It certainly would help the environment if people traveled less. This doesn?t mean that you need to give up on seeing the world, though. You can choose to use eco-friendly hotels or resorts, instead. Many people tend to dismiss the idea of eco-friendly travel as soon as it is brought up ? they imagine that saving the environment should involve living in a tent and eating hard beans out of a coconut shell. They are mistaken. The best eco-friendly hotels and resorts can rival any full-luxury destination. The fact that you get to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about the damage that you might be causing to the environment is a bonus.
The central region of Australia?s Northern Territory is a desert. It is a world-famous desert, though, because it features Ayers Rock ? the world?s biggest monolith. It?s a harsh and bleak environment that could easily be mistaken for a spot on Mars. To those who visit the eco-friendly resort of Longitude 131behind Ayers Rock, though, the desert can only seem like a bed of roses. The resort is built into 15 huge luxury tents that feature every indulgence known to man. The fact that the resort uses no actual buildings makes it particularly kind on the environment that it is in. With everything from the air conditioning to the lighting running exclusively off solar power, there?s little pollution to worry about either. Activities at this resort involve hiking, amateur astronomy dining out under the stars.
If you love the idea of experiencing the pristine beauty of the Swiss Alps but worry about the environmental impact, the Whitepod resort can help you to take all the beauty in with practically no harm done to the environment. Like Longitude 131, the Whitepod resort too uses no conventional construction. Visitors to the Whitepod resort live in large, futuristic looking tents that are built to resemble observatories. The designers have gone so far trying not to hurt the environment that they even change the color of the tents depending on the season ? white for winter and green for the warm months. The resort won the World Prize for Sustainable Tourism for its low-impact design.
The Finca Rosa Blanca Inn eco-resort is built right into the cloud forests of Costa Rica. The design of the Finca Rosa Blanca Inn uses some of the most impressive eco-friendly technology in the world. It is the highest ranking member of the Sustainable Tourism Certificate scheme in the world, achieving a perfect 100 score ? the only one in the world to do so. The resort has its own coffee plantation that guests can hike through, a spa, horseback riding and native music.
The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile has been home to the Kawesqar nomadic tribes for centuries. These tribes have traditionally lived in dome-like tents. In keeping with the nomadic traditions of the Patagonia region, the EcoCamp resort is constructed entirely out of geodesic tents. Inside, though, these tents offer all the indulgence that you could want. EcoCamp?s environmental credentials come from the way the entire resort is built on low-impact methods ? low emission woodstoves, energy from renewable resources and so on.
British Columbia, the Canadian state on the Pacific coast offers some of the grandest and wildest expanses of forest in the world. Located north of Vancouver, Nimmo Bay Resort offers visitors a true experience of the wild beauty of Canada?s wilderness. The area is not even approachable by road. You need to come in by helicopter or by boat. Once you get there, you get to experience the flora and fauna of the region up close. Grizzly bears fishing in the river outside your window and dolphins flipping out of the ocean are everyday sights.
The Campi Ya Kanzi is a private reserve at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Not only is the entire luxury camp built out of local materials, the camp?s designers didn?t cut down trees in establishing the camp, either. All food on the camp is cooked with eco-friendly charcoal; water is heated with solar power and so on.
The Bardessono eco-resort in Napa Valley is platinum-certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). No trees were cut in the construction of this resort ? it is built entirely out of salvaged wood. The greenness of this resort is clear to see all over. From its solar power farm to its vertical gardens and its composting program, the resort is all about saving the environment.
Six Senses Hideaway is a spectacular nature resort about 160 km south of Bangkok. Everything that you dine on at this resort comes from the in-house vegetable garden and orchard. They even grow their own mushrooms. The Six Senses Hideaway resort is more than just environmentally conscious ? the management is socially aware, too. The resort only employs local folk.
The Shergarh Tented Camp, Kanha places you in an environment that makes it easy for you to believe that you?ve landed in one of the Arabian Nights tales. The camp is built with great luxury and is yet environmentally responsible.
The Siwa Oasis resort in Egypt offers an even more authentic Arabian Nights experience. The Siwa is a desert oasis that?s been inhabited for millennia. The quarters that the resort offers couldn?t be more environmentally friendly ? they are set in the ruins of buildings that have been around practically forever. It uses no new construction. The resort uses very little electricity and most of the lighting comes from candles.