Sustainable Guestrooms at West Gorordo Hotel

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What we do:

TRANSITION MODEL: REFUSE

Listed among the items

we have banned from our hotel include:

single-use throw-away plastic products,

unnecessary lighting, useless packaging,

unnecessary amenities and facilities.

We only provide bulk bathroom tissue

and the basic naked soap.

What you can do:

Set aside soap you don’t wish to use.

Do not waste toilet paper

(clogs the toilet and sewage system),

do not use toilet paper as a sink plug..

What we do:

TRANSITION MODEL: REUSE

We aim to use items in a way

that extends or repeats the service cycle

without loss of quality:

drinking glasses, change of linen

and towels only upon request.

For long staying guest, linens

and towels are changed every 3 days.

What you can do:

Hang your towel so you can reuse them.

Keep your towels and sheets clean.

Do not use them to wipe off make-up,

clean shoes or wipe the floor.

If you have highlighted or dyed hair,

please use your personal fabric over the pillowcase.

Remember it requires millions of gallons of water

and tons of bleaching chemicals

to keep your towels and sheets white.

Request a towel or linen change only when necessary.

What we do:

TRANSITION MODEL: RECYCLE

Among our practices to realize this objective

include: recycling construction materials into homemade furniture,

garbage sorting at guestrooms, donating used linens and furniture

to charitable institutions,

composting food waste into organic fertilizer,

selling collected plastic bottles and cans

with the proceeds directed to our CSR outreach programs.

What you can do:

Cooperate with our garbage sorting system

by putting your garbage in the appropriate bin:

biodegradable, non-biodegradable or residuals.

If upon checking out,

you have an item you don’t need any more

and don’t want to take with you,

don’t throw it out…donate it!

Items collected will be donated

to our CSR Outreach Partners.

Donate your clothes,

magazines, books and personal belongings.

Many guests have participated in this program.

What we do:

TRANSITION MODEL: REDUCE

Here are our water and electricity

waste reduction measures:

guestroom main power key switch,

energy-efficient appliances,

100% LED Lighting (low emitting diodes),

task lighting, small tank toilets,

faucet aerators, sensor lighting,

heat pump, lower heater temperature.

Here are some of our energy saving practices:

replacement of inefficient appliances,

regular maintenance of equipment & appliances,

routine water audit and leak detection.

What you can do:

Here are ways in which you can help us

reduce energy use:

Use the stairs instead

of the elevator, (will improve your health),

do not smoke or eat in your room

(extra cleaning means extra energy use and use of pesticides),

remove the key switch when leaving the room,

do not tamper with the key switch,

turn- off appliances when not in use,

take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing

your teeth, shaving, or washing your face,

report malfunctioning equipment, leaking faucets and toilet.

All together,

our goal is to minimize our damaging effect

on the environment and

help RESTORE the earth

for our own good.

We are glad to have you onboard and thank you for your cooperation.

Enjoy your earth-friendly stay with us!

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Sustainable Food Service at West Gorordo Hotel

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OMG-
No napkins,
no straws,
no disposables?
What kind of a cafe is this?

FYI—
This is the way of things to come…
we are practicing NOW what will be
in the NEAR Future
-a legal and moral requirement
for all food outlets to save the planet.

Hotel Food Service is usually
associated with food waste and trash.
Tissue paper, Styrofoam,
and a host of plastic throwaways:
straws, plastic cups, plastic bottles
fill the trash bins of hotels everyday.

At West Gorordo Hotel,
we have deliberately set up
our food service to minimize,
if not eliminate
throwaway packaging,
and reduce food waste
to practically zero.

Our food service
may seem old-fashioned
with breakable glasses, ceramic plates,
cloth napkins, ‘real’ cutlery
-but these are all meant
to make our service sustainable.

Buffet service
is another generator
of wasted food for most hotels.
Thus, to steer away
from this wasteful practice,
we at West Gorordo Hotel
have adapted a special limited service menu.
We keep our menu simple
and limited
because our location already affords you
easy access to unlimited dining options.
Thus it already seems redundant
to offer you an expanded menu.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do…
so at West Gorordo Hotel,
we only offer you local food
so while you’re in Cebu,
you can dine like a Cebuano!!!

We know that once understood,
our practices will no longer be frowned upon
as out of date,
but rather welcomed
and appreciated
as ‘the’ wise choice
to be earth friendly.

 

Radio Taxi at West Gorordo Hotel

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Need a taxi?
Relax at the lobby
while we call one for you…

Guests often complain:
“Why do we have to wait
for the front desk to call a taxi? “
“Why can’t we just hail a cab from the street?”

Here’s the truth:
we are doing you
and our planet
a SERVICE
at no Charge..
How?

To ensure your safe trip in Cebu,
we only call accredited radio taxi companies.
FYI: We do not get any commission from this transaction,
this is a pure act of service.

A Service to you…

While waiting for your taxi you have the time:
• to relax in the safety of our lobby
and maintain your composure
before going on your next journey
• to interact with family, friends
and other guests at our shared spaces

A Service to the planet…

Patronizing Radio taxi companies means:
• Taxi drivers do not have to drive around
the city looking for passengers.
They just park at a taxi garage
and wait to be called.

