10 Things a resort must do to become Carbon Neutral.

Carbon Neutrality has become a very important topic these days, with many companies coming under scrutiny for ecologically harmful and unsustainable practices in business. To become carbon neutral, the main goal is to remove as much C02 from the atmosphere as you produce. One can take many measures and approaches to reach this goal, so let’s explore some of these options.

  • Use energy efficient alternatives

Simple things such as using LED lights, solar panels, intelligent lighting and such adds up to not only being friendlier for the environment but on operational costs as well!

  • Better supply chains

From the ground level shipping to company security, resorts can operate with other carbon neutral companies in order to lessen their own carbon footprint by a sizable margin.

  • Remote work

While there are countless facets to running a resort that require in-person attention, there are a lot of things that can be offloaded to remote workers which not only improves productivity but also helps reduce the environmental impact of running a large on site crew,

  • Furnishing

Here at our resorts in Lonavala, we pride ourselves on our furnishings and room decor, many of which are sourced from local artisans or are antiques. Avoiding formal and sterile furniture helps both in aesthetics and in keeping the carbon footprint down.

  • Eco friendly Products

Everyday items like shampoo sachets or single use napkins can be damaging to the ecosystem owing to the amount used and the production processes used to make them. Thus moving to eco-friendlier alternatives can have a massive impact on one’s carbon footprint.

  • Reduce

We strive to keep operational costs as well as waste down by reducing the intelligently managing resources in ways such as customized menus for each guest or dimmer lights which save both energy and reduce light pollution.

  • Reuse

Reusing of waste products is crucial to keeping negative environmental impact to a minimum. For example, almost all our greywater is used in watering the flowers and plants around our resorts near Mumbai.

  • Recycle

We also recycle any plastic products and scrap paper that we can in order to keep them useful for longer as well as prevent more pollution from throwing them as junk or burning them.

  • Aiding the growth of carbon sinks

Of all our accomplishments, our regenerated forests have played a pivotal role in our becoming the first carbon neutral resort in India. Carbon sinks like our forests play a major role in stabilizing the ecosystem and removing carbon from the atmosphere, so it’s in our best interest to preserve and protect these carbon sinks.

  • Carbon offsets

By purchasing carbon offset credits, one can purchase a claim for a measurable and verified amount of emission reductions via dedicated organizations that prevent or reduce carbon from being reduced somewhere else. These offset credits are crucial in dealing with certain emissions that may be hard or even near impossible to reduce.

India’s First And Only Carbon Neutral Resort – The Machan

A sustainable mindset is required in this age where the effects of climate change and environmental pollution are becoming all too real. We need to act now so that our future may be secured.

We are very proud of how far we have come so far, having recently become the first and only carbon neutral resort in India so far. Our resorts in Lonavala are the pinnacle of eco-friendly travel and tourism, utilizing many techniques to keep our carbon footprint to a bare minimum and maintain an efficient operation.

It was no easy feat but today our resorts not only stand as a pioneer in nature oriented travel, we are also actively giving back to the communities around us, from whom employ staff and also purchase local produce from.

We have had the philosophy of restoring and preserving the natural state of things ever since we began as a small barren plot of land a bit over two decades ago. Over the years, we transformed the land into the lush forest it is today, home to dozens of endangered species of fauna and flora. It is a story of hope and healing that is still going on today and we hope you will join us on this quest.

The Machan – Carbon Sinks and Carbon Neutrality

Carbon has been a headache for the human race since the industrial age, the rise of factories and mass production has aggravated issues of carbon and other greenhouse gases. This problem is made even worse by the fact that many of our forests, some of the biggest carbon sinks, are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Carbon sinks that act as reservoirs that absorb/remove carbon from the atmosphere and serve a crucial role in supporting life on Earth. When there is a balance between the carbon produced and removed, one can be considered carbon neutral. When these carbon sinks are taken out of the balance, we are the ones who will suffer the negative consequences.

