What’s green about Calibishie Cove?
Located on The Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Calibishie Cove was built from the ground up in a spirit of respect for and harmony with nature.
- House is sited and designed to use the site’s incredible natural breezes for ventilation and sunlight for illumination, reducing need for lighting and eliminating the need for air-conditioning
- Solar hot water
- Metal roof reflects heat
- Gray water reuse on site
- Black water treatment on site
- Fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown onsite
- Landscaped with local plants
- Hummingbird and butterfly garden to provide a refuge for the local fauna
- Locally-produced soaps from 100% plant sources, packaged in post-consumer recycled paper
- Rooms are stocked with shampoo and conditioner from bulk containers instead of giving out thousands of tiny plastic bottles each year
- We employ, train, and empower a local staff at a living wage – one of very few hotels in Dominica to do so
- Our building is constructed to withstand natural disasters, reducing consumption of materials in repair and rebuilding
- The Penthouse’s private plunge pool uses salt water ionization instead of added chemical chlorine
When our family bought this land and dared to dream of what could take shape, we focused on:
Minimizing disturbance to the existing flora and fauna on the site:
- We built up rather than out, which allowed us to retain the majority of the site intact. You’ll notice the lovely forest view and sounds of the thriving forest in back of your room.
- We planted native and adapted vegetation, and specifically sought plants that would provide a hospitable environment for the hummingbirds, songbirds, and butterflies that call this part of the island their home.
- Our garden includes many local fruit trees, a selection of fresh herbs, and seasonal vegetable plantings, so that meals served to you on-site can be truly local.
- Most importantly, we designed our site and water systems to prevent erosion and treat and reuse our used water directly onsite. Our grey (sink) water is used to irrigate the garden. Black water is treated in a closed system onsite.
Designing Calibishie Cove thoughtfully, so that minimal resources would be consumed to support it:
- We carefully observed the wind direction and speed, as well as the path the sun takes throughout the day. This allowed us to design the building’s orientation, windows, doors, and ventilation to keep blissfully cool without the need for air conditioning. We do not have air conditioning installed in three of our four rooms. We planned to have it from the start, but once we walked around the site and beginning structure of the building, we found we didn’t need it.
- The architectural design and materials used in the building’s construction contribute to this goal. We added deep porches with overhanging roofs on all sides of the building, preventing sunlight from heating the walls of the building.
- The metal roof does a spectacular job at reflecting solar heat. Less-expensive concrete roofs are more common in the tropics, but the solar thermal mass of sun-baked concrete would require us to install air conditioning.
- Hot water for our guests’ showers and our housekeeping operations is generated entirely with two solar panels on the roof of the building.
Operations imbued with environmental sensibilities:
- We offer our guests rich chocolate brown towels, instead of white, so that we do not have to use chlorine bleach with every load of laundry.
- For the same reason (avoiding the use of dioxin-producing bleach), we have recently converted to beige bedlinens.
- Due to our consistent breeze, we do not have a problem with pests. To ensure this, we use locally-distilled bay oil (a cousin to the culinary bay leaf; more like cinnamon in scent) in our cleaning as a natural, time-honored pest repellent. As a pleasant side effect, it smells quite lovely.
Materials consumption and recycling:
- We recycle glass bottles from beverages consumed onsite.
- When we provide to-go packaging for your breakfast or lunch, it is in recycled brown paper bags and natural wax paper.
- The pool exclusive to our Paradise Penthouse suite uses salt water ionization instead of added chlorine. Better for you, better for the environment.
- We employ, train, and empower an entirely local staff (living within walking distance) at a living wage. Our wages are higher than other establishments on the island. We offer them assistance with health and medical costs when needed.
- Calibishie Cove offers it’s guests private hatha yoga and guided meditation classes onsite.
- Every aspect of our design and operations is intended to increase the Dominica traveler’s bond with nature. We offer a unique indoor-outdoor living experience unlike anywhere else.
As a former director of sustainability for a large land developer, Calibishie Cove co-founder Eileen Thornton is a LEED Accredited Professional and holds other green building and environmental certifications.