CHICKENS – Multifunctionality is a core aim in permaculture — and for anyone looking to live a more sustainable life. Our Marans breed of chickens are a prime example of this. Not only do they contribute to our compost system by eating food scraps, they also provide us with exceptionally large eggs in a chocolate-brown shell that need only be transported a few hundred feet to the kitchens. Marans eggs are widely accepted as the highest quality in the world and their extraordinary colour is the result of a pigment sequestered in the oviduct. *Fun fact* In Ian Fleming’s books, fictional spy James Bond refused to eat anything else for breakfast… See also COMPOST, PERMACULTURE and SOIL.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY – A closed-loop economy that limits waste and is based on an ethical supply chain. Rather than buying goods, using them and then disposing of them, products and materials are kept in use and natural systems regenerated. Each Soneva resort has its own Eco Centro Waste-To-Wealth facility, recycling 90% of our solid waste through an innovative management strategy. One example is giving glass bottles a new lease of life by transforming them into works of art in our Glass Studio. See also MYCELIUM, OPEN BURNING, SURPLUS and WASTE.
CLIMAVORE – Rather than cutting out all animal products to minimise the environmental impacts of food production a la vegans, climavores take a more flexible approach, choosing foods that work with nature and acknowledging that these may vary at different times. For example, opting for regenerative ingredients such as line-grown mussels rather than farmed fish or shifting to drought-resistant crops in periods when water is scarce. See also FOODPRINT.
COCONUTS – We collect fallen coconuts that would otherwise go to waste and cold-press them in our Eco Centro waste management centres. It takes 500 coconuts to produce 30–35 litres of oil, a key ingredient in our kitchens and spa. See also WASTE.
COCO PEAT – The wispy pith inside a coconut husk is naturally anti-fungal, making it an excellent choice when planting from seed as it removes the need for artificial pesticides. We combine it with compost in our Waste-To-Wealth centres to create silky, nutritious soil that seeds thrive in. Thank you coconuts, you lovely bunch. See also COMPOST, ECO CENTRO and SOIL.
COMMUNITY – They say it takes a village, we say it takes three (and counting!) We’re working with Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo, Soneva Fushi’s neighbouring islands, to create a model for eliminating single-use plastics. The Namoona strategy focuses on reducing the consumption of single-use plastics, promoting zero waste/recycling and inspiring ocean stewardship. See also ECO CENTRO, NAPPIES, SWIMMING LESSONS, SONEVA NAMOONA, WASTE and ZERO WASTE.
COMMUNITY TOURISM — Holidays that truly consider the wellbeing of people in a less well-off destination and which have a direct positive social and economic impact through employment and involving locals in decision-making. The Maldives is a little unusual in the sense that it is illegal for local people to offer homestays — in fact, until 2009 tourists were not even allowed to visit non-resort islands. At Soneva, the majority of our staff are locals and we work closely with councils on neighbouring islands on a host of outreach programmes and sustainability initiatives, including our reusable nappies programme. See also COMMUNITY, GENDER, NAPPIES, OPEN BURNING, SWIMMING LESSONS and ZERO WASTE.
COMPOST – Why’s composting crucial? Leftovers sent to landfill produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions through anaerobic decomposition. One example is methane, which is 21 times more potent than CO2. Composting organically involves oxygen, microbes, fungi, insects and worms, all working together to turn waste into organic matter. Compost is particularly important for soil fertility in the Maldives where an average PH level of around 8.5 makes agriculture difficult. The easiest way to compost is through vermiculture aka wriggly worms! See also KITCHEN SCRAPS, ORGANIC, SOIL, VERMICAST, VERMICULTURE and WORM FARM.
CORAL – In recent years, the Maldives has experienced severe coral bleaching due to unusually high ocean temperatures, a travesty as reefs are the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. Soneva Jani’s Marine Biologist and coral whisperer, Ellie Butler, is tackling this problem head-on by establishing a nursery where she propagates coral from Soneva Jani’s thriving house reef and invites guests to help plant fragments on reef stars in the lagoon. The warm water kills the algae, which coral needs to thrive. We’re working with Coralive and Ark2030 to propagate 50,000 healthy corals at each of our resorts every year. See also BIODIVERSITY, GLOBAL WARMING, WATER and ZOOXANTHELLAE.