The resort was designed and built in the 1990’s as a sustainable eco resort relying on the natural supply of fresh artesian spring water, and food from our local community and Fijian made products. Current owners/managers took ownership of the business in March 2014, and have transformed the ‘lodge’ to encompass values of a sustainable Eco Resort
What is Colo-i-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort doing for the environment?
The hotel has had an active but unwritten environment policy for many years now. This document seeks to outline our efforts to reduce the impact of our activities on the world around us. Our policy is underpinned by our conviction that it is only by making a deliberate attempt to limit the impact we have on our planet that we will be able to pursue our activities in the long term.
In the hospitality industry, in particular where meals are offered, there is a fine line between environmentally friendly and hygienic food service. Some individually wrapped items are still used – such as jam / butter / margarine. Use of plastic wrap and aluminium foil is kept to an absolute minimum, used cooking oil is used to make floor polish with the peel from the used lemons and vinegar, the remainder goes to our egg supplier to be mixed with chicken feed.
CO2 Reporting and Emissions Reduction
At Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort we are cognisant of Global Warming and our role in reducing our Carbon Footprint. We strongly support environmental stewardship, community development and sustainable living. Guests staying with us help support local residents through Colo-I-Suva’s payment of the land lease, staff employment, locally purchased services, and community projects. We also provide services to the local residents such as gas exchange and mobile credit top up service, bringing a sense of community living in an otherwise perceived unaffordable ‘luxury’ for local residents.
We record and monitor energy consumption and in 2019 we commenced reporting energy use and monitored and recorded most business practices in Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2E) emissions and are as a result actively reducing our CO2 emissions through daily monitoring and adjusting our business practices. Like most Fijian business we have much to do but we are working towards and making inroads in reducing our CO2 emissions
Colo-I-Suva Forest Reserve
Established in 1872, Colo-i-Suva Forest National Park in Fiji is a two and a half-square kilometre of verdant rain forests renowned for tropical flora and birds. There are about four and a half kilometres of natural trails ploughing through the forests and natural water bodies to swim in.
The Waisila Creek flows through the Colo-i-Suva Forest National Park in Fiji making its way to Waimanu River. It is the water catchment for Nausori and Nasinu creek. African mahogany, planted in the 1940s and 1950s, stands apart from the older native vegetation.
Fiji’s birds are truly beautiful and unique – you cannot see them anywhere else in the World! If you’re interested in birds – you simply must come and see them! And why not base yourself in the heart of their habitat?
Situated on the edge of rainforest and just 20 minutes from the city of Suva and from Suva’s airport (Nausori International Airport), the Rainforest Eco Resort is ideally situated for seeing the Fiji’s unique endemic birds. In fact, all but two of Viti Levu’s endemic birds can be found within a few kms of the resort.
Our Environmental Plan
Our environmental management plan and sustainability policies are a work in progress, address five areas and will include specific targets to achieve within the next 2 years, by the end of 2022:
- Land and nature conservation
We keep a daily view of our energy and water consumptions and monitor them constantly to take corrective action and to try to keep consumption to a minimum. Due to our rainforest location it is impractical to utilize wind or solar energy due to the high humidity, constant rain and high tree canopy, without significant impact to the surrounding environment. As the lake is of a groundwater source, there is no stream or river to utilize for hydroelectricity.
Our aim is to keep consumption at a minimum, and constantly monitor and improve ways of keeping energy use as low as possible.
In addition, we utilise use of fans and natural circulation of air in lieu of air conditioning wherever possible with only three rooms out of 22 containing an air conditioning system.
By using clear roofing sections in the budget block amenities, and use of timers and motion detectors in lighting circuitry and energy efficient LED lights, energy is conserved and used on demand when it comes to lighting.
We have several electrical check meters installed in various locations to monitor electrical use and we have installed “Smart Plugs” on most 10amp electrical appliances such as bottle coolers in the bar and water pumps, these enable appliances to be monitored for KWH power consumption and remote management of the appliance or equipment’s operating time, with bar bottle coolers set remotely to turn off overnight, pool filtration pumps set to exact number of daily working hours and laundry equipment monitored for excessive use or over-use by staff.
LPG gas is our primary source of water heating and cooking fuel. We employ ‘on demand’ gas heated hot water systems, and we primarily use gas in the restaurant for hot water and in the kitchen for cooking.
In addition, we employ the following energy conservation practices:
- use natural air circulation and fans, no air conditioners in all offices and working areas
- use natural light during the day
- use energy-efficient appliances and electronics
- use low-wattage fluorescent light bulbs with active programme of replacing inefficient lighting with state-of-the-art LED (light emitting diode) lights with increased efficiency in the use of electricity
- change linens and towels upon request
- switch off lights/fans when not in use
There is no public water supply connected to Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort . Therefore, we had to develop our own water source. Luckily, we are situated in site of a large man made fresh water lake.
We ‘plumbed in’ two pumps and a chemical free filtration system with Ultra Violet (UV) treatment for bacterial removal.