Our belief in carbon neutrality goes far beyond a buzzword to be thrown around, our resorts in Lonavala becoming the first and only carbon neutral resort in India so far. This was possible from our sustained efforts in regeneration of the forests around our property, which acts as a natural carbon sink and also provides a home to various fauna like a family of barking deer.

Our future lies in protecting what is here in the present and preserving these things for future generations to enjoy as well. So let us embrace eco-friendly travel and a nature oriented lifestyle.

What is the carbon Footprint of the Travel Industry?

While travelling is one of the most popular activities across the world, many of us may be unaware of just how much the travel industry affects our planet. According to a 2018 study, tourism may account for nearly 4.3 billion metric tons of carbon emissions which includes carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. These emissions are measured as the carbon footprint we generate, and this carbon footprint is an indication of how we impact the environment through our actions. 

Carbon Footprint

We might think only things like burning fossil fuels or burning plastics are how emissions are produced, however, many things in our daily lives are largely responsible for the carbon footprints we leave behind. From our transport, to food and lodging, these small things add up to have a sizeable impact on the world around us.

The tourism industry is heavily affected by things like poor supply chains and outdated, inefficient power systems, these things can be updated and reworked to fit a sustainable model of operation like our resorts in Lonavala. It not only would have the benefit of being better for nature but also reduce the cost of operations due to them being more efficient.

Picture taken at our resorts near Lonavala

Travelling to new places and having memorable experiences is something that everyone deserves, and that includes the future generation. It would be a disservice to our children and grandchildren if all we were to leave behind is an empty husk of a once vibrant landscape.

In the end, all of us should aim to reach a goal of carbon neutrality like our Lonavala resorts, i.e, maintaining a state of equilibrium between the emissions produced and the carbon removed from the atmosphere. It’s an overall healthier approach to tourism and one that will ensure this beautiful Earth of ours will be around for the centuries to come.

Environmental Friendly Resorts In India

By achieving carbon neutrality, resorts can improve the state of the ecosystem they’re built on and thus offer a better atmosphere for guests. Inefficiencies when running a resort, such as outdated power systems and poor supply chains, when fixed, decrease cost of operations as well as reduce emissions. 

Some of the most environmentally friendly resorts in India that you can visit with a peace of mind are:

  • The Machan

Located in Lonavala in the midst of the forest, The Machan is a magical getaway for true nature lovers. It is the first and only carbon neutral resort in India so far; and the very forest surrounding the resort is the result of hard work towards giving back to the environment.

These forests are now a pleasure to explore as it hosts a multitude of unique and beautiful flora and fauna such as Blue-Capped Rock-Thrush and Giant Malabar Squirrel. This tranquil spot also makes it perfect for activities like trekking, nature walks and forest bathing.

  • Aahana Corbett Wilderness

Its proximity to Corbett park makes it more appealing to guests. Located on a 10-acre property, it offers guests a unique wilderness experience. The hotel has partnered with the local village to offer their guests a luxurious stay. Guest rooms are furnished in wood and equipped with everything they need for a comfortable stay.

  • The Barefoot

At Barefoot at Havelock, you can enjoy a unique experience just steps away from Beach No. 7. The deep blue water and clear blue sky make this place feel like heaven among the tropical forests.

  • SwaSwara Wellness Retreat

Inspired by the sound of the word ‘Om,’ SwaSwara Wellness Retreat offers a place to rejuvenate both mentally and physically.  In addition to yoga and Ayurvedic treatments, the sanctuary offers wellness programs (spanning from 5-21 nights).

  • The Fern Gir Forest Resort

Guests at this resort enjoy luxurious services and it is known for being environmentally friendly. All 40 rooms have basic modern amenities, and they have tried to make the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. The resort’s design is heavily influenced by rural India.

  • Vythiri Resort

The resort’s 43 treehouses, villas, and restaurant feature elaborate wood-panelling, exposed bricks, and traditional Kerala-style architecture. There is a relaxed atmosphere in the rooms, which have balconies and modern amenities. 

