A Holbox conservation program has produced savings on water, gas and plastic consumption. A Holbox conservation program has produced savings on water, energy and plastic consumption.

Holbox hotels, restaurants see big savings through conservation program

Energy and water consumption were reduced, as was the use of PET plastic

Hotels and restaurants on a popular holiday island destination in Quintana Roo achieved big savings for the environment in the first year of a conservation program.

The 12 hotels and two restaurants that are members of a hotels association on Isla Holbox decided to take action in March 2018 in response to sanitation problems on the island that were threatening to interfere with tourism.

With planning help from the environmental nonprofit Casa Wayuu and funding from the Mesoamerican Reef Fund, the businesses made a plan to reduce energy consumption and move away from single-use plastics.

In the program’s first year, the businesses cut liquid petroleum consumption by 65,187 liters, equivalent to the annual consumption of 220 households. They also cut electricity consumption by 830,130 kilowatt-hours, enough energy to supply 79 houses for a year, and water consumption by 41,939 cubic meters, equivalent to the water used by 114 people in a year.

The businesses also eliminated the use of PET plastic, and achieved a reduction in the consumption of other plastics by working with providers to find reusable food containers that can be returned after use. These actions prevented the generation of 8,973 kilograms of PET, equivalent to almost 300,000 half-liter bottles.

Bárbara Hernández, the head of the hotel association, said the program has also been a success in making a cultural change among hotels on the island.

She noted that staff at the Las Nubes de Holbox Hotel have started voluntarily cleaning up trash at the Yum Balam nature reserve near Holbox once a month.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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