Tuesday, 20 October 2020


These past two weeks at The Sands at Nomad have been full of action on the sustainability front. Building projects repurposing glass bottles into building blocks have been started at the Marine Education Centre where a sustainability exhibition space is being created as part of the Sand's support for Conservation and Sustainability through awareness and education.

As these building projects require glass bottles which The Sands and the Nomad Beach Bar have been stockpiling for years, eight members of the local community where hired each day to help clear out and repack the storage and maintenance areas. Items were carefully checked for reuse or repurposability before being repacked and stacked creating a more satisfying and spacious workspace. Glass bottles have been moved to the site for the Sustainability Centre, waste items have been separated and stockpiled so that each can be delivered to the correct location for recycling.
Stacking 'waste' bottles into types and colours
Above- The soon-to-be Sustainability Centre

Check the colour coordination in the wall. These bottles are more for use as bricks than as a light up art piece like the main gate at The Sands at Nomad's boutique hotel. They still look nice though and it saves having to buy brick. One negative is that quite a bit of cement is necessary, and the production of cement is a huge contributor to global warming, for this reason it is advisable to add some good oil 'lime' into the cement mix so that less is used. 

As we are clearing out workshops we are taking advantage of the opportunity to collect (other than more old fridges, jacuzzis, 200L metal drums and all sorts of other treasure) all of the wood chips, pieces of old wood, planks, rotting chairs and sun beds, old poles, thatching, cotton cloth and ANYTHING that is organic and biodegradable. All of this organic matter has been loaded into trucks for transfer to the Sands at Nomad's organic farm where we are making industrial sized compost piles. LEFT SIDE- Old thatch makes 'aerated' good compost material
ABOVE LEFT SIDE- Scrap wood and planks make a good aerated base.
ABOVE RIGHT SIDE- Sawdust and/or Woodchips is a good material for the 'layering'.

BELOW LEFT SIDE- Old thatch makes good compost material.
BELOW RIGHT SIDE- Garden and Vegetation cuttings and sweepings are also very good. (Some people burn this.. WHY!!?)


As we have said before, Compost making is like making Lasangna, wet-dry-wet-dry. And we are throwing in  fruit and vegetable waste from the Hotel and Restaurant as many of the wet layers.. In about a years time we will have lots of compost to use to grow even more organic vegetables and fruit.. so we can make even more compost.
As many of you know, at the Nomad Beach Bar the drip-mats used underneath one's glass, glass water bottle or carafe of water are actually made from old diving wet suits which used to belong to Diving the Crab dive centre also located at the Nomad Beach Bar.


Some of the side projects ongoing thanks to support from The Sands at Nomad. Above right the beginnings of another construction nearby which is set to use THOUSANDS of glass bottles of all types, shapes and colours all cleared from three years worth of The Sands stockpiling these knowing they have value.. they are not waste. 

In the left hand side photograph one can see an example of building using 500ml plastic bottles which have been stuffed tightly with single use plastic packaging and nylon wrappers. 7000 of these bottles were delivered to the Sands Organic Farm over the Corona times and some members of the community got to take some money home to a much cleaner and healthier environment.

The Sands, Thinking Green

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

MANAGING WASTE - Meat (Proteins), Starch, Carbohydrates

Well here we are, after three years of learning about correct sustainable waste management, we are finally getting to a stage where we can be proud of our progress here at The Sands at Nomad, The Nomad Beach Bar and Diving the Crab. One of the biggest steps we made only recently.. and it was a long time coming.

As you may know from reading our past blog posts we already have in place systems which reuse, repurpose and recycle the various types of waste we are producing from the hotel and restaurant. We have  been left with the Meats, Starches and Carbohydrates (M/S/C) which, all go into the 'RED' bin already.

Plate scraps from the waiter station red bin.

Recently The Sands took an extra step and purchased an industrial meat grinder which is now being used to grind up ALL of the above waste. (Apart from large bones).

