At Cardamom Tented Camp we develop and run our eco tourism business in a sustainable manner and maximize the positive effects of eco tourism, with minimal social, environmental and economic impact. We therefore strongly advocate that sustainability should be ‘mainstream’ and not a niche market – and these principles are at the core of Cardamom Tented Camp and its operations.
Due to the Camp’s location within a protected area, special focus has been laid from the start on sustainable building techniques – incorporating the natural environment – rather than cutting down trees and clearing construction space. All chosen natural building materials are either reclaimed or fast-growing – provided by local communities in Koh Kong Province.
As the site is in a potential flood area close to the Preak Tachan River, the implementation of state-of-the-art Fresh Water Sourcing, as well as the handling and treatment of grey and black water, is of utmost concern to our operation.
Visitors are more than welcome to inspect our Natural Wetland Filter Facilities and discuss our other sustainable measures implemented in the camp and eco tourism in general. Furthermore, Cardamom Tented Camp evaluates its environmental impact on a regular basis to guarantee the lowest impact possible.
We have an almost 9kw system that is capable of running the entire camp 24/7, even at full capacity with 18 guests and 11 staff on site. The system is fully integrated with a generator and a remote monitoring system that gives us constant feedback on how the system is running. While we have only been running a couple of months the system has always fully charged the battery array to 100% capacity every single day so far, even with 7 of the 9 tents in use. So far we have only needed to run the generator on a weekly basis, simply to keep it in good working condition. We are very confident that the system will cope with a full house.
Obviously we do try to avoid using high powered devices and use gas for water heating and cooking, but we still have to run.
We have a significant wastewater system that combines several septic tanks which then transfer to a settling tank. The water continues through an oversized rock, stone and sand filtration system, which should be large enough to deal with double our capacity, before finally draining into a small wetland area.
We recycle as much as we can, all metal, glass, cardboard and what little plastic we have to use is recycled. All food waste goes to our composting set up which we will be using on the garden we are now starting to develop.
All of our cleaning fluids for laundry and cleaning the camp are environmentally friendly, while personal care products, including our soaps, shampoos and insect repellents, are locally-sourced by Kambio Nature and are 100% organic. We purchase locally grown vegetables where possible and try to use sustainably produced ingredients such as the Ibis rice we serve to guests. Ibis rice is produced as part of a very successful project in Northern Cambodia to protect the national bird the critically endangered Giant Ibis.
We are currently developing a number of ideas, such as growing our own potatoes in double buckets and building some raised beds for a variety of other plants. We also plan a very simple hanging herb garden for the wall of the kitchen building. Going forward we want to develop a few more ideas such as a small aquaponics system and aim to use the camp to promote new ideas to the local community.
Education in local community – We also plan to do some education in the local community about waste management to reduce the amount of plastic and rubbish going in to the rivers downstream from us. Other subjects will include composting and soil management, sustainable farming practices, why forests are important. Our English speaking staff are also planning to give free English classes in the village school.