At Cardamom County, we have been working to get the local community involved through the group PaperTrails. PaperTrails helps provide jobs for people who could otherwise not get them. La Paz Group has appreciated the way it involves the locals by providing work and re-purposing old newspaper. For La Paz Group they make gift bags out of recycled newspaper and sanitary bags from recycled paper. Now, we have a new member of the PaperTrails team stationed at Cardamom County. He is stationed on the second level of the Ayurvedic Center and makes bags for all the La Paz Group properties.. We like this because now guests can engage with the paper bag initiative in a new way. They can see how they are made and learn to make them as well.
Our next phases in the project is to commission PaperTrails to do some sort of recycled packaging for the pepper harvest from the Mannakkudy ladies and sell it in our gift shops. We are also looking at having another person working on recycling newspaper and garden waste to make homemade paper for La Paz Group to use. I like this project because it hits a lot of the aspects of conservation tourism- it supports the local community and uses smart environmental design to provide low impact products for La Paz Group and a good use for old newspapers! It is amazing how much good a little conscious thought can do for something. Most people wouldn’t think twice about where to get their gift bags. What if we gave conscious thought towards where we got everything? Maybe we could see smart ways to source things that build community instead of deplete it?