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10 cool bamboo products for hotels and everyday use

In a world where depletion of natural resources is a growing problem, the use of a quickly renewable material instead of finite resources can provide a solution. Bamboo is such a renewable material. In fact, it is one of the most sustainable, eco-friendly and renewable materials for the manufacturing of everyday products. It can grow exceptionally quickly, without the need of fertilizers, pesticides or much water. Bamboo is so fast-growing that it can produce 20 times more material than trees on the same area. A bamboo forest also releases about 35% more oxygen into the air compared to a tree forest of the same size.

To inspire you, we listed 10 cool bamboo products for hotels and everyday use.

Bamboo towels1)  Bamboo towels
Bamboo towels are not only eco friendly, they are also super soft and super absorbent. Since bamboo is naturally mildew resistant, these towels will not suffer from a damp smell.The towels from Nandina Organics are available in several patterns and colors to perfectly match any hotels interior. (www.nandinagreen.com)

2)  Bamboo sheets
These bamboo sheets of Bed Voyage are exceptionally soft. Bamboo SheetsThe fibers are hypo-allergenic and perfectly suitable for people suffering from allergies or eczema. Because of its unique thermal regulating qualities, you can stay cool in summer and warm in winter. (www.bedvoyage.com)

3)  Bamboo toothbrush
Smile Squared has a program that gives an Bamboo Toothbrushenvironmentally-friendly bamboo toothbrush to a child in need in a developing country for each one sold. When trying to prevent chronic diseases, dental care is an important part. Smile Squared aims to give away one million toothbrushes by 2015, for healthy smiles all over the world. (www.smilesquared.com)

Read more: Smile Squared Launches a One-for-One Eco-Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

4) Bamboo soap
Bamboo Charcoal Soap from The Healing Tree contains only Bamboo Soapfour ingredients: vegetable oil, water, glycerin, and bamboo charcoal. It is high in absorbency, so that it can draw dirt from deep inside the pores. It is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and without added colors or harmful chemicals. (www.healingtreeproducts.com)

Bamboo Sunglasses5)  Bamboo sunglasses
These sunglasses designed by Plantwear are made from high quality bamboo. Plantwear wants to give back much more to mother nature than it takes. Even though they only use a small piece of a tree for every pair produced, they currently plant about 50 trees a month in a tropical rain forest in Brasil via The Nature Conservacy Foundation. (www.plantwear.eu)

6)  Bamboo toilet paper
Bambex toilet paper is made of sugar cane and bamboo. Sugar Cane Bagasse is a by-product of sugar making, so it has no further impact on the environment. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing grasses, is easily replenished and grows in very hardy conditions, with limited water. Using this toilet paper minimizes the impact of tree logging needed for conventional toilet paper.

7)  Bamboo cups
These 6 colorful cups are made from a 100% biodegradableBamboo cups bamboo and corn compound. They are lightweight, dishwasher safe up to 40°C, and bring a natural, colorful touch to any indoor or outdoor setting. Zuperzozial designed the cups to be stylish as well as durable, with the earth’s future in mind. (http://www.iconhomeware.com.au/p/cups-assorted-colour-7.5-x-7.5-x-7.5cm-bamboo-corn/PU9CUP6A)

8)  Bamboo sink
This sink, designed by Totally Bamboo, is not only beautiful; it is also incredibly durable. It is made of high quality 100% renewable Moso bamboo and professionally sealed with a waterproof polyurethane to create a maintenance-free finish. The bamboo is grown without fertilizers, insecticides or artificial water supply. (www.totallybamboo.com)

9)  Bamboo towel rack
This bamboo ladder from DealHippie can be used as a towel rack, for hanging clothes or just as a beautiful bathroom accessory. (www.dealhippy.com)

Bamboo Soap dispenser10)  Bamboo soap dispenser
 This bamboo soap dispenser is made from bamboo with stainless steel, creating an eco-friendly, stylish bathroom accessory. The set consists of a water cup, soap dispenser and toothbrush holder. (www.allthingsgoodstore.com/product.asp?pfid=D1223&dispcat=0)

10 Quick Tips for a more Eco-friendly Breakfast in your Hotel

Reduce waste, energy and harmful emission by adopting these easy and quick measures:

1) Use refillable jars for jam, honey and butter instead of individual packages.Breakfast

2) Use large cereal pots instead of portion packed cartons.

