At Potato Head, we live by the mantra “Good Times, Do Good.” It’s not just something we say to make us feel better. We truly believe that doing good can be and is a blast. And over many years we have witnessed the way this approach to not only business but life has produced a positive ripple effect in communities outside our own.
We’re not into preaching. We simply constantly pursue and provide ways to live better and more responsibly, while having incredible fun along the way.
Take veganism: Instead of presenting it as the only virtuous way to eat, we make plant-forward dishes so delicious that they inspire diners to want only vegetables several times a week. That, we feel, is the path to winning over more and more people to make better choices.
Nobody likes sacrificing quality—either of an experience or product—for sustainability, so through everything we create we are devoted to proving there is no need to compromise.
Additionally, we have an equal responsibility to share our learnings and encourage others to change their approach. And challenge us back! This is not about competition but an improvement all around. The next-generation global citizens are depending on us all.
Radical innovation through design, sustainability, and cuisine have driven founder Ronald Akili for 15 years as he’s created world-renowned destinations where the motto is “Good Times, Do Good.” If there’s been one constant in Potato Head’s ever-inspiring journey it’s evolution.
The original Potato Head eatery in Jakarta grew into a Bali outpost comprising restaurants, a beach club and entertainment, and it is now one of the most iconic venues on the island, with multiple boutique hotel concepts and a wildly creative lab reimagining waste into design objects.
Opened in 2020, Desa Potato Head is Ronald’s dream of a creative village realised, one that empowers visitors through rich culture, a zero-waste goal, a fun-loving attitude and the tropical lifestyle that’s so core to Bali’s and Potato Head’s DNA.
Regenerative hospitality is fueling the next generation of travel. It’s a new kind of tourism, a way of being in and experiencing a destination that deeply enriches both it and the visitor.
This is not a fad; it’s a commitment to inspire and model change for the hospitality industry as a whole.
Moving towards being regenerative, this is how we started our sustainability journey
Our goal is simple — to become a zero-waste operation and encourage people to do good while having good times.
Sustainability and regeneration have always been at the heart of what we do. We embrace contrast, channelling Bali’s concept of duality to find regenerative solutions that are both groundbreaking and beautiful. Taking inspiration from the past as we look to a brighter future, we believe in using design as a vehicle of change.
In 2017, we started with the simple act of separating and sorting our own waste on-site. It allowed us to reduce the amount of trash we send to landfills — from over 50% down to 3% — while exploring new ways to manage waste. Our journey continues, and we believe that by working together we can make an even greater impact on the growing problem of waste.
The words sustainability and regeneration are often used interchangeably, but there’s an important difference. We started our journey by doing our best to be sustainable, but, at Potato Head, we realised that we didn’t just want things to stay the same. We want to leave the planet in a better place than we found it, and this is what led to the shift from sustainability to regeneration.
Everything we do revolves around the idea of regeneration. We adopt a circular approach, imaginatively upcycling the waste we produce at the Desa into furniture, amenities, art and more.
We started our sustainability journey by managing our own waste responsibly. It inspired us to do more, and to do better. Trace the steps we have taken to keep our planet happy.
Responsibility and accountability. These words define being sustainable. By simply separating our waste at source, we were able to reduce our waste-to-landfill from over 50% in 2017 to 3% today, which has been verified by independent audits. To better our efforts, we also provide all guests with Zero Waste Kits when they tune-in to stay with us. Our journey towards zero waste is ongoing, and we’re always trying to do better.
We believe that taking care of the environment is a collective responsibility, not a competition, and this is where we take collaboration to new heights. This waste centre is a joint effort between Bali-based businesses aimed at dramatically reducing what we send to Bali’s overflowing landfills by sorting waste and reusing as much as we can. First, we aim to achieve zero waste for our Batu Belig neighbourhood, and zero waste Bali is the ultimate goal.
Dreamed up during the pandemic, this community food project centres around regenerative farming. We set up two thriving syntropic farms in West Bali that provide not only nutritious food and produce to local populations who need sustenance, but also jobs and positive energy for the community. In its first year, the team harvested some 1,800 kilos of food and donated 12,500-plus meals to our neighbours. Ingredients used at our outlets, such as Tanaman, are sourced from our farm.
In 2017 we became the first hospitality company in Asia to go carbon neutral, by investing in UNFCCC certified carbon-reducing projects in Asia.
A small gesture goes a long way. We’ve partnered with Fairatmos to offer guests the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions from their stay with us while tuning in. By choosing to offset carbon emissions, guests directly contribute to a conservation project in Central Kalimantan that helps keep the local forests happy — and happy forests make a happy planet.
Inspired and inspiring, this research and development design workshop pulses with creative energy. It’s a dynamic, collaborative space dedicated to our goal of becoming a zero waste operation and uses surplus materials from daily operations, alongside waste collected from Bali, to fashion and fabricate design objects and decor – all to ensure material circularity at Potato Head.
Transparency is key. By being open-source, we share our journey and welcome people to take a look at what we’ve achieved so far. Make your way to the Infographic section of The Womb for a deep dive into the facts and numbers behind our sustainability practices.
Our next step on the path to becoming truly regenerative is to shift towards achieving a net zero status. We’ve already met our carbon-neutral target, but harmful greenhouse gases contain more than just carbon. Net zero means removing more of the substances that make up these toxic emissions.
We offer a range of activities to share how we implement our regenerative practices. Follow the transformative journey of Potato Head’s waste, contribute towards social causes, learn to reuse discarded materials, and plant seeds to remove carbon emissions.
An enlightening experience where guests follow our waste’s journey. From being separated, to being processed as materials before being transformed and used throughout our Desa. Experience what we do first-hand with a workshop that follows at the end of the tour.
Did you know that a single mangrove tree is able to remove 0.3 tonnes of carbon? That is 308 kg, which is 2-4 times more than mature rainforest trees and is equivalent to driving 1179.4 km. Our mangrove conservation activity allows you to contribute to leaving our world better by waste-picking on a canoe before planting mangrove trees that will help to remove carbon emissions and help spur biodiversity.
Sticking to what we know, and using what we sow. We cook what we grow at our Sweet Potato Farm for children at Bali’s orphanages. Take part in our food distribution program, and learn how we traditionally pack food using organic materials.
Engaging and educational, our kids’ club is designed to energise the next generation to protect this planet for their future. Exciting workshops include building bamboo kites, making toys out of coconuts, colours using organic sources like seeds, picture-frame making using cardboard and creating interesting things with bio-based materials.
A leisurely walk with a balanced approach, the Morning Beach Clean Up invites you to embrace mindfulness while helping to clean up Petitenget Beach.