The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) announced recently that many of their timeshare industry members were making a conscious effort to Go Green. Below are 6 resorts that take pride in their community, and want to make it a better place; not just now, but for the future generations. Franz Hanning, the President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Club and ARDA Chairman, recently stated this in his blog article: "I firmly believe that our industry is a leader when it comes to 'going green.' Re-using and recycling to avoid waste and pollution in addition to adding in-unit energy efficient and water-saving devices are at the forefront of new timeshare construction and renovations around the world." He goes on to state that if they continue to incorporate and expand on these practices into the future, they will be the key to the timeshare industry's success!
The Marriott Vacation Club just recently announces that they will partner up with Clean The World, which is a group that recycles partially used soap and other toiletries from various resorts in the United States. They then distribute newly made soap and toiletry kits to underprivileged communities that lack these very basic, necessary items. "Marriott Vacation Club, our first timeshare partner, is a prime example of the true commitment we witness among our partners with regards to sustainability and social responsibility," said Shawn Siepler, the CEO and co-founder of Clean The World . Of course Mr. Siepler is grateful for all of the help from the timeshare community. A startling statistic that Clean The World released was that approximately 9,000 children die each year from various diseases and infections due to a lack of proper hygiene. Most of these children could be saved just by using soap to bathe with. In just two months, 500 Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services associates located in Salt Lake City have alone donated 16,918 bars of new soap! Also, so far 43 Marriott Vacation Club resorts have participated in the campaign and have noted over 9,800 pounds of soap and 6,100 pounds of bottle amenities. Thanks to all their hard work and dedication, there have been more than 52,500 clean bars of soap and hygiene kits that have been shipped over to 55 different countries. By donating all of this, it also eliminated what would be eight tons of waste from landfills across the country!
Bluegreen Wildeness Club at Big Cedar
It is no secret that Bluegreen Vacations like to "Go Green!" They have been recognized for using only supplies in their timeshares that have been made from only recyclable materials. Additionally, they set up their guest rooms with a master switch that will completely cut off the unit's power when it is not occupied. Also, at their Hammock Marathon resort, they always use non-toxic cleaning supplies that are environmentally friendly. They participate in a linen re-use program and discuss environmental issues at the employee meetings in order to bring awareness to the problem.
This Californian Management Company offers 15 resorts for over 50,000 owner families in the U.S. and Canada who started a "Going Green Squad" which is a group that is completely dedicated to being environmentally friendly. An example of this would be the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort single-handedly collected a thousand bottles that were on their way to landfills and gave them to an artist who turns them into art!
This resort is known for its appreciation of nature because they support the Arbor Day Foundation by serving Arbor Day coffee, which is organically grown in the rainforest. Every cup they serve protects the trees, and also helps the local farmers earn a fair wage and receive an education and have access to healthcare. To date, Wyndham Vacation Ownership has purchased over 28 million square feet of the rainforest. In addition, Wyndham Vacation Ownership has launched the Wyndham Million Tree Project, which is an initiative that strives to plant one million trees throughout the U.S. national forests in order to help replace trees that were destroyed in forest fires across the nation, Wyndham also uses Eartherapy personal productions, which is an environmentally friendly company that uses biodegradable packaging.
Orange Lake recently implemented a resort-wide recycling program which provides guests with green bags in their villas that help organize where the paper, plastic, metal and glass products need to be recycled at. According to Orange Lake's partners, Waste Management, the recycling program has already saves 208 cubic yards of landfill! This "go green" idea was first introduced in 2011 at one resort, and then successfully implemented resort-wide in 2012. The resort has also saved 258,576 kw-hours of electricity, 357,000 gallons of water, and 1,224 gallons of gasoline per quarter. The resort produced a video for their guests that explain what a positive impact recycling has on the world.
Singapore's staff previously participated in the International Coastal Cleanup Day on Singapore's East Coast. Even with the intense heat, the volunteers gathered 614 pounds of trash and subsequently cleared an entire mile of coastline! The International Coast Cleanup is an event that takes place annually in more than 70 different countries. The basis of the program is to collect data on and move debris from the shorelines, waterways, and beaches all over the world.
Saving You Some Green
Not only does the Timeshare industry going green help the environment, but it also helps your wallet! By being conscious about helping out the community and world, timeshares inadvertently are saving money when it comes to your maintenance fees. Because they aren't wasting water and electricity, those monthly bills are way lower than they would be if timeshares were not participating in protecting the Earth. Next time you visit your timeshare resort, ask what environmentally-friendly projects they participate in and how you can help!