Conscientious travel is trending and with Earth Day on April 22nd, there’s no better time to plan that sustainable trip you’ve been wanting to explore. We've rounded up some of the best ways to spend Earth Day.
Rancho Pescadero | Todos Santos, Mexico (pictured)
Off the coast of Baja California is the newly opened hotel Rancho Pescadero, a 5-star resort in Todos Santos with a focus on wellness and sustainability and a commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy in the next five years.. A desert-meets-sea Mexican oasis, Rancho's wellness philosophy is rooted in the wisdom of native plants — and the property is blooming with them — nine interconnected gardens with two farms, a citrus orchard, a bird sanctuary and sea turtle hatchery can all be found across the property's 30 seaside acres. The gardens at Rancho are designed to be low-impact and self-sustaining, with hundreds of palm and neem trees cooling the grounds and preventing erosion, while its recycling and composting programs help minimize waste. Infused with touches from local artisans and crafted with the spirit of Mexico in mind, the resort’s 103 suites and 12 ocean-front villas provide the perfect sanctuary to bask in the natural beauty of Mexico. Suites have roof-top decks that offer panoramic views of the ocean and Sierra de la Laguna mountains that will take your breath away. Tucked into the dunes, the villas offer private plunge-pools, beach access and firepits to cuddle up at night, gazing up at the stars. At Rancho, ingredients for the food and beverage are home-grown or sourced within 50 miles of the resort to reduce their carbon impact. There’s also a major regenerative angle — Lisa and her team are building 170 homes for her employees that they’ll have the rights to own, with plans to offer affordable housing to the broader local community next.
HOTEL SAN CRISTÓBAL BAJA // SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM
The first international property for Bunkhouse group, Hotel San Cristóbal is a 32-room beachfront boutique hotel on the coast of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur that offers a sustainable luxury hotel experience in Mexico. Menus at the on-site restaurant Benno and the Pool Bar are full of dishes and beverages collected daily from their own garden, while the team works directly with local fishermen that are located on the same beach to procure their daily bounty, reducing shipping waste and directly supporting the local economy, and the wine program prioritizes vignerons that farm sustainably, with a particular emphasis on organic and biodynamic wines. Hotel San Cristobal also adheres to a rigorous waste separation program that was recently launched, where all waste is meticulously sorted and weighed before leaving the property in order to keep track of, and subsequently find ways to reduce, volume. All cardboard, aluminum, recyclables, and glass are sorted separately, any leftover meat is donated to local farms to help feed hogs, and a new initiative, all organic waste is deposited into San Cristóbal’s new compost piles. The hotel has also implemented a strict zero-plastic policy, opting for Strahl Polycarbonate glassware instead, and provides for the community, with team members regularly participating in community service efforts, such as community-wide trash collections and beach clean-ups. San Cristóbal also integrates and celebrates local culture: it overlooks the daily activity of the local panga fishing cooperatives and is connected to town by a 3-mile bike path, and in-room amenities and the hotels’ retail program feature local, Mexican materials and products. www.sancristobalbaja.com
Salt, Sip, and Science at Quintessence Hotel | Long Bay Beach, Anguilla
This Spring, celebrate our planet at a locale that beautifully intersects history with sustainability. Prior to its reputation as an off-the-grid luxury escape, the celeb-adored island of Anguilla’s main industry consisted of salt picking, with the mineral being found in abundant quantities at the 17 salt lagoons that dot the island’s 16-mile stretch. Anguilla’s forefathers dedicated their efforts to salt picking - uplifting the local economy and providing for their families for generations to come. Not only have the salt ponds boosted the economy for centuries, but they’ve also acted as a vital barrier between terrestrial and marine ecosystems - filtering contaminants and preventing them from entering the ocean. Travelers can visit the bountiful salt ponds and experience the art of salt picking, as well as catch a glimpse of a unique wetland region filled with interesting marine and avian species.This year, in partnership with Quest Experiences, Anguilla’s beloved Quintessence Hotel is offering its guests the opportunity to visit the Road Bay salt pond and learn about its importance on the island. Following the expedition, guests will be greeted with a refreshing, ice-cold margarita back at the hotel using salt sourced directly from the island’s rich deposits. Salt, sip, and science as you learn about the island’s hidden treasures and diverse ecosystems… topped with boozy beverages to toast to one of earth’s most magnificent creations.
Jade Mountain Resort | St. Lucia
This Earth Day, head to a locale that embodies all the natural elements of its surroundings, from a stunning open-plan design to an Organic Emerald Farm which is home to over 1,000 cocoa trees and an incredible selection of herbs and produce - supplying ingredients for the resort’s kitchens and breathing new life to the concept of farm-to-table. Jade Mountain’s thoughtfully designed structure renders the need for electricity and artificial lighting obsolete, optimizing natural light through its stunning open-plan design. In addition, the resort’s water supply operates independently from that of the local town of Soufriere, ensuring the least amount of impact to the surrounding community. Beyond the technical specs, Jade Mountain is a space that encourages its travelers to leave their planet infinitely better than how they found it. Beginning with the 29 open-plan sanctuaries that immaculately weave the earthly elements of the island into everything from an absent fourth wall to a breathtaking infinity pool, providing sweeping vistas of the iconic Pitons and the lush greenery of St. Lucia. Guests can venture to the Emerald Farm and participate in truffle-making workshops using locally sourced cacao, as well as create their own healing elixirs in the indigenous medicine garden, which contains an abundance of restorative and healing properties that serve as nourishment for the mind, body, and spirit.
