Camp Cabarita

Sustainable Travel – Camp Cabarita Eco Lodge Jamaica

Sustainability Begins with Relationships

As Camp Cabarita’s nameshake teaches us – while the water flowing through it is never the same water, the river remains. Camp Cabarita’s foundation is its river of everchanging relationships – relationships to the people, to the land, to our vistors and to the water that flows through it all. Camp Cabarita understands it is from these intentional relationships that sustainability is achieved. As we think through our sustainable practices, we have several key guiding questions. These include:

How does it forge deeper relationships with the Jamaican people, the true caretakes of this island today and into the future?

How does it help us live more connected to the natural systems that sustain us?

How does it celebrate and protect the unparalleled biodiversity of this region, an area believed to have the highest percentage of endemic species in the world?

How does it model our belief that we must live simply for others to simply live?

As with many ecolodges, we also monitor and attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and bring awareness to guests and staff of the ways we can all do this. But it is our own brand of connected living within a rich network of relationships that defines our sustainability mission.

Celebrating Where You Are...
A visit to the beautiful island of Jamaica is an opportunity to take in attractions from expansive white beaches to the breath taking mountains. The guests that visit Camp Cabarita, however, are choosing to step off the beaten path for a reason. They have come to connect with place and to marvel at the beauty that can only be discovered by a more intentional movement across the landscape. They come to see a glimse of the Red-billed Streamertail flittering from flower to flower outside their guest room or to walk the slate-lined river bed that is responsible for the countless waterfalls that make this area a treasure. Within walking distance of Camp Cabarita our guests will see:

Cabarita River – With an amazing 8 ft deep swimming hole with a rocky beach to sit
The Original Mayfileld Falls – Considered one of the grandest falls on the island
Ginger Werks Jah Creation Caves – A magnificent karst limestone formations

Of course this Jamaican style stay-cation (a vacation focused on staying right where you are) also reduces reliance on fossil fuel transportation. At the same time it creates more opportunities to meet Jamican’s where they live and play and to authentically enjoy their vibrant culture.

At Camp Cabarita we are committed to helping our guests celebrate the beauty of our amazing surroundings and become stewards of this place both while they visit and when they share the wonders they discovered taking time to “celebrate right where you are”… for it is the only place any of us can ever really be.

Connecting to the natural systems that sustain us…

Walking into Camp Cabarita’s sun drenched riverside paradise is a step into connected living The power of the equatorial sun, mountainfeed streams and food laddened tropical forests unfold before your eyes. Camp Cabarita’s commitment to living in harmony with these amazing natural systems is evident. Below are just a few of ways we see are ourselves as part of, not separate from, the natural systems that sustain life.

Locally Sourced Food
Locally sourced food brings crops and meats directly from the farmers’ fields and forest to our tables. Prepared completely onsight, these savory tropical flavors combine to create dishes that could only be from Jamaica. Not only do the satiating meals introduce your palate to new foods, they also provides antioxidant-rich foods, filled with vitamins and minerals directly from their source.

Edible Gardens
Camp Cabarita is cultivating edible gardens throughout its grounds to provide a foraging playground that is only possible in this tropical climate. Pick organically grown bananas, coconuts, mangoes, plantains, pineapple and more as you stop to enjoy the visually stunning flowering birds of paradise ?? ADD OTHER FLOWERING PLANTS HERE. To supplement the locally sourced foods, we also grow our own peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

Diversified Composting Systems
Nothing goes to waste at Camp Cabarita, as we work hard to return all nutrients we use back to the earth. These gardens are maintained using onsite compost. All of our raw fruit and vegetable waste and any other disposables that we can are composted. We compost to put back into the land helping to reduce our waste that is taken off site as well as making the garden soils healthier for plants and vegetables. We are in the middle of a composting project to amend the soil on site that is mostly clay and fragile from heavy amounts of farming and washed away soil due to heavy rains.

Supporting Local labor
We staff 100% locally and all staff members are in less than a 15 minute walking distance from our property. It is a small neighborhood so the locals appreciate the work and we are happy to keep the money here and continuously putting it back into the community.

Rainwater
Camp Cabarita traps rain water from impermeable surfaces and retains it in onsite tanks. We use this water for flushing toilets, washing hands, doing dishes, and drinking water for locals. By doing this we lower the use of tap and river water that we need to pump.

No Air Conditioning
Our buildings are designed with windows and doors positioned for air to flow fluidly through the rooms rather than using air conditioning which increases our electrical use. With the mountain micro climate here the nights are cool enough that air conditioning isn’t necessary.

Forest management
Harvesting end of life trees allows Camp Cabarita to make way for new growth and also prevent damage to buildings from fallen trees in extreme weather. It also provides for a source of building materials, structural lumber, and furniture. Ornamental veneers for an authentic touch is a use as well. Most decor, non-structural material is bamboo which is an invasive species on the island. Bamboo is used to line walls, chairs, and cover structural poles and beams.

Jamaican made products
Jamaica has a large amount of world known products for cooking, beverages, and special treats. Red Stripe, Guiness (brewed in Kingston and not for export), Dragon, JB Rum, and Appleton Rum are all alcoholic beverages made on the island. Gizzadas, Tamarin Balls, and Drops, are all special treats made of coconut, tamerin, and ginger. We provide these at Camp for our guests to enjoy.

Recycling
Beer bottles such as red stripe, heineken, and guiness, can be turned in and they are reused. For example turning in 7 cases of empty red stripe bottles gets you 2 full cases, a case of soda, and about $18. We also use Vietnamese coffee makers that do not require a filter eliminating waste of used coffee filters.