3) Supplement in small portions to minimize left-overs.

4) Introduce an (partially) a la carte breakfast instead of a buffet to minimize left-overs.

5) Collect food left-overs and, if possible, donate this to local food banks.

6) Choose savory vegetarian options to replace some of the meat and cheese, such as avocado, mushroom spread or eggplant spread.

7) Offer several options of fresh tea leaves instead of packaged tea bags, to provide a surprising alternative and reduce packaging waste.

8) Provide sugar pots and salt and pepper shakers on the table instead of individual sachets.

9) Use locally grown products and fruits and vegetables of the season.

10) Complement your breakfast with a healthy, fulfilling selection to keep your guests fit and energetic.

10 Beautiful Eco-destinations around the World

Bonito, surrounded by lush forests and wetlands, has a vast variety of wildlife. With its impressive sustainable tourism model the city proclaims itself as Bonito“Capital of Ecotourism” within Brazil. All popular activities, like snorkeling in the Rio da Prata or rafting on the Rio Formoso are closely monitored. Swimmers and scuba divers are banned from using flippers to avoid disturbing the seabed or wearing pollutants like sunscreen or insect repellent. Most of the region’s natural attractions also regulate the number of visitors and restrict access to non-cooperating guides. Bonito was selected as the “Best destination for responsible tourism” at the World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London, 2013.

Laos adopted ecotourism as its official strategy in 2005. There are 20 national parks, 49 ethnic groups, 650 bird species, hundreds of mammals and a variety of affordable eco-friendly accommodations. Phongsaly province, a very remote province located in the north of Laos, is still merely unexplored by tourists. Its dramatic mountainous terrain, cool weather and a very diverse population of ethnic hill tribes make it a tremendous area for trekking. Many of the province’s forests are uninhabited and are reported to have lots of wildlife. The thick jungles are abundant with bird species and the province has some of the best hot springs in the country.

With one part planted in the Central American jungle and the other part dipping the Caribbean BelizeSea, the country packs more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems into less than 24.000 square kilometers. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef in the world, with more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish. It houses the world-famous Blue hole, over thousands cays (islands), abundant wildlife and excellent water for fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. With its 40 percent of the country classified as protected, Belize is one of the top eco destinations in Central America.

Located in the center of Gabon, Lope national park is mostly covered by rain forest. In the north of the park the last remnants of the grass savannas are situated, created during the last ice age. The 4910 square kilometers measuring area is home to mammal species like the forest elephant, leopard and forest buffalo. Bird species include the crowned hawk eagle, great blue turaco and the rosy bee-eater.  Highlight of the park is the Mikongo Camp where zoologists have been studying and preserving the environment for the groups of primates – including the western lowland gorilla, chimpanzee and mandrill.

Chiang Rai province is the northernmost province of Thailand with a diverse landscape. There are dramatic mountains in the east and flat Mekong River plains to the northeast.
Visitors can follow a biking or hiking trail along the paths of the mountain ranges of the province or meet the many indigenous tribes living on the Mae Kok riverbanks.

Kerala province, also known as “God’s own country”, attracts tourists by its palm fringed beaches, pristine backwaters and tropical forests. The province focuses on sustainable and eco-friendly development of tourism. The Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a national park and tiger reserve, is one of the oldest and most popular in India. The park is home to elephants and tigers and diverse flora and fauna surrounds the beautiful lake.

