It’s Plastic-Free July in Siem Reap! At Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel this July 2017, we’re joining forces with ethically minded, socially conscious businesses all over temple town to cut down our plastic usage, and to help the environment in the process.
Terrifying amounts of disposable plastic are used and thrown away each and every day, not only in Cambodia but all around the world. In Siem Reap alone, it’s estimated that as many as 4.6 million disposable plastic bottles are thrown away each month – and that’s just by visiting tourists! Meanwhile, an average of 2,700 plastic bags are used per person each year across Cambodia.
Since it doesn’t biodegrade, this over-use of plastic is a real problem for human health, sea life, and nature more widely. Since launching in Australia in 2011 and in Cambodia in 2015, the Plastic-Free July challenge has engaged thousands of people across the globe in striving for less plastic polluting our day-to-day lives. In 2016, over 60,000 people from 129 countries joined the challenge!
The Plastic-Free July Challenge
The one-month Plastic-Free July challenge encourages everyone to do what they can to combat the top five plastic enemies of styrofoam/polystyrene boxes, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles, and plastic cups. Reusable, environmentally friendly alternatives are already widely available – like fabric bags, bamboo straws (just like the ones we already use year-round at Baby Elephant!), and sturdy, long-lasting bottles and cups (like the refillable glass water bottles we give our guests!) – so the real challenge is to use these as often as possible.
We hope you’ll help us on our mission to cut plastic usage here at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel – we truly believe that it’s possible to do so without reducing the level of service we are able to provide to our guests.
Plastic-Free July at Baby Elephant
Plastic-Free July fits perfectly with our existing range of ongoing environmentally friendly and socially conscious initiatives, which we undertake under the banner Go Green Baby Elephant! We roll out a new green-minded initiative every month – so far, these include:
• Providing guests with refillable glass bottles in bedrooms, and an unlimited free supply of drinking water in our reception areas
• Growing many of the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for our restaurant menu and staff meals in the hotel’s very own organic kitchen garden
• Recycling day-to-day materials, and aiming for as little overall waste as possible
• Going out as a team on mass litter-pick clean-ups of our beautiful local neighbourhood
• Using adorable lifelong bamboo straws in our juices, cocktails and other drinks, rather than plastic straws
As part of our contribution to Plastic-Free July, we will also be introducing reusable boxes for the packed lunches and early breakfasts that we give our guests to take on temple trips, and plastic-free serving containers for butters and jams with the delicious free a la carte breakfast we offer every guest at Baby Elephant. We will also be switching to reusable cloth bags for our guests’ laundry, and asking our suppliers to bring our veggies (the ones we don’t grow ourselves, that is!) to us in boxes rather than big plastic bags.
Stick with us as we make steady progress during Plastic-Free July, and on an ongoing basis once the limelight of this month’s efforts has faded – it’s in everybody’s interest!
To find out more about Plastic-Free July, visit the Plastic-Free Cambodia web site at www.plasticfreecambodia.com, and the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/plasticfreejulycambodia. Throughout July, they also have a number of events going on to make the occasion, including drinks meet-ups, film screenings, and a DIY health and beauty products workshop.
Image by Plastic-Free Cambodia.