Utopia Dive Village, a “remote adventure” dive, fishing and spa resort, is the only resort on Utila that has qualified for eco status through the Honduran Ministry of Environment that acknowledges the hotel and site were developed with strict guidelines to respect the surrounding environment.
Much of the inspiration for the resort’s interiors came from the beautiful Gumba Limba tree that is endangered in Honduras and monitored closely by environmental groups: Trees are critical in minimizing erosion, nourishing the soil and helping filter the ocean. During construction of Utopia Village, great care was taken to save as many trees as possible on the property including the revered Gumba Limba.
As a resort operating in a fragile and biodiverse ecosystem, Utopia understands the importance of preserving and protecting the environment and its indigenous communities. The resort’s policies to “reduce, reuse and recycle” actively encourage all employees and visitors to participate in these endeavors. Utopia Dive Village accomplishes much of its conservation techniques through a few simple tasks:
- Save and plant trees since they are the oceans best filters.
- Vegetable and fruit scraps are composted providing nutrients for the gardens.
- Utopia’s kitchen buys and prepares fish from sustainable sources.
- Seeds from papayas are collected and replanted throughout the gardens.
- Beaches are always kept clean and all trash is disposed of properly.
- Encourage water conservation; Utopia remains self-sustained using three wells, a rainwater collection system and several cisterns.
- Linens are laundered once per week, unless otherwise requested.
- Refillable shampoo, hand soap and lotion bottles are used in lieu of disposable mini plastic bottles.
- Operable windows, screened in areas and ceiling fans minimize the use of air conditioners.
- Large windows flood the rooms with natural light reducing energy usage.
- Jars and containers are reused; old towels are used as cleaning rags.
- Cans and plastics are recycled and reduce trips to the landfill.
- Plastic plates and cups are rarely used and deposit bottles for beers and sodas are the norm in lieu of plastic.
- Many of Utopia’s staff are local residents and have been taught recycling techniques.
- Longterm employees have been trained in areas they would not normally be exposed, such as basic electrical and plumbing, culinary techniques and spa treatments providing them with rich professional foundation and steady income for their families.
- Utopia supports regular underwater clean up dives sponsored by PADI’s Project Aware.
- The resort participates in the Whale Shark research and photo id programs and donates part of the reef fund to The Utila Centre for Marine Ecology. UCME is a registered NGO that focuses on saving the reef systems in the Bay Islands.
- Volunteering for UCME’s newest conch program can be combined with a Utopia dive vacation.
Eco-Friendly Dive Travel Tips:
Utopia Village offers Dive Travelers a few tips, whether on vacation or at home, that can make a real difference to our environment:
- Turn off lights, water and air conditioners when you leave your room.
- Minimize water use. Turn off taps when shaving or brushing teeth.
- Refill your water bottle for excursions to cut down on waste.
- Reuse your towels to help reduce water and chemical use.
- Respect local cultures and customs. Don’t judge, but listen and learn.
- Dispose of all trash responsibly.
- When diving and snorkeling, never touch plant and animal life. Minimize fin movement, which stirs sand that can choke the reef.
- Never chase an animal – while hiking, diving or snorkeling.
- Stay on trails.
- Do not take souvenirs from nature or archeological sites.
- Contribute to the local community by donating time, talent or treasure.
- Join environmental groups and support environmental causes.
- Learn more and show others by example, ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment.
Join Utopia Dive Village and vow to make everyday Earth Day.