Monday, 25 January 2021


 As part of our path towards sustainability there are a number of ongoings each month which help to move us in the right direction. Below are some of these achievements from the past months which have made a difference in making us a little greener.


Since September 2020 the Sand's Green Team has REPURPOSED 432 glass bottles of various types into drinking glasses for the Nomad Beach Bar and the Sand's at Nomad Hotel. Other than these ones, ALL the other empty glass bottles produced have been stockpiled for future use. We do not 'waste' or send to waste glass bottles.


Since October 2020 the Green Team has REUSED 241 Kilograms of meat waste off-cuts (prawn shells, bits of crab, fish, calamari and a little red meat) into pet food for the couple of Cats around the grounds as well as the dogs belonging to staff members and security personnel.


Through December there were been a number of items which the Sand's Green Team have happily taken possession of so as to increase or productivity on the Organic Farm as well as REDUCE our waste. (Basically a Win-Win situation)

 These are items which most other hotels and private houses would throw out as waste or maybe sell to scrap dealers.. who then throw away what they don't want.

3 Toilets and Cisterns, 3 Basins, 3 Water heaters, 1 Bar Fridge, 1 pool filter, 1 bathtub, 2 freezers, 1 large washing machine, 2 metal trunks, 1 broken water tank, 1 mini bar fridge, plastic window netting, many assorted paint buckets and 20L plastic containers.

Right now, as we post this blog work is underway to mix our soil, compost and chicken scat to fill these items which will then be used as plant pots or raised beds. It would have been a waste to waste these as waste.


In December 2020 The Sands at Nomad and The Nomad Beach Bar sent only 47% of solid 'waste' generated to the County Landfill. 

1- Dark Blue- Fruit and Vegetable waste 35.76%
2 - Orange- Hard Plastics 4.10%
3 - Grey- Paper and Cardboard 5.19%
4 - Yellow- Metals 3.5%
5 - Light Blue- Proteins and Carbohydrates 27.63%

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES- The majority of the 'waste' produced was Fruit and Vegetable waste (35.76%) which ALL was taken to the Sand's Organic Farm for Compost making. 

PROTEINS AND CARBS- 27.63% was Proteins (meats) and Carbohydrates, of this 3.5% was used to make pet food

PLASTICS- Hard plastics made up 4.10% of our December waste, this was all delivered to the KPPC recycling plant... after all the HDPE and LDPE was removed and stockpiled here onsite by the Sand's Green Team for our own use.

PAPER- 5.19% of the December 'waste' was made up of Paper and Cardboard which was all sent for recycling and paid for by the recycler at between Ksh 5 and 8 per Kilogram.

METAL- 3.5% was Metal 'waste' generated by the Kitchen. This was also sent for recycling. An Extra 30 Kilograms of metal waste (old motors) produced by the workshops was sold to a dealer for recycling. 

STYROFOAM- All stockpiled

GLASS BOTTLES- All stockpiled

BUILDING RUBBLE- Used to level paths etc

In the next months it is our plan to increase the amount of pet food we are producing so as to try to lower the amount of Meat we send away as 'waste'.

The Sands, Thinking Green.. and Blue.

Monday, 18 January 2021

RE-PURPOSING AND RE-USING- Be aware of and Reduce your waste (your impact)

Considering you are reading this blog might suggest that you are the kind of person who has (or wants to) become more conscious of their impact on their environment. Maybe you have realised that if we look after our environment our environment will look after us? True fact. 

This blog is focused on some of the more recent 'REPURPOSING' and 'REUSING' projects we at The Sands are getting into this year. As you can imagine a hotel and restaurant can produce quite a lot of waste, much of it is recyclable, the rest we do whatever we can to keep in our 'CIRCULAR ECONOMY' until it is 'really' not useable.
As a simple and soft start- One of the most common and widespread repurposing is that of glass jars. The use of jars REUSED over and over makes perfect sense to people who are producing foods, relishes, sauces and the likes at home. There is no point buying more jars when they can be cleaned and reused readily. Jars also make great storage places for small easy-to-loose items. Above in the photo is some of our newly harvested Diani Beach honey straight off the Sands farm and into reused jars.
In our last post we briefly touched on one of our plastic bottle repurposing initiatives, we are currently making and stockpiling enough PET bottle, soon-to-be 'roof tiles' to be able to do the whole roof of the sustainability room.