Explore the World’s First Blue Destination | Bonaire
The world’s first Blue Destination renowned for its scuba diving, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire has long had a 100% protected shoreline and a renewed focus on preserving its pristine ocean which has helped evolve the destination into one committed to sustainability. In line with Earth Day of 2022, the island launched 'The Bonaire Bond’, a thoughtfully designed destination pledge inviting visitors to sign a promise to travel responsibly and respect the island with a goal to sustain Bonaire’s natural appeal and its untouched nature for years to come. The Bond serves as a reminder of how critical sustainable tourism is to the livelihood of its local community. To take it a step further, the island reinvested in its conservation efforts by adopting a coral tree through the Reef Renewal Bonaire foundation on behalf of visitors that committed to this cause throughout the pledge's inaugural year. The Reef Renewal Foundation (RRFB) trains, engages, and inspires the local community so that visitors to the island can also learn and play an active part in protecting Bonaire’s pristine underwater world. Additionally, the island is completely single use plastic free. Visitors will find eco-tourism experiences throughout the island such as kayaking through a protected Mangrove Forest, exploring the art of coral restoration through a discovery dive, hiking among the cacti and cliffed beaches of of Washington Slagbaai National Park and learning about the protection of Bonaire's wildlife at Echo Conservation Centre or the Donkey Sanctuary. www.bonaireisland.com
Sail the Galapagos with Ecoventura
Intimate and exclusive for just 20 guests, the identical luxury expedition yachts, Origin, Theory & Evolve by Ecoventura are named after Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Origin of Species. They are managed like floating boutique hotels and are the only Galapagos vessels to have joined the ranks of the esteemed Relais & Chateaux collection. The seven-night itinerary includes daily excursions and educational briefings led by two certified naturalists — the most favorable passenger to naturalist ratio in the Galapagos. Daily activities include beautiful snorkeling opportunities, kayaking, beach walks and hiking tours that bring you up close and personal to the destination’s most fascinating species. Wildlife wanders freely and fearlessly throughout the archipelago, so travelers frequently find themselves swimming with sea turtles, sun bathing with sea lions or face-to-face with the famous blue-footed boobies. With a commitment to sustainability for over 20 years, Ecoventura became the first recipient of the SmartVoyager ecological certification and established the Galápagos Biodiversity & Education for Sustainability Fund to support research and conservation projects. Ecoventura also produces its own fresh water onboard, has a waste and recycling program and avoids single-use plastic on-board. To explore the Galápagos and honor the planet all in one trip, visit www.ecoventura.com
Desert Bathing in Aruba
Forget forest bathing - it's time to desert bathe. The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has taken forest bathing (yawn), and put a fun twist on the concept, introducing Aruba to the game with its natural backdrop of the desert. This wellness experience allows travelers to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment, helping them to clear their mind while boosting mood and immunity. The experience consists of a private roundtrip transfer to either the historic Alto Vista Chapel - surrounded by cacti and tranquil peace labyrinth - or Arikok National park, as well as yoga mats and a picnic basket including healthy snacks and beverages. Here, travelers can find zen while enjoying their favorite meditation or yoga podcast, or simply bask in the sun and serenity to disconnect and unplug. Following the toes-in-the-(desert)-sand experience, guests can keep the wellness theme going back at the resort, as the experience also includes a massage for two and locally sourced Aruba Aloe products to replenish sun-kissed skin. For more information or to book, visit here and use the code ‘ZJL.’
Reconnect Your Spirit with Mother Earth | W Punta de Mita
Rekindle your relationship with Mother Nature this Earth Day in Mexico’s coveted Riviera Nayarit at this mindful and spiritual wellness getaway. W Punta de Mita celebrates the connection between our Mother Earth and Mayan ancestral roots with their newly introduced Cacao Ceremony, which promotes self-reflection and spiritual awakening. This specific ceremony, held on April 21, 2023, will allow guests to create a heightened level of awareness for the natural world and the important role we play in preserving its beauty. Nature-lovers and wellness seekers alike are welcomed to gather at the resort’s pristine beach where a lively altar of flowers lit by a sacred fire will cleanse and make space for new energies. Cacao experts Alba López and Montserrat Limón will then lead the group in ceremony as guests drink the ceremonial cacao and wrap themselves in an aura of sound and healing frequencies. On top of aligning one’s emotional mental and spiritual levels with the Earth’s magnetic vibrations, the ceremony also activates blood circulation and boosts overall energy and wellbeing.
This April, head to one of the planet’s most magical sights to celebrate Earth Day. Perched above the shores of the majestic Lake Atitlán, Casa Palopó provides a full immersion into the stunning natural landscape of Guatemala - surrounded by mystical volcanoes and charming indigenous villages. Guests of the hotel are in for exclusive access to all that the area has to offer - beginning with a breathtaking boat ride on Lake Atitlán, providing unobstructed views of the volcanoes and Mayan villages across the shore. Travelers are also encouraged to take the plunge into the lake’s waters, which possess powerful healing and restorative properties, said to holistically address various ailments. The property also offers private glamping experiences and a special blessing ceremony, led by a Mayan Shaman, both overlooking the lake and volcanoes - where earth, water, and fire meet to create a cleansing aura for you to immerse yourself in.