The Pantanal is the largest wetland on earth, housing the largest concentration of wildlife in the Americas. The area is home to 80 species of mammals like the jaguar, the giant anteater and the South American tapir. Furthermore 650 bird species, 400 fish species and more than 1100 butterfly species can be found. The Caiman Ecological Refuge has a program for protecting the region with a sustainable approach to ranching. Guests can take safaris and horseback tours, or participate in the Onçafari Program that protects the jaguars living in the area.

Dubai and eco seem to be two words that can only contradict. However, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve has put almost 5% of Dubai’s total land area under official eco-protection to remain its pristine desert landscape. The desert is home to a variety of animals that have unique and fascinating adaptations to the harsh environment, such as the Arabian oryx, the Arabian red fox, the sand cat and the spiny-tailed lizard. Visitors can explore the country via camel treks, guided desert safaris or falconry.

The Galapagos Islands and its surrounding waters formed the basis of Darwin’s evolution theory, due to its remote location. The area has one of the world’s most unusual ecosystems and is rich in biodiversity. More than 20% of the terrestrial and marine species are found nowhere else on earth than on the Galapagos Islands. The 70.000 square kilometers measuring Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest Marine Reserve on earth and home to 3000 species of marine plants and animals. Marine life is abundant on this small island, and the emphasis on low-impact tourism and blending in with the local tribes makes it a unique destination.

Hula Lake Park, located in the Galilee, is one of the most important bird-watching sites in the world. Many of the migrating birds here are endangered or threatened. Visitors are drawn to Hula to observe millions of migrating cranes, covering the skies above Hula every winter. They stop one last time in the area before they head of to the Sahara Desert. Besides bird watching, visitors can also cycle through the park or watch the birds from a camouflaged tractor.

10 Tips to Green-up your Bathroom

Eco-friendly and eco-sensitive hotels are seen more and more around the globe. Making green choices in a hotel is still often mistaken for making highly expensive choices. However, there are a lot of simple adjustments that can easily be made to make the bathrooms in your hotel a greener place.

Here are 10 tips on how to make your hotel bathroom more eco-friendly.

1) Use bulk soap and shampoo instead of individual packagesgreen-up-logo
Substitute all small plastic shampoo flacons and wrapped soap bars with attractive bulk amenity dispensers to reduce waste and costs.

2) Buy eco-friendly and sustainable bath products
A lot of bath products contain chemicals that are damaging to the environment. Instead, choose toiletries containing natural, biodegradable ingredients and organic extracts, without chemicals.

3) Towel reuse program
A lot of water is used every day to wash towels. Explain this to your guests and allow them to make a difference by joining a “green wash” program. This way guests can choose whether they want their towels to be cleaned or not. A towel hanging up means that the guest will use it again; a towel on the floor means they want it to be replaced by a clean one.
Known “green wash” projects are Project Plane or  “Plant a Billion Trees”.

4) Use non-toxic cleaning chemicals
Organic, citrus-based and other non-toxic cleaning products are just as effective as traditional cleaners, but better for the staff and the environment. Use them for cleaning agents as well as laundry detergents.

5) Install a water-reducing showerOutside Bathroom
Installing a water-reducing shower will reduce water use significantly, without compromising on luxury.

6) Reduce water use in toilet
Install a water-reducing toilet to significantly reduce water use. When the budget doesn’t allow this, place one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet’s reservoir. This will displace about 4 liters of water per flush.

7) Ensure taps are not leaking or dripping
Leaking or dripping taps can waste a lot of water. Make sure that leaking taps are fixed as soon as possible to reduce water waste.

8) Install motion sensor faucets
Introduce motion sensor taps. This will reduce water use when guests are toothbrushing, washing their face or hands.

9) Use eco-sensitive toilet paper
Use toilet paper that is unbleached or bleached through a chlorine-free process. Also think about using recycled toilet paper and biodegradable toilet paper. Paper dispensers, rather than traditional toilet rolls, can reduce consumption and save money.

10) Place recycling bins.
Place recycling bins in each bathroom. Separate paper, plastic and glass. This will simplify the recycling process.

