How can we make Sustainability more “Sexy”?

At the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges, we are extremely passionate about sustainability.  We eat, drink and breathe sustainability every day.   Yes, and we even think it is sexy.   You don’t?  Well, you are like most others…

Research shows that most consumers don’t share our passion for sustainability.    People want products and services to have sustainable attributes and they plan to buy them.  But most of the time, actual purchases don’t match up with stated intentions?  Why is that?  We think it is not just about the money…

The concept of sustainability is not considered to be sexy, nor is the word “eco” as in eco lodge, ecotourism, eco resort or eco honeymoon.

Kura Desgin Villas in Uvita
Kura is a great way how “sustainability” can be sexy… A great positive impact on the local community and environment does not mean dull and boring hotel experiences.  On the contrary…

Unfortunately, the image of treehuggers with their wool socks and birkenstocks, messy beards and endless discussions about the things we should or should not do seems to have gotten stuck to sustainability.    There are exceptions such as Sir. Richard Branson, but they are only exceptions.

What brings sustainability down is the preaching that is going on at sustainability conferences and in the news.  Don’t buy this, don’t go there, don’t eat this and don’t like that.  It comes to a point where many feel guilty for leading a modern lifestyle.  How can we bring humor into this?  Smiles, a positive attitude.  How can we change sustainability from “dull” to sexy?

tours and activities at Lapa Rios
Exciting tours and activities, interaction with wildlife, learning about local flora, fauna and culture. There is nothing dull or boring about this.  Sustainability can be very attractive if presented the right way.

We think that creating cool and extraordinary experiences that connect people with the local environment and cultures can make the difference.  Cooking classes with the local chef, rappelling down a gushing waterfall, shopping for tropical fruits and vegetables at a local market, tracking wild cats in a private nature reserve, surfing at sunrise…or so much more.  And all of this as part of a sustainable vision.

Being part of something that “makes a difference” is sexy.  Help an almost extinct bird species maintain their natural habitat.  Be part of the project that helps bring solar energy and clean drinking water to school children in rural parts of a country.  See the professional development of young men and women in hospitality positions growing into management positions.  Help in getting rid of plastic water bottles in hotels and resorts in Costa Rica.

 

Culinary experiences are sexy.  Eating locally sourced food is getting more and more popular.  Farm to table dinners and sustainably caught seafood are things that make us feel good.  Funky remote beach towns are considered sexy…

How about design.  Who says that a sustainable hotel has to look boring or old fashioned.  Take a look at Kura Design Villas in Uvita.  Costa Rica’s sexiest boutique hotel is also among the countries most sustainable boutique hotels.

contemporary design in costa rica
Contemporary design can go hand in hand with sustainability. Kura Design Villas in Uvita is a great example for this.

Sustainability needs to be fun to succeed.  What do you suggest?  We would love to hear from you.  How would you make sustainability more sexy?  Comment here on this blog or send us a note to [email protected]

4 responses to “How can we make Sustainability more “Sexy”?”

  1. I agree with your take here, and not just because it’s more effective and more sexy. Positioning things as “eco” something or other is putting it over to the side, somewhere separate from the rest. If we’re trying to tell new stories, we need to integrate them into what and who we are. Simply do it. You’re providing what you think should be a new normal. Just provide it, let people experience it, let it be an experience that represents what we wish we could have every day and everywhere. You don’t have to call it something other than, as you say, great experiences in a great setting. Instead of all the “don`ts,” you’re presenting a whole lot of “dos” that leave people wanting more. I like that I’m seeing more and more examples of this in the world; it’s heartening.

  2. I agree with your take here, and not just because it’s more effective and more sexy. Positioning things as “eco” something or other is putting it over to the side, somewhere separate from the rest. If we’re trying to tell new stories, we need to integrate them into what and who we are. Simply do it. You’re providing what you think should be a new normal. Just provide it, let people experience it, let it be an experience that represents what we wish we could have every day and everywhere. You don’t have to call it something other than, as you say, great experiences in a great setting. Instead of all the “don`ts,” you’re presenting a whole lot of “dos” that leave people wanting more. I like that I’m seeing more and more examples of this in the world; it’s heartening.

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