We try, and actively encourage visitors to also try, to have a positive impact on the social, economic and environmental life of Ghana, and to think about the impact of your actions while you are here. We believe that in doing so you will enjoy the ‘real’ Ghana, and have a genuine experience.
There is ALWAYS something new to learn.
To offset carbon emissions we promote vegetarianism, through our vegetarian café. We recognize that diet is an important tool in working to achieve environmental sustainability; and studies on world food security estimate that a diet containing meat requires up to 3 times as many resources as a vegetarian diet. (Research has shown that worldwide food production requires 20% of fossil fuel energy, 30% of the total soil available, and a major part of the fresh water flow. Raising cattle is one of the most damaging elements of agriculture as they cause the most environmental damage of any non-human species through over-grazing, soil erosion, desertification and tropical deforestation for ranches, in addition to their gaseous emissions and manure products.) As far as we are aware, there are only 2 other vegetarian eating places in Accra. We are known in our area for our vegetarian life-style. We also help to limit transport pollution by promoting the use of local transport including the train and buses (trotros). We are ideally placed just 5 minutes walk from the train station.
We collect rain water during the rainy seasons, for household and garden use, in two large water tanks. We are not connected to the Government mains water system, and are particularly careful with our use of water.
We compost our organic waste and grow organically, without using pesticides or fertilizers, some basic food stuffs in our garden- such as cassava, gungu peas, callaloo and pawpaw, depending on the season. We also use the food we grow for meals in our café.
Our recycling mainly comprises returning bottles and other containers to our suppliers for reuse, and also carrying refillable containers to the market for items such as peanut paste and palm oil. We also recycle old subscription magazines, such as ‘Amnesty’ and ‘Clean State’ by putting them in the apartments for guests to read. Our ‘Akwaaba’ information sheet also encourages our guests to separate their waste for composting and recycling.
We maintain a small office, in our home, which is in the same compound as the apartments, and do not ‘travel’ to work, thereby avoiding transport pollution. We also use only a minimum of paper, printing on both sides, not producing printed brochures, printing multiple flyers for the café on A4 paper instead of one flyer per sheet, and using blackboards instead of printed menus in the café. In the office, our home and throughout the compound, we aim to ensure that appliances are turned off from the mains when not in use, and that energy efficient bulbs are used.
We minimize energy use by placing a minimum of electrical appliances in the apartments: a television (if requested), a fridge and fans; by requesting that guests do not use electric irons or kettles; and reminding them, in our ‘Akwaaba’ information sheet, not to waste resources.
We fit the apartments with spacious showers, instead of bathes; we have well-ventilated rooms, instead of air-conditioning; the sheets are changed as requested by guests, and usually every 3-5 days, depending on the guest and their length of stay.
We give a home to the many different species of birds and butterflies which inhabit the fruit trees in our garden; and the birds begin their melodic singing with the sunrise every morning.
We also work with a local organic farmer in Djastui, Ras Obadiah Farm, and organize working visits to his farm for interested guests.
We aim to promote the economic development of our community.
We employ local young men and women to work with us, providing them skills training and on-site accommodation, so saving on travel costs. All our furniture, professional and technical help is provided by local people, which encourages capacity building in these fields, reduces the costs of transportation, and promotes the beauty of local crafts.
We are active members of our community and are keen to preserve the social stability and harmony of our area. We advise guests that they will get the most from their stay with us by mixing with the local people, traveling and eating with them, and observing, through respectful eyes, the ordinary Ghanaian way of life.
We have also developed a relationship with a number of local charities in our area, including the Ayawaso– Village of Hope, which cares for orphans and street children; providing vocational training for the teenagers, as well as feeding programs in Accra. We can arrange volunteering opportunities for interested guests at the orphanage in a range of activities including teaching, farming and construction. We also have a relationship with the Women’s Trust Inc, founded by American scholar and philanthropist, Dana Dakin, whose mission is to empower women and girls in Pokuase, Ghana through microenterprise, education and healthcare.