Tengah Island Sustainability Projects
Whilst sustainable practices are not always easy to adopt as a new resort on a tiny, uninhabited island, within a culture where sustainability is often viewed as foreign and inefficient, Batu Batu and Tengah Island Conservation is taking little steps towards being increasingly responsible in order to protect our amazing natural environment and leave as little footprint on this earth as possible.
BEACH AND UNDERWATER CLEAN-UPS
Batu Batu’s staff, volunteers and guests collect the waste that end up in the shores and reefs of Pulau Tengah to prevent them from polluting the waters again. These are brought to a specific beach clean-up waste sorting area, divided up into plastics, metals, etc. for recycling / general waste and weighed before being sent to mainland. This year (2018) the Tengah Island Conservation, together with Batu Batu Resort guests and staff, have collected over 9,000kg of debris from beach clean-ups, oil spills and underwater clean-ups.
These will continue with guests and staff as previously, however we now separate and weigh all of the items collected so that we can keep an accurate record of the amounts of debris collected by our team throughout the year. This will be extremely beneficial for guest and staff education as well as marketing our conservation efforts. We also plan to collaborate and share our research with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.
FOLO ORGANIC FARM PROJECT
PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION
Batu Batu provides reusable materials such as glass bottles for guests’ drinking water, in order to reduce plastic waste. Drinking water comes to the island from the mainland in refillable 20L containers. Paper straws are also offered in place of plastic straws. Malin + Goetz toiletries are also provided for the guests in refillable bottles. This endeavour continues to be work-in-progress.
Recyclables collected in the island are sold to the “Clean and Happy” Recycling Centre in Mersing, which sends these to recycling facilities for regeneration.
Funds generated from recyclables are used for staff welfare.
Batu Batu employs a specially designed and built sewage system where all sewage and grey water are treated and released back into the ground to replenish our ground water wells.
We are currently working on an upgrade to the system with the help of our friends at ECOSOFTT (Eco Solutions for Tomorrow Today) and are part-way through (approx. 60%) the build of a new sewage treatment plant which will allow us to recycle our water for irrigation, flushing and with a little extra treatment drinking. This upgrade includes the use of earthworms to filter the waste water. Fertiliser will be a by-product of water treatment which can be used in our organic food garden. The upgrade should also reduce the power requirements as compared to our current system.
Below are proposed future projects which we aim to start throughout 2018/19.
A. WASTE MANAGEMENT
The resort aims to reduce its waste, recycle more and continue to clean-up on and around the island.
Being an island resort, it is imperative to employ sustainable water consumption practices. Thus, Batu Batu aims to reduce its carbon footprint by producing its own freshwater for drinking, rather than sourcing from the mainland. We are exploring the possibility of harvesting rainwater for drinking with our friends ECOSOFTT.
“Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites
- William Doyle Ruckelshaus