This water is delivered via 300 meters of 2-inch pressure pipe from a 220metre elevation to water holding tanks and treatment equipment at an elevation of about 250Mtres above sea level at the back of the property. We dug the trench for the pipe by hand and buried it to reduce accidents and increase longevity. We have installed a pressure pump at the storage tanks to increase static pressure at the resort.
When the water is pumped up to a storage tank and is at the highest point of the property, it is filtered through a Multi-Media filter and it is sterilised twice (in a failsafe array) via an efficient but effective series of UV Light sterilisers providing a fresh, clean, safe and chemical free water supply for the entire resort. (Our water is tested regularly by the University of the South Pacific’s analytical laboratory’s – Institute of Applied Sciences and is within the acceptable levels as dictated by the WHO guidelines for drinking water standards).
We also employ the following water conservation practices:
- use low-flow faucets and showerheads
- use low-water use toilets (and /or placing displacement objects in the cisterns to reduce water flush volumes)
- change linens, towels, upon request and on check-out
- use biodegradable, septic tank compatible laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
- avoid the use of chemicals as much as possible – some chlorine is used for the pool, however, bleach / chlorine is not used for general cleaning, a mix of cleaning vinegar at 5% acidity and eucalyptus oil and/or bicarbonate of soda is used for all general cleaning including pathways and other outdoor areas.
Wastewater is piped into our septic treatment system, as there is no sewer line from the municipality. Grey water from the restaurant kitchen goes to a grease trap before entering the sewerage system. Natural Enzyme treatment ensures maximum digestion of effluent in an anerobic environment.
Recycling and Waste
Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort avoids the use of single use cups, straws or plates and cutlery. All waste is separated into garbage, and recyclables. General waste is disposed by means of wheelie bins, and is picked up by the garbage disposal company and disposed in accordance with Fiji law and government practice. Recyclables are also disposed of via relevant collectors of recyclable material.
Green waste is composted on site to be used as fertilizer.
Used cooking oil is either traded with a local farmer in exchange for fresh eggs or used to make floor polish with the peel from the used lemons and vinegar.
Some paper waste is shredded and used in garden compost.
In addition, we employ the following practices to minimize waste:
- use durable items, such as cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage containers
- buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and transportation emissions
- purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
- recycle paper, glass, plastic, aluminium
- produce as little waste as practicable in the kitchen
- serve our own filtered water in recycled bottles or glass jugs
- use biodegradable cleaning products (harsh chemicals are banned where practical)
- Colo-I-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort does not supply plastic bags for guest laundry – reusable non-woven bags may be purchased at resort reception.
- General waste is picked up by the garbage disposal company and disposed of. Waste is recorded and monitored with a view to analysing our waste and reducing the waste volume and thus CO2E emissions it produces
Nature loves our resort as much as you do.
We avoid chemicals for pest control – despite the forest having a high population of insects that like our rooms as much as our guests do, we restrict chemical use only to what is absolutely necessary for safety and hygiene; we advocate the use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE Power) for our pest control needs – a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. DE powder kills a variety of crawling insects including bed bugs, fleas, roaches, ants, earwigs and centipedes. DE Powder is long lasting BUT SLOW ACTING; While diatomaceous earth does not kill the bugs immediately (it can take 7 to 17 days) it does have long-lasting, effective results, and therefore some chemical treatment/intervention is sometimes required for Guest Comfort.
Guest Rooms also have Mosquito repellant VAPE Machines, which use a chemical mosquito plug-in repellent and are quite effective in keeping mosquitos away. They are not toxic to humans and get the job done – a VAPE MAT is inserted in the machine, giving up to 12 hours of repellant protection.
Land and nature conservation
We value the local flora and fauna and invest much of our time and energy in developing sustainable practices at the resort and improving the local environment. Specific actions to preserve the local habitat include:
Use of non-harmful chemicals, or chemical free alternatives where available,
In addition, we employ the following land and nature conservation practices:
- minimize flora disturbances throughout the resort whether during maintenance or upkeep to when new projects arise.
- use no herbicides & pesticides in our garden or on the grounds, the use of DE Powder for crawling insects – chemical insecticides are only used as a last resort
- use biodegradable cleaning products (principally vinegar, essential oils and bicarbonate of soda)
- minimize external illumination with low wattage bulbs
- promote the protection of Bird habitats; we have planted and maintain a highly diverse arboretum of flowering and fruit bearing trees and shrubs and that attracts birds and bird watchers alike
- promote the conservation of flora and fauna in and around our Resort and in the nearby Colo-I-Suva Forest and park.
Our community includes staff, guests, suppliers and other local residents, and in this day and age, the wider on-line community who connects with us on the world wide web.
Specific actions to support the community include:
- hire only local staff (as skillsets allow)
- use local suppliers for at least 90% of our purchases
- re-invest almost all of resort income locally
- pay above local prevailing minimum wage
- pay promptly taxes, levies and FNPF (Fiji’s national provident fund system)
- use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc.
- provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community when opportunities present themselves