The most eco-friendly travel destinations that you should consider for your next vacation

Travelling can often leave a big footprint on the places you're visiting. From the fuel burned by the airplane to get you there, to excess water waste at hotels and so much more. But, as more and more people focus their attention on reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change, more resorts are taking note and changing their practices. Eco expert Candice Batista shares her tips on how you can explore the planet with sustainability in mind.

Questions to consider before booking a hotel

  • How do they conserve energy? Are there initiatives in place to get travellers to turn off the lights, how is the room energy efficient, thermostats, lighting etc. 
  • How do they, or if they do in general, conserve water? Do they have low flow toilets and shower heads, are they serving water in plastic bottles? 
  • Find out what kind of waste management or recycling programs are in place. Do they use single use plastics, like straws, forks, spoons? etc. 

There are so many eco-friendly destinations popping up all over the world, but we're highlighting four locations that will suit any kind of traveller. 

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, South Africa

This reserve is located in Western Cape, South Africa and has 130 cave sites painted by its Indigenous people. It also has an onsite organic garden with fresh produce that's made for lodge meals and has food composting and using energy-efficient lighting to recycling bath water for irrigation purposes.

In terms of taking care of their staff, they all live in solar-powered housing on the property, which eliminates the need for daily transport and provides local families with secure employment and education opportunities. This reserve is definitely doing their part to help out the planet!

Happy Elephant Care, Thailand

If you've ever wanted to visit elephants in a humane and ethical way, head to Happy Elephant Care! It's located just over an hour away from Chiang Mai in Thailand. Visitors can stay for one to three days to play and feed with elephants. The seven elephants at the park were either rescued from riding camps or logging industry and roam free in a natural enviornment. 

Lapa Rios, Costa Rica

This hotel is located in Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The hotel heats all their hot water using a solar panel energy and all of the cleaning and bath amenities are non-toxic and won’t have a negative effect on the eco system. They've also baneed all single-use plastic from the resort to help decrease the amout of garbage that is usually created in a hotel. Plus you know you'll be getting the best quality food since they have their own veggie garden and source local and organic foods. 

Extreme Hotel, Dominican Republic

This hotel is located in the Dominican Republic and has many ways to help keep a sustainable and eco-friendly tourism destination. All their energy is powered by the sun (including pool pumps, hot water and even electricity). The hotel hires and trains local workers to help support the community and have multiple rainwater collection systems to use for their gardens and hotel maintenance. They also work together with an organic farm that's planted over 2,000 trees to further offset carbon emissions, and it means the food you're served doesn't travel far to get to your plate.