Kadavu Group Feature

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It's Easy Being Green

In the realm of Fiji, 100 km (62 mi) can be a long way to go. So long, in fact, that the weekly ferry from Suva takes between seven hours and 1½ days to reach Kadavu's Vunisea harbor, depending on the weather. The ferry brings in the island's building materials, groceries, dry goods, and even farm animals (and the occasional tourist). Because no guest likes to be told that the replacement generator part needed to power a hot shower is "on its way" or that the star ingredient in that evening's chicken cordon bleu is still in steerage somewhere in the South Pacific, most resorts on Kadavu use sustainable "green" technology and practices that allow them to be largely self-sufficient. There's also the not-so-small matter of preserving the magnificent rain forests, reefs, and beaches to which resorts in-part owe their livelihood and many eco-adventurers owe their bliss.

Solar energy is what keeps Matava's office and several of its bures powered. The resort was intentionally built next to a natural source of limestone-filtered spring water, has an organic garden, and builds its structures using locally grown pine and hardwoods. It composts waste, feeds food scraps to its pigs, and funnels grey water out to the plants on its grounds. Its game-fishing operation enforces a tag-and-release policy on all fish that aren't national or world records—or designated to become dinner. The resort supports a local village in exchange for protection of the resort's foreshore as a marine reserve (no-fishing zone) and has similar arrangements with villages near favored dive sites.

Papageno Resort's power is a combination of solar, micro-hydro, and a back-up diesel generator (the latter if needed), with plans to add solar panels. It grows organic produce in an extensive garden and composts its organic waste. By 2009 all Waisalima's bures will be solar-powered and at both Papageno and Waisalima, vigorous free-range chickens supply the eggs. Papageno recycles its bottles, cans, plastics, and used batteries in Suva, and other resorts ask that guests take these items back to the mainland with them for proper disposal.

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