Bhutan is unique in many ways. It was the last country in the world to get TV, the world's first non-smoking country, and the only country on earth that is carbon negative. Home to only about 700,000 people, more than seventy percent of Bhutan is covered with old growth forest.
Tourism is a valuable economic resource for Bhutan, but only as long as visitors do not leave a negative footprint. Footprints can include all kinds of bad habits, whether they be personal, cultural or material. We do not have the resources to deal with all the non-organic trash that tourists leave behind, so it ends up in landfill. Plastic--a material that never degrades--is a particularly bad problem. For that reason, we do not give away plastic bottles of water. Instead we ask that our guests bring their own refillable container so that they do not contribute to Bhutan's unnecessary landfill. You can read more about what we ask of our customers here: Ways To Be A Responsible Visitor to Bhutan
In 2017 we created Plastic Free Bhutan, a group of like-minded tourism and hospitality businesses who believe in "Refill, Not Landfill." Together we are discouraging visitors from bringing, using or disposing of plastic materials. Plastic Free Bhutan has a Facebook page and, more recently, a website that will grow along with the organization.
As part of our commitment to keeping Bhutan's environment pristine and carbon negative, we plant a tree for every one of our customers in the Happiness Garden, a new forest area surrounding the giant seated Buddha statue that overlooks Thimphu. As our honored guest you get to choose from between several species of trees. You will also receive an email a couple of times a year that reports on the progress of the tree.
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