Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Top 3 Ecotourist Destinations

My personal favorite eco lodges
These are places where you can go that will not leave a carbon footprint, interact with the local community and learn about sustainable living - all while having a fantastic, luxury vacation!!

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1.  Maui Retreat, Hawaii
The ultimate in eco lodges!

"Aloha to a new way of living elegantly green."
~ Owners 
~ It is directly next to the ocean
~ Offers world class hiking trails and waterfall lagoons
~ Romantic setting
~ Only 15 minutes from town
~ Epic sunrises
~ Yoga and meditation classes

What makes it an Eco-Retreat?

 ~ Solar Panels and Wells
Since they are completely off the grid their electricity is completely solar powered and their water is pumped from 460-foot wells connected to an underground aquifer.

~ Bio-Diesel
Hawaii is a rainforest so overcast days do occur so when that happens they turn to their generator which is run on bio-diesel to power their resort.  Bio-disel is made from recycled vegetable oil and is much cleaner than petroleum and comes from a fast growing sources like corn, sunflower, and hemp oil.  

~ Organic Land and Compost and Permaculture Garden
A permaculture garden provides people with shelter, food, water, income, community and aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment.  It is not just a garden but a way of life.  They do not use any chemicals in maintaining their grounds and all organic yard and kitchen waste are disposed of in the compost bin so it can break down into rich, fertile compost.  
~ Vermiculture and Recycling
In order to fertilize their gardens they started taking all their extra office paper, shredding it and feeding it to worms.  The worms then covert the paper into very rich worm castings that perfectly fertilize the gardens.  Along with that form of recycling they also participate in the more "mainstream" recycling methods. 

~ Beekeeping
Bees are such an important creature in the web of life.  Without their pollination, production of many species of plants would be extinct.  That is why Maui Retreat keeps a bee hive - to pollinate all the fruit trees on their property.  It is a natural way to keep the grounds healthy.  Also, twice a year they collect the pure and organic honey from the hive.

~ Chickens
When people think of permaculture they think chickens.  These animals provide a variety of benefits to a garden and in their case they produce wholesome, organic, hormone-free eggs for harvest.  Chickens also help till the land in preparation for planting and are stationary, meaning they can till all the land in a perfect continuous cycle.   

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2. Koyao Island Resort, Thailand

Just because the resort is "eco friendly" does not mean it has to be a shack.  Check out this super lux eco resort in Koh Yao Noi, Thailand.  
Thailand is the ultimate destination for beach lovers and people who just want to get away.  

What makes it an Eco-Rereat?
 While they are a independently and privately owned resort they are still aware that they are part of a community that strives to protect their sacred land culture.  They recruit local staff and use locally grown building materials as opposed to importing foreign goods.  Also, they sponsor the Koyao Children's Community Center where local kids are given the chance to gain vocational and language training. While it may be hot there, the breeze from the ocean creates an atmosphere that does not require air conditioning thus having less impact by requiring less electricity.   
Sanctuary Reserve and Spa

This lodge is perfectly nestled on a wildlife estuary between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the Pacific Ocean with 29 thatched palafitos (stilt houses).  
What makes it an Eco-Retreat?
Their essence:

"Based on the preservation of a nature reserve listed by UNESCO as a bird paradise aquifer, our essence is the commitment to achieve the perfect balance between the comfort of our guests and care of the natural wealth that surrounds us.  It is a daily compromise to offer a professional yet warm service in a unique environment, always striving that your stay with us is a most pleasant one and your expectations are exceeded." 
Throughout the resort you will not find electric powered lights to guide you but rather firepies and tiki torches that illuminate all the places you need to see.  For their spa treatments the resort used a windmill pump for the water and the organic produce is purified with herbal iodine.  Along with no electrical light sources there are no electrical devices at all but no worries - room service is as easy as raising a red flag from inside the room!

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo