Behind the Green is all about giving you more insight into the places we feature. Our interviews reveal what happens behind the scenes, tells stories of the people on the ground, exposes the challenges they face, as well as the communities they impact; essentially the bits you don’t usually hear.
Meet Paula, the owner of Mallín Colorado. She is passionate about travel, is fluent in three languages and has a number of others under her belt. She loves to visit the bustle of the cities when she gets the chance, her favourite place to visit is Europe, where she has visited 17 times already!
Learn more about Mallín Colorado Lodge here>
What makes the General Carrera Lake so special and unique?“Firstly, it is the second biggest lake in South America! And the colour is this intense calypso, almost like a can of paint, it truly is unbelievable to witness. The most impressive thing about the lake is the microclimate it creates for us here. We get around 300 days of sun each year, but it is still relatively cool. The perfect combination”
How did Mallín Colorado become eco-focused? Has it always been this way?“Yes always. We’re far away from anything here and when you’re in a remote place, there is not such a throw away culture, even things like bottles can be reused as something else. The people here have always been eco-conscious because they are just so resourceful, it’s just a part of their culture. We’re in the middle of nature, where probably no other people have been before, so it is totally pure and untouched, and we don’t want to ruin that. We instinctively want to preserve the perfection we already have.”
What is the most important lesson you have learnt?“The importance of minimising human trace in nature. If you hike to a place that is pure and untouched by civilisation, you need to leave it that way and leave no trace. Any trace you leave can really affect the whole landscape. We encourage our guests to carry these values, leaving no trace after their visit, trying to reduce waste as much as possible during their stay at the Lodge .”
What is the best thing about running Mallín Colorado?“Living in this amazing place! But it’s also the incredible people that I get to meet. We receive guests from all over the world, and the type of people that choose to stay at a place like this are very special. Whilst talking adventures, sharing stories, we often become good friends with our guests.”
What is the most challenging aspect of running a lodge with an eco-focus?“Educating the staff who work with us at the lodge is a huge task. The people who work here also live with us, we continue to encourage our staff to respect the eco-policies and almost become amabassdors for our eco-approach and ethos.”
What was the most recent green initiative you have introduced there?“We recently stopped providing small plastic bottles for the guests toiletries because they were creating so much waste. It was a lot of plastic that we didn’t need, so we knew we had to change something. I was inspired to change this after staying at a hotel in London, we decided to start offering refillable bottles in each room and the impact this has had in reducing our waste is huge.”
Where can eco-conscious guests engage or contribute most?“We are currently building some unique bins which will be placed in the guest rooms to separate every bit of waste, as part of our recycling and reuse efforts. We could separate it for them, but the hope is that it will build a new habit which they may well carry on at home.”
What’s next for Mallín Colorado?“We are very conscious of conservation, so we’re running a reforestation project. We have 500 hectares of land surrounding us, so we are replanting native species that need many years to grow and we are developing private trails which are open not only for our guests but also for the whole local community to hike in.”
Find out more about Mallín Colorado & do your own green checks here>