So, you’ve just had your sustainable wedding day, and now you want to extend your green nuptials to the honeymoon. Here are some ideas on how to have a sustainable honeymoon and we share the best places to go for an eco-conscious trip with your spouse.
Taking an eco-friendly or sustainable honeymoon means being more aware of your impact and choosing to make little, conscious changes along the way that could reduce your carbon footprint.
When planning your sustainable honeymoon, it is essential to consider the entire travel experience. This includes everything from where you will be staying to what mode of transportation you will use.
“For such a special time, people want luxury. But that definition is also evolving with people’s values. It’s no longer about just opulence and service. It’s also about amazing places which have a sumptuous all-around environment including extraordinary experiences, an abundance of nature, and rare opportunities for authentic connections.
“People want life-changing trips – for them, and for locals too, supporting communities and conservation whilst having the time of their life,” says Vicky Smith, sustainable tourism expert and founder of Earth Changers.
So, from saving the turtles to ditching air travel in favour of rail and sea, here we share some of the best ideas for how to have a sustainable honeymoon.
Sustainable Honeymoon Ideas: How to Have an Eco-conscious Trip
Have a Staycation
Although the British Isles may not compete with the likes of the Maldives in terms of the weather, a honeymoon on home soil is a great option for those looking for more sustainable options (thanks to travel via car or train) and can be equally as beautiful.
Opt for Train Travel for Your Sustainable Honeymoon
Not only is it an often cheaper option and usually with considerably more luggage allowance, but train travel is also a far more eco-friendlier option than travel via plane. For example, a study by Eurostar found that taking the train to Paris instead of the plane from London can cut up Co2 emissions per passenger by up to 90%.
Consider booking your sustainable honeymoon through a slow travel provider such as Byway, a company that celebrates the enduring romance of rail travel; how about a luxury window seat aboard a train to the glistening French Riviera? Just think of those views!
If You Are Flying, Carefully Consider the Destination
“Some places are more sustainable than others; for instance, Maui is one of the most ecologically responsible destinations because its tourism industry relies mainly on renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power rather than air conditioning or oil products (like gasoline),” Adam Smith, founder of Eco Energy Geek.
Choose an Eco-Hotel
For those who don’t know, eco-hotels are defined as a hotel or accommodations with a strong ethos for minimising their impact on the environment. You may be thinking of a mud hut with no electricity in the wilderness, but don’t worry, these days eco-hotels aren’t compromising on luxury.
Eco-hotels might show their ability to be sustainable through big initiatives such as green energy (think solar panels and wind turbines) to smaller details (but just as important) such as ditching plastic straws in favour of paper ones. Choosing a more environmentally-conscious place to stay takes a lot of the work away from the guest which gives you peace of mind to enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon.
Think About What You’re Packing For Your Honeymoon
You may be tempted to buy those mini toiletries and take things like makeup wipes and cotton buds and pads, but these pose a risk to the local environment by clogging pipes or ending up in landfill. Instead, when deciding what to pack for your honeymoon take items such as reusable cleansing pads and bamboo cotton buds – or at the very least you could bag up all of your rubbish and take it back home with you where you can dispose of it responsibly!
Other eco-friendly basics you could take with you include items like a reusable cup and water bottle, some metal straws and reusable cutlery.
Give Back to the Environment
Many resorts and hotels that label themselves as sustainable or eco-friendly often have close ties with, do by staying there you know your money is being put to good use, such as andBeyond Mnemba Island in Zanzibar which has implemented a turtle tagging and monitoring programme to help conserve the island’s resident turtles!
Other ways that resorts give back to the environment include preserving natural ecosystems like Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve in New Mexico, USA and coral reef preservation like Kudadoo in the Maldives.
The Best Destinations for a Sustainable Honeymoon for 2022
From secluded resorts nestled in the vineyards of Tuscany to luxury resorts on tropical paradise islands, these sustainable honeymoon ideas are as lust-worthy as they are eco-friendly – and in every climate to suit all types of globetrotting newlyweds.
Sustainable Honeymoons in the UK
The Edge, Cornwall
The Edge by Unique Homestays is a chic beach pad in the beloved county of Cornwall, complete with an al fresco hot tub and unbelievably romantic sunsets, this is a wonderful closer-to-home option for newlyweds.
The property was awarded a Green Tourism Gold Award and is constructed from eco-sourced cedar and fire-proofed with eco-friendly clear paint. The windows are also made from eco-sourced hardwood and all the stonework was constructed from stone gathered from the cliff.
Lympstone Manor, Devon
Lympstone Manor is a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian manor house situated in the heart of Devon, with luxurious rooms and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines in charge of the food, perfect for a honeymoon.
In partnership with Coastal Recycling, the team at Lympstone has partnered with a recycling and composting centre while working with the Devon Wildlife Trust to monitor the ever-changing population of the Exe Estuary.
Brucefield Estate, Scotland
Located in the beautiful Scottish countryside, the 1000-acre Brucefield Estate has recently opened three new ‘eco bothies’. Buried within the Scottish forest of Scots pine trees, the bothies provide an off-grid, peaceful destination for guests looking to unplug, disconnect and unwind.
The eco bothies have been constructed locally using sustainably-sources timber and insulating materials to reduce energy consumption. Plus, Guests can take part in sustainable, conservation activities including planting a tree, a pollination inspection and bat detection!
Sustainable Honeymoons in Asia
Kudadoo Private Island, Maldives
We all know that the Maldives makes for one of the most idyllic honeymoon destinations. For the eco-conscious couple, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island is an exclusive, intimate private island of just 15 over-water ocean residences and has recently been recognised as ‘Most Sustainable Resort 2022’ by Travel Trade Maldives.
