People love to travel. Travelling is not the greenest thing to do, generally speaking, since both driving and flying are major contributors to global warming, air pollution, and water pollution. But if you are determined to travel, the least you can do is stay in environmentally friendly accommodation (and offset your travel emissions).
One very green resort and spa I recently found out about is the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
This eco resort is aiming to become the greenest in the world.
Current and Upcoming Efforts to Make Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa Green
Here are two ways the eco resort is “working hard to become the most environmentally-conscious resort in the industry”:
- it is eliminating all plastic bottles from the resort (something “yet to be done at any resort worldwide”); and
- it is upgrading 128 of its rooms to “ecological rooms” that create 75% less CO2 than normal rooms
The resort’s “ecological rooms” are supposed to be completed by Nov. 15, 2010 and will include:
• Ultra efficient air conditioning systems with low electrical consumption
• Solar system to heat water to avoid the use of gas
• Internal lighting system with LED
• Furniture made from certified wood
• Efficient recycling system of waste water
Other current efforts to be green include:
• Implementation of an electricity savings program
• Launch of a water conservation program
• Recycling and separating trash
• Use of biodegradable bottles throughout the resort
• Protecting and reproducing indigenous plants
• Using recycled paper for all printed material
• Improving the flow of the fresh water system
• Wildlife conservation
• Eco-educational activities including an eco tour, snorkel tour, romantic canoe ride, and eco workshops in the Kids Club
In addition to the current and planned efforts above, the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa is planning to install an educational tool known as the Magic Planet, “which displays NASA earth and planetary data simply by touching a certain region of the globe.” This sounds like another good eco-educational tool that could help grow knowledge about (and respect for) the natural environment at a time when people are open to learning and are more impressionable — on vacation.
Other Changes this Mexico Eco Resort & Spa Could Make to Be Greener
The Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa has a total of 999 rooms, so it would be great to see them upgrade all of their rooms to “ecological rooms” in the future, and it would be great to see the eco resort and spa use renewable energy — wind or solar — for its remaining energy needs. Also, I wonder what sorts of transportation are used and what could be possible there. Transportation is one of the most important things to green if one is serious about helping the environment.
Lastly, another key way of reducing our negative impact on the environment is by switching from meat-based meals to vegetarian or vegan meals. It would be great and would go a long way towards solving the environmental issues we face if this resort and others offered more vegetarian and vegan meals (or 100% vegetarian and vegan meals). Calculating the carbon footprint of meals and putting that on the menus isn’t a bad idea either.
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa is definitely on a good way to becoming one of the greenest resorts in the world, perhaps even the greenest. If it implements a few more environmentally oriented projects or programs, I imagine it might really deserve the title it is aiming for.
Photos via KTCpr