Friday, 23 February 2018

SEA TURTLES HATCHING




After the incubation period of around two months the first of the Green turtle nests in The Sand's at Nomad's turtle hatchery began hatching in August 2017.

It is an incredible experience to witness this natural miracle of hundreds of tiny sea turtles flippering down the beach as fast as they can go, running into the ocean and automatically knowing how to swim. This is after they have managed to break out of their egg, dig through the human equivalent of about forty feet of sand into the light. 



Often the hatchlings will take a break when they reach the surface of the beach as they wait for their siblings to catch up and to get their bearings from their internal compass.

Sometimes the hatchlings will run for the ocean one or two at a time, but sometimes, if one is lucky, one can see hundreds of hatchlings all heading to the waves at the same time. Safety in numbers in the wild helps to raise the odds of survival for the individual.

These photos were taken when the third nest out of ten hatched.


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

RENEWABLE ENERGY-Solar water heating


DID YOU KNOW THAT:

The Sands at Nomad has solar water heaters on eighty percent of the guest rooms, using the renewable energy from the sun to heat water. 



If you can imagine that in a household with an electric water heater/s this may constitute up to 30% of the electricity consumption (and bill)

The Sands Thinking Green

THE SANDS AT NOMAD APP- LESS PAPER, LESS INK, LESS PRINTING




DID YOU KNOW THAT:


The Sands at Nomad has a information App available for free download.


This app includes guest information as well as information on activities, weather, nature, tides, diving and links. This initiative was implemented as just one small step towards making The Sands at Nomad a paper free establishment.

http://app.thesandsatnomad.com/download/

 The Sands Thinking Green


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

ECO-TOURISM SILVER AWARD


Recently the Sands at Nomad has been certified as SILVER by the environmental body Ecotourism Kenya. 

This award was received after environmental auditors visited The Sands Hotel and Restaurant, noting it's projects, ethos, environmental policy and it's path towards sustainability. In their report the Sands was reported to be an 'Exemplary property' and was moved directly to the silver category by-passing bronze.

As part of the feedback received was a list of places for improvement, The Sands is set on 'Going for Gold!'


THE SANDS AT NOMAD'S COMMUNITY SUPPORT INITATIVES




DID YOU KNOW THAT:

On the first Saturday of every month The Sands at Nomad beach restaurant hosts a local farmers market as a way of supporting local businesses and encouraging a sense of community.

Photo © Lynne Tuller

The Sands restaurant also plays host to a number of charity events to raise money and awareness for local charities such as The Colobus Trust and The Diani Turtle Watch.

The Sands is also a supporter of the Born Again Children's Home in Ukunda which receives reusable items such as cooking oil and ceramic plates, bowls and cups.

Every Saturday the Sands supports the local Acrobats who come to perform for visitors over weekend lunches.

When guests staying at The Sands at Nomad would like some local ocean adventure activities, The Sands will organize these activities using members of the local community who offer trips to the Corral Gardens, The Sand island and/or sailing adventures on a traditional south-coast 'Ngalawa' (wooden boats with sails and outriggers)

BIN PROVISION AND TRASH COLLECTION



DID YOU KNOW THAT:

The Sands at Nomad has implemented a rubbish collection and separation initiative using 100% biodegradable bins located along the beach front and grounds. Just by providing these labeled bins it means that there is an easy way for people to dispose of trash rather than just dropping it.

The bins along the beach have helped greatly in keeping the beach clean as anyone moving up or down the beach only needs to carry trash they have collected a few meters to bins located along the hotel steps. These bins are emptied daily by The Sands environmental team.

The Sands Thinking Green

Monday, 5 February 2018

THE SANDS AT NOMAD THINKING GREEN INITIATIVES- SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING


DID YOU KNOW THAT:

The Sands at Nomad refuses to buy seafood that is undersized.


 We have made measuring boards for our seafood suppliers, and will not accept anything that is undersized. 
To do so would be to remove from the ocean the only chance a species like lobster and crab has of reproducing sustainably. 

