Green Splashes

Eco resorts are popping up like the mysterious green flashes of Caribbean sunsets. Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Cindy Crawford are among many visitors to spots like Mexico's Amansala escape on the Yucatan Peninsula. But the latest thing: own your own green island…

Leonardo DiCaprio, who purchased Blackadore Caye off the Belize coast a couple years ago for $1.75 million, plans to convert the two-mile long island into an eco-friendly luxe resort with the Four Seasons Hotel group. The exclusive beachfront villas reportedly may sell to stars like Robert DeNiro and Tiger Woods, who are eyeing Belize…

Other celeb islands include: “The Brando,” on Marlon’s Te’tiaroa Island in Tahiti (opening next year); Mel Gibson’s l5,400-acre Mago Island in Fiji; and Sir Richard Branson (who owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands), is prepping nearby Mosquito Island as an eco resort. Director Francis Ford Coppola adds Florianopolis in Brazil’s Amazon to his upscale hostelries nestled naturally in Guatemala and Belize rainforests, featuring sustainable building and organic gardens…

Green hotels are catching on with regular folks, too. I just returned from Aruba, where 22 guests in my hotel, the Bucuti Beach Resort, volunteered with employees to clean up a mile of beach on Saturday morning. Impressive for 8:30 a.m. CNN’s meteorologist Rob Marciano stayed at the Bucuti recently, with anchor and girlfriend Veronica de la Cruz. The couple spent time watching leatherback turtles hatching eggs on protected stretches of beachfront. Owners of this low-rise boutique spot, Susan and Ewald Biemans, started the monthly island-wide clean-up campaign along with many other environmental efforts, such as rooftop solar panels, FSC-certified woods in the chic rooms, and elegant recycle bins. “Do Not Disturb” signs request that guests reuse towels and linens, and conserve water and energy using tips from from Project Planet, an organization that encourages sustainable tourism. “Our guests are happy to engage with keeping the shores pristine,” says Susan.

Project Planet estimates 70 percent of guests participate in the conversation program, with every 100 guests saving 450 gallons of water and three gallons of detergent daily. The org is also endorsed by Avril Lavigne and even hunter (ugh) Ted Nugent (of United Sportsmen of America), who says, “I truly celebrate the hands-on resource stewardship responsibilities...what a great upgrade." As RFK, Jr. says: there aren’t red and blue sides when it comes to green issues—if informed.

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Issue 25

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