30 Jan Luxury Lodge’s Commitment to Conservation
Luxury Lodge’s Commitment to Conservation
Mikaela Price – South America Travel Centre
Ever since their conception, luxury accommodation brand, Tierra Hotels have had a large commitment to sustainability whether that is in the Atacama Region, Chiloe Island or Torres del Paine Patagonia. The Managing director Miguel Purcell stated; “Travel is a tool for change; an opportunity to deepen our awareness and connect with the native beauty of Chile and beyond, because being immersed in nature makes it easier to want to protect it and ensure its legacy lives on for future generations.” Their latest commitment to the environment is pledging to eliminate guest facing single use plastics – which is an incredible undertaking for an operation working in such remote destinations. This commitment certainly does not come at the expense of luxury and has been a challenge to achieve.
Scientists warned many years ago about the devastating effects that plastic would have on our environment but more often than not it fell on deaf ears. Until recently, with incredible initiatives to recycle and re-purpose plastic, every single piece of plastic that was ever produced still existed. This fact alone should be enough to make everyone rethink their plastic consumption for the sake of the planet’s future.
Whilst it is relatively easy to make these changes ourselves, it can be hard for things on a bigger scale such as hotels and airlines to make environmental switches.
All amenities at the Luxury Tierra hotels are now in cardboard packaging instead of plastic and things such as shampoo and conditioner utilise refillable bottles. For your transfer from the airport – you will still receive a ‘plastic’ bottle however it is derived from plant products and is entirely biodegradable. Once you arrive at your Tierra hotel, you will receive your metal bottle which is refillable by the properties in house filtration system – Uma Water. The system uses a high-tech triple filtration process, which saves plastic bottles and allows guests to contribute to the lodges’ sustainability efforts.
For your days spent enjoying the incredible excursions on offer – the buck doesn’t stop there, the guides are equipped with reusable containers for the homemade meals made for you and to store your snacks. The guide will also remind you to bring your reusable bottle which can then be refilled by a water vessel bought by them. Equally as impressive as their fight against plastic, Tierra Atacama was the first hotel in South America to produce solar-powered electricity, which has saved the property from burning more than 110,000 litres of diesel annually.
All of the architecture across the three Tierra properties is planned with conservation and the forefront of the design process. Materials for the buildings are all sourced locally and ethically and are built to have minimum impact on the land in which they stand. The hotels also have their own orchards, in which they grow local fruits, vegetables and herbs that are later used to create original preparations, combining native culinary traditions with a modern twist.
Conservation also spreads to their spa treatments where they strive to work with small local businesses wherever possible and use only local and natural elements.
– Their rosehip seed oil is sourced from wild rose bushes in the Andes
– Treatments encorporate Maqui – which grows in the temperate forests of central and southern Chile and has been used by the indigenous Mapuche people as a natural medicine for ailments
– Guests use Chilean ‘Hazelnut Oil, which is indigenous to the South of Chile and Argentina as a natural sunblock, which boasts between 30-50 SPF.
– They also use Papaya Seeds to create many of their spa products which is sourced from the Elqui Valley, near La Serena in northern Chile.
Partnering with many organisations, such as Parley who raise awareness of the fragility of the oceans, Tierra has instigated plastic collection from beaches which local women then weave into incredible baskets that are then sold to support the local community.
Tierra’s commitment to conservation is nothing short of inspiring and it is fantastic to know that Tierra properties in their incredibly beautiful locations and providing luxurious experiences for guests, are dedicated to minimising their environmental impact so that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.