Tucked away in the Caribbean Sea, the five-square-mile Dutch Caribbean island of Saba sets the stage for a desolate getaway where guests can escape the monotony of everyday life in an off-the-grid destination surrounded by Mother Earth. Take the meaning of an unplugged vacation to the next level as Saba solely uses solar power throughout the entire island for eight to ten hours a day through its two solar parks and is plastic-free as the island has put a ban on all single-used plastics. In 2022 alone, Saba collected over a million points of recyclable materials that were then exported to the U.S to be properly processed. While on the island, become immersed in an abundance of nature that can be found both above and below the sea. On-land, visitors can be engulfed by serenity when exploring 20 hiking trails dotted with flora and fauna, many of which locals use to mix medicinal teas. Embark on a guided hike with James “Crocodile James” Johnson - a seventh generation Saban - for a sampling of the local vegetation! Fun fact: it takes 48 hours to complete all of Saba’s hiking trails - a gratifying physical and mental challenge for anyone’s up to conquer it. Meanwhile below the ocean’s surface, an entirely unique world awaits. Saba plunges below as steeply as it rises above, and 30 protected dive sites are closely off-shore. What better way to disconnect from the world than to escape underwater for a bit? Not to mention, Saba was named a “Hope Spot” by Mission Blue - an international marine conservation organization. Destinations that receive this award are considered special places as they have been scientifically identified as being critical to the ocean’s health.
Sitting in the quiet village of The Keys, Vicky’s Keys is the only hostel -- specifically, an eco-hostel and volunteer center -- in the charming Caribbean island of St. Maarten. In conjunction with Marlin Yard, an organization that works to create a sustainable agricultural economy alongside the tourism industry, Vicky’s Keys can house up to 19 guests across four buildings, all of which are decorated with recycled or hand-built furniture. The hostel was founded with the mission of being fully eco-focused, self-sufficient, and powered solely by renewable energies. On the property are herb, fruit, vegetable, and fish gardens -- cultivated in permaculture and aquaponics gardens, then freshly served garden-to-table to hotel guests. This hostel is a place where both local and international volunteers can partake in the Marlin Yard’s eco-friendly efforts -- which include anything from bringing new agricultural methods to increase food security on the island or building hurricane-proof housing to help those living in areas prone to natural disasters. Aiming to help everyone live a more sustainable lifestyle, Vicky’s Keys is the place to stay for eco-tourists who like to leave a destination slightly better than they found it. Learn more at www.vickyskeys.com or www.marlinyard.org.
Earth Day | Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa
Appreciate some of Mother Nature’s best work in Cabo San Lucas this Earth Day. One of the world’s most stunning desert-meets-sea landscapes with 320 days of sunshine a year deserves to be cared for and appreciated for generations to come. Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa is doing exactly that. On April 21st, guests can participate in a hotel-wide beach clean up on the shores of Medano beach to ensure that Cabo’s sparkling blue waters stay pristine for the amazing sea life that call the Sea of Cortez home. After a day of healing the beach, visitors can head to Aleta for an Earth Day Green Menu, curated specifically to center around organic produce, local ingredients and supporting small farms in the area. For tequila lovers, Corazón is offering a special Earth Day Tequila Tasting, featuring Tequila Herradura, a premium tequila brand committed to sustainable practices like utilizing solar energy, reducing water usage and recycling waste. This Earth Day, travelers can take action in preserving the Spirit of Mexico - literally and figuratively - so that the beauty of Cabo can be appreciated for a long, long time. Learn more at https://www.corazoncabo.com/
Baby Sea Turtle Sunset Send Off at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa | Mexico
To the Huichol people native to the Sierra Madre Mountain range, the spiritual symbol of the tortuga (turtle) is an important one, as the creatures are touted as the helpers of the rain goddesses. From June to December, guests staying at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (nestled between these mountains and the breathtaking Banderas Bay) can share in paying this special respect to Mother Nature and this tradition of the local culture by playing a role in the resort’s turtle protection program with the opportunity to release newly hatched turtles into the ocean on the resort’s beach, as well as learn the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and taking care of environment so that species like these can thrive. This program, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023, is a family favorite as children staying at the resort have the chance to name their tiny turtles, gather at sunset to wish them luck and set them free to return to the ocean. When the resort first started this program in 2005, the Ridley Sea Turtle was in danger of extinction so Marriott Puerto Vallarta donated a part of their beach to create a permanent nursery, as well as employs a biologist / turtle specialist to oversee the program, patrol during the night, and educate the hotel's staff and guests about the species. Today, the Ridley is now a vulnerable species with an increased survival rate due to programs like these. This activity is offered every day during turtle season as Mother Nature permits. www.puertovallartamarriott.com
A Commitment to Earth in Cancun | JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
Get lost in the serenity of Cancun’s natural views this Earth Day, known for its year-round turquoise blue waters and 80-degree temperatures. This year, the JW Marriott Cancun is hosting a meaningful Earth Day activity. The resort is inviting guests and associates to give back to mother nature by participating in a beach cleanup followed by a ceremony at an “Earth Commitment wall,” where participants can pledge commitments to take care of the planet. Located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, the resort makes for a convenient trip to reconnect with nature. For guests searching for an unforgettable, GoPro-worthy experience guaranteed to stand the test of time, they can snorkel with Cancun's population of whale sharks. These gentle giants usually flock off shore between Spring and Summer each year and have bigger smiles than any other mammals you’ve likely encountered. Say cheese!
Luxury Meets Sustainability in South Andros | Caerula Mar Club
Nestled on the island of South Andros in the Bahamas, Caerula Mar Club is committed to both luxury and sustainability. The property features sweeping suites and private villas made with sustainable materials, uses solar energy and 100% recyclable materials in lieu of plastics and reef-safe bath products and sunscreen, and works with local farmers and fisherman to source ingredients for its onsite restaurants. In addition to educating guests through sustainability-focused ocean and land adventures, the resort team’s sustainability efforts within the local community have included developing hurricane shelters, hosting beach clean ups, and working to preserve the island’s natural beauty by restoring and developing local concepts to facilitate tourism to the island. Caerula Mar also offers guests the chance to encounter the wildlife of this secluded paradise. Adventurous travelers will jump at the chance to explore the Andros Reef, which is the third largest barrier reef in the world at 100 miles long and is conveniently located directly in front of the resort! Guests can experience the purest diving experience in the Bahamas, with dives suitable for all levels of divers offering encounters with sea turtles, rays, reef sharks, tropical fish and blue holes that some say are home to the mythical creature called Lusca. South Andros is also an amazing destination for fishing enthusiasts. Guests can book a fishing excursion and find out for themselves why the island is called the “Bone Fishing Capital of The World.”
