According to Conde Nast Traveler, 58% of readers polled would choose hotel resorts they knew would help save the planet and give back to locals. A growing number of tourism businesses are adopting sustainable practices or donating profits to planet-saving charities.
Despite the growing demand for eco-friendly experiences, a 2018 study conducted by Impact Travel Alliance, Mandala Research and Community By Design entitled “Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses” revealed more than a third of travellers found it difficult to find sustainable accommodation or weren’t sure how to travel sustainably.
One thing we can be sure of is Eco-tourism is on the rise. One of the biggest ways you can reduce your impact on the planet is to book eco-conscious accommodation, no matter where in the world you are.
At Ecohouz, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite sustainable accommodation options that have adopted sustainable hospitality practices and give back to local community and/or planet-saving charities.
Bodhi Surf & Yoga Camp, Costa Rica
Looking for an exotic destination, to clear your head and rebalance your mind and body. Bodhi Surf+Yoga in Costa Rica is a community-engaged surf camp and yoga camp. In 2016, they were awarded with B-Corporation certification for having met “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”.
Environmentally-friendly ideas were incorporated into the layout, design and construction. Units were raised off the ground and large windows and natural ventilation systems were installed to remove the need for air conditioning. You also won’t find televisions or microwaves or energy-draining appliances. Low flow toilets save water, energy-saving light bulbs are used throughout and solar-powered lanterns and walkway lighting provide outdoor guidance. They upcycle old items such benches from reclaimed surfboards. They recycle, grow produce, compost and the kicker is a custom, plastic and fibreglass-free saline pool that has a low-energy Pentair motor.
Daintree Ecolodge, Queensland, Australia
A little less further afield and if you’re Australian considered to be “just up the road”, the Daintree Ecolodge is the perfect spot to get back to the basics while connecting with nature and family. The secluded jewel is uniquely located where tropical rainforest and sweeping white sand beaches collide. You’ll need to plan well in advance because accommodation is limited with only 15 eco-friendly treehouses available. It is a carbon neutral property with Greenfleet offsetting, meaning all carbon emissions are compensated for by funding native reforestation projects.
Daintree Ecolodge donates $50 per guest stay to the Morris Family Foundation Reef Keepers Fund, supporting projects that protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef. They also pride themselves on environmentally-friendly cleaning; using eWater instead of harsh cleaning chemicals. A biocycle waste water treatment plant allows 100% of their water to be recycled and is repurposed for irrigation and watering the onsite herb and veggie garden.
The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge, Nelson, New Zealand
Voted one of the world's 25 best eco-lodges by the National Geographic Traveller magazine, the Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge continues in raising the bar when it comes to sustainability, setting a prime example to the rest of the tourism industry. Located amongst 50 acres of regenerating native rainforest, they’ve planted thousands of native trees which have been eco-sourced from local suppliers. The lodge and bush suites blend their natural surroundings and reduce the strain on natural resource. Buildings are north-facing with large overhanging roofs and shading to in an attempt to cut back on heating and cooling needs. All rooms are designed to have cross breezes through natural airflow, so there’s no need for energy-draining aircon.
Electricity usage is monitored and recorded in an effort to reduce their kilowatt usage each year. All guests are encouraged to contribute in reducing energy use and to understand their benefits the positive effect their part can play. An on-site water treatment plant ensures all wastewater is distributed via an irrigation system and is used to water their vegetation.
Hotel El Ganzo, San José del Cabo, Mexico
Solar-power heated the rooftop pool, cactus-based laundry detergent renowned for reducing 80% water usage and rooms equipped with a branded, reusable, BPA-free water bottles are just some of the ways Hotel El Ganzo is contributing to saving the environment. Guests can carry their water bottles around the property and top up at the hotel’s many refill stations. This significantly reduces plastic usage. All waste is separated and food waste is deposited to make compost. If your eyes are bigger than your belly at lunch or dinner, you’ll get a doggie containers made of natural fibres to take-away. Staff are consistently train in key areas of sustainability including the reduction, reusing, and recycling of waste and other material. Hotel El Ganzo is also a Platinum member of CREST, a policy-oriented NGO research organisation who encourages globally responsible tourism.
Forest Walks Lodge, Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia
A secluded lodge, Forest Walks is bordered by an unbelievable backdrop of mountains and wildlife. The lodge was constructed in prime position to make the most of the natural sunlight. Stone walls are exposed to the north and trap the heat during the day, keeping the indoor temperature at a consistent, comfortable level all year round. Solar panels and water turbines power the lodge to reduce guest’s carbon footprint.
Most hotels offer sustainable options, guest can choose to reuse towels, decline daily housekeeping services, recycle and keep showers short. You can also choose to purchase sustainable products like the ones featured on our Ecohouz website.