Imagine a hotel with a golf course where players can hit their balls in the direction of a floating pontoon and where the balls that are made of fish food dissolve in water after 48 hours. Stupid? No. This is one more stone in the edifice of a sustainable planet.
Straightaway, let's move past the climate skeptics who have come to invade the higher echelons of the Trump administration. Their shortsightedness, which has led them to live only by that which affects them directly and without consideration for the disillusionments of tomorrow, has further removed them each day from the status of being responsible citizens.
So yes, the golf balls that feed the fish at Cliff House Hotel are not simply gimmicks. They come to complete a system that has enabled the hotel to adopt a strict environmental charter that applies to the establishment's daily activities. From the replacement of lightbulbs for LEDs to a green roof that covers the majority of the roof's surface, thereby reducing CO2 emissions, and a 100% electric car carpark, the hotel has turned its virtuous model into a commercial asset.
In terms of touristic paradoxes, there is obviously the heavy carbon footprint left by the air travel of guests. Is this avoidable? Technically, as long as planes do not run on biofuel, the answer is no. But it can surely be offset judging by operations at Soneva Fushi, a luxury resort located in Baa Atoll in the Maldives. The Soneva Foundation uses the principles of "impact investing". In 2008, it introduced a 2% Ecotax on room rates and has now raised over 6 million dollars, which it has reinvested into projects that will enable it to economise a million tonnes of CO2 during the next seven years, offsetting far more than its total carbon footprint.
And then there are those who are changing nothing since they already thought of everything from the start. This is the case for the Zarafa Camp in Botswana, which was constructed without disturbing a single tree by using completely recycled wood and designed to be powered entirely by solar energy. It is also where the filtration of potable water considerably limits the consumption of plastic bottles and the transportation that goes with it.
You will come to see that if you do not turn off the light each time you leave your room and if you waste water all of these initiatives will lose their meaning. But let us not doubt the virtue that is still transmitted. Because these environments here certainly induce a behaviour by clients who do not wish to see themselves as breaking this chain that places the wager on sustainable well-being.