The waste we are grinding comes from the red bins in the Restaurant Butchery, the Kitchens and the M/S/C bins at the waiter station, which includes the plate scrapings from unfinished meals.. so there is some vegetable matter in there, as well as rice, bread, egg, eggs shells, fish, chicken, beef, pork, beef, prawns and occasional crab. This 'waste' is collected twice a day before it can begin turning bad, it is then frozen overnight before being boiled in the morning.

Once the 'waste' M/S/C is boiled it is then handed over to The Sand's Green Team for grinding into mush.. or as we like to call it free dog and cat food made from 'waste'.

Once we have been running this system for a while and we have ironed out any issues we will have another look at what percentage of our waste we are now, reusing, repurposing or recycling and how much is leaving the premises as 'waste'.

Watch this space.

Friday, 25 September 2020


If you have been reading this blog you will know the reason why we at the Nomad farm collect up all the fruit and vegetables (organic) waste from the Hotel and Restaurant.. It is so that we can be producing our own Organic fertiliser in the form of compost.

The Nomad farm today- All organic

However, this post is about another good reason to keep compost piles.. and this reason is fast becoming more and more popular around the world.. Larvae farming.

Larvae from the Compost piles

Larvae are the little grubs that are the young of other insects. Larvae (like maggots, and black fly larvae) tend to eat a huge about in a very short time meaning they grow very fast and they are very high in protein.

Earth Worms from this Jaccuzi wormary are also nutritious diet supplements for chickens and fish.

In some places around the world people actually eat larvae and grubs, to us it may seem strange for now but as the human population continues to outgrow food production grubs as a diet supplement will only become more common.

Currently, here in Kenya not many people know that one can literally farm larvae in compost piles, and not many people would A, want to go near the larvae and B, know why someone would WANT to farm larvae.

Compost piles = Larvae breeding

Well, Larvae, due to their veracious appetites can speed up the decomposition process inside the compost heaps, they take the 'waste' and break it down into compost.

Larvae grow very fast and are found in masses around fruit peels and rotting organic matter, for this reason they are quite a fast turn over 'harvest'. Some Larvae farms can produce over 2 tons of larvae a day!

Larvae are very much sought after for use making animal feed, both chickens and fish love the Larvae which adds to their free range diets. Even some of the feed given to herbivores such as cows in feedlots contains the high protein, dried-out and ground Larvae.

Mulch keeps moisture in the soil

Some people have even made their business collecting organic waste and farming larvae for chicken farms, fish farms or for commercial animals feeds.

Imagine how much organic waste is generated along Diani Beach in one day. Enough to make ALOT of compost for Organic farming and enough also to produce huge amounts of larvae... which .. if one looks sustainability wise.. could save quite a bit of money in the long run if one was BUYING animal feed.

Nomad farm chickens eating larvae collected for them from the Compost piles

Wednesday, 9 September 2020


Years of daily waste production records 

Do you know that The Sands at Nomad has a waste separation and management system for all the different types of waste? 

This is because we understand and take our impact on our environment very seriously. Sadly, even now in 2020, one would find that VERY few other private or commercial properties take their impact so seriously.

Many still mix their waste types so making it's reuse or recyclability difficult, expensive (not cost effective) or impossible.
Waste Separation! At waiter stations, scullery, bar kitchen workstations, offices, laundry, workshops etc

Environmental Law in Kenya stipulates that ALL properties must separate the various types of waste produced. Many people would say that this is pointless for various reasons.. this is the wrong mentality and if you have had this thought this blog is for you.
Glass bottles collected for repurposing as building blocks.

In our daily opperations the Sands has 11 'sets' of bins around the hotel and restaurant, each 'set' is made up of 5 'bins', each one color coded for the type of waste that it is used for.. that is 55 waste separation bins for those mathematically challenged. 

Each morning the various departments deliver the already separated waste to the waste management point, here it is weighed and recorded by the 'Green Team' before the various waste types are then either stockpiled for recycling or delivered to the farm (repurposable items) or the recycling drop off points down the Diani Beach road.
Daily recording keeps one aware of how much waste one is producing.

The Sands has waste production records for the past three years which can be used to see patterns, excesses and weaknesses all in relation to the number of guests coming through. Stats like these help us to identify, reduce or recity our 'negative impacts'. 

 If there is one 'big' step that we suggest anyone can take to start their path towards sustainability it is managing your waste, be more aware of what waste to generate, be responsible. 

1. Identify all workstations where waste is generated. (Back and front of house) 
2. Identify spaces near workstations where you can locate 5 buckets or bins. 
3. Paint or spraypaint the bins in 5 colours so that they are easily recognisable in a busy kitchen or    
4. Train staff on why separation is important, put up clear notices showing the colour code for each waste
5. In busy kitchens ensure that there are 5 larger 'bulk' bins located nearby (monkey proof) for twice or
    thrice daily empties of the smaller. 
6. Allocate staff to manage and record the waste that is produced and to ensure the waste REMAINS 
    SEPARATED and not all thrown together again. 
7. Ensure there is transport available to take the various waste types to the correct locations where it is 
    reused, recycled or repurposed. 
8. If you can, record the waste produced on a computer so that one can clearly see trends through graphs.. 
    so showing paths to improve.

Fruit and Veg waste on the way to the Nomad farm.

Our identified waste types to date are below, the first 5 make up the 'set of bins' at each workstation:

METAL AND GLASS.                                                     - BLACK 
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE.                                             - GREEN  
MEAT, STARCHES, CARBOHYDRATES.                        - RED 







GREASE AND OLD COOKING OIL (Check this out) https://www.mahoneyes.com/blog/15-creative-uses-of-used-cooking-oil-you-never-knew/ 
Grease Traps are essential and regulation in all commercial kitchens.. they are easy to build, they remove grease and oil before it clogs pipes and soak-pits leading to expensive exhaustion services.
IE Honeysucker

In case you are intrested, please read our past blogs for some ways we have reused or repurposed various waste types. If you have any other ideas, requests or feedback please do let us know. Together we can make a difference.. Go Green.
Chickens on the Nomad Farm eat veggie offcuts

Friday, 28 August 2020


The word SUSTAINABLE encompases the word EFFICIENT as, something that is Sustainable is that way because it is efficent. An inefficient way of doing things is not sustainable. If you are spending too much time, money and energy on something repeatedly it is not efficient. One of the best examples of this is from the farming world where, the use of 'Multch' to cover the soil surface of growing beds makes farming more efficient as it reduces the time, energy and money used continually weeding and watering and it encorages faster growth, a prologed growing season for those relying on the rains and it provides cover for bugs and organisms to begin aerating the soil and starting the decomosition process (nutrient making). Try it out.
In this post we are going to speak about efficiency in ENERGY CONSUMPTION. Most people will hear 'energy' and think of Electricity or a bodies strenght. Firstly it is important to know that 'Energy' in Sustainability refers to any source of fuel which is 'burned' or 'consumed'. It will be producing X number Kilowat Hours (KWH) of energy. So then, Electricity, Diesel, Petrol, Charcaol, LPG gas are all fuel types which produce KWH.
Over the past months the Sands has taken yet another small step towards Sustainability with the change of lighting along the winding forested paths through the Hotel. As you may imagine keeping all the lights around a hotel grounds working is an expensive and time consuming job, bulbs, wires, mountings all need replacing occasionally. Time and money is spent doing this through employing an electrician and ordering/paying for all the spares needed.. This sounds quite INEFFICIENT and so not sustinable. How to fix it? Well, we are not the first or the last to use LED solar pathlights as our more sustaianable alternative but we have done it. We are one rung higher on the sustainability ladder as it were.
In the long run (sustainability thinks 'future') the change of path lighting to a type which is powered by renewable energy that uses efficient LED technology and which does not contain the amount of toxins found in Low WATT bulbs(*).. is already making a difference by (1) helping to lower our (consumptive) impact as a hotel on our environment, (2)reducing the maintenance costs so also labor costs (3)reducing the electricity bill costs and (4) it may contribute in helping The Sands attact more environmentally aware customers who would like a paradise beach holiday with a concience.
Over the past years The Sands at Nomad and the Nomad Beach Bar have made quite a few changes in the feild of our Energy Consumption as we try to lower our KWH per guest night. We moved away from LPG gas bottles to larger a single supply tank, we are in the process of replacing old inefficient flurecent strip bulbs in use back of house, the (energy and water) inefficient Jacuzzis were removed, newer more efficient Air Conditioning units are sourced and purchaced to replace the old, the generator was replaced so almost halving the fuel consuption rate. It may all sound like small pointless things but in the end, all of these small decisions made with our impact and expenses in mind helps us to be more sustainable... and so Efficient.

