Sun, Sand and a ‘Green’ Christmas

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Hope you all had a wonderful festive season with friends and family.I had the pleasure of spending this festive holiday season at The Al Aqah at Fujairah. Having had a wonderful time with the husband and kids amidst nature’s bounty, I thought it would wonderful to share with you all my ‘Green’ Christmas story.

AS I enter the spacious lobby at Le Meridien’s Al Aqah beach resort in Fujairah for my much-awaited staycation, I cannot wait to be amidst nature’s bounty. To unwind and get attuned to the melodious music of the waves from the vast Indian Ocean as they wash the shoreline, drink into the breathtaking sight of the majestic Hajar Mountains and take a dip in the blue waters of the large free-form swimming pool.

However, the air of festivity with colorful Christmas decorations adorning the walls and ceiling distract me from my holiday musings. It takes me less than a fraction of a second to notice that the stars have been cut out from empty cans, the snowman created using empty toilet paper rolls, empty tissue paper boxes and tissue rolls have been wrapped in colorful wrapping paper that double as pretty gifts and over-sized chocolates swaying from the ceiling. As for the Christmas tree – every branch is lined with an assortment of used green-colored wine bottles cut to perfection.

Why would a five-star hotel use ‘used’ leftovers to create a Christmas theme?

My curiosity leads me to a meeting with the Duty Manager, Mr. Sreekanth Cherukot. Amidst handling the innumerable challenges of managing a hotel that is running on full occupancy owing to the holiday season coupled with the more-than-pleasant weather, he gladly takes time out to answer my queries over a cup of coffee. Upon raising the sustainability initiatives that piqued my interests, he is quick to place a call and introduce me to the mastermind behind this ‘green’ initiative – Mr. Hari Sudhakar.

Mr. Hari explains that he and his team of three ‘green creators’ have painstakingly cut to size a three month’s worth collection of wine bottles with a glass cutter specially bought for this purpose. They have been then suspended after having the sharp edges tactfully taped in black insulation, in order to ensure the safety of excited children, Mr. Hari explains. The bottom half of these bottles have been saved up to be doubled as flower vases and candle holders that will soon add to the décor of the restaurant and common areas at the hotel.

Mr. Hari explains that Christmas 2015 had a Christmas tree that was made using empty water bottles. This ‘out-of-the-box’ green initiative has not only helped reuse waste that would otherwise add to the rapidly increasing mountain of non-biodegradable waste at the landfill but has helped effectively reduce the costs spent on ‘dressing up’ the property for Christmas.

From the optimum use of reusable hand towels instead of disposable paper tissues in all washrooms as well as ensuring that the all air conditioners in rooms have been preset to an optimum temperature that will automatically switch off upon opening windows to using a reverse-osmosis desalination plant to tap the abundant natural resources available – this  resort is striving to pave its long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability with a goal of achieving zero footprint as it proudly stands as the ‘Emerald on Fujairah’s Beautiful Crown’.

 

christmas-tree

Christmas Tree with Wine Bottles Cut to Perfection

 

 

snowman

Snowman made assembling empty tissue rolls illuminated with lights

 

stars

Stars cut from empty cans

 

plastic-christmas-tree

Another creation made using empty bottles

 

decor

Empty Tissue Rolls and Tissue boxes have become wrapped gifts

Picture Courtesy Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort 

 

 

 

 

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32 responses »

  1. Mr. Hari and his team deserves Kudos for thinking green amidst the festivities, which usually leaves heaps of waste, usually not recyclable, leaves the air polluted, and add to noise pollution too. Mother Earth badly needs thoughtful people like him. thanks for sharing your ‘green Christmas’ experience with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad our guest Ms.Prinitha enjoyed the stay with us at Le Meridien AL Aqah and looked at the details of our festive season decorations and green initiative practices – must say its team work and proud of my team

    Thank you Ms.Prinitha we wait to welcome you back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have every reason to be proud about, Hari! It will be my pleasure to come back at Al Aqah and see some more of your creativity in and around the property! All the very best for many more wonderful ‘green’ ideas!

      Like

  3. So glad our guest Ms.Prinitha enjoyed the stay with us at Le Meridien AL Aqah and looked at the details of our festive season decorations and green initiative practices – must say it’s a team work and proud of my team

    Thank you Ms.Prinitha

    Like

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