Mālama ka ʻāina is the Hawaiian concept of caring for the earth and belief that it will care for you in return. In my tree-hugging opinion, this is the best thing about Hawaii and the Pacific in general - the unabashed love and respect for Mother Earth. From banning plastic bags to selling only reef-safe sunscreens, Hawaii takes environmental responsibility seriously.
My love for the earth spills over into every aspect of my life, so it’s no surprise that I try to travel sustainably as well. The recent trend of ecotourism is good news for travelers like me who prioritize a light footprint. Dozens of resorts, restaurants, and tour providers have started transitioning to more sustainable practices, and this hippy heart of mine couldn’t be happier about it.
The Pacific is saturated with eco-friendly options. Traveling lightly throughout the Pacific doesn’t have to mean roughin’ it in Castaway-style accommodations or eating only coconut meat. There’s no need to choose between comfort and sustainability.
When it comes to eco-friendly travel, you can have your cake and eat it too (preferably with a compostable fork, ya know?).
Read on for my personal earth-loving favorites throughout the Pacific.
MAUNA LANI RESORT: Green power and locally sourced food are only some of the ways this eco-luxury resort supports the environment.
HALAWA VALLEY: Hike through the lush Halawa Valley on Moloka’i with a local and learn about Hawaiian history and natural beauty of the valley.
DAINTREE ECOLODGE: Sleep among the trees of the Daintree Rainforest for the ultimate tree-hugger experience.
KANGAROO SANCTUARY: Support rehabilitation efforts and cuddle with kangaroos on a guided tour of this Alice Springs sanctuary.
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU RESORT: The first of its kind in Fiji, this 5-star resort was designed with the earth in mind.
UPPER NAVUA RIVER RAFTING: Skip the motorized sports in favor of exploring the rapids via river raft for an adrenaline-filled day.
Wondering how to eat sustainably while traveling? Focus on choosing restaurants that practice sustainability and source local foods. Stop by a farmer’s market for local produce. Take a farm tour. Select meals that use produce native to that region. Skip the plastic straws and disposable cutlery when possible.