At Ocean Village, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide an idyllic natural setting for our guests to reconnect with what matters most. To us, that means quality time with the ones we love, as well as reminding us all of our innate connection to the natural world. Situated on the far West Coast of Canada, surrounded by towering ancient forests of old-growth cedar trees, and at the mercy of the mighty Pacific Ocean, to be in Tofino means to experience an undeniable link to the power and beauty of Mother Nature. When we feel reconnected to nature, and to one another, we begin to understand the importance of protecting our resources for future generations. If the 2010s were a time of learning, then we invite you to join us in declaring this brand new decade one for taking positive action!
In 2019 (on Earth Day, no less!), after a long period of making thoughtful, sustainable changes to how we operate, we were honoured to be recognized as an official ‘Ocean Friendly Business’ by the awesome people at Surfrider Foundation. Here are a few ways we take steps towards creating a greener future every day at Ocean Village Resort – plus ways that you can bring our sustainable habits home from the beach with you!
1. Clean The Beach As You Go
Every morning at Ocean Village, our staff hits the beach first thing to collect any trash that has either been left on the sand, or swept on shore by the tides. You would be amazed at what we come across on these quick strolls – everything from millions of cigarette filters (you know, the tiny fibreglass bits that last forever), to plastic bottles all the way from Japan. The vast majority of beach trash is, of course, plastic. Because plastic never decomposes, it instead breaks down slowly into smaller indestructible pieces. It’s these ‘micro-plastics’ that end up scattered across beaches worldwide, and in the bellies of fish and marine life. Another big perpetrator is debris from the fishing industry: nets, ropes, plastic crates and other fragments. By taking a few minutes out of our day to comb the beach for bits and bobs, we like to think we’re taking a small step to make a huge difference in our planet and oceans’ futures!
2. Recycle And Compost Like You Mean It
Now that it’s officially 2020, we can happily assume that most people are taking the time to recycle in their homes, and that most businesses and workplaces are adopting recycling programs. Composting is also on the rise, as the benefits of turning our (huge amount of) daily food waste into regenerated earth are just too earth-friendly to ignore any longer. At Ocean Village, we make it a priority to ensure our recycling and composting program is as next-level as possible. We want our guests to feel inspired by our dedication to sustainable practices, and to bring them home with them! We work with our friends at Tofino Urban Farm Co., who stop by once a week to collect our staff and guest compost. In each cabin at Ocean Village, guests are left with a composting green waste bin, in order to have a designated way for them to participate in our program. Many of our guests like to cook meals in their cabin, as each comes equipped with a complete kitchenette for your convenience, and our green waste bins make it easy to ensure your scraps contribute to cyclical change and don’t just end up in the landfill. We also recycle all that we can at the resort, including cigarette butts! Did you know that butts are one of the most common forms of beach trash, as their fiberglass and plastic casings don’t break down? Look out for our handy ‘butt canisters’, located around our property for your convenience, and routinely collected by our friends at the Surfrider Foundation. Even if you don’t smoke, take a few minutes to pick up some beach butts and help put those stinky things where they belong!
3. Respect Your Mother
One of the easiest ways to contribute to a sustainable future, and one of our guiding principles at Ocean Village, is to treat our environment how we would want to be treated! This means practicing simple rules like: leaving the beach better than you found it (do a five-minute micro-plastic clean before you pack up for the day), pack out what you pack in (always carry-out your trash, food scraps and recycling after a fun day of beachin’ it), and engage with wildlife in a responsible way. In wild places like Tofino, this last principle is extremely important – you may have noticed the new Parks Canada sign lighting up the side of the road as you arrive in Tofino: “Human food kills wildlife!” At Ocean Village, we encourage our guests to calmly observe wildlife, rather than trying to force interaction with them. This sometimes means reminding kiddos not to crush barnacles with rocks or open closed shells they may find in tidepools. Whale watching tours and bird spotting on hikes are both awesome ways to be awed by Mother Nature, while allowing her to do her thing in peace! Blame it on our hippie roots in the 1970s, but we have always believed that it’s our responsibility to treat the environment as peacefully as possible.
4. Switch to Green Products
During your stay with us, you will notice your cabins come stocked with wonderfully natural (and local!) bath products from Sea Wench Naturals. With shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion all eco-consciously made right here in Tofino, using green products like these are a fantastic way to commit further to sustainability in your everyday life. By choosing to provide and use products formulated to be eco-friendly (IE: no chemicals, no toxins, no additives) as they wash down our drains, we’re ensuring that we aren’t contributing to polluting our waterways any more than necessary. If living more sustainably seems intimidating to you, upgrading some of your personal products to all-natural can be an easy and impactful place to start!
5. Support Local & Sustainable Businesses
When you visit Tofino, it will quickly become obvious that we are a town proud to have zero chain establishments. That’s right, we don’t even have a Starbucks! Lucky for you, our array of yummy local coffee shops far exceed the quality and sustainable practices of any major chain store. At Ocean Village, we frequently partner with and promote our neighbouring businesses – especially those making an effort to create change with the earth in mind! Unsure where to grab dinner? Ask our front desk team and they will happily point you in a delicious, locally-owned direction. Forgot your book back home? We recommend popping into any of our well-stocked local boutiques like Mermaid Tales Bookshop, where your dollars spent directly contribute to the local economy of Tofino, ensuring more awesome locally-owned businesses have the opportunity to open up and expand our town offerings. If your stay at Ocean Village has inspired you to kick your sustainability practice up a notch, then we highly recommend checking out the newly opened Frankly, Tofino’s very own waste-free and refillery store – where you can even stock up on refillable versions of those delectable bath products you found in your cabin!