When it comes to the bulk of ones waste it is obviously the big items that make up the most space and may even take more time to biodegrade.. or NOT. This metal filing cabinet (above left) will eventually rust into nothing, but as far as we are concerned it is far too useful for us to call 'waste'. If we have a look at the properties of this cabinet we note it is hollow.. and the drawers are also hollow.. which suggests that we could create three growing pots or raised beds as some like to call them. This cabinet is going to be producing vegetables or herbs for the Nomad Beach Bar for some years to come. Above right are some more items that have arrived on the farm recently.. watch this space.
In past posts we have already touched on the repurposing of fridges, freezers and chillers for better pest-free raised beds. Above on the left one can see a new freezer has arrived to join our repurposed food-prep chiller which is growing Basil and Watercress. Above right.. lots of potential for planting pots, water ponds (for breeding frogs and dragonflies.. see other posts) and even a potential water filter. Some of these  basins and toilets are not too badly broken so meaning that, if ever there was a back-of-house building project at The Sands that needed basic basins, toilets or bathtubs they can be emptied of the crops and returned for their intended use.. saving money.
Above we have more 'trash to treasure' items which have arrived at the farm in the last clean out from The Sands. 
It is important to remind readers that Fridges, freezers and chillers all have cooling chemicals of some kind inside their pipes and the compressor (seen on the fridge above). These chemicals are dangerous to animals and the environment so it is important that the compressors are removed carefully and disposed of correctly. (P.S Humans are animals)
Above is one of the most environmentally damaging materials on the planet! Styrofoam! This lightweight, air-filled plastic is great for protecting goods in transit but what happens when it's job is done. Well.. consider that each little plastic bubble has got very thin walls around the air pocket, once these walls begin to breakdown in the UV the Styrofoam degrades into millions of little tiny pieces of micro-plastic, which, as you know if one of the biggest environmental disasters of the current day. 

Here at The Sands we do not 'trash' the Styrofoam we receive in our packaging, rather we stockpile it (like so much other 'trash') because we don't want to cause unnecessary impact and also we see a value in it. It has some very useful properties that can be REUSED. ;-) Watch this space too.
If you are one of the regular followers of this blog you may remember how some time ago we REPURPOSED some broken Jacuzzis into raised beds? Well, now we have taken it a step further as we expand on our ideas. 

Above one can see our startup Aquaponics system which we have made using 100% repurposed 'waste' items. The top two jacuzzis have Tilapia fish which are producing the nutrients for growing the Rucola in the lower jacuzzi and the assorted other vegetables we will be adding in the near future. Imagine that out of this combination of broken items which most people would throw out as trash we have found a way to produce enough for a full meal. (Tilapia with Rucola and Tomatoes)
Another of the really bad waste types that we need to avoid throwing into landfills or worse is candle wax. Did you know that paraffin-based candle wax (most candles are this type) is a byproduct of oil refining? Did you know that by burning it one released Carcinogenic fumes into the air which over time can cause cancer? Sadly alot of private houses and hotels rely on these wax candles in their everyday opperations, so where does the waste go? Not a good thought. 

Above we have an option for anyone looking for one. After cutting down the amount of candles we use, we at The Sands at Nomad found a way to use the paraffin based wax as a termite deterrent on wooden poles and structures which need burying in the ground. We collected up all the bases of used candles, we melted them down and then coated the bases of the building poles with it. As it turns out Termites don't eat candle wax. ;-)

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

PET PLASTIC BOTTLES- Recycling and Repurposing

As some of you regular followers know we at the Sands at Nomad and the Nomad Beach Bar are very serious about trying to reduce our impact on the environment. One of these ways is to reduce the amount of waste going to the dump site. So we recycle, repurpose or reuse as much as we can.
Above are some cleaned and sorted bottle tops from various PET (plastic) bottles, we have a shredder on site which deals with these.. so that leave us with the 'bottle' part.
HDPE lids like these have been found to be one of the most common type of trash floating around in the worlds rivers, lakes and oceans. These were collected off the beach here at The Sands as part of our cleanups. These are also cleaned and shredded. The shredded plastic is then recycled into useful items with a super cool story.

