ALPHONSE ISLAND – THE SMALL ISLAND THAT IS BIG ON SUSTAINABILITY

ALPHONSE ISLAND – THE SMALL ISLAND THAT IS BIG ON SUSTAINABILITY

THE PRISTINE ISLAND OF ALPHONSE, SEYCHELLES: A SMALL ISLAND THAT IS BIG ON SUSTAINABILITY, LEADING THE WAY IN ECOTOURISM

Alphonse Island, part of the award-winning Blue Safari Seychelles portfolio, is leading the way for sustainable travel in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Considered one of the most pristine and untouched Eden’s of the world, Alphonse Island has implemented an array of environmentally responsible procedures that preserve the island’s delicate ecosystem whilst educating guests regarding the importance of global sustainability practices.

NATURE-BASED EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL

Located 400km South-West from the mainland of Mahé, Alphonse Island offers an array of immersive experiences that are enriching, and some cannot be encountered anywhere else in the world. Each activity is guaranteed to create long-lasting memories for the whole family. Snorkelling, scuba diving, turtle hatching, a flats lunch, fly fishing and bird watching are just a few of the adventures available on Alphonse Island.

From May to September 2021, Alphonse Island will also be running their Explorer Season Conservation Experience. Encompassing a series of conservation projects, this unique opportunity will allow guests to gain knowledge and encounter the island’s diverse ecology like never before. From beach clean-ups and tree planting to turtle monitoring and underwater wildlife photography, Alphonse Island’s team of dedicated environmentalists and marine biologists will navigate guests through the island’s exotic ecosystem.

SELF SUFFICIENT FARMING

Alphonse Island is incredibly proud to be reliant on its vegetable garden, which produces an average of 2.5 tonnes of fresh produce a month! 2020 was a particularly remarkable year, with a total of 23.73 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables produced. This self-sufficient farming has prevented around 30 metric tonnes of CO2 from being released each year via air miles. This does not include the reduction of countless other emissions released from overland refrigerated haulage and processing factories in the commercial food industry.

Alphonse Island’s outstanding chefs carefully curate menus that are based on the fruits and vegetables from the garden. 65% of the fresh produce consumed on the islands and atolls in the Blue Safari Seychelles portfolio comes directly from the farm on Alphonse Island-including delicious spices such as lemongrass, tamarind, curry leaves, coriander, mint, basil and parsley. Organic salad ingredients including rocket – a notoriously difficult plant to grow in the tropics are grown in the garden, ensuring zero-kilometre food miles and a farm to fork ethos is adhered to. Celebrating the best of Seychellois cuisine, the traditional Creole menu also uses fresh fish that has been caught daily in local waters. There is no importation of any shellfish. Guests have the additional opportunity to pick and sample fruit during a garden tour, with their chosen produce made into a delicious smoothie.

Not only does Alphonse Island promote self-sufficient farming, but the island also recycles most of its food and green waste. The island’s commercial composting machines produces 500-600kg a month, which provides vital nutrients to the fertile soil.

RENEWABLE SOLAR POWER

In 2018 Alphonse Island become a pioneer of renewable energy, creating the Seychelles’ largest solar farm. Through the installation of 2,200 solar panels, Blue Safari Seychelles earned the ecological title of the first hospitality group and accommodation in the Outer Islands to rely on solar power. As a result, the island eliminated the use of 268 000 litres of diesel usage a year, consequently reducing emissions by 718.24 tonnes per annum.

Backup generators may be used on select occasions when there’s continuous rain and cloud. However, as Alphonse Island is blessed with a favourable sunny climate with a year-round temperature of 28°C, there is minimal cause for this, resulting in greater energy yields.

REDUCTION OF SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

Blue Safari Seychelles has endeavoured to reduce to consumption of single-use plastics on their pristine islands. Special requests are made to visitors to avoid bringing plastic bottles onto these islands. Instead, Blue Safari Seychelles provides guests with stylish, reusable alternatives to use throughout their stay. Sponsored by YETI, world-renowned fly-fisher and Director of Blue Safari, Keith Rose Innes, has substituted plastic bottles with YETI drinkware. Perfect for outdoor adventures, these reusable drinks flasks ensure that Alphonse Island remains free from plastic pollution. From sipping cocktails at sunset to staying hydrated on nature walks, guests can drink safely in the knowledge that they are helping to preserve their natural surroundings.

Due to the tropical climate of the Seychelles, some single-use plastics are unavoidable. Due to the high temperatures on Alphonse, Beeswax Wraps are an unsuitable substitute for cling film during food preparation. Having tried and tested several alternatives, Blue Safari Seychelles have discovered that biodegradable cling film is the best solution. Fully compostable, this eco-friendly material breaks down and disappears within 12 months.

The supply of single-use plastics is minimised through the implementation of sustainable in-room toiletries. Celebrating the natural botany of the Seychelles, Blue Safari Seychelles supports local businesses, providing guests with organic, handmade beauty products from Belliche – a Seychellois brand that is cruelty and plastic-free.

CLEANING WITH A CONSCIENCE

Alphonse Island has reduced the use of environmentally destructive cleaning products by using Innuscience products – 100% biodegradable cleaning solutions that use microbial action to break down dirt. Automatic refill stations around the island ensure that single-use cleaning bottles and plastic usage is kept to a minimum.

Annabel Fenwick Elliott, Senior Content Editor at The Telegraph says “I left Alphonse with a new sense of environmental consciousness. Alphonse’s outstanding team of expert environmentalists taught me how to make more sustainable choices in my everyday life. Whilst participating in a beach clean, I saw first-hand the impact of single-use plastics on our precious ecosystems. I now strive to care for the environment by being more mindful in my decisions as a consumer.”

The epitome of barefoot luxury, Alphonse Island features a single lodge compromising of Beach Bungalows, Beach Suites and Beach Villas with scenic ocean views. Exotic simplicity is at the heart of the island and guests can embark on a journey of self-discovery as they explore every inch of the island’s white sand beach and lush tropical forest. Blue Safari implements the above procedures to preserve the pristine environment for future generations to enjoy.

Alphonse Island also offers guests a unique combination of activities, many exclusive to the island, including:

Kayaking

SUP (Stand Up Paddle-boarding)

Floodlit Tennis Courts

Table tennis and a pool table

Snorkelling equipment

Giant tortoise feeding

PADI five-star diving centre with PADI Courses (extra cost)

Explore the island by bicycle with a packed lunch

Guided nature walks (extra cost)

Alphonse Island is part of Blue Safari Seychelles, whose philosophy is a combination of sustainable travel with luxury accommodation, where guests can be assured of an unforgettable experience combined with the highest level of attentive service.