Greening Our Business
Pumula Lodge was established in 1997. The Lodge is geared towards birders and lovers of nature, so a general awareness of the environment is an integral part of the ethos of the establishment.
How we contribute:
- All external security and garden lights use energy-saving Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These are controlled by either timers or day/night switches.
- The lighting in the guest bedrooms and bathrooms consists of LEDs. Elsewhere normal low voltage down-lights are in use and these are systematically being replaced with LEDs.
- A timer to switch off at midnight controls the pool light. This light is not used in low season.
- Normal geysers are used for generating hot water. Four out of the five geysers have solar panels (vacuum tubes) installed. Thermostats and timers control these geysers to minimise any unnecessary heating. The thermostats are turned down to a minimum acceptable temperature.
- The guest rooms are heated using under-carpet heating. These are controlled with thermostats and timers which optimise the heating of the rooms. No electric blankets are used but hot-water bottles are supplied.
- All the geysers are covered with insulated ‘Geyser Blankets’. Exposed hot-water pipes are also lagged with isotherm.
- The first-floor ceiling is covered with 50 mm isotherm.
- The lodge faces due west. During hot summer afternoons 80% shade-cloth dropline curtains are lowered along the entire ground and first floor, thereby keeping the building cool and eliminating the need for air-conditioning. Ceiling fans are supplied in the rooms.
- Roof surfaces are painted with lead-free paint in light beige to reflect heat from the sun, thereby assisting in cooling the building in summer.
- During low season fridges not in use are switched off.
- Small kettles (2 cups) are supplied in the guest bedrooms thereby eliminating any unnecessary boiling of water.
- All glass, paper, tins, etc. are separated from the normal kitchen garbage and deposited in dedicated plastic bags for collection by the municipality.
- Guests are also encouraged to separate their garbage accordingly.
- Containers for foodstuff such as fruit juice, eggs etc. are returned to suppliers for re-use.
- Containers for liquid hand soap and air fresheners are refilled by the staff.
- Garden refuse such as grass and leaves is deposited on the compost heap.
- All biodegradable kitchen waste (except meat) is liquidised and fed to the earthworms.
- Partly decomposed garden refuse is also fed to the earthworms.
- The worms are given additional lime and grit to help digest the waste and produce pH-balanced compost for use in the garden.
- It is not feasible to harvest the ‘Worm Tea’ as the crates containing the worms are exposed to rain.
- Two bird feeders (seed and nectar) are filled at regular intervals. However, care is taken that the birds do not become dependent on these feeders. A bird bath is also installed in the garden.
- The use of pesticides is reduced to the absolute minimum and is almost non-existent.
- Weeds are removed by hand.
- At least one window per bedroom is fitted with a flyscreen thereby eliminating the need for mosquito repellant.
- Our Carbon Footprint is calculated using the carbonfootprint.com website. It is by no means an ‘absolute’ figure as there are too many variables to take into consideration. Instead this figure is treated as ‘relative’ and we intend updating it regularly so that we can track our progress in reducing it.
- Total Carbon Footprint: 1st Mar 2014 – 28 Feb 2015 = 22.43 metric tons CO2. This was before we installed the 4 x solar panels and changed most of the lighting to LEDs.
- Total Carbon Footprint: 1st Jan 2017 – 31 Dec 2017 =14.15 metric tons CO2 (average of 2.36 ton per person). Therefore it can be seen that the solar panels made a huge difference in reducing this figure.
- Total Carbon Footprint: 1st Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2018 =10.92 metric tons CO2 (average of 1.6 ton per person).
- All gutters and down-pipes are directed into storage tanks with a total storage capacity of 36 500 l of rainwater.
- A 3 m deep well has been dug in the garden from which ‘ground-water’ is pumped to a dedicated tank. The water table varies but on average about 1 300 l of water is pumped daily from this well and used for irrigation purposes.
- The stored water is essentially used to water the garden, top-up the pool and act as a backup should there be a problem with the municipal supply.
- All showerheads are fitted with low-flow devices.
- Signs are posted in each bathroom encouraging guests to save water.
- Water from the washing machines is directed into the garden to assist with irrigation.
- The waste water from the shower, bath and basins on the first floor (private section of the house) is directed into a dedicated grey-water tank. This water is then in turn used for flushing the 2 x toilets on the first floor (private section) and the servant’s toilet in the courtyard.
- The majority of plants in the garden are indigenous to the area and therefore ‘water-wise’.
- The few non-indigenous plants are non-invasive, water wise and comply strictly with the CARA legislation (Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, Act no. 43 of 1983).
- A small herb garden supplies the needs of the kitchen.
- Any garbage, which cannot be re-cycled, is placed in black plastic bags and collected by the municipality once a week.
- Weeds are removed by hand.
- Any toxic materials such as batteries, energy saving bulbs, neon tubes, paint, etc. are deposited in dedicated containers supplied by the municipality in town.
- Printer cartridges are returned to the supplier.
- Expired medicine is deposited in dedicated containers at selected pharmacies.
- Local suppliers are supported as much as possible.
- All soaps used are biodegradable.
- The pool uses a salt-chlorinator to generate the required chlorine.
★ ★ ★ ★
We stayed at Pumula for several nights during a recent vacation and had a really nice time. The hotel offered a peaceful place from which we could explore the Garden Route. The grounds include a nice pool and also the garden offers the chance to lean about native plants, with labels on the trees. We really enjoyed having morning tea on our private balcony.
★ ★ ★ ★Tourist311276 - United Kingdom, January 2020
Beautiful, Comfortable and Best Price
★ ★ ★ ★
We had the privilege of discovering Pumula Lodge via an internet search and it lived up to its name. It was indeed a place of rest. Rentia recommended the best places for us to visit and even had maps on the ready for us to make use of and pamphlets with discounts which we loved because who doesn’t like a discount. Our 2 nights felt very short but we enjoyed the accommodation and would go back there in heartbeat.
★ ★ ★ ★BlackTshina - Johannesburg, December 2019
★ ★ ★ ★
Pumula Lodge is a perfect stay if you are visiting Knysna, it is in a quiet part of town but easily accessible by car or taxi to the main areas, with a lovely garden and pool. The facilities are excellent, well kept and spotless, the rooms are spacious and well appointed with a veranda to enjoy the view of the garden. There is a shared kitchen area with a fridge for those essentials you need whilst travelling. The hostess is very helpful and recommended a trip to Featherbed with a discount and arranged taxis for us. We had a wonderful day there. Breakfast is lovely and lots of options to eat. All in all we had a very lovely stay.
★ ★ ★ ★Joyce42 - United Kingdom, November 2019