Sustainable Resorts that Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Hotels & Travel Brands that Celebrate Earth Day Everyday
Here are the top resorts and travel brands' earth-loving strategies for providing an unforgettable wellness experience that isn't at the expense of our planet.
Photo courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

As Earth Day nears, we have highlighted some of the spas and brands that introduced curated treatments and celebrations to ring in another year of prioritizing our planet. Yet, there are many that have woven sustainability into their very fabric, making Earth Day every day. 

Whether it's initiatives to cut out the use of any plastic at a resort location, or the commitment to reducing water waste with the elimination of single-use water bottles, so many wellness destinations are finding innovative methods for preserving our beautiful planet that can sadly use the help. 

With that, we wanted to highlight these properties and the lengths they're going to put sustainability above all. Below find top resorts and travel brands' earth-loving strategies for providing an unforgettable wellness experience that isn't at the expense of our planet. 

1. Hotel Belmar | Monteverde, Costa Rica

Reducing the plastic footprint is at the core of the carbon-neutral Hotel Belmar’s commitment to the planet. The boutique ecolodge has implemented eco-conscious procurement policies that prioritize eco-packaging and bulk purchases, significantly minimizing their use of plastic. Coupled with the hotel’s recycling and reuse programs, Hotel Belmar has made strides in minimizing plastic waste. The property joined Ecoheroes, an initiative dedicated to eradicating plastic waste from Costa Rica's coastal areas. Each month, the hotel provides financial support, empowering local coastal families to collect plastic waste, giving it to a local enterprise that transforms it into a material used in cement blocks for construction. Hotel Belmar has become an international example of eco-tourism that has protected and regenerated the Monteverde cloud forest and its biodiversity, while providing educational and professional opportunities to the local community. Among other noteworthy initiatives:

  • The family-owned and operated property celebrated eight years without plastic bottled water and the hotel bar is virtually plastic free.
  • The resort uses an eco-farming approach called the Biointensive Agriculture (Agrarian) Method to maximize crop variety on small-scale plots through water conservation, natural pest controls and organic soil enrichment. Its Finca Madre Tierra farm is the first agricultural project of its kind in Costa Rica to earn a carbon-neutral farm certification. 

Related: Strategies for Spa Business Sustainability from Top Experts

2. Ananda in the Himalayas | Rishikesh, India

Ananda in the Himalayas is nurtured by the nature that surrounds it. The wellness retreat has a zero waste-water policy. Recycled water from the sewage treatment plant is used for gardening and food waste is delivered to a nearby pig farm. The property installed a water bottling plant at the property with reusable glass bottles, which has reduced 99% of the plastic waste created by single use plastic water bottles at the hotel. Among other noteworthy initiatives:

  • Heat pumps help reduce 1200 kg. of carbon dioxide emission per day.
  • Ananda invites guests to make monetary contributions and then matches each contribution to train underprivileged girls in spa therapy.
  • The hotel supports local farmers and uses 80% organic produce. Cooking classes focus on the nutritional aspects of less-processed plant-based ingredients to help guests adopt Ayurveda cooking practices.

3. Las Catalinas | Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Las Catalinas is a mostly car-free beach town nestled along the golden coast of Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Once a tropical dry forest, the town is actively restoring the lost ecosystem with its ongoing reforestation efforts. Today, techniques to prevent fires, plant native trees, and prohibit hunting have largely restored the tropical ecosystem. Central to the town’s conservation efforts is its creation of multi-use trails serving as vital corridors for wildlife and natural drainage systems. By preventing erosion and runoff, the trails help maintain the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem. Throughout Guanacaste and in town, Las Catalinas also promotes healthy drinking water through AyA, a program that helps fight against using plastic bottles for drinking water. Among other noteworthy initiatives:

  • Since 2007, the town has planted 5,000+ trees of 13 native evergreen species.
  • Las Catalinas prioritizes sustainable energy, efficient water usage and treatment, storm water control, and enhancement of wildlife habitats. It boasts a closed loop food system and calculated 120 kilograms of food waste per day this quarter.
  • No building can be more than four stories, and most are stylistically in line with the materials, and techniques found in Central American towns.

4. Calabash Cove Resort and Spa | Saint Lucia

This plastic-free, boutique hotel offers one of the only vegan menus on the island. With its ability to accommodate most dietary restrictions, the culinary team is constantly upgrading its vegan and vegetarian offerings with new items. The resort also now only serves sparking and drinking water in glass bottles—cutting plastics—and much of the restaurant’s food and beverage is sourced locally focusing on local farmers and fishermen. Among other noteworthy initiatives:

  • All hot water is generated by solar energy and there are no oil or gas heaters.
  • An on-site water treatment plant recycles irrigation water.
  • The resort sources from local farmers whenever possible and sends used kitchen oil to a commercial laundry and Saint Lucia Distillers to be used as fuel.

5. Bettoja Hotels | Rome, Italy

Rome’s Bettoja Hotels removed all plastic bottles from its hotels on Earth Day in 2019. This sustainability initiative marks the first achievement in the brand’s commitment to the environment. Bettoja Hotels has also reduced plastic consumption by the elimination of all plastic bottles from the hotels’ restaurants and mini bars, a reduction of 40,000 to 60,000 plastic bottles per year. Instead, they use glass bottles that are returned to the bottle company. Among other noteworthy initiatives:

  • The hotel has efficient insulation and uses thermal testing and double-glazing to ensure minimum waste.
  • Bettoja Hotels plans to continue to reduce plastic consumption by using natural substitutes such as bamboo for straws and cutlery and eliminate single use plastic jam containers.
  • The hotels reduce carbon emissions by utilizing local produce and reduce microplastics by using natural fibers for carpeting and linens.

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