Posted on August 20, 2021
Eco-friendly management practices at resorts have become an important determining factor for travelers when choosing their vacation accommodation. Timeshare resorts have taken notice, with many resort developers implementing eco-friendly practices to help reduce their carbon footprint and provide an experience that is more environmentally friendly in the eyes of their guests.
Otherwise known as sustainable practices, eco-friendly policies at timeshare resorts have become increasingly more important as owners and members look for places to vacation and lessen their impact on their surroundings.
A travel survey in April by travel-planning website The Vacationer saw that almost 83 percent of those surveyed thought that sustainable, environmentally friendly travel was either very important or somewhat important.
Consumers are recognizing that specific steps, such as the ones below, can be taken to help lessen the effect on the environment while on vacation:
These areas go beyond the use of the usual recycling bins. Even keyless entry systems can help by reducing the chances of plastic room keys being lost into the environment.
A good way for travelers to assess resorts that have passed the eco-friendly test is by looking for LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is internationally recognized and managed by the non-profit Green Business Certification Institute - using a rating system with resorts rated according to their environmental practices.
Resorts are judged according to areas such as energy efficiency, resort design, construction materials and methods, and use of resources. Four certification levels are Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum, with Platinum being the highest-rated category.
With such a large number of Americans using eco-friendly criteria to choose a vacation resort, we looked at some timeshare resorts and companies working to improve their environmental impact.
Westin Nanea Ocean Villas – this fabulous resort on famed Kaanapali Beach on the island of Maui is a Gold-level LEED certified resort primarily due to its construction methods. Highlighting areas such as water-efficient landscaping, energy efficient design and innovative building design, this resort has taken big strides in creating an eco-friendly facility. The landscaping design alone has lowered the resort’s potable water use by 65 percent.
Tahiti Village Resort – this popular Las Vegas resort was built with sustainability in mind using LEED design guidelines such as low-E windows with window hangings to lower heat radiation, as well as water fixtures that conserve water use.
Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Hokulani Waikiki – located in the popular Waikiki Beach Walk area of Honolulu, the resort has LEED Certified status due to an innovative reclaimed heat system. This system not only heats the resort’s hot water, but also heats the plunge pool and is used in systems that dehumidify the air in the resort ventilation system serving units and public areas. The system lowers the resort’s energy consumption rates.
Disney's Aulani Resort – receiving LEED Silver status for areas such as providing electric car charging stations, Aulani’s development meant that no trees were cleared or undeveloped land disrupted during the building of the resort. This Oahu resort on renowned Ko Olina beach also redirects waste heat generated from its onsite chillers to provide hot water to guests and heats its swimming pools and hot tubs.
Wyndham Ocean Boulevard – winner of a Platinum RCI Green Award for sustainability, this North Myrtle Beach resort has a unique HVAC system which detects whether a balcony door has been left open and can automatically turn off the air conditioning system.
Bluegreen Resort's Wilderness Club at Big Cedar – this marvelous resort in the Ozarks just outside of Branson has long been associated with Clean the World – a program which recycles soap and bottled amenities to reduce waste and help protect the environment.
And speaking of Clean the World …
Marriott Vacation Club – under their Marriott Vacations Worldwide corporate umbrella, Marriott has partnered with Clean the World since 2012 to provide hygiene kits to third-world communities. Over 9,700 bars of soap have been donated and two tons of waste diverted from landfills.