AUGUSTE TRAVELS: PLASTIC FREE PARADISE
You know that saying, “Take only memories, leave only footprints”...? Well, the team at Gili Lankanfushi island resort take it a step further, leading the way in sustainable tourism in the Maldives with their dedication to conservation, coral rehabilitation and a plastic-free paradise.
As a team of ocean lovers with those otherworldly islands on our travel wishlist, Gili Lankanfushi couldn’t have been a more perfect choice to stage the scene for our BASK campaign shoot. If there’s one thing we can really get behind, it’s being passionate about the wellbeing of the environment. Let us share some of the island’s sustainable initiatives with you.
(This place is really something to talk about.)
CORAL LINES PROJECT
Gili Lankanfushi employs two dedicated marine biologists to work from the island’s marine biology shack, Gili Veshi – the primary maine research facility and central hub for all conservation issues. One of their incredible initiatives is the Coral Lines Project, which was created to rehabilitate the island’s house reef by introducing lines of coral fragments. These lines are suspended five metres below the ocean’s surface and nursed over three years before being carefully transplanted to island's house reef to reverse the losses caused from bleaching events and other damage.
THE RESORT DESIGN
Every aspect of Gili Lankanfushi is designed with sustainability in mind: the buildings are constructed using sustainably-sourced wood and palms, and the overwater villas and jetties are supported with recycled telegraph poles, the rooms are built to catch the natural ocean breeze with countercurrent heat exchange systems to minimise the need for air conditioning.
The island’s organic garden is amongst the largest in the Maldives and grows a ready supply of fresh vegetables and herbs for the kitchen. Using traditional organic farming techniques and compost created from the island’s food waste, the garden has expanded over five years into a lush oasis of organic greens – well worth a visit.
PLASTIC FREE POLICY
Gili Lankanfushi has a strict no plastic policy, but discarded plastics still manage to work their way onto the island with the ocean current. In 2017, the resort began a plastic recycling scheme to intercept single-use plastics and keep them from polluting the ocean. The island’s Eco Centre recycles glass, plastic and aluminium, while a mechanical biological composter – the Maldives’ first and only – processes 100% of the kitchen’s organic waste into valuable compost for the organic garden.
The team at Gili Lankanfushi participate in Sustainable Living Training to educate them on current environmental issues, such as recycling and reducing waste and energy. The island also offers sustainability tours for local schools and visiting children with the team from the Marine Biology Shack, who educate them on natural structures and the fragility of the environment.