Contributor: Shakira Sturgess
The more aware we are of our impact on the world around us, the more we aim to make our homes more energy efficient and install renewable energy sources. We usually look at cars that pollute less. But what about when it comes to time for a holiday? You can still maintain your eco-friendly approach here due to the growing number of eco-friendly accommodation options available.
What is eco-friendly accommodation?
There are lots of names for this type of accommodation including eco hotels, ecolodges and eco B&Bs. In order to achieve this kind of status, the accommodation must usually meet certain criteria such as:
- Dependence on the natural environment
- Being ecologically sustainable
- Making efforts towards conservation
- Incorporating cultural considerations
- Making an economic return to the local community
There are lots of ways that businesses can move towards being an eco-friendly location. For example, using non-toxic cleaning products, adding renewable energy sources like solar or wind and organic products in restaurants. They can also put measures in place to help avoid waste such as waste water filters, recycling, composting and using locally produced organic food.
There are even some international recognised Ecolabels that businesses can apply for to verify their efforts – these include Green Kay, Green Globe and EU Ecolabel.
La Maison Joulin
La Maison Joulin is a farmhouse located in the Loire Valley in France. The traditional 17th century farmhouse has been carefully restored using traditional materials and also offers unusual accommodation in the form of a Serengeti African tent. The business is run with simple values – authenticity, simplicity and environmental respect. Examples include the use of ecological toilets, solar powered water heaters and even waste water filtering using herbal purification.
Casa Vale de Lama
The idea behind the Casa Vale de Lama EcoResort near Caixa, Portugal, is to create a place to stay along ethical guidelines with low environmental lifestyles that aim for simplicity, health and wellbeing. The resort uses renewable services and resources, produces no waste, and catches and stores energy. Sustainability is in everything from the construction of the buildings to the cleaning products used.
Colina Flora Eco B&B
Colina Flora is near Sintra, Portugal and is an Eco B&B. This five-room country guesthouse is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra Natural Park and offers the most dramatic scenery, as well as ocean views. It also has a major focus on being environmentally responsible and green. Meals are made with organic, seasonal local produce, while all cleaning products are organic and biodegradable. The B&B use filtered well water, recycles and composts, and even uses a low chemical swimming pool. The B&B is in the process of adding solar panels to the roof.
Choosing the ecolodge
By its nature, B&Bs or similar accommodation are somewhat sustainable because they are reused by many people. But owners are taking steps to make sure their businesses are even more eco-friendly, and to offer reassurance to visitors that they are having the most minimal impact on the environment possible, while also helping the local community. There are even health benefits to going green. For example, pollution from fossil fuels has a huge impact on people’s heart and respiratory systems. The use of renewable alternatives can reduce this problem. Other effects of global warming include the spread of infectious diseases, the increase in acid rain and climate change. So, by doing what we can, such as choosing eco-friendly accommodation, we can not only help the environment but help ourselves too.
Bio: Shakira Sturgess is a health and well-being coach who writes a lifestyle blog called Miss Simple Living inspiring you to lead a happy, healthy, clutter free life. misssimpleliving.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org