Earth Day isn’t the most widely celebrated of holidays. Sure, since its inception in 1970 more than 193 countries have begun holding events to mark the day, but without costumes and traditional dishes it’s hard for people to truly rally together. Maybe we need an Earth Day masquerade so that folks can flex on Instagram.
Regardless of hype or lack thereof, Earth Day is important. Every available metric and shred of data points to the fact that humans are negatively impacting the planet. It’s time to do something. The tourism industry has finally figured this out. They’ve seen your 30-minute vacation showers and laundered the fifteen towels you use each day. They know all about your rampant “I’m on holiday!” food consumption and waste. 10 years ago, properties were happy making small (and profitable) tweaks to their linen programs; a few years later, there came a huge eco greenwashing phase in travel; but today, we’re seeing hotels with a legit commitment to ecology.
Check out the hotels below and celebrate earth day by committing to make your next vacation a green one. You can feel pampered while limiting the negative outcomes of your vacation.
Gaia Hotel and Reserve — Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
At first glance, this boutique hotel does not radiate the eco-friendly vibes people have come to expect when they hear a phrase like “conservation initiative.” However, Gaia Hotel and Reserve matches 5-star pampering — 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding, jacuzzi tubs, and rooftop sundecks — with a private nature reserve and a strong social responsibility policy.
The hotel sits on 13-acres of private reserve that has been used since 2013 to reintroduce scarlet macaws into the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. So far, 40 birds have been released successfully and three chicks have been hatched. There are more Earth Day-relevant acts too, like programs to produce fertilizer from waste, intelligent water and power consumption programs, composting, biological water treatment, the rescue of endemic species, the regeneration of forest areas, the protection of national parks, and the conservation and protection of land-sea spaces.
Rooms start at $311 per night.