The EU-SWITCH Asia Greening Sri Lanka Hotels ( EU-GSLH) project, implemented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce had been in operation since 2009 and has successfully engaged more than 190 hotels throughout Sri Lanka, helping them to enhance their environmental performance through improvement of energy, water and waste management.
So far, most of the interventions and work has been focused on energy and water aspects. However, it was felt that waste management also had to be looked at seriously, and for this purpose, the project found a very suitable partner, ICEI (Istituto Cooperazione EconomicaInternazionale), an Italian non-profit organisation, working on promoting organic agriculture and responsible tourism.
ICEI has been in Sri Lanka for the past seven years, successfully working on promoting organic agriculture in Kandy and Arugambay areas. Together, the EU-SWITCH Asia Greening Sri Lanka Hotels Project and ICEI decided to promote organic agriculture in hotels where the hotels can grow some of their vegetable requirements in an organic environment, even in public areas such as flower troughs within the hotel premises itself.
EU-GHSL Project Director Srilal Miththapala said, “This is today referred to as ‘Edible landscapes’. Most of the kitchen refuse is composted and used in these organic and ‘edible landscapes’. In this manner, hotels can find a solution to one of their main problems of garbage disposal, while at the same time being able to leverage and market a value added environmentally friendly and unique product offering.”
A half a day seminar was organised on 5 April at Ramada Colombo to sensitise and create awareness of the possibilities of organic gardening in hotels. Over40 enthusiastic hoteliers participated, and were motivated and excited to implement some of the ideas discussed.
ICEI will now work with some of the interested hotels in taking this initiative forward, with the support of EU- GSLH.