As the world becomes more aware of the environmental conditions we face in the coming years, big timeshare brands like Club Wyndham and Bluegreen Vacations makes constant efforts to bring sustainability into the travel industry. Disney is also part of the eco-movement to overturn negative environmental changes.
Disney officially flipped the switch on February 27th to their massive 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar farm. A not-so-hidden Mickey big enough to see clearly from the sky, it is reported to power two of Disney’s theme parks. Previously, Disney built a smaller solar farm near Epcot, but it is dwarf-sized in comparison to the latest installment of natural energy. Generating enough power from the Florida sunshine, the "Happiest Place on Earth" in Orlando sets an example for the rest of the world to follow.
Ecotourism and Sustainable Travel
You might be wondering what this means for the travel industry. Well, a lot of things actually! Ecotourism is making waves in the vacation and hospitality industries. Ecotourists are looking for sustainable ways of traveling, where they can gain unique experiences and learn about the environments they travel to. In the latest Sustainable Travel Report from 2018, 87% of worldwide travelers state they have a desire to travel sustainably. While it’s easy to say we want to make more environmentally friendly decisions, there is proof that almost half of these travelers are actually traveling with eco-tourism in mind often or all the time.
Turn on the news now and there are constant reminders of where the planet is headed. The population is concerned with what will happen to the Earth in the future of things don’t change now. Does this mean that we need to stop taking vacations in order to save the planet? Absolutely not.
The answer is that sustainability starts where you stay. Choosing travel destinations and resorts that emphasize environmental initiatives is key in how everyone can play a part, in every aspect of our lives.
Learn more about top timeshare resorts and brands that mend environmentalism with vacation-ism.
Disney Vacation Club: Among First Green Lodges in Florida
The Florida Green Lodging Program was developed by The Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Green Lodging encourages resorts and hotels to adopt best environmental practices and conserve resources. As the nation’s top state in tourism and timeshares, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection only recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conservation and adhere to guidelines.
Among the first resorts to be given the honor as Green Lodges were Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney Coronado Springs Resort. Now, every single one of Disney Vacation Club resort properties holds Green Lodge recognition.
Wyndham’s Green Resort of the Year
Similar to Florida’s Green Lodging Program, Virginia also recognizes leaders in the environmental movement among hotels and resorts. In May of 2018, Wyndham Kingsgate received the honor as the Green Resort of the Year from Virginia Green.
Sustainability initiatives undertaken by this Club Wyndham resort include:
- installing water bottle refilling stations in common areas
- Using solar light throughout the entire property
- Starting a bicycle program for maintenance and housekeeping employees as opposed to motor vehicles
- Donating damaged or gently used toiletries that cannot be placed in suites to local charities, as well as old linens to a local K9 rescue
- Using four on-site collection ponds for rainwater harvesting and use
Club Wyndham is also part of Wyndham Green, which uses innovative practices in other ways. Green housekeeping is usually not at the forefront of sustainable practices, but it makes a huge difference. Wyndham uses green chemicals and detergents that don’t harm the environment (or us!)
Bluegreen Vacations: Green Practices in Every Resort
Not only in a handful of their resorts, but Bluegreen Vacations also ensures that they take initiative at every resort, only adhering to green practices. The bottom line: if it’s not from a sustainable source, it uses too much power or water, or it doesn’t come from recycled materials, Bluegreen does not use it. Through operations, partnerships, owners and vendors, eco-conscious vacationers can rest assured that their Bluegreen resort promises sustainability.
Breckenridge Grand Vacations: All Encompassing Sustainability Initiatives
A hidden gem of a timeshare brand, Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) promotes best environmental practices for all four of their resorts that sit on the Rocky Mountains. In 2017, Grand Colorado on Peak 8 received a Green Globe certification--the highest standard of sustainability worldwide. Certified members of the Green Globe Standard follow 44 core criteria, with 380 compliance indicators. As a member, this means that Grand Colorado resort follows environmentally friendly purchasing practices for every product (including food!), measures environmental impacts and implements ways to offset negative impacts, conserves wildlife, and much more.
Every BGV resort promotes sustainable practices that they follow and encourage their owners to follow. Simple changes like reusing bathroom towels, recycling or having reusable water bottles as opposed to plastic bottles make a huge difference in the long run.
Make a Difference at a Green Resort
As the Disney solar farms continue to set an example for all big business, which contribute the most to harmful greenhouse gases and emissions, travelers or timeshare owners looking to reduce their carbon footprints can make responsible decisions to stay at a Disney Vacation Club resort. Or, any resort and hotel that follows strict guidelines to promote a healthier world.