We believe this is something that should be standard practice in all restaurants serving seafood.

The Sands Thinking Green.








KEEPING OUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN- BEACH CLEAN UPS





For over a year now The Sands at Nomad and the Diving The Crab dive center have been trying to make a difference by keeping the southern section of Diani Beach clean. Once a week on Takataka Tuesday (Takataka is 'rubbish' in Kiswahili) staff from The Sands and The Crab dive center will take sacks and clear trash from as much of the beach as they can.



Three times in 2017 The Crab diving center provided fuel, staff and the use of one of it's dive boats to assist in cleaning up some of the corral coves to the south or Galu around Kinondo, Chale and even as far as Gazi beach far to the south. On one of these days alone (June 4th) 239 kilograms of trash was cleared from these coves and beaches. Since collections began being weighed in April 2017 over 1000 kilograms of trash have been removed from these beaches by The Sands and The Crab.




LEFT: A 'before' cleanup photo taken on one of the Kinondo cove beaches. Note the sea turtle nest behind the trash.





BELOW: The after clean up photo.

On the 'International Beach Cleanup day' (September 16th) The Sands and Diving the Crab again provided a boat, fuel, staff as well as the supply truck. On this day with multiple partners and close to 500 volunteers 1200 kilograms of trash was collected from between the Tiwi River to Gazi beach! All this trash was separated into plastic, glass, paper, trash and rubber.

BELOW: A map showing some of the sections cleaned by The Sands and the Diving the crab team in May 2017






THE SANDS AT NOMAD THINKING GREEN INITIATIVES- NO PLASTIC BOTTLES





DID YOU KNOW THAT:

The glass water bottles (provided upon request) are refilled by the supplier at the bottling plant. This means that The Sand’s at Nomad does not buy or produce waste of any non-refillable plastic bottles. 

Visitors to the hotel and restaurant are encouraged to order carafes (pictured) of mineral water, either 1 liter or 1/2 liter. These carafes are filled from 20 liter bottles which are refilled by the supplier.

THE SANDS AT NOMAD- THINKING GREEN INITIATIVES- NO PLASTIC STRAWS, RECYCLED DRIP-MATS AND WATER GLASSES





DID YOU KNOW THAT:

All drinking straws used in The Sands at Nomad's restaurant and hotel are made from paper meaning they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.. unlike standard use plastic drinking straws.

All the ‘drip mats’ placed under drinking glasses and bottles on the tables in the restaurant are up-cycled from old diving wet suits from The Crab Diving Center. This means that old rubber wet suits are not just thrown out and forgotten but rather reused into items of daily use.

Water drinking glasses throughout the hotel are made from recycled glass bottles.

The Sands Thinking Green

Friday, 2 February 2018

SEA TURTLES- PROTECTION, MONITORING AND CONSERVATION

Another project that began in May 2017 was the creation of a Sea Turtle Hatchery on the beach at The Sands at Nomad hotel.

This project was started after a request was received from The Diani Turtle Watch organization who were trying to find locations where nests needing translocation could be moved to.

There are seven different species of Sea turtle found worldwide, all of them have been classified as 'threatened' by conservation organizations. Some reasons why populations have fallen so far in the past decades would be the loss of marine habitat, death by drowning in fishing nets, over consumption by humans, death through ingesting plastic waste in the oceans and loss of safe and secure nesting sites. These are all human caused. Sea Turtles are supposed to live as long as humans but populations have fallen. It's time more was done, but not just for the Sea Turtles we share the ocean with, but more should be done by us to lower our environmental impact as much as is possible.

In May 2017 a section of The Sand's at Nomad's beach wall was removed and rebuilt leaving space for a hatchery able to hold around 15 Sea Turtle nests. By the end of May the hatchery was ready and none too soon. Within 24 hours Diani Turtle Watch had tranlocated the first nest from a bad location where the hatchlings would not survive to the hatchery. Two days later a Green Turtle found the hatchery on her own and laid another nest.

                                                               
By the end of the laying season the hatchery here at The Sands had 10 sea turtle nests all with over 100 eggs! As you can imagine when the hatching's started from July, August and into September it was one of the highlights of the year.

