Unveiling the Enchanting Secrets of Cayo Loco Eleuthera, The Bahamas: An Exclusive Interview

Welcome to Cayo Loco, a hidden gem nestled amidst the crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine sandy beaches of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. I had the honor of conducting an interview, in which I delve into the story behind this sustainable eco-retreat, where breathtaking natural beauty meets a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. Join me as I uncover the vision, inspiration and sustainable practices that have recently earned Cayo Loco international recognition and are featured in the sensational Netflix series "WORLD'S MOST AMAZING VACATION RENTALS."

Be inspired and transported to a place where sustainability and luxury coexist harmoniously, leaving a lasting impression on guests and the planet.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me and answer a few questions. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Cayo Loco Eleuthera The Bahamas is a small eco beach enclave on a stunning crescent shaped pink sand beach!

When did you start making Cayo Loco Eleuthera plastic-free and what gave you the idea?
Walking the beach every day since 2005, the plastic debris (which is minor in comparison to other places) came into focus as something that could be eliminated from the planet!

What actions have you taken to walk the walk?

You live on an island. Is it difficult to source alternative, environmentally friendly materials in all areas of operations?
Burrows Food Store in Governors Harbour has begun to source specialty items such as Truearth Laundry strips and dishwasher tablets (which is huge as the amount of plastic in those laundry soap and dishwasher soap bottles is horrendous) and Simply Organic Spices in glass/metal bottles (haven't you noticed how your spices start to smell like petroleum after a period of time when sitting in a plastic bottle?).
Next we hope to have them source HoldOn compostable kitchen trash bags, that will be huge! Anytime we find something that would help the island, we work with Burrows to try to source it here for everyone! 'Keep plastic out of paradise'!

Is there one area in particular where you have encountered difficulties?
Food has been the biggest challenge as most items are shipped in from America and are loaded with plastic packaging. A new organic/hydroponic farm, CTI, Instagram TheFarm@CTI,  has been established in Rock Sound where we can now source locally grown produce and farm goods. That is huge!

How do you communicate your initiatives to your guests and how do they respond? Do they take them seriously?
Most guests are immersed in our #zerowastejourney just by visiting Cayo Loco. We made it doable for our guests to experience a plastic free eco lifestyle just by everything they experience when they are here! 

Just had a guest yesterday purchase organic vegan locally made plastic free shampoo and conditioner from our local teacher who makes them for us. Every once in a while we get the errant guest that turns on the a/c and leaves for the entire day but that is extremely rare. 

How have you gotten your staff onboard? What do they think about your efforts?
Cku Cku, our 'man who does everything' is learning from our modeling a different lifestyle. Sometimes he thinks we are crazy but in the end he 'gets it'! Jeremy and Anna, our Assistant Caretakers, have gotten used to using Papaya Reusable paper towels, monitoring water use and overall ethos of our houses.

Besides reducing plastic, are you doing anything else to reduce the environmental footprint of your premises?
Yes, started with our design, building process and overall attitude on the island!

How do you market your plastic-free initiatives and how do they affect the types of guests who come to Cayo Loco?
Through hashtags, videos and photos and everything we put out online. And modeling to our neighbors ie., our neighbors just purchased shampoos and conditioner bars from @242chempire for their house here. Our other neighbor has started reducing her paper towel use which was up to an entire roll everytime she prepared a meal in her kitchen here!

In your opinion, how could the tourism industry take a leadership role and set an example for more sustainability?
We have tried to get some type of industry certification which for a tiny place is virtually impossible. They require systems in place that only large businesses can accomplish. We have everything they require but the process is overwhelming for a tiny enclave such as ours so I am sure that we are not alone!

Thank you again so much! I appreciate you taking the time. How can people find you?
Landline 1 242 332-3381/Whatsapp 1 242 470-2327
Check Out Our Cayo Loco Links!

Cayo Loco Eleuthera Cabin
Cayo Loco Eleuthera Sunset
Cayo Loco Eleuthera View
Cayo Loco Eleuthera Bathroom

You can be featured on my website, too!

I'd be happy to feature you on my website. If your venue is sustainable or plastic-free and you want me to write about it or to interview you, send me a message on jana@seasandstraws.com! I look forward to reading from you. 

Want to make your hotel or guesthouse sustainable, too, but not sure where to start?

If you want to make your hotel or guesthouse sustainable as well but aren't sure where to start, I'd love to help you! Email me on jana@seasandstraws.com. In the meantime, check out my comprehensive blog post on my services for The Plastic-Free Hotel Revolution, here!

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