Since Bryan Baeumler and his family moved down to The Bahamas to overhaul a run-down resort, his approach to the environment and construction has changed.
“Our perspective has changed a lot after spending time down here,” says Bryan who stars in Island of Bryan with his wife Sarah and family.
What Bryan discovered in The Bahamas was a collection of islands teeming with wildlife. Just meters off the Island of Bryan resort, the Caerula Mar Club, is a rare selection of coral and sea animals: Manta rays, sea turtles and sharks are just a few of the sea creatures Bryan names off the top of his head. He often spends hours fishing and diving with his family in the ocean or inland in one of the island’s magical Blue Holes.
On land, there are wild boars and rare iguanas that have thrived in an environment with few natural predators (there is evidence of crocodiles being on the island in the past, but there are none now). The bird life is equally diverse. There was even a rare sighting of a Bahama Oriole at the resort!
The rich wildlife cemented Bryan’s stand on protecting the environment. The Baeumlers built primarily on the existing footprint of the resort they’re renovating, and took great care to select energy-efficient windows and appliances. Sarah also hand-picked environmentally-friendly amenities like soap and shampoos.
Not only was Bryan affected by the beauty of the island, but he was equally impressed with how the locals approach their day-to-day lives.
“You know, on a happiness scale, [Bahamians] surpass anyone I’ve ever met in Canada,” says Bryan. “They’re living within their means… they’re not trying to make a lot of things that they don’t need.”
What happens in The Bahamas is in contrast to the consumerism found in Canada and the United states where people are in a race to get the latest car, home finishes or gadget at the lowest price.
“We found that the construction and development in North America is such a consumer-driven market, so we’re to trying to keep up with the Joneses,” says Bryan. “It’s bigger, bigger, bigger, cheaper, cheaper construction methods, cheaper insulation, cheaper shingles, but higher-end finishes.”
He’s dedicated to hyper-insulation, less energy use and a smaller environmental footprint. Expect to see more on this direction from Bryan in the future!
Photography courtesy of Sarah Baeumler. Underwater photo courtesy of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation