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 and once again The Sands at Nomad and Diving the Crab has done its bit 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!


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

ORGANIC FARMING- The Chickens are laying!

A few months ago The Sands got it's first batch of Chicks all the way from Thika by overnight Bus. Since then the chicks have grown, some of the roosters have been removed, and the hens have finally started to lay.

Not a bad harvests for mid-September
Now, we are so happy to be getting just over a tray a day from the hens who are fed cuttings and prunings from the vegetable garden, fruit and vegetable waste from The Sands kitchen as well as a little layers mash to ensure they have the right vitamins and minerals to be healthy and create good, strong shelled eggs.

To control parasites in their stomaches the hens are fed prunings off the Neem trees which contains (among many other positive things) a natural parasite control.

BEACH CLEAN-UPS- International Coastal Clean up 2018

This September, The Sands at Nomad took part in the annual ‘International Coastal Clean-Up Day’. Organised by Ocean Conservancy, the event takes place around the globe with the aim of cleaning up our coastlines and oceans whilst bringing worldwide attention to the huge volume of trash entering the world’s waters and the environmental damage being done. 

Before

We joined Team Kenya-South Coast along with other hotels, organisations, residents, visiting volunteers and a multitude of schools to clean the coastline all the way from Likoni (just south of Mombasa Island) to Vanga (near the Tanzanian border).

In 2018, the total weight of trash cleaned off the southern Kenyan coastline was 17 Tons! (17,000kg or 37,500lbs). Areas cleared included Likoni to Diani, Galu, Vanga, Wasini, Mkwiro, Gazi, Msambweni and Shimoni. Recyclable raw materials were sent to the newly opened Kwale Plastics Plus Collectors recycling centre.

Diving the Crab, based The Sands, once again sent a dive boat to take a team of staff members from the maintenance team, water sports centre, Green Team, Marine Team and hotel down to the inaccessible coves between Kinondo and Chale Island. At first glance they all looked quite clean, until we looked and climbed into the bushes above the high tide line. It has been a year since we had cleaned these coves and it was an eye opener to see the amount of trash that had been washed up.

This year’s haul of waste that our team removed from these three coves was:

17 sacks of plastic              (106 Kgs)
 9 sacks of rubber shoes    (84 Kgs)
 1 sack of glass and metal (10 Kgs)
 3 sacks of waste               (12 Kgs)

Of this total of 212 kilograms, only the 12 Kilos of waste will not be going to the recycling centre.

The Sands, Thinking Green… and Blue!

After

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 r...