10 tips to enrich the cultural experience of your guests by including staff members

Luxury travel is nowadays more and more about local experiences and authenticity than just about being pampered. Touristic trips and excursions organized by impersonal companies can increase your knowledge on the local culture to some extend, but how much nicer is it to have an authentic experience by meeting real people and getting to know real customs of the region you’re visiting?
Having your local staff members organize excursions, workshops and events will enhance your guests’ cultural experience. Also, guests will bond with your staff members, have a better overall experience in your hotel and will more likely want to come back next year!

Here are 10 tips for events that will enrich the cultural vacation experience of your guests by including your local staff members.

Cooking class1) Cooking class
Enjoying local food is an important cultural experience when travelling. Gaining knowledge about local products and dishes will surely enrich your guests’ vacation experience.
Organize a simple cooking class with one of your staff members. Anyone from your staff that enjoys cooking can give the class. Most important for your guests is the experience, not creating michelin-starred qualified food. Have your ‘cook’ explain about the local products and make a simple, local dish. Enjoy the meal with a good glass of your local beverage.

2) Tour to the local market
Visiting a local market will give guests good insight in the culture of the country or region.
Let one of your staff members organize a tour to the local market. Let him or her explain about the local products, fruits and vegetables and explain how it is used in daily life.

3) Evening of local myths storytelling
Every country or region has its own myths and legends.
Organize an evening where you let your staff members tell some of the local myths. Bring your guests together around a campfire while they enjoy a local beverage and let them listen to some of the most beautiful stories about the region.

4) Walk through a local villageWalk through a local village
A walk through a local village will be an interesting experience for most tourists. Have one (or more) of your staff members guide your guests through the village they live in. This way they can meet the real people, visit the real villages and watch the real daily life.

5) Quiz on facts about the country or region, with mixed teams
Most travellers love to know some interesting facts on the country or region they are visiting. Organize an ‘I love Thailand / India / Costa Rica / your destination quiz’. Make mixed teams, each team consisting of both locals and tourists. Think of cool, funny, interesting questions that concern the specific country, region or culture.
And of course, think of a nice “local” prize for the winning team!

6) Sports competitions in the local sport, with mixed teams
Sport can be fun, healthy and bonding. Organize a sport competition in one of the local sports, for example football, badminton or (beach)volleyball. Make mixed teams, each team consisting of both locals and tourists. Be ready for a day of fun, play and good competition!

7) Workshop about local, natural cosmetic products
In a world where cosmetic goods are more and more expensive, chemical and damaging for the environment, people are looking for natural alternatives. In many regions locals use products directly from nature to moisture, nourish and smooth their skin and hair. Have a staff member explain about the local, natural plants and products they use as cosmetics.

8) Workshop on making a local handicraft product
Bringing home local handicraft products is always a good memory of a vacation, but it’s even nicer to make something yourself! Create a workshop where your staff members help your guests making their own local handicrafted product. Think of a bowl made of a coconut, a woven basket or a traditional painting.

9) Attend a local religious ceremonylocal religious ceremony
Visiting a temple, church or other religious building can give some insight in the local culture. But by attending a ceremony with one of your staff members, your guests will surely gain a lot more knowledge.
Have your staff members invite guests to attend a local religious ceremony. Let the staff member explain about the ceremony and make sure that your guests are guided through every step of the event.

10) Workshop on local dance and/or music
Dance and music are at the basis of most cultures. Watching local people dance or make music is an important part of cultural understanding, but dancing and making music yourself is even more fun! Organize a workshop where one of your staff members teaches your guests a local dance or music piece.

10 Tips to Green-up your Accommodation!

Making your accommodation more sustainable is always a good business choice, whether you own a hotel, bed & breakfast, lodge, resort or other type of vacation accommodation.
green-up-logoIt can make your business more efficient and save you a lot of money. And, many tourists are nowadays attracted to eco-friendly accommodations. Making your accommodation more eco-sensitive doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money.

