Episode #12: Eco Accommodations

Welcome back to Sustainable Existing. Staying in theme to last episode on eco-friendly travel, I thought I would highlight eco-friendly accommodations around the world. We are not at the point where travel is a safe option because of this virus, but it is good to keep in mind traveling consciously when you eventually plan your next trip. Like I said before, the environmental problems the earth is facing simply don’t go away because you are on vacation. On top of the things to remain conscious about that I mentioned last week, it may be beneficial to stay in an accommodation that will support and make its effort to contribute positively to the environment. I apologize in advance if my pronunciation is incorrect. 

The first place that I found to be very interesting was the Garonga Safari Camp in Phalborwa, Africa. The camp is set on 60,000 acres of the Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve. This accommodation is a 12 bed camp in South Africa. It provides economic empowerment to the surrounding community by providing job opportunities to locals. Both the food and goods are locally sourced whenever possible as well. Guests have the opportunity to assist in helping to plant and grow trees locally. The camp is designed with many earth tones to blend into natural surroundings to lessen their impact on the environment. 

Camp Glenorchy in New Zealand is listed as one of TIME Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places,” and is also a sustainable accommodation. It is the first net-zero energy accommodation in the country. The term “Net-zero” means that the facility has gotten to a balance between emission produced and emission taken out of the atmosphere. This is important because it is a way to reduce carbon emissions and to reduce the use of fossil fuels as well. It is said that they use 50% less energy and water than similar ranking resorts through a solar garden, smart lighting, solar panels, and an advanced energy and water management system. They accommodate all from their “luxurious eco-cabins to backpacker style bunks.” (

Pikaia Lodge in Ecuador allows guests to visit the Galapagos Islands in an eco-friendly way. The accommodation is carbon- neutral and uses alternative energy sources. The term “carbon-neutral” similar to net-zero energy, means the facility makes no net release of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. The hotel water is heated by the use of solar panels. The building materials of the Lodge were recyclable and sourced for the construction. (The tiles in the bathroom are formed from lava stone that was sourced from a local site) A lot of the furniture and decor are made from sustainable teak and bamboo wood from Ecuador. The cleaning staff also uses biodegradable products.

Fogo Island Inn in Canada is unique because it reinvests its surplus of money into the community of Fogo Island. The building has been designed to meet the highest level of energy efficiency and conservation. The collected rainwater they gather is filtered and used in the toilets, laundry, and appliances. Solar panels supply hot water for the facility. Food and other materials are sourced from local suppliers whenever possible and the furniture is handcrafted by crafters which they employ locally in the Inn’s woodshop. The quilts in each room are also made by locals on the island. 

Cinnamon Lake Columbo was re-awarded Green Globe criteria after their standards were increased in 2011, the only hotel in Sri Lanka to do so. This accommodation harvests rainwater to recycle for daily use. The facility uses natural plants to decrease water consumption. The hotel also uses local and fair trade to provide for their hotel and the surrounding community. The company ensures that the local community their water, sanitation, and energy are not at all jeopardized by the function of the hotel. They also assist in the restoration of historic sites as well as local tree planting. 

Some of these hotels and other sustainable accommodations may cost more than the hotels that you may normally stay at, but some surprisingly have comparable prices. Another sustainable option is staying in an Airbnb, where you will have more control over the waste that is created and where it ends up, as well as control over the power usage and the impact you create on the environment. As you can see, eco-friendly accommodations can be found all over the world and there are plenty more that the few I mentioned. It’s up to you to do research and find a place suitable for your situation. Like I said last episode, environmental issues don’t disappear because we are on vacation. 

If you remember from one of the first episodes, I said that my Gold Award’s timeline ends during the last week of June. Crazy enough, those three months flew by and it's bittersweet to say this is the last episode. I did take a week off last week from making an episode because I did create a Pinterest account for Sustainable Existing. I post and save a lot of the ideas I get for episodes and plan on utilizing it more moving forward. I also deleted my twitter account and won’t be moving forward on there because I am very unfamiliar with the platform and it just wasn’t working for me. I was originally planning on creating the Sustainable accommodations episode and an episode on my plans moving forward separately and figured it would be too short to separate and decided to conjoin them.

I plan to continue Sustainable Existing but am planning on taking a few weeks to reconstruct how I want now that I have more creative freedom beyond the guideline of my Gold Award. I also need to focus on finishing my final proposal to send to the Girl Scout council for approval. I want to move Sustainable Existing to also be a place to educate about mental health and overall personal wellness and self-care. If you aren’t the best yourself, it is hard to make better decisions in general and I want to open Sustainable Existing to be a safe space for anyone. I will still post to my Instagram for the time being, so be on the lookout for updates. 

It has been a great three months and I’ve learned so much, even beyond what was mentioned in my episodes. I hope all of you listening, reading, and following my social media accounts learned a lot as well. The written out blog posts as well as the podcast episodes and my social media accounts can be found on my website, Thank you all for supporting me through this journey and it definitely isn’t over yet. Until next time. Stay safe and have a great week. Keep remembering to exist sustainably. 

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