Branson's uber eco island getaway

Rich guys have it so hard—such pressure to conquer a new superlative at every turn. So it’s not enough that Richard Branson, one of the world’s richest men (and maybe the happiest)—sorry, that’s Sir Richard Branson—and founder of the Virgin brand, owns the world’s most expensive private island; now he has to own the greenest private island, too.

Branson’s Necker Island is a 74-acre jewel in the Caribbean with thatched-roof cottages, a flamingo-flanked pond and infinity pools, which you’re free to visit for the modest price $23,500 per couple per week. But his newest project, nearby Moskito Island, will make eco-luxury of the past seem downright chintzy. Of course, after experimenting on Moskito, Necker will get a green makeover, too.

Moskito is Necker’s cousin, just off the British Virgin Islands’ Virgin Gorda—currently not much more than uninhabited brush-covered hills. His vision: wind turbines and solar panels powering 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant. The buildings would capture cool airflows, precluding the need for A/C, and food would be grown locally and organically. Biofuel would power the beach buggies.

He still needs the approval of the BVI planning department before he can go forward with his private greendom. But who can say no to biofuel buggies? No word yet on price, but it will be interesting to find out if folks will have to pay more for solar and wind, biofuel and organic food, or if $23,500 a week will cover it.