Project e.Ko Hub – sustainable coworking in Thailand
We at KoHub on the island of Koh Lanta, Thailand, have always been a sustainable and eco-friendly coworking space. Already using the Hub’s own organic farming to produce food for the kitchens, the vision is to be entirely off-grid by 2020.
This means that besides our main focus of giving you the best possible space and community, we’re launching more initiatives aimed at lowering our environmental footprint. We do this by cutting CO2-emissions, engaging in a circular economy, and helping improve the local economy, environment, and livelihood.
The Tropical Garden
Our biggest project this year is the new garden. It also serves as a central piece in our sustainability strategy. We’ve landscaped the garden with the aim of making it both functional and recreational.
Headspace for the busy mind
As you know, it’s important for your mental wellbeing to take a step away from the screen and let your brain rest, without thinking about your to-do list, or your client.
We want to give all our member an easy way of taking a 5-minute break. The garden has a nice path with several nooks and corners, that gives you the headspace needed for a productive, healthy day.
In the back of the garden, is our new compost. It’s an aerobic ringed compost setup, which means that it’s low maintenance. We simply add another layer to a holed container and wait. No turning, hassle.
We use almost all of our food waste from the kitchen and leaves from the garden as well as local animal manure. The fresh organic fertilizer from the compost is used in our garden, hence making the most of our resources and closing the waste loop. This also means we send less waste to landfill, and save CO2 on transportation. In the long run, we hope to inspire more local communities on Koh Lanta to use compost, instead of burning, as a way of getting rid of leaves and non-meat leftovers.
We grow our own organic vegetables right in the KoHub garden. The staff cares for the vegetables, harvests them and use them for cooking. By doing that we can cut down on emissions from transportation, on fertilizers, and the pollution from large-scale farming. We are working towards becoming 100% organic and self-sustainable.
More vegan and vegetarian options
As you know, the food and kitchen is a big part of KoHub. Meat production is one of the world’s leading causes of CO2 emissions, water pollution, and soil depletion. We, therefore, decided to introduce a whole sub-menu with over 15 items dedicated to Vegan and Vegetarian food. We also created our new vegetarian KoHub burger for those missing western vegan food.
Because a lot of sauce and curry paste contain fish sauce or scrimp, the KoHub kitchen staff have worked hard to come up with original sauces, that are 100% vegetarian and vegan – all our guaranteed items are now indicated on the menu. We are proud of our diverse and low-emission menu.
Organic and tasty
It isn’t easy finding 100% organic produce on Koh Lanta, therefore we decided to grow our own.
As part of our garden project, we created our own vegetable garden utilizing raised beds to help with growth. Everything we grow is organic and is used for the KoHub menu. By growing our own organic vegetables right in the KoHub garden, we make the route from soil to table a matter of just 50 meters.
We’re hoping to spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture and organic produce to other parts of the island starting with our local staff, to show that it can be both economical and healthy.
Recycling and waste reduction
It’s not just about running a coworking space, but about making the world a little bit better, wherever you happen to be. That’s why we make sure that our staff are educated and continue to learn.
Right now we are focusing on waste management in the kitchen area, followed by a focus on better recycling from Kohub members. This knowledge is something we hope that both travelling nomads and our local communities will incorporate as a part of their daily lives.
A few examples of our project in action:
- We provide home made snacks and use reusable glass containers for things like, Yogurt, Nuts, Cookies & Wine.
- All of our drinking water comes from reusable 20 Liter Containers that are professionally filtered locally, they are 100% clean and have the absolute minimum environmental impact. We use no plastic bottles and provide cups, glasses and even sell our own reusable bottles.
- For take-away items from our kitchen we provide the local alternative that workers and children use for packed lunch. A Pinto is a reusable stainless steel set of stacked containers. We take a deposit to encourage the return of the item for reuse.
- We sort all our waste, Food waste goes to the compost, plastic bottles, cans and glass goes back for recycling and batteries are collected for proper disposal.
- And many more…
The Future Off-Grid Plans
As a part of our ambitious 2020 vision, we plan to be fully sustainable, including the largest hurdle; electricity.
Financial and Electrical calculations have already been made, and we will slowly begin the process of introducing off-grid solutions by 2020.
This is quite a hard task because we are self-funded and introducing alternative power like Solar and Wind is initially still very expensive, though prices have dropped in the last decade. Being a large space, we require a large amount of storage capacity as well, which adds to the cost.
But we are set on this goal, we will find a way to fulfill this in the coming few years.
KoHub’s vision has always been to push the barriers of coworking and community through innovation, and to inspire others to a greener future.
More to come
We are working hard on turning KoHub into an Ecologically minded hub. Besides the initiatives above, we have a lot more planned to come.
If you have comments or suggestions on how Kohub can be more sustainable, please contact us.