NOTE: This post wasn’t written by me – thank you for supporting the companies that help keep Sweet Greens in business.
The holidays are right around the corner! In fact, Thanksgiving is over a month away. If you are taking a vacation for Thanksgiving or the upcoming winter holidays, you should consider a green retreat. Green retreats are great alternatives to the usual vacation; whether they are at exclusive hotels, glamping yurts or whole permanent communities, there are so many benefits to this new and gentler way of life.
What are green retreats?
Green retreats are hotels and communities that take moral responsibility for their immediate environments, living off the land and the resources it provides without destroying its capabilities or reducing its ability to regenerate. Green retreats are lovely places to live and stay with facilities that emphasize the well-being of those who use them. Green retreats are beautiful communities that work together to reduce waste, reduce pollution and to allow living in the most eco-friendly way possible.
As you can see, one definition probably doesn’t fit all, but even with the diversity of many types of green retreats, both temporary and permanent, you can already see what they’re aiming for.
What are the benefits?
Obviously, there’s a huge environmental benefit, and while it might seem like a pointless effort against the crazy amount of pollution still being pumped into the atmosphere across the world, every little helps.
On top of the very real, quantifiable benefits of environmental improvement, health and well-being, the community aspects of these places are really the cherry on top. There’s so much missing from life in the world, that a feeling of community is often the first thing to go. Living permanently in a green retreat when you have small children growing up is some kind of idyllic dream, because everyone is vested in ensuring that the recycling is sorted, the gardens are kept beautiful, energy and water are saved, and that the dream remains a real utopia. Think how it could change your children’s lives right into their futures.
Much of the value of green retreats lies in them being little oases of calm, with each one of them being a safe, secluded place where you can live or holiday without fear of the outside world ruining it. They’re naturally places that promote health and well-being, because looking after the earth goes hand-in-hand with looking after yourselves. And that’s where the facilities come into play.
Great facilities for everyone
Some of these places offer the finest in community health and wellness, from amazing gyms to outside yoga, and because they’re often in beautiful places, you can take advantage of the environment and keep fit by cycling and hiking through glorious countryside and rugged mountains.
Many green-stay places are geared up very well for the modern family, so often you’ll find fitness and well-being classes in yoga, Pilates, bocca, and other up-to-the-minute exercise classes.
If you’re not too fitness-orientated, but you still like to feel good about yourself, many communities have shared gardens, where they grow fresh and often organic vegetables; imagine being able to pick the veggies for dinner instead of just busting open a packet of indeterminate green leaves!
If you don’t even want to handle a gardening level of strenuous activity, why not check out the spa?
Of course, not every eco-hotel or green retreat will offer everything on this list, but there’s a strong chance they’ll offer many of them. Some places are aimed at families with young children, and they’ll have access to schools (if you’re looking at a permanent green community in which to live), toddler groups and hospitals, as well as child-oriented facilities from swimming pools to sports pitches and courts.
There’s often a strong emphasis on community as a way of life, not just as a convenience, so there are likely to be group activities to see and do, committees to join, and events to put on and to attend. The aim, of course, is to provide a fullness of life and a richness of community, of the type you just don’t see in the outside world.
Living in a green-oriented environment, you know that not even a single drop of water is wasted; where the sun’s rays provide one of several sustainable energies that can be used to heat and light your house; one where even your child’s kindergarten is run on eco-friendly diapers and solar panels; this is like some kind of special place. Even though you work hard to make everything you do as good for the earth as possible, knowing that for other people, this kind of thing is made easier, makes you feel good. The easier it is for people to be environmentally friendly, the more likely they are to do just that.