Sustainability Practices at Balamku: Using the resources of nature without abusing the environment by Alan Knight and Carol TumberThe workshop Green Homes and Renewable Energy in the Riviera Maya, November 6-8, in Akumal will teach workshop participants about many of the sustainable practices used at Balamku.
We believe that we have an obligation to protect the environment and reduce the impact of tourism by using eco-efficient energy and water systems, waste management practices, and by preserving the natural environment. . . .
All of our energy is provided by one of the largest solar panel installations on the Costa Maya.
There are 40 panels and 36 batteries in our system. Wind generation has been added to complement this solar system. It provides about 25% of our electricity and since there is almost always wind at night, our system loves this.
We supply our guests with 24 hour electricity without a generator pounding away in the background. . . .
Our water-saving, composting toilets are quite unique. As the waste is composted, toilet paper is put in the toilet and the black water is separated in the composting unit into a tank and used for large trees in our gardens. Water usage with these toilets is reduced from a normal gallon a flush to one pint. . . .
The planning design of Balamku considered the protection of the many local species of trees and plants. The units are situated to maximize natural ventilation. The beach has a beautiful stone wall to reduce the risk of erosion. Vines and shrubs have intentionally been left to assist in further reduction of soil erosion as well as for the enjoyment of their natural beauty.
Photo: Solar panels tucked just above the trees at Balamku. Photo courtesy of Balamku.