Protecting Our Planet at Playa | Playa Largo Resort & Spa
Celebrate the planet at Playa Largo Resort - a breathtaking beachfront getaway in Key Largo, Florida, committed to being the most environmentally-friendly property in The Florida Keys. Once the site of an 1800s pineapple farm, the resort team dedicated $300,000 towards environmental preservation to survey trees and wildlife in the nearby area to ensure the Keys’ delicate ecosystem wasn’t harmed in the process of construction. The team moved and preserved dozens of decades-old gumbo limbo trees and studied local butterfly species to create a natural trail for guests to observe them in the wild. Its continued commitment to Mother Nature can be shown in the resort’s power knot liquid food composter to turn organic food waste into nutrient-rich gray water, which is used to water the grounds and reduce the carbon footprint by 147 tons per year. Additionally, guests can enjoy an Eco Tour with on-property environmentalists and learn all about the marine life and ecosystem that call Key Largo home. This tropical oasis is truly perfect for connecting with nature and supporting the Earth’s protection. For more information please visit https://www.playalargoresort.com
Exploring and Journaling in Nature at Barnsley Resort
Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwest Georgia lies Barnsley Resort, where nature, history, and hospitality come together as one. With 3,000 acres and only 140 rooms, the grounds naturally provide the perfect backdrop to unplug, unwind and reconnect with Mother Nature. Here, guests are encouraged to get outside and take advantage of the resort's numerous nature-focused experiences, including horseback riding, catch and release fishing, canoeing, miles of wooded hiking trails, golf and more.
Those opting for a more laid-back option can participate in the resort's Forest Bathing Journaling experience, in which travelers are encouraged to create natural art inspired by the gifts of nature. Guests receive a journal with sketch pencil, colored pencils, tape and glue stick. A guide takes guests out to set an 'intention' for the walk, and then guides them to different parts of the resort's grounds where they can collect and be inspired by different leaves, flowers, etc. A fanny pack is also provided to collect the nature goodies in, and then travelers can go back and craft it in the journal in whatever way speaks to them, be it leaf collages, sketches, poems and more. For more information or to book, visit www.barnsleyresort.com.
Fly into the Future in Iceland’s First Electric Aircraft at Hotel Rangá
Hotel Rangá, set in the secluded countryside of Southern Iceland, is ideal for travelers seeking adventure, sustainability and luxury alike. Taking off for the first time earlier this year, a revolutionary, fully electric aircraft now soars above Iceland's incredible cliff sides, waterfalls and lava fields without leaving a carbon footprint. Bringing the two-seater plane, the first of its kind to Iceland, was championed by Hotel Rangá’s owner, Friðrik Pálsson, who is passionate about the environment and green energy and incorporates sustainable practices into how they run the property. The goal was to introduce emission-free transport to the country as a step toward a future of more sustainable travel. For a one-and-only experience, book the new Flying into the Future offer which includes accommodations, a one-on-one flight with the pilot in the new electric aircraft as well as champagne in the hangar for toasting to a great cause. Available exclusively to Hotel Rangá guests, this flight of a lifetime will provide passengers with aerial views of Southern Iceland’s beautiful countryside and serene rivers. Additionally, the hotel, which is naturally powered and heated by the country’s geothermal water sources, offers charging stations for electric cars, donates materials to the local elementary school as well as sends leftover food from Restaurant Ranga home with staff to feed their farm animals. www.hotelranga.is
The world’s first Blue Destination renowned for its scuba diving, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is a blissful beach escape with a renewed focus on protecting its pristine ocean which has helped evolve the destination into one committed to sustainability. In line with Earth Day of 2022, the island launched 'The Bonaire Bond’, a thoughtfully designed destination pledge inviting visitors to sign a promise to travel responsibly and respect the island with a goal to sustain Bonaire’s natural appeal and its untouched nature for years to come. The Bond serves as a reminder of how critical sustainable tourism is to the livelihood of its local community. To take it a step further, the island reinvested in its conservation efforts by adopting a coral tree through the Reef Renewal Bonaire foundation on behalf of visitors that committed to this cause throughout the pledge's inaugural year. The Reef Renewal Foundation (RRFB) trains, engages, and inspires the local community so that visitors to the island can also learn and play an active part in protecting Bonaire’s pristine underwater world. Visitors will find eco-tourism experiences throughout the island such as kayaking through a protected Mangrove Forest, exploring the art of coral restoration through a discovery dive, hiking among the cacti and cliffed beaches of of Washington Slagbaai National Park and learning about the protection of Bonaire's wildlife at Echo Conservation Centre or the Donkey Sanctuary. www.bonaireisland.com
Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao
This Earth Day, head to the gorgeous Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao for an exclusive look at some of our planet’s most magical sights. Beginning with virtually untouched turquoise waters only comparable to the Maldives, a colorful reef system, mystical underwater caves, and so much more. The island has enacted several efforts to protect its unique ecosystems - from turning plastic into beautiful island souvenirs to creatively eliminating invasive species, as well as the creation of a coral tree nursery – which provides a nourishing environment for various species of coral to thrive. Visitors are welcome to participate in sustainability efforts by joining a traditional Lionfish Dinner — solving the problem of an invasive species in a creative, delicious way. The tasty and beautiful fish is served up in inventive plates, such as fish cakes and bacon-wrapped fish bites. The island is also globally known as a scuba diving haven, with 65 distinct dive sites perfect for exploring the expansive underwater reefs and ecosystem.Travelers can also venture on snorkeling tours of the island’s diverse marine life, where it isn’t rare to spot wild sea turtles and vibrant corals on the seafloor. For those who prefer land activities, travelers can visit Mt. Christoffel, the island’s highest peak, and experience unobstructed views of magical Curaçao. The island also offers ATV rides through Shete Boka National Park, with scenic overlooks of giant waves crashing against majestic underwater caves. With such a variety of marine life, excursions, and sustainability efforts – the magical island of Curaçao is the perfect place to celebrate our planet.
