With travelers becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability, eco-adventures have become an important box in the tick list for consumers when planning their next trip.
The Islands of Tahiti take environmental stewardship, an important part of Polynesian culture, seriously and have been at the forefront of sustainability tourism for years. One of the first nations to enact laws protecting marine life, The Islands of Tahiti had one of the first UNESCO Biosphere reserves – as well as an implemented ban on all sunscreen harmful to the coral from all tourist sites.
Thanks to a number of initiatives and experiences, it’s easier than ever to enjoy Tahiti’s natural beauty while being eco-conscious too. From solar-powered boats to resorts that run on coconut oil, here’s six ways to see one of the world’s most beautiful destinations in sustainable style:
1 Eco-friendly cruising
If you’re keen to cruise the sapphire waters of the South Pacific, but have a deep respect for our vast oceans, then a trip on a solar-powered Polynesian boat is the way to go.
The Fa’afaite is a large canoe built according to drawings made by James Cook around 1770 and represents the reconciliation of the Polynesian people and their environment. Combining modern technology with ancient wisdom, a journey on Fa’afaite produces zero emission and waste while providing an authentic Polynesian sailing experience.
2 Eat local
Instead of fine dining with imported ingredients, eat locally sourced foods to reduce your carbon footprint.
At Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, rather than contributing to CO2 emissions by importing beef, lamb, and poultry, the resident Chef makes imaginative use of the vegetables, fruit, fish and pork that can be found in abundance.
Vegetable waste goes into the compost, and the rest goes to a pig farmer in exchange for ten piglets a year. Not only will you be trying traditional Tahitian delicacies like suckling pig, marinated fish and grilled vegetables, but you’ll also be giving back to the community and supporting local producers.
3 Stay with the locals
Tahitian guesthouses, also referred to locally as pensions (pronounced pone-see-owns), are typically family-operated lodgings. These hidden gems provide a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in local cultures, and some owners sit down to meals or even escort guests on excursions.
4 Play with dolphins
Education is key when it comes to conservation, and what better way to learn about the marine biodiversity of The Islands of Tahiti than getting up close and personal.
For more than 20 years, the Moorea Dolphin Center has offered high-quality educational and interactive programs giving guests the opportunity to share an unforgettable experience while learning about marine mammals. Accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA), a team of veterinarians and animal behaviourists are dedicated to the dolphins’ welfare on a daily basis.
5 Eco-Friendly Opulence
Shortlisted for the 2019 Climate Action Award, The Brando considers itself the steward of Tetiaroa, and takes this environmental responsibility seriously.
The luxury resort relies entirely on renewable energy sources including solar power and coconut oil, and all building materials used are of local or certified origin, renewable, or incorporate recycled components. A pioneering deep seawater air-conditioning system keeps the hotel cool and all guests are provided with free bicycles to get around the island, further reducing the carbon footprint.
6 Adopt a coral
Coral reefs are the oceans lungs, but 20% of coral worldwide are dead while a majority remained threatened by pollution and climate change.
Adopting a coral is a tangible way to make a difference as coral reefs regulate global climate, protect coasts against storms and provide the habitat for about 25% of marine life. Help Coral Gardeners educate the public on the importance of reefs and restore the heavily impacted reefs of the island of Moorea. Once you name your coral you will receive an adoption certificate with a picture and the GPS coordinates of where your coral was planted.
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