The bottoms of the PET bottles (which we don't actually produce as waste here at The Sands) we have used in artworks such as the Jellyfishes above or a turtle in the past. This leaves us with the 'body' of the bottles which, we found can be cut into long 'strings' for use tying or as the tentacles of the Jellyfishes.. or as our latest project is finding.. as corrugated sheets for roofing.
The Sand's Green Team is now working on a project to build a roof on the Sustainability Education Centre near the Marine Education Centre. If it all works out it will be done using the bodies of the PET plastic bottles we have stockpiled from other producers over the years. Why? Because we never considered other peoples plastic bottles to be 'waste'.
Watch this space.


Monday, 4 January 2021


The new year has started and it seems that maybe it could be heading in a better direction than the last. Reports are out that the Corona cases are going down! Good news if this trend keeps up. Fingers crossed. 

Over the new year period a responsible and socially distant event was lucky enough to be graced with the presence of the two light up Jellyfish made by the Sands at Nomad's Green Team out of collected plastic waster bottles. These bottles came from other establishments which we can happily say now, have started to follow suit with the Sands and use only glass, refillable bottles. That is a big step for Diani, we hope that more companies will follow.

The Sands Organic farm is looking fantastic with all the seeds and seedlings planted out over the brief rain period we had at the end of last year starting to bear fruit (and leaves). The photo above on the left was the morning harvest on Saturday 2nd of January, not so bad.

Recently one of our Hens has successfully brooded 10 little chicks to add to our flock, we are also in the process of removing the older Hens who are no longer laying, we are selling these for good prices to our neighbours and the money earned from these will go into buying a new generation of chicks.

Sometime back we mentioned and photographed this raised grow-bed above. The 'soil' mix used to fill the bed was dug from under workshop waste wood piles (and all the other waste that had ended up inside it). After cleaning the mix as best we could we decided to see if if was possible for anything to grow. As it turned out it did, with few issues. Today we harvested the second round of cucumbers from this raised bed. They looked and tasted perfect. It is great to have success from a time-consuming waste management project which has born us fruits on the farm.

With The Nomad Beach Bar being so busy over the last week it goes without saying that the Chefs are sometimes more in a hurry, so much so that sometimes the wrong type of waste ends up in the wrong bin. The photo above shows an example of this with clingfilm plastic having been thrown into the organic fruit and vegetable bin. We have pointed this out to the management team in the Kitchen and they in turn have mentioned this to their Chefs. Communication and repeat training is necessary when dealing with waste management systems. 

Some new varieties of Chilli we are starting to grow on the Sands Organic Farm, The Orange colour one is from Tanzania, the Red from South America, The Yellow are Lemon Drop, when we have more in production the already addictive Chilli sauce at the Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant can only get better.

Poaching in the forests around Diani is sadly still a serious problem and one which has got worse over the times of Corona with people out of work and money looking to make ends meet in the illegal bushmeat trade or other nefarious deals. The closure of the schools has meant there have been some groups of children around through the days and into the early evening, reports have been coming in of hunting parties using stones, machetes, dogs and nets to catch some of the last remaining wildlife existing in the forests. 
The Net above, which is a total of 40 meters long, was confiscated off a group of three boys with dogs as they attempted to put up the 'trap' in the forests behind the Sands at Nomad. Luckily the forest security managed to chase the boys off and the Net was removed from circulation and use.. meaning it cannot be used to catch many animals in the years that come. A worthy outcome.

