On vacation, it's easy to let our daily routines go to the wayside. We enjoy eating at nice restaurants, being waited on, and having access to the luxuries we don't normally get in our daily life. All of that is fine. But it’s nice to know that the hotels you are staying at are taking steps to protect our environment. If this is an important matter to you when vacationing, here are some suggestions of hotels that do make the effort and are continually looking for ways to make their hotel eco-friendly.
Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa
If you thought the Devil’s Thumb would be red, you're wrong -- it's green. If you're venturing to Colorado, we suggest a stay at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa, an hour and a half from Denver, because it is on top of conserving, reusing, and re-purposing their resources. Just a few examples of their efforts include heating its buildings with a geothermal system, using dual flush toilets and energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs. The hotels "green thumb" extends to the interior, which is heavily influenced by surrounding nature.
The floors, for instance, are made from reclaimed spruce wood and the stone exterior was taken from the rubble of local landslides, which put’s a new spin on the phrase “bringing the outside in.” The hotel's cleaning and spa products are also all organic and bio-degrable. For all its efforts, Devil's Thumb Ranch won the EPA Award for Responsible Development & Historic Preservation.
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat
Another hotel committed to preserving its land and wildlife is Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, located in the Western Cape of South Africa. If venturing in the snow and being cold sounds unappealing, then traveling to this wilderness reserve may be a better idea. This hotel pays strict attention to monitoring all aspects of the reserve and is extremely cautious in how tourists and the lodge impact the environment. All guests are educated on the terms of protection for the rock art sites and wildlife species. The lodge contains only biodegradable detergents, uses water saving policies, and organic waste is transported to a compost in the gardens. The swimming pools are salt chlorinated and all firewood is sourced from alien vegetation.
Guests can be assured that hiking trails and roads are carefully marked and maintained to the highest standards and that hazardous materials are stored in a secure place. Recently, Bushamans Kloof planted 150 Cedar trees in order to increase the density of the reserve and add to the botanical community.
Hotel Alexandra, Copenhagen
Another hotel that is forging its eco-friendly footprint in Europe is Hotel Alexandra. This historical hotel is full of heart, tradition, and is located in downtown Copenhagen. Hotel Alexandra is part of the Green Key, which is an eco-label awarded to green friendly hotels around the world.
In order to stay a part of this organization, Hotel Alexandra works to maintain its system by controlling the indoor climate and using clean energy. They are constantly working to improve in the areas of water, food supply, work environment, and education. Hotel Alexandra is also involved in sponsoring children in third world countries. Take a look at how you can contribute to bettering the lives they sponsor and others.
Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar
Last but not least, Chumbe Island Coral Park, located off the coast of Zanzibar, is another hotel that makes daily efforts to not only keep the reef preserved, but also make an impact with their tourists. Each of their bungalows is eco-friendly -- living off the land, using stored rainwater heated using solar power and is hand pumped to each room. Sewage is turned to natural compost so that it does not interact with the wildlife or contaminate the reef, leaving no environmental impact.
Organic soaps are also provided, and so is drinking water that is filtered on the island. Their efforts have been recognized by the United Nations Secretary General and are noted as the forefront of eco-friendly tourism. The resort includes the coral reef, forest reserve, endangered animals, eco lodges, historical monuments, and nature trails. Vacationing at this hotel you will experience nature unlike ever before by actually feeling a part of it, and knowing that you can participate in plenty of activities while leaving zero impact on the state of the eco-system.