What can you do?
Utopia Village located in on the island of Utila, strives for responsible, natural and cultural based eco-tourism. We hold an Environmental Permit issued by the Ministry of Environment, a division within the Central Honduran Government. This permit acknowledges that our hotel and site were developed with strict guidelines to respect and commune with the natural marsh, jungle and reef surrounding us.
We understand the importance of preserving our environment and indigenous communities. Our Utila resort is committed to protecting our ecosystems and their biodiversity by taking continual steps to be more environmentally friendly and aware. Our policy is to reduce, reuse and recycle! We actively encourage all employees and visitors to participate in these endeavors. Together, we can make a difference!
While building Utopia Village, great care was taken to save as many trees as possible on the property. Trees are nature’s air conditioners, as well as beautifiers and homes to countless birds, bats, lizards and orchids. They are critical in minimizing erosion and nourishing the soil. We are fortunate to have on property, many, “Gumba Limbas” or “Naked Indian” trees. They are endangered in Honduras and monitored closely by environmental groups. The distinct characteristic of the Gumba Limba is red peeling bark which reveals olive tones underneath. Much of the color of the interiors of Utopia was chosen to reflect this beautiful tree. As tribute, one of our hotel buildings was named after this magnificent specimen.
Due to the abundant reef just off our shore and to minimize impact on our underwater environment, our dock was built slightly East from Utopia in a clear sandy channel. Each morning, divers walk (the length of a football field) to board our dive boat, “The Miss U”. In front of Utopia, we left a strip of the coral rock along the beach to help with erosion. Beyond the coral strip, there is plenty of space to enjoy our sandy beach!
Our area is diverse in terrain from reef to swamp. It is teeming with life such as birds, land crabs, hermit crabs, iguanas, lizards, bats, wild rabbits, hawks, wild orchids and many species of trees. Off our shores, you can see nearly 99% of the variety of species found in the Caribbean!
We compost all of our vegetable and fruit scraps. The resulting rich soil is then used in our landscaping efforts. All of the plants come from cuttings here on the island. We collect seeds from our papayas and replant them throughout the gardens. We also minimize our use of pesticides and chemical based fertilizers.
We encourage water conservation and are self sustained by three wells, a rain water collection system and cisterns. Due to this mode of collection along with conservation of energy use, we launder linens once per week unless otherwise requested. Old linens are reused as cleaning rags. We utilize refillable shampoo, hand soap and lotion bottles in lieu of disposable mini plastic bottles. Windows, screened in areas and ceiling fans minimize the use of air conditioners. Large windows flood our rooms with natural light reducing our energy usage. We discourage paper in the toilets so that our three stage, septic systems can work more efficiently within the environment. We provide a filtered water station and encourage guests to refill their water bottles and pitchers. Rainwater is collected to water our gardens. Jars and containers are reused. Cans are recycled and reduce trips to the landfill. We minimize the use of plastic plates and cups and have switched to deposit bottles for all our beers and sodas in lieu of plastic. Plastic garbage that we do generate is sent to the new recycling plant in town. Laser print paper is reused in our office as notepaper. Most of our vehicles are powered by diesel.
We believe that as a tourism and travel related establishment in a lesser developed country, it is our duty to both teach and empower local communities. The vast number of Utopia’s staff are from the surrounding local cays and Utilatown. From recycling techniques to electrical and plumbing and spa treatments to culinary techniques, we have trained our longtime employees in areas they may not have otherwise been exposed, thus providing a rich professional foundation and income for their families.
Our Utila beach resort aims to educate and entertain while minimizing negative footprints. We have regular underwater clean up dives and an annual beach and reef cleanup bbq sponsored by PADI’s Project Aware. We do not allow guests to touch animal life, particularly while diving or snorkeling. We participate in the Whale Shark research and photo id program and donate part of the reef fund to UCME (The Utila Centre for Marine Ecology). This is a registered NGO that focuses on saving the reef systems in the Bay Islands. Our beaches are kept clean and all trash is disposed of properly.
Our desire, for all guests, is to enjoy and appreciate nature in a pristine and natural condition.
- Turn off lights, water and air conditioners when you leave your room.
- Minimize water use. Turn off taps when shaving or brushing teeth.
- Refill your water bottle for excursions to cut down on waste.
- Reuse your towels to help reduce water and chemical use.
- Have respect for local cultures and customs. Don’t judge ..…. listen and learn.
- Dispose of all trash responsibly.
- Ensure people’s enjoyment of nature in solitude by traveling quietly.
- When diving and snorkeling, never touch plant and animal life. Minimize fin movement, which stirs sand that can choke the reef.
- Never chase an animal – while hiking, diving or snorkeling.
- Stay on trails.
- Do not take souvenirs from nature or archeological sites.
- Contribute to the local community by donating time, talent or treasure.
- Join environmental groups and support environmental causes.
- Learn more and teach others about ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment!
Thank you for helping us protect our environment. Again, we welcome your ideas, feedback and suggestions. Together we can preserve our precious resources and environment for future generations!