While sustainability is front of mind these days, there are some businesses who are doing more than just talking about how they are preserving the natural environment, being socially conscious, and inclusive. There are some businesses who are walking the talk, and demonstrating their commitment to preserving the environment and bettering their communities now and in the future.
This is of vital importance for accommodations, who often welcome thousands of visitors each year, all of whom are making their own impact on the communities they visit. These bed and breakfast, cottage, hotel, and inn owners are setting the standard for how to interact with the community during their visit, and reducing environmental impacts of tourism.
For your next trip consider recognizing the efforts of some of the eco-friendly destinations in Ontario’s Highlands, and help them make the difference, one visitor at a time.
Somewhere Inn, Calabogie
Located in a completely renovated motel just outside Calabogie, Somewhere Inn is minimalist, fresh, and unique. The outdoors is the focus here, which makes sense given their location next to Calabogie Lake and Calabogie Peaks, both of which offer year-round recreation. Lounge in one of their hammocks in the shared outdoor space or cozy up in your beautifully appointed room at the end of the day.
Sustainable Focus: These folks are focused on doing good for their people, the community, and the planet and they are walking the talk on all these fronts. They are a Living Wage employer, EcoFund certified, and donate one percent of all revenue to local environmental and not-for-profit organizations. They minimize their carbon footprint to ensure they are meeting their goals.
Anupaya Cabin Co., Deep River
With a beachfront location on the Ottawa River, Anupaya Cabin Co. invites you to unwind in their minimalist rooms that will make you feel like you are outdoors while indoors. A stay at Anupaya means you can feel good about your impact on the world while still having an amazing retreat complete with long walks on the beach, lazy mornings and quiet contemplation.
Sustainable Focus: These folks are working towards B Corp Company certification which means holding themselves to higher ethical standards in environmental performances and sustainability. They are also participants in the One Pound Promise, committing to removing one pound of waste by hosting and funding community clean-ups. So far they’ve cleaned up over 70,000 lbs of waste!
Algonquin Eco-Lodge, Harcourt
With a location nestled in the wilds of Haliburton Highlands, Algonquin Eco-Lodge is in Algonquin Park territory and all the beauty that area provides. You can walk, cycle or ski to the lodge from your vehicle, which saves on fuel (and keeps you in shape!).
Sustainable Focus: As a winner of the Ontario Tourism Sustainable Tourism Award, this location is 100 per cent off-grid, thanks to their micro-hydro electrical supply that reduces their greenhouse gas emissions by over seven tonnes each year. They even have a carbon neutral hot tub and wood-fired sauna so you won’t have to give up the comforts you love in order to preserve the environment.
This beautiful hotel has a stunning location backing onto the crown jewel of Perth, Stewart Park. Bed down in one of their spacious rooms then save some fuel and take a walk to explore downtown Perth, only feet away from the hotel and full of cute shops and fine or casual dining restaurants.
Sustainable Focus: The hotel is part of the travel sustainable programme, certified by Green Key Global Eco-Rating, and is taking significant steps to make sure your stay is more sustainable.
Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC), Barry’s Bay
It makes sense that with a focus on whitewater paddling and savouring the beauty of nature that Madawaska Kanu Centre would have a focus on environmental sustainability. You can take a course at MKC to learn how to whitewater paddle a canoe or kayak, and book one of their accommodation options (camping, lodge, or cabin).
Sustainable Focus: These folks have partnered with Tomorrow’s Air to remove 85 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. They also signed the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge to commit to improving sustainability with their business by 2030.
Cabinscape, Haliburton Highlands, Lanark County and Calabogie
Tiny homes are the newest trend in eco-friendly living and when you stay in a Cabinscape accommodation you are able to try out tiny living without committing to getting rid of your kind sized bed and 100 books. With 20 cabins found in stunning beautiful wild places in Haliburton Highlands, Lanark County, and Calabogie, you can choose your very own wilderness adventure.
Sustainable Focus: Cabinscape’s cabins are all off grid, solar powered and ecologically responsible (right down to the cleaning products). You will feel a little greener after your stay there, we promise.
Dominion Hotel, Haliburton
This one is a local favourite in Haliburton! The Dominion Hotel is located on the shores of the Gull River and uses recycling and reuse programs to reduce their environmental impact. Plus, there is a pub right downstairs so guests can dine right onsite and listen to live music on weekends in the summer (depending on schedule).
Sustainable Focus: The owners and staff here use ecologically friendly and biodegradable soaps and cleaning products and are passionate about composting. They even have an eco-worm farm that turns kitchen cuttings into soil for their gardens (how cool is that?).
Wolf Den Nature Retreat, Dwight
The five Eco-Cabins at Wolf Den Nature Retreat are both universally accessible, and built with a focus on the environment by using local, sustainably harvested woods and energy conservation whenever possible. Located on the outskirts of Algonquin Park this can be your home base for an exploration of this fabulous region.
Sustainability Focus: Expect to have nature the focus when staying here. Feel free to harvest from the communal garden (respectfully) and if you drive an electric vehicle you can charge right here on site. These cabins were awarded the Enviro-Hero Award for the Township of Algonquin Highlands for the use of local, sustainable materials and environmentally friendly construction practices.