Gin Gin: a sustainably run Mentawai surf lodge

Authored by Lily Howard of Gin Gin Mentawai Surf Lodge

A sustainably run surf lodge – a rarity in the Mentawai islands – has just opened up its doors.

Located in the Playgrounds area of the northern Ments with heaps of fun waves, Gin Gin Mentawai Surf Lodge is focused on doing things the right way for not only their guests, but for their local hosts, and for the beautiful tropical environment that surrounds.

In order to minimize their impact, they’ve developed a self-sustaining reed bed system so that all of their waste water is filtered, drained and reused in the best possible way, without being detrimental to the island and neighboring lagoon. This filtration process utilizes the treated recycled water to assist in the growth of numerous trees that populate the property. Designed and constructed by AWC, one of Australia’s leading waste management engineering firms, this system design exceeds Australian regulations and controls to the highest standards, and is revolutionary for the region.

In addition to waste management, Gin Gin has got a state of the art nano technology water filtration system that provides clean and safe water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing; eliminating the need for shipping plastic bottles of water to the island. The technology uses zero power or chemicals to treat the water to highest international potable drinking water standards.

Gin Gin took care to build their bungalows between existing trees on the property. They’ve also planted more than 100 fruit trees, created a veggie garden and a free-range chicken farm for locally sourced produce and protein.

To complete their green initiative, they’re currently working on equipping the lodge with solar panels and generators for operation of electricity without diesel.

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Cheers to owners and partners Aussie Steve Walshe and Indo Delvino Sebolak who had a vision and made it happen.

We are really excited to provide visitors with a really relaxed holiday and great waves all the while knowing they are having minimal impact. I kind of half joke that with the system we have created we can flush the toilet a million times and it won’t negatively impact the place. Our lagoon will remain as pristine and in exactly the same condition as they day we began our project. No sure if Celine, my wife, or I will still be here when that happens but perhaps Del’s children and my daughters will. That is really the most important element in everything we are doing. That the next generation have the same fun we are having here today, hanging out on these beautiful beaches surfing these incredible waves in perfect clean water.

-Steve Walshe

Plus, Gin Gin partners with humanitarian non-profit SurfAid, whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions as nearby islands in the Mentawai.

For surfers who care about protecting and preserving the paradise they come to enjoy, Gin Gin Mentawai Surf Lodge is definitely worth a look for a stay!

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Check out their FB page – facebook.com/MENTAWAISURFLODGE or reach out to info@mentawaisurflodge.com for more info and bookings!

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The author, Lily, and her friend/co-worker, Lipoa Kahaleuahi

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