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, Japan
As a secluded mountainside ryokan eco-resort, HOSHINOYA Karuizawa makes the perfect romantic getaway. The resort actively uses clean energy and has created a zero-emission environment so it can contribute to the preservation of its natural surroundings.
Just 90-minutes by bullet train from Tokyo, the resort is designed to be like a traditional Japanese village, with terraces built to recall traditional Japanese homes and windows, a river winding through connecting all the guest pavilions and the gardens.
Sustainable Honeymoons in Africa
Singita Lebombo Lodge, South Africa
Suspended aloft the N’wanetsi River in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Lebombo Lodge provides a sanctuary of 33,000 acres for a unique wildlife population to thrive across four ecological zones through the Singita Lowveld Trust while also offering an unmatched game-viewing experience for guests.
The design of Lebombo Lodge was inspired by the many eagles’ nests built into the cliff face of the river bank, resulting in organic, light-filled structures, floating between river and sky – ultimate organic luxury.
Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia
Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana
Blending into the iconic landscape of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, this newly built safari lodge boasts a variety of sustainability initiatives, including the use of a sophisticated solar power system to supply its energy needs, the implementation of a state-of-the-art reverse-osmosis system that provides guests and staff with purified drinking water, and the composting of all food waste into rich soil that is donated to local communities for use in gardens.
Sustainable Honeymoons in Europe
W Cosa Navarino, Greece
The W Costa Navarino is located in the Greek region of Messinia in Southwest Peloponnese, Costa Navarino, an area that’s regarded as the prime sustainable destination of the Mediterranean. The new W hotel boasts an original architectural design which creates the feel of a Greek coastal village and an infinity pool with views over the clear Ionian sea.
In July 2022, the Costa Navarino area was listed in the prestigious Marie Claire Sustainability Awards, due to its commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental protection. An example of this work is that it’s home to the biggest olive tree transplanting programme in Europe.
Borgo Pignano, Italy
Borgo Pignano is a Tuscan estate located in a Nature Reserve on a 750-acre certified organic farm that dates back to the 12th century. The property is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and excudes total romance and seduction. The property has a remarkable commitment to sustainable tourism and hospitality practices and in 2020 was awarded its Green Globe Certification.
Most recently, BorgoPignano has begun producing its own wine and olive oil from its organic vineyards and olive groves to enhance its self-sufficiency goals – a perfect way for newlyweds to toast to married life!
Valsana Hotel, Switzerland
For newlyweds looking for something a little more active and adrenaline-fuelled, a ski honeymoon in the mountains is the perfect way to do it! And for the eco-conscious couple, Valsana Hotel is the first hotel in Switzerland to be heated by geothermal probes and an ultra-modern ice battery, limiting its ecological footprint to just 4%.
Additionally, Valsana Hotel Arosa has been awarded the Best Green Ski Hotel at the World Ski Awards for three years consecutively. Couples can spend their days enjoying white-capped mountains, short lift lines, perfectly groomed trails, and the historic charm of Arosa.
Sustainable Honeymoons in the Caribbean
Secrets St James Montego Bay, Jamaica
A stunning five-star resort, Secrets St James Montego Bay is located in a beautiful area of Jamaica surrounded by white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. It also holds a Travelife Gold and Rainforest Alliance certification, so you know it’s more than just a pretty hotel.
The resort is challenging climate change by minimising the amount of waste it produces. Plus, newlyweds can get involved in activities like beach clean-ups to give back to the local environment.
Turtle Inn, Belize
Turtle Inn is an idyllic 25-room seafront escape with individual thatched cottages, decorated with handcrafted Balinese furnishings, naturally cooled by the ever-present sea breezes. Just steps beyond your private deck, the white-sand beach dissolves into the clear Caribbean Sea.
Turtle Inn sits within walking distance of the Belize Barrier Reef and one of the world’s only jaguar nature reserves. The resort supports funding for local marine conservation efforts that are integral to the future health of the reef and its endemic species.
Bucuti & Tara Boutique Beach Resort, Aruba
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is located on Aruba’s famous Eagle Beach, and in 2018 it became the first hotel in the Caribbean to officially achieve carbon neutrality! The 104-room hotel is also LEED Silver-certified, Green Globe Platinum, and the 2017 winner of the Gold Adrian Award, a sustainable tourism award presented by National Geographic and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.
Some of its many sustainability initiatives include using solar panels for energy, local products made in Aruba to cut down on the carbon footprint associated with importing goods and biodegradable cleaning supplies. The hotel also contributes to programs off-property, including animal efforts like the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba and Turtugaruba, a turtle conservation group!
Sustainable Honeymoons in the USA & Central America
Carneros Resort and Spa, Napa, California
A California Central Valley resort cradled among the rolling vineyards of the Carneros Wine Region.
Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve, New Mexico
With some of the most stunning American scenery and spanning 550,000 acres on the New Mexico-Colorado border, Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo serves as a private wilderness wonderland the size of a national park.
The reserve helps to protect more than half a million acres of natural ecosystems and is helping to bring the American Bison back from the brink of extinction.
Origins Luxury Lodge by Mantis, Costa Rica
Property set in the spacious expanse of Costa Rica’s valley jungles, high in the northern rainforest. Bioclimatology is embodied in every aspect of this boutique resort.
From the use of sustainable structural bamboo, adobe walls for humidity control, and recycled bottles planted under the lodge’s floors, to the natural air conditioning provided by the floating roofs on buildings.