rivers) cannot be recycled? So why are we buying them? 



Imagine that when you go to the shops to buy household products you only buy plastic bottles which are HDPE (easy to recycle). You can make a small difference.. and together we can make a big one.



If one looks at the bottom of most plastic containers one will see a number or an abbreviation. The number '2' is for HDPE. This can go through shredders and extruders to make new things.. like these Key rings made in the recycling centre at The Sand's at Nomad.


As a way of getting away from plastic (PET) bottles- A personal, reusable water bottle is most definitely the way to go.. refilled from a refillable 20L bottle in the house or hotel. If you are given plastic bottles, be gentle but ask why.. it may make a difference.

Monday, 23 September 2019

JORNEY TOWARDS ZERO WASTE- THIS PAST WEEK 69% OF OUR 'WASTE' WAS RECYCLED, UP-CYCLED OR USED.

Pie chart showing the percentages of various waste types produced in the week. (See Key below)
The journey towards zero waste has been a long one that we at The Sands at Nomad started in 2005 with the removal of all plastic water bottles from use at the hotel, glass (refillable) bottles were used and guests are encouraged to order water carafes instead. This was the beginning.. 14 years ago!

Since then we have tried to find ways to re-use, recycle or up-cycle the 'waste' that we produce.. and part of the reason for this blog is to record our progress in a hope that others can find it useful and maybe even look to do the same. 'Zero' waste is a dream.. but 'towards' zero waste is a necessity if we are to leave a living world for the future generations.

1FRUIT AND VEGCOMPOSTED/CHICKENS
2HEAVY PLASTICSRECYCLED
3PAPERS AND CARDBOARDINCINERATED
4METALSRECYCLED
5GLASSUSED OR RECYCLED
6PROTIENS/STARCH/CARBSWATCH THIS SPACE!

'WASTE' PRODUCED THIS PAST WEEK IN KILOGRAMS FROM THE HOTEL TWO KITCHENS, FOUR HOUSES TWO BARS, OFFICES,  STORES, THE DIVE CENTRE AND A RESTAURANT SERVING A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES                              665
HEAVY PLASTICS                                               35
PAPER AND CARDBOARD                                49
METAL                                                                  13
BROKEN GLASS                                                 4.5
PROTIENS/STARCHES/CARBOHYDRATES  337

RESULTS- 69% OF WASTE FROM THIS PAST WEEK HAS BEEN USED, UP-CYCLED OR RECYCLED! 

Be aware of your waste- where does it end up? what damage does it do?.. how can it be useful to you? THINK GREEN!

Friday, 20 September 2019

HOW TO RE-USE SINGLE USE SOFT PLASTICS (PACKAGING, WRAPPERS, BUBBLE WRAP ETC)



The final product- Kanga cushion covers reused and Dive bags made into outdoor cushions. 

Did you know that The Sands at Nomad’s re-uses old diving bags and cushion covers from the restaurant when these need replacing and we also have found a use for soft single use plastic packaging. 



Single use plastics, like straws, plastic cups, plastic bags, beer can wrappers, bubble wrap and shrink wrap are some of the most environmentally detrimental trash items when thrown away, (out of sight out of mind?- NO!) These light plastics are easily blown in the wind, they get caught on bushes and trees, they are eaten by animals which then die, the plastics degrade into micro-plastic which will continue to harm our environment for decades. If this plastic is burnt it puts toxic, carsinogenic fumes into the air around us. 


In recent times there has been some progress made in finding ways to reuse this single use plastics without putting in huge amounts of energy doing so. Here at the Sands we have been collecting single use 'soft' plastic packaging from Diani super markets, storing it, and then using it to stuff old pillows. This plastic stuffing costs no money, the cushions also cost nothing.. but now we have hundreds of pillows which, if re-covered occasionally, will last for ever.

The Sands, Thinking Green.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

BEACH CLEAN-UPS- International Coastal Clean-up 2019

It's been another year since the International Coastal clean-up day. The Sands at Nomad and Diving the Crab has done its bit again to keep the beaches clean and raise awareness.


One of the inaccessible beach coves south of Kinondo

On Monday 16th of October Diving the Crab donated the use of their diving boat 'Mwezi' for three hours so that the inaccessible beaches between Kinondo and Chale Island could be cleaned of trash.

Staff from Diving the Crab doing the beach clean

This year's collection was over two hundred and seventy kilograms of plastic, two kilograms of glass and one kilogram of metals. From having done this clean-up for a number of years now it is clear that the greatest bulk of the trash floating in our ocean is plastic water bottles, this is followed by Polystyrene (an environmental disaster) and rubber shoes.



The world wide beach clean-up day is this coming Saturday the 21st of September, it is happening all over the world. The trash collected worldwide will be weighed and the results sent to a central data collection point which, over time and years will allow us to better understand the levels of trash in the oceans and whether worldwide efforts towards environmental awareness and sustainability are working.

Get out there, do your bit. There is no planet B.