  • Kipling Camp

Kipling Camp is located on the edge of the Kanha National Park. As a long-standing accommodation provider, they thought of making it part of responsible tourism. In particular, the camp is committed to protecting the forest and wildlife

  • Ananda

The resort is located close to Rishikesh. Located in the Himalayas, the resort is stunningly beautiful. Since it is meant for wellness, the use of chemicals has been limited, and they have made accommodations accordingly. Guests are provided with all the amenities they need during their stay. There are a variety of programs available at the resort that they can take part in. 

  • Eco Tones

The Eco Tones resort strives to be different from the typical resort. Sustainability is incorporated into their mud houses so that they have a rustic look without sacrificing all the modern amenities. In the absence of urban noise, guests can interact with the local people and explore nature in their own way. 

  • Nimmu House

Ladakh’s Nimmoo village is home to this resort which is over 10,000 feet above sea level. Located in close proximity to untouched and pristine mountains, it provides a sense of relaxation. Meals are always prepared with fresh produce from the local area. Staying in the tent is the best way to experience their eco-friendliness. They provide an opportunity to experience Ladaki culture.

Recollections of Rain

Machan Resorts in Lonavala

As a kid, the rain was an experience that was as awesome as it could get; playing in the rain, making paper boats and splashing about in puddles after classes are all memories that have grown sweeter with time.

It’s fun looking back, but as this year’s Independence Day has come and gone, it’s given me a newfound appreciation for the beautiful season that is monsoon. As the summers grow warmer and the winter’s bite, it’s nice having a cup of tea in the rain as I stay the night at the resort near Pune; and relaxing as the soft pitter patter of the rain morphs into a lullaby in the background.

I remember how the rains would always show up during Independence Day practice, as we quietly celebrated not having to stand in the harsh sun. The soft grey clouds rolling across the sky, bringing relief and joy with it. Even now the monsoons are some of my favorite months of the year, the revival of the Earth after the hot summers and the celebrations that come with it are still as special as they were then

10 Animals to witness at The Machan in Lonavala

All around the Western Ghats, you can find fascinating animals, some unique to the area. With a huge amount of biodiversity, few resorts in Lonavala are blessed with the presence of some beautiful creatures like the famous Malabar Giant Squirrel. Be sure to look for these beauties on your next trip to The Machan.

Bullfrog

Bullfrog at The Machan
Bullfrog at The Machan

These large amphibians are well known for their deep croaks and immense strength. Capable of hunting even snakes, bullfrogs are a ferocious critter. However they can hurt humans and will in fact keep pest populations like flies and mosquitoes down. You go frog!

Fruit Bat

Fruit bat hanging off a branch at The Machan
Fruit bat taking a nap at The Machan

Seen here sleeping peacefully, fruit bats can be adorable. As their name suggests, they are unsurprisingly frugivores, meaning most of their diet consists of fruits. They act as pollinators and seed dispersers of the fruits they eat and are considered essential for an ecosystem. They also help keep pests away from spoiling fruits.

Indian Pond Heron

Indian Pond Heron enjoying a meal at The Machan
Indian Pond Heron enjoying a meal at The Machan

While you may think the Indian Pond Heron is unexciting upon first glance, it’s when they spread their wings to fly that we can see their brilliant white wings that make them very distinctive. They may also develop reddish plumage and legs during the breeding season, which furthers their beautiful appearance.

Purple Sunbird

Purple Sunbird at the Machan perches on a flower for its next meal
Purple Sunbird at The Machan perching on a flower

Purple Sunbirds can appear to be black under harsh sunlight but closer inspection will reveal their iridescent purple hues. These small birds are fast fliers and can feed on nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, though they usually prefer to perch on the base of the flower like in the photo.

Jewel Bug

Jewel Bug sits on a leaf in the dark at The Machan
Jewel Bug glowing in the dark of the night at The Machan

Jewel bug are easily recognisable for their brilliant coloration in shades of green, blue and yellow. They are also known as metallic shield bugs or shield-backed bugs because of their hard outer shell which glows like metal in good lighting.