Resorts World Bimini | Bimini, Bahamas
Sitting just 50 miles off the coast of South Florida, all ocean lovers will find their paradise in Bimini, Bahamas this Earth Day. Surrounded by the sparkling blue water, the island is home to an abundance of incredible species, especially sharks. Bimini is known as one of the top shark-diving capitals of the world due to the lush mangroves which provide sharks with the ideal shallow nursery to thrive in. Even the endangered Great Hammerhead Sharks make their way back to the island year after year. To get up close with all the wildlife, travelers can hop on their private vessel or embark on a guided tour with Bimini Blue Adventures and head out to sea to swim alongside the sharks at Triangle Rocks, explore the S.S. Sapona shipwreck and hand-feed stingrays at Honeymoon harbor. Within the mix of all the adventure is Resorts World Bimini - an all encompassing beachfront resort that travelers can make their way back to after a long day of exploration.
Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort
There’s no better place to celebrate Earth Day than on Hawaii’s oldest and greenest island: Kauai. Perched on the oceanfront, the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort is paradise for those seeking to explore the natural wonders of the Garden Isle during the day, and come back to a blissful homebase to take in the sunset by night. Located on the gorgeous Eastern coast of the island, the hotel offers free bicycles available to guests to go out and explore eco-consciously, with both the north and south shores an equidistant ride away. At the resort, flora and fauna grow fiercely, the property itself accented by luscious greens and earthy sandalwoods. Take in Kauai’s natural beauty on a hike up the Sleeping Giant trail, paddle up the Wailua River, swim in the clear blue waters of the ocean, or take in the beauty from your own backyard with sunrise yoga on the beach and a fresh-squeezed juice from First Light Coffee. The hotel offers many activities to take part in the local culture and promote sustainable tourism, from traditional luaus to providing DIY beach cleanup kits for guests to leave the Earth better than they found it.
Urban Permaculture Pilot Program Launches at WorldMark in Portland to Fight Food Insecurity & Mitigate Farming-Related Methane Emissions
WorldMark by Wyndham®, a vacation club brand with 200+ properties, is set to pilot Planting Seeds, an environmental educational program that introduces guests staying at WorldMark Portland Waterfront Park to the concept of urban permaculture through interactive workshops and an on-site vertical demo garden in partnership with master regenerative farmer, Daniel Campbell. Urban farming is on the rise around the world as governments and residents look to promote nutritious diets, tackle environmental challenges and transform industrial cities, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) reports farming-related methane is a major player in climate emissions, and while urban gardens may seem small-scale–rooftop farms and vertical gardens could prove crucial in fighting hunger in urban areas, according to research led by Arizona State University (ASU) and Google. As new reports of vegetable scarcity and soaring food prices (up 40 percent YoY) are increasing concerns regarding food insecurity, the Portland property will be the first in the brand to pilot the program to champion the urban growing movement, at scale. Participants will get their hands dirty and dig into topics like regenerative soil health, native beekeeping, biochar and carbon capture, pickling and pruning. The workshops are complimentary for all guests and produce procured will be donated back to a Portland CSA to feed local families.
Travelers looking for a refreshing escape that’s equal parts eco-conscious, can venture to the tony island of St. Barth in the French West Indies to stay at the award-winning Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa. Strengthening its commitment to sustainability, the 44-room boutique hotel recently introduced a zero-waste culinary concept and workshop headed up by Chef Vincent Gomis at its beachfront restaurant AMIS, and an expanded partnership with Coral Restoration St. Barth to offer interactive guided diving to rehabilitate the surrounding reef, beginning this April. The new initiatives build on the hotel’s conscious construction, which emphasizes an open-air, naturally-derived architecture to limit energy consumption by embracing natural-light and using solar energy, while incorporating organic and low-impact materials, such as locally hewn stone and wood, linens sourced from ethically-traced organic cotton and 60 percent (and growing) of in-room amenities sourced from ethical and environmentally-friendly labels. The brand ethos is centered around embracing and protecting the island’s natural flora and fauna, which is why all fertilizers, plants and soil on the property are organic, cleaning products are eco-friendly, sunblock and lotions sold on property are reef-safe, and desalination is employed for ecological water usage.