Here are 10 simple tips to make your accommodation greener.

1) Encourage guests to participate in environmentally friendly activities.Cycling through mountains
Inspiring guests in what activities they can do is always a good service. Why not encourage them to enjoy activities that have a low impact on the environment?
Provide bicycles for biking tours or clear maps for walking tours, so guests can explore on their own. Show them where they can find local farmers’ markets, plantations or villages to visit and locally run shops to eat, drink or buy souvenirs.
You can also partner with local ecotourism companies to promote their excursions and thus expose guests to the local, eco-friendly tourism options.

2) Show the guests that you care about the environment.
Join “green” hotel organizations and display this on your website and brochures. Furthermore you can join eco-friendly initiatives. A nice example is a hotel that plants a tree for every review posted on TripAdvisor, Facebook or Lonely Planet with Plant a Billion Trees.

3) Use bulk soap and shampoo instead of individual packages.
Substitute all small plastic shampoo flacons and wrapped soap bars with attractive bulk amenity dispensers to reduce waste and costs.

4) Towel and sheets reuse program.
A lot of water is used every day to wash towels and sheets. Explain this to your guests and allow them to make a difference by joining a “green wash” program. This way guests can choose whether they want their towels and sheets to be cleaned or not. A towel hanging up means that the guest will use it again; a towel on the floor means they want it to be replaced by a clean one.
A similar system is possible with sheets: placing a card (or preferably a nicely shaped wooden disc) on the bed means that guests only want the bed to be made up and that clean sheets are not necessary.
Known “green wash” projects are Project Planet and Plant a Billion Trees.

5) Minimize waste during breakfast
A lot of food is wasted during breakfast. These easy measures will reduce this waste:
- Use refillable jars for jam, honey and butter instead of individual packages
- Use large cereal pots instead of portion packed cartons
- Supplement in small portions
- Introduce an a la carte breakfast instead of a buffet
- Collect food left-overs and, if possible, donate this to local food banks.

6) Buy locallyThailand market
Most food, beverages and furniture can be bought and produced locally. It makes sense that when goods haven’t flown or trucked in, significant emissions will be saved. When possible make an effort to search for local businesses that grow and sell locally sourced products, preferably organic. This will support local businesses and save a lot of money.

7) Minimize water use.
A lot of water is spilled in bathrooms. A couple of easy measures will reduce the water usage without compromising on luxury:

- Install a water-reducing shower
- Install a water-reducing toilet. When budget doesn’t allow this, place one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet’s reservoir. This will displace about 4 liters of water per flush
- Ensure taps are not leaking or dripping
- Explain guests to close water taps during toothbrushing

8) Use non-toxic cleaning chemicals
Organic, citrus-based and other non-toxic cleaning products are just as effective as traditional cleaners, but better for the staff and the environment. Use them as cleaning agents as well as laundry detergents.

9) Placing recycling bins.
Place large recycling bins in public areas and smaller ones in each room. This will simplify the recycling process.

10) Switch to a key-card system to activate light and air conditioning.
Use key-cards that switch off all power when guests leave their room. This way electric bills can be cut by as much as 40%.



Welcome to Ultimate Dream Vacations!

Welcome to our blog!

We started this blog to provide you with simple tips for luxurious, eco-sensitive travel accommodations and destinations.Thailand_559

Vacation is an important part of a comfortable life. It enables people to let go their worries of the day, experience total freedom and create unique memories.

We believe that luxury travel and being eco-sensitive should go hand in hand. Furthermore, we think that travelers are more likely to protect their own environment at home when they have experienced beautiful nature on vacation.

Through this blog we want to give you simple tips to create the perfect vacation for luxury travelers and at the same time we want to encourage you to reach the lowest possible impact on the surroundings.

We hope you will enjoy reading our posts!

Feel free to contact us, either through the comment box below or by emailing us at ultimatedreamvacations@mocadazu.com