RAINWATER CAPTATION AND STORAGE
A system of eaves connected to a 65,000-litre underground cistern was designed to store rainwater for use in the gardens during the dry season.
The lodge was painted entirely – both the exterior and the interior – using a traditional technique to mix ecological soil-based paints. The paint is mixed using water, white glue, and soils; by varying the types and tones of soils used, we obtain a surprising range of colours from light beige to intense reds. Soil samples were collected from various sites on the ranch property, from gray clays to brick-red termite mounds, to obtain the desired tones for lodge. The result: beautiful colours obtained using a clean, natural, inexpensive process.
WATTLE AND DAUB
This ancient technique was used to build division walls between the private verandas of the guest suites. Aside from being rustic and attractive, the wattle and daub walls are extremely durable, acoustically friendly, and are cooler than standard brick walls. Wattle and daub is an inexpensive technique which does not require any particular technical expertise to employ.
Solar energy is free, clean, and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. At the lodge we use solar energy to provide all of the hot water used in the showers and sinks.
All of the illumination at the lodge is provided by LED lights. LED lights can be up to 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they require very little maintenance over their long lifespans.
Evapotranspiration (ET) beds – commonly known as "banana circles" – are used to treat "black water", or waste water produced from toilets in our lodge. This organic system does not generate any effluents and avoids soil contamination. Human waste is transformed in a clean and efficient manner into nutrients for the vegetation covering the ET beds, and the water is returned to the atmosphere, completely clean, via evaporation.
TREATMENT AND RE-USE OF GRAY WATER
Gray water refers to water which has been used in showers, sinks, and for laundry. Gray water is less polluted and has not come into any contact with residues which would classify it as black water, and as such can be re-used in certain circumstances (for flushing toilets, irrigation in our garden, washing floors, etc.) to reduce our footprint. Gray waters are treated prior to re-use in order to remove pollutants such as oils, soluble organic materials, bacteria, and minerals such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Re-use of gray waters is an important element of our sustainability strategy, particularly during the dry season when rainwater is not available for irrigation of the gardens and for use in washing floors, etc.
LOCAL AND NATIONAL CRAFTS
We value the handiwork of local artisans and are proud to make ample use of local crafts in the design and decoration of the lodge. Examples include wood sculptures of Amazonian fauna, light shades and lamps made from fibres of the Patauá palm (Oenocarpus bataua), dinnerware, hand-made furniture, key chains made from Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) capsules, etc. Our appreciation of indigenous handicrafts – particularly from Ilha do Marajó – can also be observed in the lodge's decoration, seen in our collection of beautiful ceramic pieces and other artifacts.
Sustainability and re-use of raw materials are two prevailing worldwide trends, both of which played a role in our decision to make significant use of recycled materials in the lodge's decor. Most of the furniture in the lodge is made from wood reclaimed from demolition of old buildings and discarded furniture: our sofas, benches, shelves, and chairs are all made from reclaimed wood, adding to the rustic charm of the accommodations.
All waste produced at the lodge and on the ranch is cleaned, separated, and recycled or re-used. Plastic, paper and metals are sent to recycling co-operatives in Alta Floresta. Organic waste is composted to create natural fertilizers to be used in our garden. Glass containers are stored for future use in decoration or as vases.