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  • Writer's pictureAlizée CCM

Meeting Six Senses | Green Hospitality | KAILU Ep 5 | Sustainability Documentary China


The day after my conversation with Dai Yu, I am heading to the mountains next to Dujianyang to Six Senses.


My story with Six Senses goes way back to 2016, when I had just started my zero-waste journey. In 2019, Six Senses China reached out to us as they were looking for support in Sichuan and for someone to join their team to make the concept of sustainability more tangible.


We’ve been in touch occasionally since then, and when I planned this road trip around China, I knew I wanted to experience their resort for myself. I had been in touch with Jack Widagdo, their General Manager, for a couple of years until then, and we met for tea and dinner in Shanghai. When I shared that I would visit them in Qingcheng Mountain, they insisted on inviting me for a night, showing me around, and sharing their sustainability progress.

Khailou was also allowed to stay with me, and it was nice to enjoy a bit of comfort after weeks on the road...


Watch The Sustainable Barista on YouTube here!

KAILU, The Open Road.

A cross-country journey to meet the Chinese Changemakers in sustainability.

Roadtripping in China



 

Watch it here: The KAILU Docu Series


 


The Sustainable Barista - KAILU



Read an excerpt from the book here:

 

"The next morning, I woke up early to take an early advisory work call, and after that, I enjoyed breakfast. Amanda joined me, and we started to chat about her work and the resort. 

     She suggested showing me around and the work she started to do with guests around sustainability awareness, upcycling, and education at the kids club. 

You could see that Amanda was conscious of the efforts and importance of sustainability and how seriously she took this challenge in line with the reputation that Six Senses stands for. 


The environment is exceptionally green, and most materials used, such as bamboo and wood, are from the region. One thing that Six Senses is known for is that they commit to making the place they settle at more sustainable than when they found it. 


We share a mindset of thinking globally and acting locally. This means they understand that they’re part of a community and a piece of land, and we must care for it together. For example, over 90% of their staff are hired locally from neighboring towns or villages (this is true for all Six Senses worldwide). 


Secondly, they also take care of the natural environment. In some parts of the world, they have a solid biodiversity rehabilitation program for coral reefs and sea turtles. On top of that, every location has an organic farm on the property for guests or kitchen use. 


In Qingcheng Mountain, they support animal rescues, local artisans, and crafts(wo)men, and they are always on the lookout for more local initiatives."



The Sustainable Barista - KAILU Documentary


Green Hospitality


The hospitality world is vast, and many other aspects come into play. Hotels and resorts definitely have a huge role to play in sustainable travel, but so do we travelers.

Being mindful of our impact when we travel, how we consume, and whom we choose to empower with our means is a HUGE part of this equation. 


Hospitality can only be as green as its clients choose to be, and as with everything, it’s a conversation between two entities: the business and the clients. 

There are obvious actions that can be implemented, such as reducing (or removing) single-use items, since they are a huge environmental hazard, simply by their sheer number worldwide. Six Senses installed an on-site crystal room to purify the water they serve their guests instead of plastic bottles as an alternative source of clean water besides plastic bottles. 


Yet the most impactful change is recognizing that as a hotel or resort, you are responsible for a piece of land that belongs not only to the one who purchased it but also to a larger community. Recognizing this first is already a giant leap forward.


As a traveler, a couple of things I try to pay attention to are:


- Pack my toiletries with me, and I don’t have to use the single-use ones from the hotel

- Bringing my water or purchasing large bottles if needed.

- Use one trash can if possible

- Adopt a plant-based diet (no meat or fish)

- Only purchase souvenirs or gifts from local artisans or crafts(wo)men


Thank you Six Senses for sharing your essence!




 

Watch it here: The KAILU Docu-Series


 

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