When we plan accommodations for summer vacation, we often consider factors like price, number of beds, and proximity to local activities. It's rare that we take into account whether or not a hotel is eco-friendly. But with Earth Day only a few weeks behind us, perhaps we should be taking a closer look at the environmental initiatives of our impending getaways. Below, we've rounded-up a few of the most gorgeous and sustainable hotels around the world—take a look and start booking, guilt-free.
1. 1 Hotels
1 Hotels, which has two establishments in New York and one in South Beach, takes "green" to a new level. The buildings are made of natural and reclaimed materials, and are covered with a variety of gorgeous lush flora. Beyond the physical appearance of the structures, 1 Hotels has enacted an energy conservation program; uses only electric Tesla cars to transport guests; and works to minimize food waste with the help of renowned chefs like Tom Colicchio and Jonathan Waxman. "We're trying to change the way guests think about living sustainably," says Michael L. Laas, the hotel's corporate director of impact.
2. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji was given its moniker in honor of the famous conservationist and oceanographic explorer of the same name. "The resort is dedicated to the preservation of a pristine environment where physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation come naturally," reads the website. In order to fulfill this mission, the company created the Giant Clam Project to restock and repopulate the coral reef dwellers. It also works to protect the Namena Marine Reserve, participates in a mangrove reforestation program, and built Fiji's first-ever water reclamation plant.
3. Hotel Terra
Located in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyo., Hotel Terra was built using recycled materials and features 100-percent organic beds, towels, and robes, along with an efficient water-saving system. In addition, the hotel's power is offset with the purchase of solar, hydro, and wind energy, and outdoor air is pumped into guests' rooms to improve air quality.
4. Spice Island Beach Resort
The Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada (a tiny country in the Caribbean) is a family-run hotel with a mission to maintain the natural beauty of the destination, which was once one of the world's most treasured sources of exotic spices. The resort implements the use of energy-efficient light bulbs, line dries clothes as opposed to using machines, replants beach front trees, provides non-chlorinated guest swimming pools, and regularly participates in community cleanup.
5. Tierra Hotel and Spa
"We believe discerning travelers are looking for adventures that also respect the unique locations and cultures they visit," reads the website of the stunning Tierra Hotel and Spa in Patagonia, Chile. "From the beginning, all three of our lodges [the other locations being in Atacama and Chiloé] have had sustainable practices, from thoughtful architecture to solar energy and a close collaboration with the local communities." Additionally, the Tierra Hotel group financially supports Reforest Patagonia, a citizen campaign that aims to plant 1,000,000 trees in Chilean Patagonia.