June 4, 2015

Sustainable Travel: Staying at an Eco Lodge.


My partner and I recently traveled to Tofino, British Columbia to visit our daughters.

Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island and is home to captivating views, wild seas, and a gourmand’s choice of top notch restaurants. A real foodie heaven and surfer’s paradise.

It is also home to some of the finest Inns and rental cottages right on the ocean side.

We stayed at the Tofino Botanical Gardens Eco-Loge, on the outskirts of town. This is our second stay there and we chose it specifically for it’s eco-features and friendly community feel.

Sustainable travel has always been important to us, as a natural part of our existing lifestyle.

Aside from seeking out eco-accomodations we also plant trees (or donate to a forest rehabilitation initiative)  to offset the amount of flying we do. Usually three trees per flight per person.


The Eco-Lodge is home to a stunning organic garden and Darwin’s Cafe, a place to meet and enjoy their library dedicated to the natural world. I even ran into Ms. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party in Canada there, at a serendipitous meeting of the community to discuss environmental issues and political solutions thereof.


Eco-Accomodation has its rewards:

The sense of community.

Breakfasts are often cooked by the staff—but one can also create their own menu using the shared kitchen. Mornings are a time of gathering and meeting others who also value earth friendly practices.

The facility often composts on site.

And they don’t stop there—they’ll use non-toxic cleaning products (no bleach), likely gather rain water for the garden and recycle everything under the sun. Sometimes guests can even pick herbs from the garden for their tea brewing or cooking pleasure.


If the eco-lodge has a gardens, strolling through them can refresh the mind and promote a sense of restfulness.


Or maybe one can sit in a beautiful bower built by iconic Pacific Coast builder, Jan Janzen.


The Botanical Gardens take pride in their stewardship of the mud flats adjacent to the facility. Home to an intricate variety of sea creatures, the mud flats in Tofino are an ecological oasis.


mud flats

Which later looked like this when the tide came in:


We could have stayed on the ocean front, and it did bewitch us on our daily walks…


But this:


and this:

earth mother

…and the knowledge that we had done the best we could for Mother Earth while on our adventure was more beguiling.


When you travel, make an eco-lodge, hostel or Inn that thinks green your first choice. The planet will thank you.


Author: Monika Carless

Editor: Alli Sarazen

Photos: Courtesy of the Author

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