Eco-friendly vacation rental in Jamaica: An environmentally conscious luxury Jamaica villa experience at Mais Oui
Have you thought about booking an eco-friendly vacation rental in Jamaica?
Whether you believe climate change is real or not, I imagine we can all agree that we need to protect the environment and its resources.
It might not be top of mind on vacation but we can still make choices, however small, that are environmentally conscious. Compounded with the efforts of others, this can reduce our impact on the environment.
Sure, we can’t eliminate the carbon emissions from air travel to Jamaica. Neither can we totally eliminate certain cleaning chemicals, since there is no natural product so far that has been found to kill certain lethal viruses, such as COVID-19. But, there is a lot that we can do to be environmentally conscious.
Green Travel: Mais Oui Villa’s journey to becoming more sustainable
Our first forays with ecotourism gave us the impression that sustainable travel was a lot about minimalist, rustic, off-the-grid type settings with not too many frills, maybe a little bohemian.
Our journey to create an eco-friendly property proves that luxury and sustainable travel are not mutually exclusive.
Mais Oui offers a luxurious experience and we are also deeply committed to reducing our impact on the environment.
We chose four (4) areas on which to focus our green initiatives: electricity use, waste reduction, water consumption, and cultural preservation.
Jamaica has one of the highest costs per kilowatt-hour of electricity in the world.
Our main green achievement was the installation of our 24-kilowatt solar system in 2020 which provides most of our power during the daytime. We are still on the grid for our nighttime use.
Our long-term goal is to move to Phase 2, purchasing batteries to move us further along the path to being off the grid.
We have switched to predominantly LED light bulbs.
Solar-powered lights illuminate our gardens at night creating a wonderful ambience for entertaining and allows for nighttime tennis.
We have two solar hot water heaters which provide hot water to the house.
As we switch out appliances, they are replaced with energy-efficient versions. We replaced our old air-conditioners with mini-split inverter units.
We airdry some of the linens in the beautiful Jamaican sunshine and fluff on the dryer to maintain the softness.
In our area, we do not have any trash recycling programs or reliable garbage collection. Since we often use a private garbage pick-up service, we’ve taken steps to reduce the waste that we generate especially the amount of single-use plastic items.
Our bathrooms sport wall-mounted refillable soap, shampoo, and conditioner filled with locally-made products that we purchase in large quantities.
A dedicated water filtration unit in the bar eliminated the need for guests to purchase bottled water while they are at the villa.
Our coffee and tea service uses real cups. We use real tablecloths and cloth napkins. Paper napkins are generally limited to the bar.
A switch to a digital welcome guide and app reduced the need for brochures and printed material as well as streamlined our check-in process.
We harvest some rainwater from the roof which we use to help with watering our gardens. Back-up tanks store water to supply the villa for several days in the event of any water shortages.
An in-ground sprinkler system waters most of the grounds inside the property.
Toilets and showers are being transitioned to low-flow options.
Sheets are changed every third day instead of every day, unless necessary.
Guests have the option of reusing bath linens. Simply hanging them up indicates to the staff that they are to be reused. Leaving them on the floor means that they are to be exchanged for new ones.
ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE
Our gardens provide our guests with the opportunity for entertainment and to learn about our local flora as they enjoy our one-acre outdoor space.
We have a host of options for sports activities to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, such as tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton, putt-putt golf.
Non-motorized on-water options include kayaks and stand-up paddle boards which the staff will take down to the nearby beach.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about Jamaica and our culture from our gardens. Most of our significant plants are labeled so guests may tour our gardens at their leisure.
With our unique farm-to-table concept, guests can literally snack off the fruit trees growing on the property. Imagine sampling mangos, guavas, pomegranates, bananas, and more depending on what’s in season.
Our medicinal garden introduces our guests to our “nature is medicine” culture which is passed down through the generations. Guests may try various teas made from plants grown in our garden.
We would like to think that since we host a relatively small number of guests at a time, we can have a more manageable footprint that would be less than mass tourism.
Are we as green as we can be? I’m sure we aren’t – but we are trying. This is a journey for us and we hope you will join us.
How you can help us become an even more eco-friendly vacation rental?
Remember we are not off the grid. Our solar system provides most of the electricity during the daytime, if there is sunshine, but provides no power once the sun goes down.
Turning off your lights and especially the air-conditioning when you are not in the room really helps to keep the energy consumption down.
We’ve thought of the guest experience and so our air-conditioners are a little overpowered for the bedrooms so the rooms cool super quickly. For maximum effectiveness and efficiency, the windows must be closed when air conditioners are in operation.
Take advantage of our beautiful outdoor space and amenities. We created it specifically with our guests’ enjoyment in mind. We hope the beauty of our property makes you see the beauty of nature.
If there are fruits that you would like to try, ask your gardener for help if they are above arm’s reach. We want to make sure that only the ripe fruits are picked.
We are very excited about our journey to become a more eco-friendly villa in Jamaica.
If you are further along on the green journey than we are, reach out, please! We’d love to chat. If you want to learn from our journey, reach out as well. A rising tide raises all ships! We can help each other.
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.
Visit our website: https://MakeItJamaica.com
Give us a call: 833-MAISOUI (624.7684) toll-free or 914.709.0457
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