Eco friendly Hotel

Dutchess shows respect for the environment by reducing their ecological footprint in many different areas. From furniture made out of local fast growing wood to solar heaters.

Sustainable design in the hotel

  • Wood of the eucalyptus tree; very fast growing, used for all furniture instead of "slow" growing hardwood.
  • Reuse of old iron sheets in the design of the back fence.
  • All furnishings and decorative items throughout the hotel i.e. flower pots were crafted by local craftsmen or artists.
  • Use of bark cloth in the public areas of hotel and restaurant. This typical Ugandan product was used in the past for clothing and blankets.

Energy saving

  • Solar heaters for warm water facilities in all rooms and for the dishwashing.
  • If the sun is not enough for the hot water, we limit the usage of the electric heater by a timer.
  • All lights are fitted with energy saving light bulbs.
  • In public corridors the lights are switched on and off automatically.
  • Fresh air flow in combination with slow ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning.
  • Meals for our staff is cooked on sawdust fired stoves. Sawdust is a carpentry waste product that is burnt off by the carpenters, using it to cook is a CO2 neutral solution.
  • Usage of little gas and more electrical equipment in our kitchen, since the main grid of electricity in Uganda is 100% hydro based.
  • No power tools are used for gardening - simply man power
  • No dishwashing machines nor Laundry machines, but extra jobs at our hotel.
  • Electricity for lights and IT-infrastructure is stored and used during the frequent powercuts, thus reducing the amount of fuel used by the generator significantly.
  • Our internet cafe and servers are running on thin clients and fanless mini computers all with a low energy consumption between 10 and 20 watts.
  • Professional water filtering system (14 watts UV) provides drinking water for customers and staff (also for their family at home), thereby eliminating the need to boil tap water.

Reducing water usage

  • All hotel rooms are fitted with water reducing shower heads.
  • Toilets are fitted with a dual flushing system.
  • Re-use of towels, change on request if a client stays more than one night.
  • Re-use of bed sheets, changed every 2 days if a clients stays more than one night.
  • Rainwater is collected in a 10,000 liter drum and used for the laundry.

Handling disposal

  • Separate disposal of waste:
    • glass is used for further isolation of pizza oven
    • batteries and printer cartridges are collected and taken to Europe for proper disposal.
    • plastics & bottle lids are collected for an arts project.
    • Metal is brought to scrap yards for recycling.
    • other waste is collected for the composting plant of the city council.
  • We have a three-chamber biodegrading sewage filtering system. Waste water from the filtering system is used as underground fertiliser for the plants and trees in our garden.
  • Furniture, mattresses and other assets that do not meet our high standard of quality for the hotel but are otherwise still good for personal use are distributed amongst our staff for a second life.
  • Empty jerry cans and plastic containers from packaging of ingredients used in the kitchen are reused or distributed amongst our staff.

Eco policy

The philosophy of Dutchess is to develop local economy by using local resources:

  • In the restaurant most of the items come from local suppliers. Some items are resold in the shop like honey, peanut butter and good quality Ugandan coffee.
  • All the vegetables and most of the meat used in the restaurant are produced by local farmers within the region of our hotel.
  • Creating awareness for reducing waste by letting our guests pay a small fee for non biodegradable "take-away" packaging.
  • All our staff is within the region and is given additional training to improve their knowledge and skills.
  • Good quality community based and eco tourism is promoted in the hotel information and website.
  • We support the Yawe foundation in their goal of sustainable social economic development by reselling their art products.
  • No chemicals are used in the maintenance of the garden.
  • We serve healthy and fresh food that is locally produced and uses only natural ingredients, flavoured with fresh herbs and spices, and low on saturated fats.

Future eco plans

  • Install urinals to save water
  • Grease trap for kitchen waste water
  • Replace regular office computers after their life span is expired by low energy mini computers