I’m not quite sure what Davin thinks Astroturf has to do with being more sustainable… but I’ll throw in a few eco-options for those tempted by the all-inclusive resort style vacation, while still managing to maintain a nagging conscience.…

No… actually I won’t. I really don’t think that an all-inclusive “resort” can be truly green or sustainable. Just like Davin said, that experience is all about excess! To me, “being green” is all about redefining what we need, and understanding that the excess in our lives has a ripple effect—harming plants, animals and people around the globe. A good friend of mine came back from a trip to Maui and told me about going on a guided snorkeling tour he had taken. He described how sunny and beautiful it was, they saw dolphins and lots of fish, and of course the mutated turtles. Mutated what?! Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I’m talking about the turtles that suffer from cancerous tumors caused by pesticide residue leaching into the coastal waters from the beach side golf courses. The same golf course he’d been playing on pre-snorkel trip! …But did he really “get” the cause and effect?



The all-inclusive vacation

Emily's Green vs. Reality counterpart Davin Luke recounts a recent holiday-slash-gorge fest in Mexico.


I guess the bigger question is: if we are going to build vacation destinations around the idea of excess and indulgence, can they fundamentally be sustainable? Looking at structures, I’d like to see a Living Building resort. I think that would be a step in the right direction in terms of the physical best practices in sustainability and green building.

Even more, I’d like to live in a society where I never felt like I had to “get away from it all.” Why do our work lives have to be so exhausting (despite our passion for them)? Why don’t we have more time to relax with friends and family? Why aren’t we exploring the amazing places that are in our own backyard… If you plopped me down in Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, I’d swear we were somewhere in the Mediterranean.

What is excess and indulgence? I wait on baited breath for a fresh organic local (Vancouver Island) nectarine each summer. They’re the best I’ve ever tasted, but I can only get them a few weeks in a year—every juicy bite is indulgence. Why can’t these simple pleasures and connections to our local environment be the basis of enjoyment? Do we really need to sip frozen nectarine purée from a coconut to feel like we’re living the good life?

Maybe there is a middle ground. Does anyone have a good example of a sustainable resort?