Malabar Giant Squirrel

A large Malabar Giant Squirrel maneuvers its way on a branch
A chunky Malabar Giant Squirrel maneuvers its way across a branch at The Machan

Being one of the largest squirrels in the world reaching lengths of almost 3 feet from head to tail, the Malabar Giant Squirrel or Indian Giant Squirrel is quite a chunky sight. Sticking to the trees for most of their life; their diet primarily consists of fruits, flowers and nuts. You can often catch a glimpse of them jumping across trees in the early hours of the morning when they are most active.

Bronze Grass Skink

Skink basking in the evening at the Machan
Skink basks in the final rays of sunlight at The Machan

Bronze grass skinks are common, but shy, ground-dwelling reptile that is active both day and night. Like other skinks, the bronze grass skink feeds on insects and other invertebrates. Their scales which can be bronze, brown or olives gives them a shiny look in the sun.

Mantids

a brown mantis blends in with its surroundings using its camouflage at the Machan
A mantid expertly camouflaging itself at the Machan

You’re probably already familiar with nature’s tiny martial artist, the praying mantis. They are mostly ambush predators, using their highly adapted forelegs to catch their prey. Most of the time mantids camouflage themselves amongst foliage to avoid predators and stalk prey, making them hard to spot unless you’re looking for them.

Lantern Bug

A lantern bug lounges on the trunk of a tree at the Machan.
A multicolored Lantern Bug lounging around at The Machan

Lantern bugs are mostly of moderate size and often have brilliant and varied coloration. They can be quite the sight during the nights where they seek light sources.

Leafhopper

A leafhopper poses for the camera on a branch at the Machan.
An adorable leafhopper smiling for the camera caught at the Machan

Leafhoppers are a common name for species from the Cicadellidae family. They are plant feeders that survive on the sap of grass, trees and shrubs. The leafhoppers undergo direct development from nymph to adult without a pupal stage. While many leafhoppers are nothing spectacular, adults and nymphs of some species are quite colourful.

The Machan – 1000 Posts on Instagram

Over the years, The Machan resorts in Lonavala has been a proud home to guests who have had an eye for beauty, a knack for seeking adventure, and a creative spirit. The photographs on our Instagram handle are a testament to our guests’ keenness to observe, create, and capture everyday miracles. 

The Machan has always put forth its guests’ media on its social handles, for that is an authentic representation of our service and quality. We have been fortunate enough to host guests who not only exercise creativity but also let us share their talent. The Machan encourages this creative spirit, and this journey of encouragement and appreciation has led us to 1000 posts on Instagram. 

Our guests have shown admiration for various aspects of The Machan by capturing the charm of our property. Through their artificial eyes, our guests have appreciated our machans, food, adventure activities, the starscape, and the lush property itself. The Machan is grateful for this mutual admiration. 

The Machan endorses the principle of community, and one of the most important pillars of a community is its artists- anyone with an imaginative flair. Right from simple moments with families or friends relaxing by the pool to stunning sunsets and curious wildlife species, our guests have curated their best memories and have been kind enough to let us also share them. In this odyssey, we now have 1000 illustrations of The Machan’s rustic charm and sterling philosophy of giving back to nature. 

The Machan Gallery Vol 3

The Machan resort in Lonavala is an exclusive eco-resort with unique tree houses rising 45 feet above the forest, offering complete serenity to those looking to escape into nature. In the heart of the Western Ghats, The Machan endorses the principles of sustainability, conservation, preservation, and community. 

What is The Machan Gallery?

One of the most important pillars of a community is its artists. As such, The Machan promotes the creation and appreciation of all art forms on its property. ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative was launched in line with this thought to appreciate the art of photography. Resorts near Pune are a visual treat to the eyes, both real and artificial; but capturing their true beauty and the memories made there requires patience, creativity, and appreciation for the same- all three values that we hold dear to our heart. 

Under ‘The Machan Gallery’ initiative, 10 best captured moments are nominated for public vote on our social media handles. The winners are awarded gifts and vouchers by The Machan. 