World’s First Global Tour Operator to Secure Validated Net Zero Targets
Global tour brands Trafalgar, Contiki, Costsaver, Luxury Gold, Brendan Vacations and Insight Vacations, which are part of the family of 40 travel brands under The Travel Corporation (TTC), have implemented a joint, clear path forward to reducing carbon and regenerating the planet as the world's first global tour operator to secure validated short and long-term net zero targets through the Science Based Target Initiative - SBTi, a partnership with CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Joining the movement of over 4,500 brands across different industries, this is the goldstar in transparency and action to mitigate climate change, backed by science. Outlined in the brand’s Impact Report and exemplified throughout each of the individual brand’s operations, Chief Sustainability Officer, Shannon Guihan is leading the charge on meeting short and long term targets as the alarms sound on the critical need to achieve the limit of 1.5 degree Celsius warming by 2050, in a new UN report released earlier last week. The strategy includes items such as transitioning to renewable energy and low carbon technology, aggressively reducing food-waste, securing zero emissions vehicles, partnering with tourism boards to provide sectoral support for local and regional infrastructure change, working diligently to modify thousands of travel experiences to reduce their footprint as well as expanding itineraries to support indigenous peoples in reclaiming and regenerating their lands, for example. While Trafalgar, Contiki and the tour brands under TTC could claim many of the buzzwords in the sustainable travel space, Guihan’s fervent opinion goes against the grain of labeling as such and firmly believes the “sustainable travel rhetoric and the plethora of labels are causing roadblocks in the movement towards meaningful change. Often these labels and buzz words are meaningless and borderline irresponsible, ultimately detracting from the science and evidence of action on behalf of travel companies, and confusing travelers.” To break through the marketing noise, Guihan advises travelers to look for the ‘evidence’ through transparency, impact reports and refer to the SBT-i database, in order to make informed decisions before booking anything that’s labeled ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Invests $20M Across 50 Countries Building Environmental Stewardship & Scientific Discovery
Sustainability has been part of Lindblad Expeditions’ DNA since inception and is quite literally the brand’s founding principle of existence: to improve the relationships between people and planet. Building on a legacy of over 50 years as a leader in responsible travel, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has raised more than $20 million from curious and committed travelers to further the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of protecting the ocean, conserving wildlife, preserving local communities and culture. The expedition pioneer not only led the way in unlocking the most remote places on the planet –from Antarctica to the Galapagos in the 60s– but was also the first expedition cruise to adopt 100% carbon neutral practices in 2019 to continue their climate initiatives. From the zero-waste and regenerative culinary practices, to the ships’ purpose-built expedition hardware including the utilization of ultra -low sulfur marine gas oil, the cleanest burning fuel available in the remote areas that Lindblad typically operates, Lindblad’s operations are carbon neutral and working towards leaving the destination a better place. The Lindblad fleet serves as a platform for scientific exploration spawning groundbreaking discoveries of new species, and supporting ongoing conservation efforts of marine ecosystems and climate change mitigation– from the citizen science program to the visiting science program in partnership with leading researchers from John Hopkins to Duke exploring topics such as snow algae, carbon cycles and whale populations.
Luxury River Cruise Line Works to Kick Food Waste to the Curb
Under the leadership of their dedicated Sustainability Officer, Julie Higgins, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is on track to reduce food waste onboard by 50% by 2025. Uniworld was the first river cruise line to publish an Impact Report, detailing progress against its eleven goals to transparently monitor and openly report on progress with the environment and make actionable commitments for future impact.
Uniworld utilizes Certified B Corporation® food waste reduction program Leanpath, to improve kitchen efficiency and prevent food waste on a large scale through data-driven waste tracking. By the end of 2023, Leanpath will be implemented across the entire Uniworld fleet. Uniworld’s food waste goal is just one part of their robust sustainability strategy, ‘How We Tread Right,’ which consists of eleven formal goals including eliminating single-use plastic, switching to renewable energy, achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner and offering guests sustainable tourism experiences in the form of ‘Make Travel Matter’ experiences, designed to engage and give back throughout their river cruising journey.
Upcycling, Shore Power, and Food Traceability: Holland America Line Focuses on Sustainability
As Holland America Line works toward its commitment to decarbonization, My Nguyen, Design Director, is making waves in sustainable interiors on board, setting standards for ocean liners at large. For example, My is leading the charge in specifying as much product as possible that meets sustainable criteria on board Holland America Line’s Rotterdam. She took on a 1.5 year project in collaboration with Origins to create carpeting made from 100 percent recyclable material – organic natural wool, with no dyes or chemicals. Beyond interior design, Holland America Line is focused on food traceability and limiting waste, plus recently becoming the first cruise line to achieve a Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification, for certified-sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood, in addition to installing 68 biodigesters and seven food dehydrators to limit food waste. Holland America Line also utilizes shore power to reduce CO2 emissions in port.
Sandals Resorts is Promoting Food Security & Tree Planting in the Caribbean
Jamaican family-owned all-inclusive resort brand, Sandals Resorts, in partnership with its philanthropic arm the Sandals Foundation, is inviting guests to participate in a large-scale tree planting event to address food insecurity across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation will plant 500+ food-bearing, mangrove, and forest trees across the Caribbean to ensure the continued presence of local produce in schools and communities for future generations. The Trees for Life campaign is a singular facet of the Sandals Foundation’s overarching focus for 2023, to promote and support food security across the Caribbean. More than 90% of the produce and poultry served at all Sandals are locally grown and raised to support local farmers, and the brand recently launched composting sites at select resorts to encourage conservation. Last year, the Sandals Foundation pledged a goal of 10,000 trees planted. Of last year’s 10,000-tree goal, 6,284 trees have been planted, with total lifetime tree planting totaling 21,651 trees since the Foundation’s inception.
Carneros Resort and Spa
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Round Hill Hotel and Villas
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
COMO Parrot Cay
COMO Parrot Cay’s Sustainability Manager, Jessica Frattolio, has introduced several programs through her position, focusing on the production of water and energy to service the island. By implementing several water conservation techniques like filtering through reverse osmosis, collecting rainwater, and recycling ‘greywater’ into the island’s irrigation system, COMO Parrot Cay saves an average of 24,000 gallons of water every day. The private island has three generators to produce electricity that fuel its facilities and accommodations. These generators are audited throughout the day to manage the energy outputs, decreasing or increasing voltage as needed. These key programs allow for COMO Parrot Cay to be a completely self-sufficient island.
Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels
Located on the picturesque southern shore of Barbados just minutes from the vibrant St. Lawrence Gap, Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels is the ideal getaway for families seeking true paradise—and a learning experience. Aptly named for the sea turtles who commonly nest in the area’s pristine white sand beaches, this all-inclusive resort boasts a wide array of complimentary sports activities across both land and sea. Parents and kids alike may partake in exploratory snorkeling tours where they will discover Barbados’ famous sea turtles and flourishing marine ecosystem, while younger guests may also join the Flying Fish Kids Club, which offers growing minds an additional unique chance to swim with turtles all whilst gaining hands-on knowledge of the surrounding culture and its contributions to sea turtle conservation efforts across Barbados.
The Foundry Hotel – Asheville, NC
At The Foundry Hotel, a historic restoration of Asheville's former steel foundry turned luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Asheville’s oldest African American business district, travelers can book the hotel’s “Digital Detox Adventure Package” for a hardcore escape inclusive of The Arrivals AER classic puffer featuring an "Off The Grid" pocket that blocks 100% radiation from cell signal and an exclusive, private guided hike at Wild Cat Rock, a stunning route with no cell service, via Asheville Wellness Tours. Alternatively, the property’s “Flower Bathing” Nature Therapy Experience allows guests to immerse themselves in the magic of the Pisgah National Forest as new life sprouts up all around them, honoring the Japanese practice of forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku) by celebrating the arrival of the Asheville’s local wildflowers.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Riviera Maya, Mexico
At Banyan Tree Mayakoba, the Riviera Maya’s most exclusive 5-Star eco-resort engages guests in the local environment by offering complimentary interactive eco-tours by boat year-round, allowing guests a unique way in which to explore the stunning local flora and fauna of the area as well as the wildlife that lives among the mangroves. With Mayakoba established as an authorized turtle field since 2010 (whereby 4 of 7 species worldwide come to nest on its beaches), the resort also provides training to guests, partners, and suppliers to promote awareness of the threats that the sea turtle faces. Guests on property from May-October are offered the unique opportunity to observe hatchling releases.
Wailea Beach Resort – Wailea, Maui, HI
At the ocean’s edge nestled between two of Maui's golden sand crescent beaches, Wailea Beach Resort is the epitome of scenic luxury, spanning 22 acres with 3 spectacular pool experiences. Guests of the resort can book the “Sail with the Whales” excursion in partnership with Sail Maui to set their sights on the ocean horizon for an unforgettable whale-watching adventure in Hawaii. Each year, koholā or humpback whales return to Maui's warm coastal waters to breed, birth, and nurse calves. Traveling in ‘escort pods,’ mother and calf are accompanied by a male throughout their journey, as part of his courtship to be the next sire. Witness their majestic migration from the deck of the Paragon II, a 47-foot performance catamaran (and directly to the shores of Wailea Beach Resort!).
Botánika Osa Peninsula, Curio Collection by Hilton - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Botánika Osa Peninsula, Curio Collection by Hilton is a premier eco-resort positioned beside Costa Rica’s two prized jewels: Corcovado National Park and the Pacific Ocean’s Golfo Dulce. The resort serves as a jumping-off point for immersive nature and rainforest experiences, from paddling alongside a gentle 40-foot whale shark and renowned sport fishing to hiking the rainforest to indulge in hand-caught tilapia and guided night hikes on property where guests can see sloths, crocodiles, frogs, and more! The resorts’ rainforest residences are also outfitted with oversized terraces and a private rooftop lounge area perfect for firsthand nature viewing and stargazing. Onsite is the resort’s own Science and Nature Center that offers a schedule of presentations from resident scientists from major universities around the world who teach guests about the local wild and sea life and lead excursions to tag fish, dolphins and sharks (guests can even receive continued updates on the animals following their experience once they leave the resort).
Hoshino Resorts Iriomote Hotel – Iriomote Island, Okinawa
With no airstrip and a lone coastal road, the island of Iriomote is one of Japan’s most remote destinations and made for those looking to reconnect with nature. Luckily, Japan recently opened to international travelers and this hotel should be the first on visitor’s bucket lists. The 139-key property is Japan’s first eco-tourism resort found amongst the jungle where the sound of waves and chirping birds allow for a relaxing resort stay in the vast nature. Located within the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, guests can explore dense subtropical forests, mangrove-lined waterways, rushing cascades and embark on adventurous yet educational activities like mangrove kayaking at dusk and Kura Falls trekking. Also available is the Iriomote Cat School where guests can see and learn about the nationally protected wildcat – there are only about 100 of them living on the island!
ADERO Scottsdale Resort – Scottsdale, AZ
This modern desert sanctuary, found in the less-discovered side of Scottsdale, Arizona, is a remote destination for outdoor enthusiasts this spring. Situated in one of only 34 Dark Sky Communities, ADERO serves as a desert playground with easy access to 400-miles of well-maintained trails, exceptional mountain biking and wellbeing amenities galore. Travelers can curate an itinerary to include activities to further immerse themselves in the spirituality of the desert surrounding from sunrise yoga, desert-bathing, sound healing and more bookable though the Cleanse + Reset retreat. On Friday nights, guests can also participate in guided stargazing with the Star Dudes, a group of local experts (one with a former affiliation to NASA), over a round of cocktails from SkyTop and CIELO.
