Want to Improve your Environmental Footprint? Consider a Tropical Vacation

A tropical vacation? Yep, you read it right. But not any old one. It’s a very certain kind of tropical vacation we’re talking about. One that could have a lasting effect on your environmental footprint. We call it “travel done differently” and it’s what we strive to do every day at the Cayuga Collection.

But what do we mean by “travel done differently”? We mean doing things on a small scale with the smallest possible negative impact on our environments. We mean always trying to do the right thing, and to do it right. We’re talking about only serving locally, responsibly sourced food, creating a sense of place through local décor and furniture, and hiring our teams directly from our surrounding communities. And then of course there’s the single-use plastics. We banished those over 10 years ago.  

The tropical vacation that really makes the difference is the one that does travel differently, right down to the details. It’s not all about the footprint.

In our case, even though we generate revenues of almost US$10M a year, if you were to calculate our cumulative carbon footprint and use of resources, you’d probably find it to be minute in comparison to what’s going on in other parts of the world. So, our primary goal is not to shrink our footprint even further (even though we are working on this as well), but rather to inspire our guests and create a multiplier effect.

Through everything from interactions with our staff over breakfast to back-of-the-house sustainability tours and playful in-house activities, we want to spark a sort of lightbulb moment in our guests. We want them to experience all the little things we do at the Cayuga Collection Hotels and begin to wonder if they themselves could also make a series of small changes in their lives back home to not only reduce their environmental footprint but to increase their positive “handprint” too.

We receive guests at our hotels that are in very influential positions and whose day-to-day decisions, particularly in the workplace, could have a big impact on many people. Just think, if we were to inspire a high-level executive of Fortune 500 company through their tropical vacation with us and make him or her rethink sustainability and what it could mean outside the tourism context, the impact could be huge.

But it’s not just C-suite execs that can make a difference. Be they families, honeymooners, youngsters, seniors, adventurists or escapists, a great many of our guests return home and spread the word amongst their circles about what they’ve learned at our hotels. We inspire our guests to inspire others, and it’s a mission we’re proud to pursue. 

While you might not be planning a tropical vacation any time soon, here are some examples of the little things that can add up:

Rethink what you eat. Think local. Think packaging. Think less meat. 
Rethink transportation. Walk or ride a bike. Use public transportation. Share rides. Reduce or offset your use of air travel.
Rethink waste production. Eliminate single-use plastics. Buy less stuff.
Rethink energy Use. Reduce the use of air conditioning or heating. 

Have you visited a Cayuga Collection Hotel? We would love to hear from you. What was the lightbulb moment? How did your stay make a difference in your life? What habits have you changed at home or at work, and how have you inspired others? And if you’re new to Cayuga, we warmly invite you to experience travel done differently. It might just change your life.

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Hans Pfister

Co-owner & President