Cotton Tree Lodge attempts to display the culture and natural beauty of Belize while minimizing impact on the surrounding people and environment.Several measures have been taken to make the lodge as sustainable as possible. The entire property is “off the grid”, and power is generated by a combination of solar panels, batteries, and a generator.
Especially because we are along the banks of the Moho River, we take care not to disturb the fragile ecosystem. Our toilets are just like yours at home, flushing with water. The wastewater flows into a septic tank, then to a leech field. The difference is that our fields are contained in large block vats, lined with several feet of halved plastic bottles, then covered with earth and banana trees. The banana roots form a dense mat. This absorbs the water and nutrients from the vat, creating a closed system of bio and phyto remediation. The containment assures that our land and river are waste free. No unpleasant odors and wastewater. Bananas are perhaps eaten by monkeys in the night, but not by us. In your room you will find biodegradable soaps and shampoos, and our housekeepers use biodegradable laundry detergent and cleaning formulas whenever possible.
We have implemented a reforestation program, planting teak, mahogany, and fruit trees around the property. These trees are planted on land that was previously cleared of jungle, burned, and farmed. The trees create shade and nitrogen for under-story crops such as cacao, diversity for overall sustainability, stability for our riverbanks, and fresh fruit for our consumption. Many of these trees have come to the lodge via Sustainable Harvest International.
Since opening, Cotton Tree Lodge has been developing a partnership with SHI, a non-profit that teaches sustainable agriculture techniques to Central American farmers. SHI has established an organic demonstration garden on the Cotton Tree Lodge grounds, which provides space for farming workshops and fresh produce for the lodge kitchen. SHI offers volunteer opportunities to lodge guests who wish to work on projects like building wood-conserving stoves or planting vegetable gardens.
We encourage all of our guests to do their part by shutting off lights and fans when leaving their cabanas, and by conserving whenever possible. We encourage guests to bring reusable water bottles to refill with purified water during their stay to minimize the use of disposable plastic water bottles.