The Kentucky Castle – Lexington, KY
Just outside Lexington, KY, is a 110-acre estate and castle that, over the last five years, has transformed into a boutique hotel surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of Bluegrass country. The Kentucky Castle boasts luxury suites, an on-property-grown farm-to-table restaurant, a ballroom, a swimming pool, and a spa. Nature lovers can stroll through the sustainable no-till garden and pick their own veggies or see herbs and plants inside the on-property greenhouse. Take a trip to the pastures to see goats and cows, or saddle up for a horseback ride ending with a garden-to-table picnic. Visitors will be Ideally located near Kentucky River Palisades (a 450-million-year-old ecosystem) that’s one of the many natural wonders the state has to offer. Embrace the great outdoors with a self-guided hike throughout the Palisades or soar 185 feet above the forest at 40 MPH with Boone Creek Outdoors’ Zipline Canopy Tours.
Club Med Québec – Québec, Canada
Celebrate the planet walking hand-in-leash with an alpaca at Club Med Québec, Club Med’s four-season all-inclusive mountain resort. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the scenic St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains while hiking along the banks of the river with their own alpaca. This unique experience is led by alpaca trainers and educates guests on the lives of alpacas and how to best handle these unique animals. Other unique outdoor adventures guests can enjoy include guided epicurean hikes to taste edible treasures found in the forest, mountain top yoga, and forest mediation.
Aqua Expeditions – Experience Nature Like Never Before
Aboard the Aqua Expeditions, the luxury small ship expedition company, every day is earth day. Taking its guests to some of the world’s most biodiverse regions, including the Amazon River of Peru, the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, and the pristine coastal waters of The Coral Triangle in Eastern Indonesia, the five-ship-fleet offers an exclusive, intimate and immersive experience – that is like no other.
With a highly exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, Aqua offers an ultra-personalized excursion. A team of expedition consultants work closely with each traveler to curate tailored itineraries, whether in search of Eastern Indonesia’s most sought-after snorkeling sites, the Galapagos Islands’ best hiking trails or Vietnam’s local flavors.
The itineraries for each different excursion permit guests to visit earth’s unspoiled sanctuaries and connect with nature its purest form – in a remarkable, yet responsible way.
Led by native born-and-raised naturalist guides, splendor is found at every turn. Gazing up in the Amazon – guests can spot rare bird species such as Wilson’s Bird of Paradise by day, and behold a sky scattered with stars by night. Whereas in the Galapagos Island’s there is a spectacle of volcanic terrain and red sand beaches as well as an under-water world of bottlenose dolphins, hammerhead sharks, colorful fish and coral reefs to encounter. With so much to be explored Aqua offers a range of hiking, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, specie spotting and sightseeing to maximize guest’s experience and interaction with the wondrous variety of the natural surroundings.
Aqua has paved the way for sustainable river and sea exploration by educating crew, guests and locals on how to protect the fragile ecosystems they visit. Other initiatives include wildlife conservation, fish rehabilitation, turtle releases, manatee rescues and reforestation. Each boutique cruise recognizes the importance of responsible travel and is fulfilling their own desire, as well as that of conscientious travelers, to give back to the environment.
`For more Information, please see here: https://www.aquaexpeditions.com
Thanda Island – The Luxury Island The Gives Back
Nestled within the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, just off the coast of Tanzania, Thanda Island is one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious estates. A tropical hideaway surrounded by pristine nature, Thanda Island is a place where time slows and the connection between humans and nature is re-ignited. Thanda is the world’s only exclusive-use island in a marine reserve and is dedicated to safeguarding the surrounding environment by protecting the vulnerable coral reefs and local marine wildlife with concerted conservation programs. Meaning 'love' in the Zulu language, this soulful destination creates shared value for the environment and the community.
Working hard to fulfill its promise, Thanda Island does this in the below ways;
Marine Life and Environment Preservation
Thanda island works hard to support local NGO Ropes of Hope, a coral reef restoration program that will restore coral reefs within the Mafian archipelago and Shungimibili Marine Reserve.
• Through partnership with local NGO Ropes of Hope, Thanda helps educate the local community on the importance of reef conservation and employs community members from Mafia and its surrounding island to restore their reefs
• Employs a full-time Marine Biologist, Rianne Laan, who monitors the conservation projects' progress, in particular, the rehabilitation of the Shungimbili coral reef, where young coral is grown until it’s ready to be incorporated into the reef to stimulate its recovery
• Guests willing to learn more a about the marine life can book excursions with Rianne where even the gear is eco-friendly - the new rash vests by Ocean R are made from recycled plastic waste from the ocean - and each shirt is equivalent to approximately 12 plastic bottles, and sun cream from Healing Earth is reef-safe
• Encourages guests to take part in the Whale Shark Citizen Science Programme, which allows the community to be involved in collecting identification data on whale sharks via images
• Supports the Marine Park Rangers - who patrol and protect the Shungimbili Marine Reserve from illegal fishing
An Island designed with sustainability in mind, Thanda strives to maintain high sustainability levels with its energy, water, recycling and food usage, whilst ensuring luxury and quality service is still delivered.
• The new solar plant is large enough to cater for all of the Island’s power needs on most given days
• Grey water is recycled to water the Island’s expanding garden and rainwater is harvested in storage tanks too. Water on the island is naturally depurated by two desalination plants
• All waste is collected on the Island and transported by a local entrepreneur on Mafia Island where it is then recycled at a recycler’s plant in Dar es Salaam
• Organic waste is composted and re-fed into the gardens
• 200 new coconut trees have been planted to preserve the vegetation
• Food is sourced locally where possible, and fish is caught sustainably by the trusted fishermen on Mafia Island
For further information or to book, please visit https://www.thandaisland.com/