Monday, 24 August 2020


As some of you may know, the Sand's sustinability department is responsible for making all the drinking glasses for The Sands at Nomad in Diani as well as the Sands at Chale. This Blog is about how we do it.
Glass bottles considered useful are collected up from those produced as 'waste' by the hotel and restarant. These bottles are then transported to the Recycling room located near the Marine Education Centre where they are cleaned, marked and cut using special machinery and blades.
Once roughly cut to size the bottle is then marked using a marker pen to ensure the full set of 'recycled glassware' are matching in size. After this it is polished on the special polisher making sure there are no sharp edges or cracks.
Below is a video of the bottle cutting process, there are other more DIY ways of doing this but it is advisable to know that these can be dangerous and could lead to serious injury.. (flaming string, boiling water etc)

Monday, 3 August 2020


It goes without saying the impact of this whole Corona thing has been seriously felt all over the world. Shut down travel, industries and services closed, jobs lost and this may still get worse as we see second and third waves hitting already 'over-it' places in the world. 

The hardest hit for sure are those who never had any savings, the hand to mouth survivors, as times past the number of desperate people will also rise.. expendable income is now hard to come by. It's time to think differently, lower your impact, lower your expenses.

In brave attempts keep the economy ticking and as many people as possible still employed, a few weeks ago the Kenyan Government allowed some restaurants to open under strict guidelines to try to prevent the spread and yet allow people to try to make ends meet.
Foot operated hand wash unit at The Nomad Beach Bar.
The soap is actually INSIDE the 20L bucket of water on top

One of these new regulations is that all establishments must have 'HYGIENIC' hand wash stations outside their entrances. It is interesting to note that the use of a normal hand operated hand wash bucket seems to have been accepted by the ministry of health. With proper, regular tap and soap plunger cleaning this system would work BUT its success at stopping the spread would be far less than a hand wash station that does not require to be touched by every customer.
Useful to paint first IF you are going to.

People might argue that this is not viable for most people and establishments on the grounds of affordability. Well, in case it helps here are a few photos and explanations on how to build a foot operated hand wash station at very low cost. 

We used PPR but cheaper plumbing parts are available.
These clamps are useful but the provided screws are too short.

Other than the plumbing parts these units are built out of reused nails and repurposed 'scrap' wood from building and maintenance jobs. (These are the offcuts spoken about in the previous post- 'Waste not Want not'). The spring is off an old broken trampoline but rubber inner tube would work ;0). The 'string' from the ball cock lever to the foot pedal can be a broken bicycle chain, or kite lines, wire, rope..


We have 6 of these units around The Sands at Nomad and the Nomad Beach Bar.

 The main gate 
The staff log-in point 
The staff Restaurant entry point
The Boutique Hotel entrance 
The Beach Bar access from the parking 
The Beach Bar access from the best beach

Come see for yourself, we are taking the safety of our staff and visitors and hotel guests seriously.


These past two weeks at The Sands at Nomad have been full of action on the sustainability front. Building projects repurposing glass bottle...