As we enter 2020, sustainable living is becoming increasingly important to us all and so we've had the team put together the ultimate list of getaways where you can enjoy all the luxuries of travel, whilst mitigating those CO2 emissions.
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa
Located right in the middle of the world's oldest living rainforest in Queensland (Australia), the Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa is one of the most luxurious eco lodges you'll ever come across. Home to 15 bayans (tree-houses), one of the best spas in Australia, your own waterfall, private dining and a diverse range of activities to keep you occupied, this is the sort of destination you'd love even without the environment in mind. Further to this, the lodge is managed in alignment with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, which emphasises topics like climate change, as well as ocean preservation, ending poverty and advancing eduction. In doing this, the Lodge operates a number of initiatives including carbon offsetting, composting and growing their own veggies. Also don't be surprised when you get given ceramic cups and steel water bottles instead of single use plastic.
Alila Villas Soori
This beautiful retreat can be found in Bali, Indonesia and offers everything from one to ten-bedroom villas. Designed in line with the 'EarthCheck international environmental standards'; this place definitely walks the walk of a sustainable company. Off the beaten path, this luxury accommodation has been created in harmony with its natural surroundings. This includes all buildings having a reduced need for electricity, possessing a heap of open spaces and the use of materials that reduce the need for air conditioning. By collecting and storing the (sometimes torrential) rain that frequents Bali, the property also has all of its water needs sorted. Importantly, Alila Villas Soori also supports the local community through employment and by buying as many materials from them as possible.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Often it feels like you need to go off the grid to find good eco-accommodation, but at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in New York, this certainly isn't the case. If you're wanting a classic city holiday with non-stop eating and drinking, check yourself into this hotel. By using native greenery and reclaimed wood to decorate, arriving at this hotel is like taking a breath of fresh air. This includes getting access to a Tesla which they'll happily take you for a spin in. Mattresses are made from a hemp blend, sheets are organic cotton and the dining room tables are made from wood from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden trees that fell as a result of Hurricane Sandy. They also source their electricity from wind and boast a water reclamation system that captures rain and uses it to help irrigate Brooklyn Park through the scorching summers in New York.
Everyone loves a bubble hotel and it doesn't get much better than these transparent luxury pods at the base of the Swiss Alps. Whitepod’s geodesic domes create a naturally strong structure and are easily heated/cooled, which reduces electricity consumption in comparison to your standard accommodation. As with all our favourites, the team here places a huge emphasises on environmental awareness, encouraging guests to enjoy the local fauna and flora. Whitepod also changes the colours of their pods based on the season (white in winter to match the snow covered mountains and green in the summertime to be in synergy with the vegetation). You'll have to walk around 20 minutes from reception to your pod but don't worry breakfast will be served to you in your bubble each morning, with your very own breathtaking Swiss view.
This magnificent operation has been doing eco-tourism since they launched in 1983 and is now running over 40 camps across seven countries. Not only will they help you find the Big 5, they'll help you understand local communities and their respective cultures. 13 of their camps are run on solar power alone and they save close to 2,500 tons of carbon each year thanks to their sustainable practices. They're also in a close relationship with the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which focusses on conservation and other protection programs. You can check out their seven day Namibia Eco-Safari for the lowest impact safari experience.