Taking Care of our Gardens Through Composting

Composting is a great way to recycle food waste and reduce dependence on harsh fertilizers. Many Shangri-La hotels and resorts practice different methods of composting to enrich their own gardens and landscapes.

In Malaysia, Golden Sands Resort, Penang started a composting project in 2014 to fertilize plants on the resort grounds. The project was initiated by the Keith Tomkies, general manager at the resort, who saw an opportunity to re-use the resort’s food waste. Through the composting program, the resort uses coffee grounds from all of its coffee stations to produce fertilizer for the entire resort landscape. Since the program started, the resort has reduced its purchase of fertilizer by 75 percent.

Next to Golden Sands Resort, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang follows the same program. The resort also uses the composted coffee grounds to replace sand in ash trays as well as fertilize the resort’s herb garden. Since the program’s inception in February 2015, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang has utilized 133.35 kilograms (about 294 pounds) of coffee compost for garden fertilization, ashtrays in public areas and more.

Another way Golden Sands Resort and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang repurpose their used coffee grounds is through Soap for Hope, a collaborative initiative in which coffee grounds are used to scent discarded soap that has been sanitized. The soaps are distributed to various communities in Penang to promote hygiene and provide soap to low-income communities.

On the eastern side of Malaysia, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu works with local nursery Kai Nguong Nursery to practice two different methods of composting in the resort gardens: vermicompost and bokashi. Vermicompost is the process of composting decomposed vegetable or food waste using worms. Bokashi is a different method in which food waste is covered with rich, local soil that contains organisms to ferment the waste. The mixture is buried and becomes soil after a few weeks. Through composting methods, the resort was able to refrain from using fertilizers during all of 2014.

These composting initiatives along with those at other hotels and resorts are part of the group-wide Rooted in Nature initiative, Shangri-La’s commitment to serving sustainably- or locally-sourced food. See how other Shangri-La hotels and resorts are getting involved with Rooted in Nature here.