Biodegradable Soap Dr. Bronners
We use a biodegradable organic soap, Dr. Brunners, which is an all in one soap including, shampoo, body wash, and face wash. Using this in the river doesn’t harm or disturb the ecology of it and it lowers our tap, and rain water usage to be used for other things. it also makes us happy to support an ethical company that has a similar appreciation for it’s community and environment supporting organic farming and fair trade.

Hugukulture
Any successful composting system contains adequate sources of both carbon and nitrogen. Larger stumps and logs are sources of both carbon and nitrogen as they break down and if appropriate amounts of green manure and additional carbon sources are added that can break down more quickly. This method also adds to the plantable surface area and is a continuous source of humus.

Future initiatives
Camp Cabarita is constantly growing and improving so there are always initiative down the pipe line. First on that list is to have solar paneling as a source of energy. JPS recently partnered with a Japanese company that supports grid tied solar http://www.myjpsco.com/net-billing/. This will allow us to take advantage of the year round constant sun to power or needs as an Eco Lodge

Offering internet to the community
By offering internet to the community we save locals trips to the city of library to print off forms, do homework, or email friends and family.

grounds
Camp Cabarita Lodge

As an eco lodge and most importantly as part of our mission we try to minimize our carbon footprint and bring awareness to guests and staff of the ways we do this. With our own brand of sustainability and minimalist comfort we hope to share our practical green technology, design methods, and every day green living and are happy to learn from you and improve our current ways.

Property Centric Activities
Jamaica is a beautiful island with attractions from the beaches to the mountains, but when our guests come here we try to keep the area the main focus for activities. By doing this we keep from driving and can walk to the sites that are all eco attractions bringing awareness about being sensitive about the environment. This also inspires guests of the beauty of our local environment making it so they feel comfortable and welcome by the people and appreciative of the beautiful land that surrounds them. We encourage longer stays to our guests to reduce the traveller’s carbon footprint per day of their stay.

photo 2 (2)
Local Farmer’s Market
Local Sourced Food
Locally sourced food brings crops and meats directly from the farmers to our tables. This reduces packaging and emissions to transport it. We also choose this route to help the local economy here which is highly dependent on farming.

Composting
All of our raw fruit and vegetable waste and any other disposables that we can are composted. We compost to put back into the land helping to reduce our waste that is taken off site as well as making the garden soils healthier for plants and vegetables. We are in the middle of a composting project to amend the soil on site that is mostly clay and fragile from heavy amounts of farming and washed away soil due to heavy rains.

photo 1 (5)
Garden Beds

Offering internet to the community
By offering internet to the community we save locals trips to the city of library to print off forms, do homework, or email friends and family.

Onsite gardening
Not all local farmers have the produce that we need for the meals on our menu so for those we grow on site here. Peppers, onions, and tomatoes are examples that we grow in an onsite garden saving trips to and from the market in town.

Local labor
We staff 100% locally and all staff members are in less than a 15 minute walking distance from our property. It is a small neighborhood so the locals appreciate the work and we are happy to keep the money here and continuously putting it back into the community.

Camp cabarita eco lodge jamaica
400 gallon rain water sistern

Rainwater
Camp Cabarita traps rain water from impermeable surfaces and retains it in onsite tanks. We use this water for flushing toilets, washing hands, doing dishes, and drinking water for locals. By doing this we lower the use of tap and river water that we need to pump.

No Air Conditioning
Our buildings are designed with windows and doors positioned for air to flow fluidly through the rooms rather than using air conditioning which increases our electrical use. With the mountain micro climate here the nights are cool enough that air conditioning isn’t necessary.

camp cabarita eco lodge jamaica
Decorative bamboo on juice bar

Forest management
Harvesting end of life trees allows Camp Cabarita to make way for new growth and also prevent damage to buildings from fallen trees in extreme weather. It also provides for a source of building materials, structural lumber, and furniture. Ornamental veneers for an authentic touch is a use as well. Most decor, non-structural material is bamboo which is an invasive species on the island. Bamboo is used to line walls, chairs, and cover structural poles and beams.

Jamaican made products
Jamaica has a large amount of world known products for cooking, beverages, and special treats. Red Stripe, Guiness (brewed in Kingston and not for export), Dragon, JB Rum, and Appleton Rum are all alcoholic beverages made on the island. Gizzadas, Tamarin Balls, and Drops, are all special treats made of coconut, tamerin, and ginger. We provide these at Camp for our guests to enjoy.

Camp cabarita eco lodge jamaica
Vietnamese coffee maker

Recycling
Beer bottles such as red stripe, heineken, and guiness, can be turned in and they are reused. For example turning in 7 cases of empty red stripe bottles gets you 2 full cases, a case of soda, and about $18. We also use Vietnamese coffee makers that do not require a filter eliminating waste of used coffee filters.

Biodegradable Soap Dr. Brunners
We use a biodegradable organic soap, Dr. Brunners, which is an all in one soap including, shampoo, body wash, and face wash. Using this in the river doesn’t harm or disturb the ecology of it and it lowers our tap, and rain water usage to be used for other things. it also makes us happy to support an ethical company that has a similar appreciation for it’s community and environment supporting organic farming and fair trade.

camp cabarita eco lodge jamaica
Stumps and logs for hugukultur

Hugukulture
Any successful composting system contains adequate sources of both carbon and nitrogen. Larger stumps and logs are sources of both carbon and nitrogen as they break down and if appropriate amounts of green manure and additional carbon sources are added that can break down more quickly. This method also adds to the plantable surface area and is a continuous source of humus.

Future initiatives
Camp Cabarita is constantly growing and improving so there are always initiative down the pipe line. First on that list is to have solar paneling as a source of energy. JPS recently partnered with a Japanese company that supports grid tied solar http://www.myjpsco.com/net-billing/. This will allow us to take advantage of the year round constant sun to power or needs as an Eco Lodge.

good river is nature’s life work in song

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