What can you capture at The Machan?

The Machan is a haven for anyone interested in photography. Right from simple moments with your significant other or friends relaxing by the pool or in a hammock to stunning sunsets, wildlife, and the pitter-patter of the rains during the monsoon season, capture whatever intrigues you the most. From wide angle shots on a professional camera to pictures taken simply on your phone, we encourage and appreciate all forms of photography, for each photograph is a wonderful memory specially curated by you. 

The Machan is an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune for a digital detox and an art indulgence. Plan your next holiday at The Machan and don’t forget to pack your cameras!

Interested in The Machan Gallery? Click here to see the previous nominations. 

Responsible Tourism Society of India to onboards Machan Resorts to Promote Sustainable Tourism Practices in the Western Ghats

The machan and RTSOI

The Machan is pleased to announce that it is now a member of the Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI). This membership will aid in minimizing any negative social, economic, and environmental impact that tourism may have on the ecosystems of the Western Ghats and preserve its communities. 

Who is RTSOI ?

The Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) is a non-profit organization, established with the aim to promote and ensure environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The founding body of RTSOI comprises 13 widely experienced professionals from relevant fields. They are:

  • Mr. Rakesh Mathur- Former CEO, Bass (IHG) Hotels, South and West Asia; Former President, ITC Welcomheritage Hotels
  • Mr. Steve Borgia- MD, Indeco Hotels, Chennai
  • Mr. Mandip Singh Soin, FRGS- Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mr. Jose Dominic- MD, CGH Earth Hotels
  • Mr. P.D. Rai- Former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
  • Dr. Venu V, IAS- Revenue Secretary, Government of Kerala
  • Mr. Ravi Singh- CEO, WWF India
  • Mr. Toby Sinclair- Wildlife Film Maker; Director Indian Safaris
  • Mr. Avay Shukla- Additional Chief Secretary (Retired); Government of Himachal Pradesh
  • Mr. Krishna Kumar Singh- Former MLA and Environmentalist 
  • Mr. Sudhir Sahi- Consultant, UNDP
  • Mr. Niranjan Kharti- Founder, iSambhav; Former GM Environment, ITC Welcome Group Hotels 
  • Mr. Mr. Sarath C.R.- Chief Naturalist, Taj Safaris; Associate Director Evolve Back Resorts

“While we talk about the benefits of tourism, it is also important to acknowledge and take actions against the substantial negative impacts this industry has on a destination’s environment, culture, and locals. The Machan promotes eco-friendly tourism practices and is one of the few resorts that implement plans to be as sustainable as possible and minimize any damage to the Western Ghats,” Machan’s spokesperson. 

The Machan’s strategies for sustainability

  • Use of only LED lighting throughout the property
  • Provide pure mountain water for consumptions in glass bottles from the property’s 300 foot deep bore well
  • Recycle 80% of all greywater and use it to water plants on the property
  • To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the Machan uses parabolic solar cookers to cook a portion of meals
  • All energy is generated off-grid from renewable resources 

The Machan shares RTSOI’s vision of sustainable tourism and the synergy between the two organizations aims at benefitting the Western Ghats by making positive contributions to the conservation of the biodiversity of the area and generating economic benefits for the local communities. 

The joined resources and efforts of RTSOI and the Machan will result in:

  • Formulating and implementing plans for long-term sustainability efforts
  • Working with relevant bodies of power to establish sustainable tourism practices which will not only include conservation of nature and wildlife but also allow local communities to benefit from tourism
  • Better support for eco-based research
  • Promotion of efficient energy saving practices like water harvesting, use of solar and other natural energy sources, and reducing overall carbon footprint
  • Organize training and other activities for guests, staff and locals to create awareness on ecotourism and sustainable tourism

Additionally, RTSOI will help The Machan network with sustainability experts and offer solutions to problems relating to sustainability, and inspire other resorts in Lonavala . As a member, the Machan will have a medium to share its best practices with other member organizations and promote its vision.