Bans Conservation Centre
Bans Diving is one of the largest resorts and dive centres on Koh Tao. Surprisingly, it is also the most environmentally friendly. The Bans Conservation Centre on the mountainside behind the main resort in central Sairee is carrying out numerous ecological initiatives. This surprises even many long-term locals. It certainly makes it onto our list of Koh Tao’s best-kept secrets and a visit is highly recommended for everyone, but especially for those with a passion for the environment and nature.
About the Bans Conservation Centre
The late King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama 9), originally developed the philosophy of a sufficiency economy. This serves as the foundation for the creation of the Bans Conservation Centre’s economy of sufficiency premise. In layman’s terms, creating a sufficiency economy simply means that you can support yourself as sustainably as possible. In pursuit of this goal, the eco team at Bans has spared no effort. With a crew of around 50 working on various environmental projects at any one time. The team has made some amazing accomplishments:
- Thanks to their 2 freshwater reservoirs that collect rainwater and mountain runoff. Bans has not needed to buy water for showers, toilets, or laundry facilities etc for several years.
- Bans has achieved self-sufficiency in producing a range of products, including organic soap, shampoos, detergents, toilet cleaners, and mosquito repellent. This accomplishment becomes even more impressive when you take into account as they have nearly 400 rooms.
- All eateries in the Bans group are self-sufficient for everyday fruit and vegetables for their salads, desserts, and sides. In the thriving garden next to the lower reservoir and Eco Centre, you’ll find lettuce, okra, bok choy, chillis, lemongrass, lemons, limes, melons, spinach, bell peppers, eggplant, banana, mulberries, and more.
- The team utilizes their sizable septic tanks to generate biogas. Consequently, there is no requirement to purchase propane gas for cooking, water heating, or powering machinery.
Bans Conservation Centre Projects
- Expanding their line of organic and eco-friendly products to sell to other businesses and the general public. Should you wish to purchase eco-friendly products, just bring your containers to the Eco Centre any day before 4:30 pm. The retail store on the beachfront walking street allows customers to make smaller, individual purchases.
- Organic composting projects complete with vermiculture (worm science!) to create the most efficient and nutritious environment in which to grow plants. The garden adds all its natural waste to the residual organic matter generated by satellite operations, such as restaurants, cafes, and dive boats. We bring everything to the composting area to ensure nothing goes to waste.
- Experimenting with solar panels, which currently power the gardens and Eco Centre.
- Collecting and saving thousands of glass bottles for a project to turn them into sand for our beaches.
- Fish ponds for research and study. Using fish as fantastic indicators of water health ensures efficiency and optimum development in various areas.
- Making as much as possible from the natural environment. People use bamboo from the land to create lampshades and waste paper baskets for resort furnishings. Meanwhile, stronger woods are used to craft chairs, benches, and tables etc.
- Recycling as much as possible. People use old milk containers to create bags and floor mats. They compress, package, and send aluminum, cardboard, plastics, and any spare glass to recycling plants on the mainland. Bans also takes batteries and hazardous waste like aerosols for safe disposal, and is the only company on the island to do so.
If you’d like to learn more and see for yourself, tours are available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or on request for larger groups and bespoke tours. Please email [email protected] or call 077456466 for more details.