Kiran Chavan, Chairman, Grape County. Freeda Maria, Consulting Editor/Sustainable Tourism, Conscious Carma.
The story goes back many years when the idea was conceptualised, to convert an arid land into a green sacred green grove. The Ecosystem of the Triambakeshwar region is very unique, with a vibration, as believed by the locals, has chants of erstwhile sages still lingering in the air. The rains are torrential blessing the residents with waterfalls as far as the eye can see.
This very idea has today manifested into 250 acres of biodiverse rich area, which is further part of a 2000-acre reserved forestland. Grape County is nestled within this grove. Home to leopards, hyaenas, golden jackals, jungle cats, civet cats, monitor lizards, venomous and non-venomous snakes including the big four. As on December 2019, they have recorded and documented 50 bird species, 30 Butterfly species and 52000 trees in the Grape County precincts.
“We want to focus towards a Carbon neutral Future, our offsetting principles are aimed at using renewable energy, around 20,000 watts of energy is saved every month by using skylights and large window panes in our buildings, to allow natural light to flow for longer periods during daytime. Energyefficient glass panes and panels that transmit less heat were considered during construction”, Says Kiran Chavan
At Grape County, the construction material used blends perfectly with the immediate surrounding. Alternatives like artificial sand instead of natural, structures built on cantilevers that do not disturb the contours of the landscape, use of recycled wood and scrapped material, use of fly ash bricks has been considered. Director, Tejas points out that, “the choice of destination was to have an unmatched blend of Nature, spiritual vibrations, backwaters and the call of the wild! The resort is overlooking the Anjaneri Hills, the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, is a scenic and popular destination providing
breath-taking views, a pleasant climate and a trekking destination.” He adds, our first effort towards sustainability was to bring water (read full article of GC water conservation methods ) for which, three man-made lakes of 20 crores litre storage capacity were created along with 8 small ponds.
Did you Know?· They have water fixtures and plumbing fixtures like half flushes that reduce water consumption by nearly 40 percent are employed.
· Their On-grid solar power plant saves around a Lakh Every month with 40 Kilo watts of alternative power getting generated for lighting and heating purposes every day.
· Over 30,000 litres of daily consumed water are treated at the Root Zone Waste Water Treatment plant and recycled for reuse in watering all the plants in our Campus.
· A 200 Kg capacity biogas was installed to convert Kitchen/Food waste to Gas. 50 Kilograms of Food waste I sent to the Biogas every day.
· Around 50 kgs of kitchen waste goes to the vermicompost pit on a daily basis. It takes 45 days for the compost to be ready for using as manure for our in-house plants.
· They have embarked upon a journey with the principles of circular economy to Reduce/Reuse/Recycle our waste.
· Electric buggies are used to transport people and goods within the resort premises.
· They have resorted to eliminating single use plastics from our campus, and as a first step have withdrawn from using plastic cutlery and plastic flowers. Replaced plastic straws with paper. Stirrers, amenity containers, coffee trays and door signs are made of wood. Plastic water bottles have been replaced with glass water bottles in the guest rooms and at the restaurant.
· Laundry is collected in linen bags and delivered in cane baskets. Garbage bins in guest rooms are also made of cane.
GC’s positive Environmental Footprint
A conscious effort is made to employ local people from adjacent villages. 70% of our staff are from the Local Villages and Nasik Town. They work at all levels. Rigorous capacity building programs and skill training is imparted in the vernacular language. Each employee is taught English too, for honing their hospitality skills, basic etiquette to deal with customers. We encourage the entrepreneur in them by hiring their services and giving them continuous business. Their innate ability to work hard and the sense of service to the customer is very strong.
The Annual Farmers and Flea Market at GC, sees huge crowds as the farmers and micro enterprises lay their priced possessions for consumers to buy. From homemade soaps to organically grown vegetables and fruits. All are on display for people to buy and learn the farmers’ ways of organically grown and made products.
Vocal for local is what we stand for when it comes to voicing our needs to the local producers around us. Almost 90% of our in-house requirements like vegetables, milk, grocery, meat, etc. are sourced from farmers and producers around the 10 km periphery of our properties. Our little contribution for sustained livelihoods to our local vendors. This policy of ours not only benefits the local vendors but also reduces our prevailing carbon footprint by minimising the transport distance and the logistics.
Curated Experiences, Trails and Walks/Education and Interpretation
An educative Nature Interpretation Centre and a Medicinal Garden with a thriving Butterfly Garden can give you the lessons to carry back as memories. (Picture) Traditional performances, endemic art and traditions. They have put together a Village and Tribal Settlements visit. For the visitors to appreciate and understand the spirit of the local land. (Picture)
Grape County Luxury Eco Resort has been certified with a 5 Star rating under SVAGRIHA, An initiative of the energy research institute (TERI), Delhi. This is the 1st resort in, Maharashtra having 5-star rating.
Will you not want to experience their luxurious hospitality that is sustainable and enjoy a holiday with Nature all around you? Go ahead and book your stay at https://www.grapecounty.in