Eco tourism in Kauai
Serene white beaches of their own category, friendly locals and great food. In some stretches you’re in China, in others it is pure Vietnam. What are we talking about? Kauai! The place is ideally suited for ecotourism and sustainable travel, it’s Hawaii, a place people visit because of the ecology – the ocean, the beach, the mountains, and overall beauty of the place.
In fact, Hawaii has a long history of environmental stewardship. The ancient Hawaiians not only knew about sustainability, but also practiced it in their daily lives. They had to! When the ancient Hawaiians occupied the islands they did not have the luxury of “importing” goods from anywhere else. So these ancient people lived in harmony with the land and sea, and had a complex social structure that managed resources and forbid the taking of various resources during certain times of the year, to allow those resources to replenish themselves.
In the visitor industry, the majority of hotels have adopted green practices. Various statewide organizations have numerous programs recognizing hotels which are helping the environment, such as the Green Business Awards Program, which recently awarded Ritz Carlton Kapalua for its use of core-less toilet paper rolls in bathrooms, elimination of plastic-ware in dining areas, sustainable bamboo floors in select facilities, and sustainable dining featuring organic heirloom herbs and vegetables as well as local exotic fruit. The hotel also runs a Jacques Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program, which teaches guests about natural tide pools, the rainforest, humpback whales, and local ecosystems through interactive activities with trained naturalists. Every island has recycling centers.
Restaurants across the state are using more local products and produce than ever. Many proudly tell you that all of their products were grown, grazed, or caught within 100 miles of their restaurant. You can support this effort by ordering local (drink Kona coffee, not a coffee from Central America; eat local fish, not imported seafood), and ask the restaurant which items on its menu are grown or raised on the island.