Saturday, 20 October 2018

WHY ARE PONDS IMPORTANT IN ORGANIC FARMING?

One of the most commonly asked questions is: why do we have a water pond on The Sands' organic farm? It's a good question and the answer can be very useful for anyone looking to go green or grow green.

Well, for one, the pond looks beautiful and it adds a little variety to how your farm looks. This, however, is not the reason they are so useful.

Dragonflies helps to remove pests from farms and gardens but it needs fresh water to breed.
Ponds attract dragonflies, which are a superb air predator that catches and eats flying insects. Many of these insects may be pests that end up eating your veggies or laying their eggs on leaves so that their larvae can borrow into your veggies. Dragonflies rely on fresh water bodies like ponds so that they can lay their eggs. Dragonfly larvae live in the water until they are ready to climb a  reed or a wall and metamorphosise (change their physical body make up) into a Dragonfly. Once it can fly, the Dragonfly uses its huge compound eyes and 'helicopter' wings to identify and grab flying insects out of the air.

Ponds also attract frogs and toads which eat caterpillars, slugs, snails and milipieds, all of which can damage crops. The frogs and toads mate creating tadpoles which then turn into more frogs and toads making a small army of terrestrial pest controllers.

Ponds act as a water-trap attracting and catching flying pests entering your garden.
Ponds also reflect light from the sky. In some cases, the water surface is white because the day is so bright. This is a very useful side plot for pest control. It is well known that at night many bugs fly towards electric lights; the same is true during the day when ponds reflect sunlight or at night when they reflect moonlight. It is a natural trap for flying bugs which may be on their way to eat your veggies or lay their eggs.

Below are some things that are important to note for the management of your water body.

Remember, if you do not have fish in your pond you will have mosquitos and your neighbours may not like you breeding mosquitos. So what is the natural mosquito larvae control method? Fish (some species of Tilapia can live in quite brackish water).

Fish control Mosquito and Frog populations, fish pond water is very good for veggies
If you have water it won't we long before you have frogs and toads.. which can be very noisy and can cause your neighbours to complain. So how to control your frogs and toads? Well, fish will eat some of the eggs and tadpoles, after which you will need to make sure you have other natural amphibian controllers like Monitor Lizards, Hedgehogs (which also eat slugs, snails and millipedes) or Terrapins (a small fresh water Turtle)

Another natural and non-chemical pest controller- no salary needed
With all the fish, dragonfly larvae, frogs, toads and a whole host of other organisms in your pond it will not be long before the water gets dirty and maybe even smelly. A quick fix for this is a natural filtration system.. something to remove the sediment and nutrients from the water such as water plants, reeds and lilies. (WARNING: Do not put Nile Cabbage in your pond as it will take over and kill all life). 

Once you have the above you will have a pond that is naturally controlling and balancing itself as well as ensuring you have some important natural pest control methods - no pesticides needed.
African Hedgehogs make great natural pest controllers


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

ORGANIC FARMING- 1 YEAR ON

A year ago in September, we started making the first beds on The Sands' organic farm. It has been a good year with some good rain and harvests have become daily. Farm to table is working and now we have learnt a number of lessons, it is time to expand. With the November rains on the way we have been planting our seeds and nurturing our nursery of fruit trees ready to plant them when the time is right.

Below is a small collage showing some of the harvests from the past year. All organically grown and pesticide free.

And below three harvests from the first nine days October 2018





RECYCLING OR UPCYCLING USEFUL 'WASTE'

Since it first began, one of the ideas behind The Sands’ organic farm was to find ways in which large broken items that might be considered as 'waste' and thrown away can instead be re-used.

Broken Jacuzzi Wormary and glass bottle growing beds- the beggining.

Mini-bar fridges as growing boxes. Remember to compost and mulch regularly.
To-date the farm has re-used over 30 minibars, 4 chest freezers, 3 drinks fridges, 2 Jaccuzis, multiple car tires, a tractor tire, hundreds of 5 to 10 litre plastic bottles and thousands of 1 litre plastic bottles (none of this plastic waste was produced by The Sands) as well as thousands of glass bottles from the restaurant, oh, and a Ghost-net which was removed from the corral reef by The Marine team from the Crab Diving Centre.

The glass bottles from the restaurant are easy to re-use; some are taken by The Sands building crew to use as sustainable bricks for building, others have become outdoor decoration whilst yet more are collected and delivered to the farm where they are used to make raised beds for planting (very useful when trying to farm on shallow soil with lots of corral).

Expanding the farm using glass bottles from this past high season.
One of the best things about re-using glass or plastic 'waste' items is that by using them in their raw form, one does not expend much energy or money on dealing with one's 'waste'. Secondly, these items will always have a value in recycling, so by putting them somewhere we are using and also stock piling a material of value which may be used in the future. Useful storage!


WHAT PLASTICS ARE EASIER TO BE RECYCLED?- HDPE vs PET

Did you know- Just knowing what kind of plastics are able to be recycled is one step towards reducing one's personal footprint in any e...