By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The city of Miami Beach is promoting itself as a destination for eco-friendly travelers, offering a luxurious, sustainable vacation getaway on its world-renowned beaches. Steve Adkins, Chairman of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA), reinforces the message in a recent press release.
“As Miami Beach continues to be a global destination for eco-conscious travelers, it’s imperative we offer new, sustainable choices along the beach that allow our visitors to make decisions they can feel good about, while still delivering a thoughtful and luxury experience,” said Steve Adkins.
“We work daily to support initiatives that inspire environmental awareness in order to keep Miami Beach environmentally and sustainably conscious.”
Since 2009, Miami Beach has heavily enforced its Sustainability Plan. The plan includes policies to reduce natural resource consumption and restore green spaces, vegetation and wildlife. In addition, Miami Beach businesses are adhering to green building codes and beach laws.
Newly built hotels in Miami Beach are constructed in accordance to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED standard is the international standard for energy efficient building and design. Monitored by the United States Green Building Council, LEED buildings are completely sustainable.
The luxurious 1 Hotel South Beach was built in 2008 but renovated in 2016 and is a silver LEED certified business, there are no paper or plastic products on the premises.
Each room contains 100 percent post-consumer recycled material hangers, shower timers for water conservation, complimentary yoga mats available for use during guests’ stay and chalkboards as opposed to pen and paper. Room keys are available in five different types of recycled wood.
Also, 1 Hotel advocates for environmental causes such as the Save Our Shores campaign. Save Our Shores is an ocean conservation project that supports clean beaches, healthy habitats and thriving water eco-systems.
The Palms Hotel & Spa is also a leader in the space, as a member of the Florida Green Lodging, The Florida Green Lodging Program operates under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and evaluates hotels based upon its waste reduction, reuse and recycling, communication and education, water conservation, energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
More than 65 percent of the furniture at The Palms is recycled or made locally. There is an organic garden on site and in-room toiletries are made of up to ninety percent organic ingredients.
The eco-conscious focus also extends to restaurants and bars. Founded by a doctor of Chinese Medical Gigong/acupuncture physician, Soul Tavern is a plant-based gastropub. Soul Tavern is one of the founding members of #PlasticFreeMB.
Meals at Soul Tavern are made healthy without refined sugars, preservatives, additives, chemicals and genetically modified ingredients.
Another is Planta in South Beach, which was opened with the intention of offering a variety of vegan meals while also promoting environmental sustainability. Despite meat being listed in entrees in the menu, all dishes are 100 percent plant based and are sourced from local, ethical farmers.
There is also KYU, an Asian-inspired restaurant with a serious commitment to sustainable practices. KYU uses trees they’ve planted for their wood-fired grills and implements a Zero Waste Citrus Program by using rinds in their cocktails.
Then with another approach to farm-to-bar is the Broken Shaker, located within the Freehand Hotel Miami. Bartenders craft drinks that are paired with herbs and spices picked fresh from their on-site garden and fresh-pressed juices. The Broken Shaker also offers customers recycled to-go containers to take leftovers.