In 2017 the hatchery at The Sands provided safety and security for over 1000 hatchlings which all made it to the ocean past the gauntlet of opportunistic ghost crabs and birds. Sadly the majority of these hatchlings will not make it to adulthood as they brave the ocean and the effects of humanities consuming nature. Maybe one, two or ten will make it, either way it's more than would have before.

Now, at the time of writing this the first Green turtle nest of the year with 130 eggs has been translocated to the hatchery at The Sands. Nothing can be guaranteed in nature BUT we are looking forward to the first hatching towards the end of March 2018.. watch this space. 👣


 Juma and Saidi from Diani Turtle watch translocating a nest on Sunday


WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY AND CORRAL-RAG COASTAL FOREST- PROTECTION AND APPRETIATION


What is sustainability?  

The online dictionary says sustainability is:  

'The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level'.

So imagine that sustainable is the ability of  house, farm, hotel, field, forest, country, city, town, people or one person to be able to live in balance with their environment mutually benefiting from being part of the natural system.  Something which would be almost impossible in this day and age other than for some smallholdings and closed communities. 

The Sands at Nomad Thinking Green initiative has been set up to showcase to anyone interested some ideas about sustainability and  some ways in which a Hotel, Dive Center and a Restaurant can reduce their impact on their environments, both social and natural. 

   The Sands at Nomad APP                                                 
         A glass bottle wall  









Since 2005 The Sands at Nomad Boutique hotel, restaurant and connected dive center have been making headway towards reducing their impact on the environment.

All plastic water bottles have been removed from use, candles in the restaurant are LED and rechargeable so removing the use of paraffin based candles, empty glass bottles from the restaurant and hotel are all stored and either refilled for use again used as drinking glasses, art pieces or building bricks. Old diving wet suits have been cleaned, cut and reused into drip mats and computer bags, 80% of guest rooms use the sun's renewable energy to heat water, all light bulbs are LED low watt bulbs, water points have been created for local wildlife, bathroom products are locally sourced and biodegradable, it holds local farmers markets, it is a 'fumigation free' property and it has it's own 'The Sands at Nomad' APP which is downloadable for free so as to try to reduce the amount of paper, printing and laminating use. 

THE NOMAD FOREST TRAIL -MAY 2017


When the path being taken is a green one there is no better place to start than in a section of threatened, green, corral-rag coastal forest. Imagine that the forest found around The Sands at Nomad is one of the last remaining pieces of coastal forest found along the southern coast of Kenya. Coastal forests like this one used to stretch from Kenya all the way to the north east coast of South Africa, they used to cover close to 300,000 acres and create refuge for huge numbers of fauna and flora. Now-a-days it is said that if all the final remaining pieces of these coastal forests were put back together there would be less than 30,000 acres. That's a huge loss for Africa and the world, but we at The Sands have a little piece that is protected and we want it to be available for people to see and enjoy.




     An old corral reef overtaken by forest.


During the long rains of 2017 work started on the Forest trail through the Nomad forest. It was a wet, dirty, slippery and often spikey and stingy affair. When it was raining I was down to only wearing shorts and a cap because of the deluge of water, when the sun was shinning it was the same due to the deluge of sweat. (Note to self- coastal forests can get REALLY hot in still, steaming days). In the course of making the trail the deal was that no branches were to be cut. They could only be pushed, bent or tied back creating a space for a trail. But even then it was difficult to follow.. so I made some trail markers out of recycled 20 liter oil drums and stenciled a butterfly onto these, once these were up we had a forest trail. Now, almost a year later the Nomad forest trail has a guide who takes guests on walks three times a week. It's an amazing experience to be able to walk from an award winning beach into an indigenous corral rag coastal forest.
                                                                       
                                                                                     Colobus Monkeys                                                                                                               

PLASTICS SEPARATION AND RECYCLING

As some of you may know, a little while ago The Sands went into partnerships with Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors (KPPC) www.kwaleplasticspl...