For us foodies, holidays are all about tucking into steaming-hot plates of grub – the fresher the better. However, if you’re an eco-warrior and mindful about what you put in your mouth, you’ll want to make sure your hotel is doing its best to provide locally-sourced food and limit waste. If that’s the case, then we’ve got you covered. You can rest easy on the pillows at these hotels, safe in the knowledge that your holiday is leaving a smaller carbon footprint in the powder-soft sand…
El Dorado Royale Spa Resort, by Karisma – Riviera Maya, Mexico
The El Dorado Royale Spa Resort by Karisma, in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, gets a gold star for its greener and fairer efforts. It’s the proud owner of a Rainforest Alliance Certified greenhouse, where they grow a mammoth 14 tonnes of veg every month. The vegetables then get chopped up and cooked in the hotel’s kitchens, so they couldn’t be fresher – or more local. And that’s not all. You can also take a tour around the greenhouse with a green-fingered guide. They’ll show you plants growing everything from cucumbers and tomatoes to basil and chillies, which, you guessed it, end up in the kitchens after they’ve been picked. Now that’s how you do farm-to-fork right.
Montana Pine Resort – Olu Deniz, Turkey
If you’re after an authentic taste of Turkey, look no further. The Montana Pine Resort, in Olu Deniz, is part of the Travel Foundation’s ‘Taste of Fethiye’ project, which means they source their fruit and veg from local farmers in the Dalaman area. The chefs really know their stuff and whip up regional dishes using these market-fresh ingredients, which pop up at the buffet restaurant each day. Expect your moussaka to be made with aubergines grown locally, and seasoned with herbs like mint and oregano, picked from the surrounding countryside.
Azul Beach Resort The Fives by Karisma – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
We all know food comes with a big carbon footprint, but there are ways to slice it down to size. The greenhouse gas produced by transporting food is the biggest culprit when it comes to harming the planet. That’s why the Azul Beach Resort The Fives handpicks local providers for over 50% of their products, including meat, vegetables and fruit. There’s also a strict waste management policy in place. So, if there’s anything in the hotel that can be reused or recycled, you can bet your boots that it won’t be heading for a landfill or the sea.
The TUI Care Foundation
If none of the above hotels tickle your fancy, why not visit one of our destinations where the TUI Care Foundation – an independent charity – runs projects with the locals to ensure they’re growing their produce in the most responsible way possible?
In Crete, the foundation is supporting locals that run struggling smallholdings to ensure that they can continue doing what they love by making a decent career out of it. The TUI Care Foundation has helped these farmers gain direct access to the tourist market, so they can sell their unique wines and olive oils to hotels in the area. Not only does this help the farmers, but it means that tourists get to taste authentic Cretan produce in their hotels.
In the Canary Islands, meanwhile, the TUI Care Foundation is making waves in Lanzarote. They’re supporting a local project that aims to preserve the cultural heritage of winemaking in the La Geria region. Traditionally, each vine in the vineyard was protected by a hand-built wall of lava rocks to shield it from the wind. The technique is labour-intensive so many wineries have abandoned it. But the foundation doesn’t want this custom to be stopped in its tracks. They’re working with locals to develop ecological winemaking techniques on the island, and have plans to distribute the wine across the island.
Every time you book a holiday with us, you have the option to donate to the TUI Care Foundation, which means we’re able to put more money in the pot to fund projects in countries that need our help. By working together, we’re keeping holiday destinations spick and span and making sure local traditions don’t get forgotten, both now and for years to come.