Living as we do, so close to the natural world, it’s all the more important that we islanders take the wellbeing of the environment into consideration when making decisions in our daily lives.
Being mindful of the environment and our impact on it looks different in different situations. There are things we can do as individuals, and things island businesses can do to help individuals make better choices.
I decided to feature a few of the ways these island businesses are making environmentally-friendly moves in their operations. We visited these businesses firsthand on our recent Bloggers on a Boat trip in the US and British Virgin Islands.
Every little bit counts. Check out these island businesses for some eco-inspiration!
Viramar Charter Yacht
During our Bloggers on a Boat VI trip, we stayed onboard the charter yacht, Viramar, and were very impressed by all of the ways this boat and its crew are working to respect and protect the environment on their charters.
Refillable toiletries: Packaging can be a big waste when it comes to toiletries. Viramar avoids this by providing large containers of toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
Locally made toiletries: Reducing transportation waste is a big win with products that are made in the Virgin Islands. Not only are the products such as soap, toothpaste, insect repellent, and more that Viramar provides from EC Soap Co made in the BVI, they’re also organic and free of harsh chemicals.
Eco washing detergent: While Viramar sends most of their laundry out post-charter, the small loads they do throughout the charter are cleaned using eco-friendly laundry detergent. The best part? It’s made by a crew member on a fellow charter boat and provided in a repurposed bottle. Sea safe and no waste!
Reef safe products only onboard: On a charter boat, with guests in and out of the sea, it’s important that the products they put on their bodies don’t damage the sea’s ecosystem. All of the sunscreen, bug spray, and toiletries onboard Viramar are reef-safe.
Solving the water bottle waste problem: One of the biggest waste products in our world are single use water bottles. Viramar has overcome this issue in a clever way. They make all of their drinking water onboard the boat with their own desalination system. Logo water bottles are provided to the guests on arrival to use throughout their charter, then given to them to take as souvenirs at the end of their vacation.
Pizza Pi VI
Floating out in a protected harbor, Pizza Pi VI is a pizza boat that visiting boaters can raft up to and enjoy a slice, a cocktail, and more. We loved meeting the team there on our recent visit and seeing how they work to create as small of an environmental impact as possible.
Plastic-free packaging: Pizza Pi provides all of their to-go food and drinks in recyclable paper, not plastic.
Solar-powered nights: While it’s not enough to keep the boat fully powered during the daytime (those pizza ovens are monsters!), the Pizza Pi boat is outfitted with solar panels to keep the boat’s main appliances running each night, so the generator can take some much needed time off.
Locally grown: Whenever possible, the Pizza Pi team works to obtain locally grown products for their pizzas such a basil, tomatoes, and more.
Honeymoon Beach / Bikinis on the Beach / Virgin islands Eco Tours
Honeymoon Beach on St. John, VI is an incredible spot to spend a day on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Plus, thanks to Virgin Islands Eco Tours and Bikinis on the Beach Bar & Grill, they have all of the amenities you need to be comfortable for the entire day. We spent some blissful beach time and enjoyed lunch here on our recent visit and were happy to see their moves in the eco-direction…
Eco Souvenir Cups: Bikinis on the Beach sells reusable cups that are awesome for days at the beach. They’re thick, BPA-free silicone so they won’t blow away outdoors or spill easily on the beach. You can use them during your vacation, then take them home – they have a Painkiller recipe printed on the side for when you’re missing the islands. We loved how they come filled with an extra-large cocktail!
Paper straws: This close to the turtles, plastic straws are a major no-no. Bikinis on the Beach only provides paper straws with all of their drinks.
Eco wheels: Getting to Honeymoon Beach is also eco! If you don’t make the hike, you can take a ride in Virgin Islands Eco Tours solar-powered, electric golf cart.
Crush it: Bikinis on the Beach bar has a fun can crusher attached to their deck that allows guests to crush their used cans, prepping them for easy recycling.
Respecting the Sea Creatures: Virgin Islands Eco Tours provides tours and equipment rentals for those wanting to explore the island above and below the water. Their well-trained team teaches everyone who rents/tours with them how to treat the marine life with respect (no standing on coral! no touching turtles!) and advises on the use of reef safe products such as sunscreen. They also sell reef safe water shirts so guests can avoid excess sunscreen use.
Cooper Island Beach Club is an impressive resort that’s completely self-powered through solar. They also make their own water on-property.
Onsite brewery: Cooper Island avoids waste and bring out the taste by brewing their own beer. They also have a special Turtle IPA which donates $1 of every purchase to sea turtle conservation.
Reusable cups for all drinks: No matter what you’re drinking at Cooper Island, it’s served in one of their reusable drink cups that double as a souvenir.
All about local: Cooper Island strives to serve food and drinks made with locally sourced ingredients (some even grown on-property) and to feature locally made wares in their boutique.
Hendo’s Hideout is a beach bar, restaurant, and boutique located on stunning White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. As this unique spot continues to expand and grow, we loved seeing all of the ways that they’re keeping the environment in mind.
Plastic-free reusable cups: Hendo’s serves their cocktails up in cool metal souvenir cups. We loved how not even the reusable cups were made of plastic.
Locally made liquors: Many of Hendo’s signature cocktails are made using rum, gin, and vodka made in the Virgin Islands. It’s transported a short distance and uses far less waste.
Locally sourced ingredients: Whenever possible, Hendo’s sources local produce and seafood for their delicious Caribbean-inspired menu items.
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Are there businesses on your island that are leading the way when it comes to being eco-friendly on a rock?