One can only begin really moving towards being sustainable if one is collecting records over time and finding ways to compare these records to one another so helping to identify strengths, weaknesses and patterns. Above is a photo taken of the water meter entering The Sands. This photo was taken on the 1st of January. The reading will be compared to the final reading from December the 1st so that the total consumption can be read. Final data results and finding will be sent to department heads as part of the monthly 'Sustainability report'


Monday, 7 December 2020

DECEMBER WEEK 1- Organic farming, repurposing and waste management


As we move further towards the end of the year the real December heat is building up. Lucky for us we had a little rain over the Full Moon period but now it looks once again to be hot and dry. Fingers crossed we will get a little more rain in the next weeks. 

As the weather dries we have started to see some of the fruit trees beginning to ripen their fruits. This is a good time of year for anyone with Mango, Banana, Papaya, Oranges, Lime trees. Fruit like the Mangos in the crate below can bring in between Ksh 15 and 25 per piece depending on the size. For anyone looking to start farming it is advisable to plant lots of fruit trees early on during the start of the rains.

Some of the items in the photos above, Bananas, Mango, Passion Fruit, Papaya, Pineapple, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Eggs, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Rucola, Lettuce, Mint, Thyme, Parsley and Edible flowers for garnishing the dishes at the Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant.

Since our first posts about some of these ongoing projects those of you who are following may notice quite a big difference in some of these photos. Above left we have a very basic example of 'REPURPOSING' on the farm. We have a new generation Passion Fruit trying to find a place to climb. Rather than spend time and energy to make a Trellis for this little Passion we just used a broken electric power supply cable.. which the Passion Fruit will now climb as it reaches into the tree nearby.

One of the repurposed Jacuzzis on the Nomad farm showing the success possible in growing notoriously difficult Basil. We are constantly fighting with pests here but with the raised bed, care and the 'Organic Army' of pest controllers we have done ok.

Above on the left one can see how we have used some parts of the 'husk' of Coconut trees to act as mulch to lower the rate moisture is evaporated from the soil and also to keep the soil temperature down in these hot months to come. Soil that gets too hot can damage or kill your crops as well as any of the positive microorganisms in the soil. Protect and nurture your soil! (Above right) this was a recent mornings 'harvest' of Black soldier fly larvae, or 'BSF' for anyone trying to avoid a tongue twister. These guys went to the Tilapia fish on that morning, some days they go to the Chickens.

In a recent post on waste management we described how we had been digging and raking through 'waste' sand and soil to try to remove any larger non-biodegradable items, we then tried to see if this soil which we considered to be mainly compost (from decomposed timber) with small flakes of micro plastics could be useful to grow anything. We went with sunflowers and cucumbers which then germinated (Above Left side) and then began to grow healthy (Above Right Side)

One of the other ongoing projects seen above is the repurposing of tens of thousands of glass bottles from The Sands at Nomad hotel and The Nomad Beach Bar. These bottles are being used as building blocks in structures which, when finished will be quite a sight to see.

As REPURPOSING goes, this Passion Fruit above was lucky enough to have a trellis built for it. If you look closely you will notice the fibre glass poles which were the supports for Windsurfer sails before they were broken or worn.. at least they didn't become trash. 

Onto Waste Management and following on from our last post where we had been clearing the workshop areas and raking through dirt to remove waste. 
We already have colour coded separation bins throughout the hotel and restaurant but we found it necessary to have one central location where already separated 'waste' items could be stored before it is transported to various locations for recycling or repurposing etc. NB- This system's set up is necessary to implement with training for staff members as it is often not clear what constitutes Paper, Plastics or Other waste. 

Above and below we have some photos from this past week's HDPE plastic recycling. Plastic bottle tops are collected from used bottles or even off the beach (below), these are cleaned, separated according to colour, dried and then shredded. To see some of the results of this 'waste' being recycled visit the Marine Centre at The Sands at Nomad any day between 3 and 5pm. Also located at the Marine centre is the Conservation Education Society and Diani Turtle Watch.


 As part of our path towards sustainability there are a number of ongoings each month which help to move us in the right direction. Below ar...