• Benefit to the planet:
Radio taxi = Less burning of fossil fuel
=climate change mitigation
(actions that decrease the potential effects of global warming)

• Benefit to people:
Less cars on the street
= Less Pollution =Healthier people
People move with ease = Happier people

Natural Cooling & Ventilation @ West Gorordo Hotel

35

Natural Cooling & Ventilation @ West Gorordo Hotel

So hot? No A/C…
Yes,
At West Gorordo Hotel,
we dare not to have A/C
in our common areas…
Believe it or not…
we are doing YOU
and the ENVIRONMENT
a GREAT FAVOR!

As part of our low carbon initiative,
we have chosen not to have air conditioning
at the lobby and common areas,
but instead we use a natural ventilation
and cooling system
without the use of mechanical devices.

The non-use of A/C
has also some health benefits
related to the prevention
of the transmission
of pulmonary airborne diseases.

Cross ventilation,

together with temperature differences
generate a gentle breeze
that flows through our corridors and common areas.

34

A clerestory
over the front office
allow light and fresh air
to flow through the inner spaces,
in conjunction with large openings
around the building.
The often shaded areas
at the side of the building
acts as a wind tunnel
that cools the air
before it reaches the lobby
and the common areas.

NO A/C = Less Use of Energy (Fossil Fuel)
+ Prevention of Airbone Diseases Low Carbon Footprint
= Cimate Change Mitigation

(actions that decrease the potential effects of global warming)

Trellis & Living Canopy @ West Gorordo Hotel

23

Ever wonder
if we have some unfinished construction work
at the side entrance of West Gorordo Hotel?

Nice guess, but try again.
We are preparing the trellis
for edible plants
to sprawl.

We are now on the way to growing our own food.
As we cultivate plants
that can provide shade and cooling,
we are also looking forward
to their edible produce
such as passion fruit, gourds and beans.

Slowly but surely the vines and various climbing plants
are now making their way around the building.
The emerging canopy
also provides habitat areas
for birds and insects
that strengthen the evolving eco-system;
while generating a pleasing
and relaxing sight in the middle of the city.

Climbing plants are an evolutionary success.
Given that nature does not provide equal conditions,
seeds that fell on minimally fertile soil
had to adapt or perish.
They evolved
and flourished by using various techniques:
tendrils, thorns, anchoring on supportive poles
-of climbing towards the light.

This is how vines or climbing plants came to be.

Like the vines,
we must believe
that even under the most difficult
and impoverished conditions,
we possess within us the ability,
creativity
and resilience
to thrive and flourish.

To vines,
following the light comes naturally,
to humans
– a choice to be made,
deliberately!

The Permeable Meandering Pavement at West Gorordo Hotel, Cebu

18

Sustainable buildings and Permeable Pavements

We often equate progress with cement…
thus the statement that :
asenso na kay kongkreto na ug balay (a house is made of concrete),
nacemento na gyud ang agianan ( concreting of a pathway),
and we refer to this in developments of houses, churches or any building.

But what happens when we cement structures or pathways?
Simple: there is a blockage of the flow of air and water.
So, why do we do it?
Because we uncritically copy the dictates of foreign architecture and design.
And the result: very stuffy houses, no air ventilation in buildings
and our worst and ever present challenge in Cebu and most cities in the Philippines:
Flooding.

Flooding has three major causes:

weather:
heavy and extensive rainfall in a short period,
high tide during stormy conditions-

poor maintenance of  infrastructures:
faulty sewage networks, poor & insufficient drainage,
inadequate maintenance of watercourses-

and development & planning issues related to
development in flood plains areas,
badly designed flood prevention infrastructures,
and building on land in a way that it prevents rain water from draining naturally.

So, what is the fuss about permeable pavers?
Permeable pavers manage runoff from paved surfaces,
ease the burden on the drainage systems
and allow groundwater recharge
through the natural draining of rain water back into the water table,
an added bonus is that it irrigates the trees in our urban green lungs.

At West Gorordo Hotel,
we  originally installed a porous, permeable or pervious pavement
using open jointed blocks,
but the blocks could not handle the weight of the vehicles..

So, Joel Lee, our permaculture designer deviced a very simple solution–
to mimic the natural world before the application of cement:
by installing a gravel pavement with a meandering pathway…

and why meandering?
to demonstrate the flow of a river:
it meanders and hydrates the surrounding land before it flows into the seas.

So, when you walk by West Gorordo Hotel,
take a minute and observe a simple flood control solution,
which you can do at home or when making any land developments.
Walk on the meandering pathway
and experience the joy of what it is like to be a body of water
before it drains into the sea.

the permeable pavers (open jointed blocks)  installed in 2007 sourced locally

 

could not handle the weight of cars

 

had to be removed
Joel Lee driving the back hoe and digging the meandering pathway

 

the replacement

 

meandering cement path to contain the gravel road

 

how the pathway was installed by using tin sheet mold

 

after the cement was  poured on the tin sheet mold

 

the gravel (single sized aggregate) was poured after compacting the ground

 

our new permeable and meandering pavement