Responsible tourism is to appreciate the natural beauty, culture and history of the environment without disturbing the eco-system i.e.
- Having low impact on the environment.
- Contributing to conservation of environment
- Benefitting and empowering the local community by providing employment opportunities for them.
We at Soulitude, are committed to the idea of Responsible Tourism and are taking practical steps in this direction and will continue to make efforts so that we can make it as much a reality, as we can. These are some of the ways we have tried to contribute to this vision:
The houses have been constructed keeping in mind how to create and sustain passive heating to keep the interiors warm and cosy. The large windows and skylights allow the free passage of sunlight which then gets captured to keep the inside of the house comfortable. The double insulated glass used in both these fixtures prevents the warmth from escaping. Conversely, the shades on the skylights are pulled into action during the warmer months to keep the rooms cool and comfortable.
An elaborate solar heating system heats the water to provide hot running water in the bathrooms during the summers. And during the winters, the water heated through the solar panels is fed into the geysers, so very little electricity is required to bring the water to the correct temperature for daily use. The use of a simple lever mechanism helps divert the water into the correct circuit depending on the season.
At the Riverside, as a conscious choice we have opted to air cool rather than air condition the the rooms and the living spaces to counteract the summer sun during the months of May and June, after which they are duly serviced and stored away for the rest of the year.
Rain water is harvested and stored in a large underground tank. This water is filtered and used in gardening as well as to feed the WCs in the toilets.
We are trying to make Soulitude a no plastic zone. Plastic bottles for storing water for in room use have been changed to glass and the one time use plastic bottles are being replaced by metal water bottles.
For all our picnics and outdoor dining on treks and walks, we use eco ware plates and glasses which are a byproduct of sugarcane waste. This biodegradable product is buried in the ground after being used convert to mud in 18 days.
Most activities to keep guests entertained during their stay with us are mostly outdoors and all homegrown. From the walks and hikes, to picnics, to birding, to a day by the river, stargazing etc. are all rooted in Nature and conducted by our own staff.
All members of our staff are locals who have been inducted into the different wings of hospitality service. They have been groomed to serve each guest as our personal invitee. We have deliberately stayed away from professional training to preserve their natural charm and innocence which is apparent in their demeanour when they interact with guests.
We make our own juice, jams, pickles, bread and biscuits to serve to our guests.
For our kitchen we source all fruits and vegetables locally. Our menu have been planned around the availability of seasonal produce. The kitchen waste is systematically segregated and composted and manure from local cowsheds is used to enrich the soil.
The kitchen washing is done in a highly water efficient industrial dishwasher which uses minimal amount to water to generate steam to clean cutlery and crockery vis a vis many litres of water used in the conventional way.
The especially sourced soap for guest use is natural and handmade and the Body oil, which is a blend of Himalayan oils has been especially curated and handcrafted for Soulitude.
At Soulitude, we believe in the concept of conscious consumption and hope our guests too will understand and follow the same. Resources in the mountains are scarce and we must be aware of this fact and use everything carefully and responsibly. From the water that we allow the waiter to pour in our glass, to shutting off the tap on the sink while brushing, to using the correct flush on the dual flush on the WC’s to taking a short bath, to not requesting a daily change of linen are all apart of this belief. The same applies to the conscious use of electricity. Not to mention food. Waste is a bad word. Let ‘s not!