In recent years there has been a seismic shift in the way we travel, and we're not just talking about how we now all travel with a bottle of hand sanitizer in our carry on. In fact (and really this is very good news for the planet) so many of us have become a lot more environmentally conscious, especially on our travels.
We are more aware of what is going on around us than ever before and more of us are taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. With a whole world out there to see and an ever growing population, it is increasingly important that we all play our part in protecting the world, especially when we are travelling around it.
One of the best ways to do this is to stay in an eco friendly hotel. Hotels across the world are now also recognising this fact and striving to take action sooner rather than later. From developing programs to support local economies to working on socio-cultural schemes to preserve indiginous cultures, there’s a lot more to a green hotel than simply recycling your bottles - though that is always a fantastic place to start.
Essentially, an eco hotel is a hotel that is environmentally friendly. Also sometimes referred to as a green hotel, they provide accommodation with less of an environmental impact than their typical hotel counterparts. Many eco hotel owners have energy efficient establishments with green fingered practices in place, making for an all around safer residence for both people and animals.
Conscious of the level of waste they put out into the environment, green hotels strive to be as sustainable and resourceful as they can be. Though it can be a struggle to implement each and every eco friendly aspect of hospitality, a green hotel should aim to incorporate some of the following characteristics;
Serving food which is locally sourced, placing lots of potted plants inside the hotel to clean the air and encouraging guests to reuse their bed sheets/towels are just a few, simple extra ways in which a hotel can become a little greener.
With so many hotels wanting to do their bit for the environment, it can be difficult to know where to stay, so let’s take a look at some of the best options for your eco friendly getaway.
No list of eco hotels would be complete without the Whitepod Hotel, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps. Around 90 minutes outside Geneva, this hotel takes 'glamping' to a whole other level. Hiking is encouraged at this hotel with the accommodation pods and chalets being 20 minutes walk from the reception. Draped in sheepskin, these self supported wooden capsules make for a chillingly beautiful, ultra-low emission, Swiss getaway.
Jetwing Vil Uyana is located within a nature reserve in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. A stay here will surround you with an endless array of wildlife from amphibians to small mammals. Sustainable building materials do not have to mean that comfort will be compromised either. Here, reed woven walls, grass roofing and views of the paddy fields make this eco friendly paradise an ideal retreat, all just a couple of hours outside the capital Colombo.
Set on a 12 hectare coffee plantation, this quirky 4 star hotel is not too far from capital city San Jose. The Finca Rosa Blanca Inn hides their electrical system beneath the grounds of the hotel so they do not disturb the animals in the natural environment in the grounds of the hotel. Even using leftover coffee grounds as fertiliser for the land, much of what there is to do at this hotel centres around an admiration for the humble coffee bean and everything you can possibly get from it.
The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Vanu Levu, Fiji is practically as green as they come. Their organic hotel gardens are filled with delicious fruit such as mango, pineapple and guava and the restaurants within the hotel will never serve farmed fish. There is an educational scheme that children can get involved in too, to educate the future of tomorrow about the value of life today.
Campi ya Kanzi in Mtito Andei, Kenya is an eco-friendly holiday camp with a twist. The hotel suites are located within tents handmade by the Maasai tribespeople out of trees that fell down naturally.
The entire camp runs off of solar energy provided by the searing African sun, with even the sparse amount of rainwater that falls being captured and pumped away to fill watering holes for local animals. Visitors to the camp also pay a daily conservation fee which is then passed to local people to help incentivise them not to kill predators such as lions.
These are just a handful of the huge variety of eco friendly hotels the world has to offer. Depending on where you want to go on your next trip, there are green hotels to suit every style and budget. Where will you be staying on your next eco friendly trip?