Over the past few months, the Grootbos Foundation has launched numerous sustainability initiatives, such as our candle-making, mushroom-growing and honey production projects, which focus on minimizing waste, job creation and ensuring that goods produced for the lodges at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve are locally and ethically sourced. Looking to continue and advance these efforts even further, the Foundation is has established a water-bottling project that will meet the bottled water needs of the Grootbos lodges, whilst helping to eliminate plastic from our nature reserve and creating new jobs for people from our local community.
The water for this project comes directly from an aquifer located on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, which is topped up naturally by rainwater that is trapped after it seeps through various layers of rock. Accessed by a 100m borehole, the water that is pumped out of this aquifer is completely pure and natural, with the layers of rock acting as a natural filter as it passes through and adding minerals to it, but will still undergo further filtering to ensure the water is very clean, clear and ready for bottling and consumption. The pump is solar powered, with a view to further reducing our carbon footprint on the reserve.
Operating under the ‘Siyakhula’ programme of the Grootbos Foundation, this project is largely funded by German partners, the DEG, and will benefit the Grootbos and the Grootbos Foundation in many ways. Firstly, the lodges consume approximately 30,000 bottles of water per year (82/day) and our project will produce approximately 110 bottles per day, which easily covers the average demand faced by the lodges. In addition, this initiative will utilize recycled glass bottles, which drastically cuts costs, reduces waste and improves the reserve’s carbon footprint. The project aims to create two permanent new jobs, over the next 24 months, and will feature the added benefit of providing guests authentic Grootbos water, bottled for them on site.
The revenue generated, through savings on purchased bottled water, from this initiative will be contributed to the Grootbos Foundation to enable our continued work in the community and conservation arenas.
Production officially began on Monday, November 9th.