An eco-friendly Caribbean getaway

While many people are starting to think about the carbon footprint of their holiday getaways, it turns out that making eco-friendly choices isn’t their main priority when planning their vacations. Of course it’s not; the ultimate goal is to have a fun and relaxing time. But it always helps to choose green while they’re on holiday, and making sure their destination plays by the environment’s rules can be a great help.

Mike Hartman and his wife Petagay Hollinsed-Hartman opened Tiamo Resorts, and it’s a great example of a resort that makes every effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Workers used machetes and chainsaws to cut the minimal amount of vegetation when the resort’s 11 bungalows were built, Hartman said. Vegetation still surrounds the bungalows, blocking them from the view of resort guests arriving by boat. The bungalows were constructed with lumber harvested from sustainable forests, and the furniture is made from recycled materials. Tiamo Resorts may add two or three more bungalows next year using the same methods, he said.

Thermal heaters provide the hot water, and the laundry is air dried. The entire resort uses about 950 kilowatts of electricity a day – less than the average American home.

A great thing about Tiamo is that its eco-friendly practices aren’t its main selling point, but rather relies on the fact that it makes a lovely island getaway; the green aspect is just an added bonus. Which goes to show that being green doesn’t mean being preachy or trendy (the resort opened in 2001, way before the ballooning of the green bubble).

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