California is leading the way with its sustainability efforts thanks to eco-friendly resorts and vineyards, and its growing farm-to-fork culture. The Golden State continues to innovate and grow in the sustainable space. Here are just some of the ways you can have less of an impact on the planet and the environment as a traveller.
Sonoma County has partnered with Kind Traveler, the first socially conscious “Give + Get” hotel booking and education platform, empowering travellers to make a positive community and environmental impact to the destinations they visit. By using their booking platform, you can ensure the places you stay are giving back to the community through sourcing local artisan products for their restaurants and making efforts to eliminate plastic usage. Sonoma County has long been a leader in the way of eco-consciousness, environmental protection, and sustainability, and this is just another way this beautiful part of California is helping out the planet.
Set within 160 acres of forested woodland on the Pacific Coast, Ventana Big Sur is inspired by its majestic setting. Sustainability is a way of life at this luxury coastal retreat, from a property-wide recycling programme for materials and water, to non-toxic and environmentally-friendly cleaning products used throughout the resort. A stay here will allow you to enjoy a sophisticated, eco-friendly experience within a stunning forest overlooking the ocean, or to simply connect with nature whilst glamping in a safari-style canvas tent with a wood-burning fire pit and s’mores kit.
Treasure Island’s Mersea restaurant in San Francisco uses innovative design to ensure guests a completely sustainable experience. The restaurant has sourced 13 local industrial shipping containers for guest seating with dining tables made from old bowling alley lanes. Onsite diners can also buy bracelets made from recycled materials to help support the incredible work 40cean is doing to help remove plastic from our oceans.
Known as America’s farm-to-fork capital, Sacramento is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of farms and ranches that grow more than 160 crops for markets all around the world, including 96% of the country’s tomatoes. The city’s restaurants make the most of this vast and wonderful farmland to create fresh meals out of locally-sourced ingredients with a low carbon footprint. Visitors can join the Local Roots Food Tour to sample some of the finest farm-to-fork menus in town whilst learning about the rich history and architecture of the city, for a true taste of Sacramento.
Want to do your part for the oceans? In Huntington Beach you can board a Duffy electric boat, kayak or paddle board and help clean up the harbour. Every Sunday at 8:45 a.m., Help Your Harbor welcomes visitors to remove rubbish to protect the health and sustainability of the local environment (using zero emissions!). Visitors can learn first-hand about the need for improved biodegradability, packaging reduction and the impact this is currently having on marine life. This novel way of cleaning up the ocean is fun for everyone and aims to inspire others to join in and do the same.
You’ve probably seen countless images of the iconic Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier, but did you know it’s the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel? As you soar high above the city and the Pacific Ocean, you can enjoy the incredible view and be happy knowing that you’re not having an impact on the planet.
California boasts the world’s largest sustainable winegrowing programme, with many winery tours using Teslas to transport guests around the vineyards. The sustainable practices California vineyards are adopting not only ensure the health of the land, but also help vintners produce high-quality wines.
In 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced it would become the country’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region by 2019. This sustainability programme helps to preserve agriculture and multi-generational family farms (85% of Sonoma County’s vineyards are family-owned and operated) dependent on a healthy environment to grow the best grapes that make their world-famous wines. So when you’re sipping on a delicious glass of the good stuff, you can rest assured it has all been produced in an environmentally-friendly way.
If you prefer cocktails to wine, then head to The Treasury in San Francisco’s Financial District. With a no waste philosophy, bartender Ryan Hall takes his eco-responsibility very seriously and creates cocktails with a conscience. By reusing and whipping up ‘aquafaba,’ the water or juice-like substance found in a can of chickpeas, he can make a superb egg white replacement, which is perfect for those late night whiskey sours.