With Earth Day around the corner, there's no better time for environmentalists and nature lovers alike to consider the impact of their honeymoon on the planet. From city retreats that practice sustainability to far-flung eco-resorts embedded in the wild, we found a few prime luxury destinations where you can embrace your inner tree hugger—without getting too down and dirty—alongside your love. For more ideas, the site Kind Traveler features a plethora of ecologically sensitive properties and by booking with them, $10/night is donated to a cause like Global Green, Project Aware, or WildAid.
In many ways, California—with its strong drought tendencies—leads the charge on conservation. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is one where it's a priority. As of this Earth Day, its Spa Ojai is launching a movement to remove all single-use plastic items from its premises, replacing these amenities with eco-friendly reusable versions. For an urban setting, the Axiom Hotel San Francisco is a LEED silver–certified property with a comprehensive recycling program and smart technology to reduce its carbon footprint. At Lodge at Tiburon, you can toast your marriage with an eco-friendly bottle of Trinchero Family Estate Trinity Oaks wine—over dinner at its restaurant's low-carbon-footprint menu—and be responsible for a tree being planted (one for every bottle purchased, more than 6,500 in the last three years).
Up in Portland, Oregon, the Nines Hotel has been LEED silver–certified since opening in 2008 and recently underwent a renovation to improve green initiatives. One is to grow their own mushrooms (no, not the psychedelic kind) using leftover coffee grounds. The intimate Texas getaway The Inn at Dos Brisas has a 42-acre USDA-certified organic farm amid its picturesque meadows, specializing in heirloom fruits. The plush property also supplies local food banks.
Of course, places like Hawaii and Mexico have an array of properties with easy opportunities to commune with nature. A few favorites: Oahu's Turtle Bay Resort, where a recent overhaul added more than 1,600 solar panels, and the dreamy Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hawaii's first LEED hotel, where not just the expected amenities are sustainable or eco-friendly but bar repurposes whole fruit zested for infused body oils at the spa, and coconuts are used in their entirety. The adults-only hideaway Rancho Pescadero, in Todos Santos, Mexico, is crafted with native materials and puts an emphasis on solar power, recycling, and composting. They also support local turtle rescue programs and beach cleanups.
In the Caribbean, St. Barths's Le Guanahani is associated with Green Globe, and has significant sustainability practices alongside pristine white-sand beaches, while technology-free Caneel Bay in St. John, USVI, is the epitome of earth-centric, nestled in 170 acres of wildlife-filled national park on a private peninsula (discovered by environmentalist Laurance Rockefeller) and surrounded by crystalline bodies of salt water. Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands is a conservationist's dream—the private island resort hosts scientists biannually to conduct wildlife research and work to rebuild coral reefs, and has an organic orchard that provides produce for the kitchen.
Nicaragua is an eco-lover's paradise. On Little Corn Island, off its Caribbean coast, Yemaya Resort is a tiny, pristine place with 16 eco-luxe cabanas on the crystal-clear water, with healthy reefs and jungle surrounding. The island is moving toward 100 percent sustainability (fruits and veggies are grown in the property's garden) and has very little environmental impact, thanks in part to having zero cars or motorbikes. Inland, Nicaragua's first luxury countryside resort, Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat (opened last winter), is also doing its part to maintain the environment. Set on an 1,800-acre nature reserve, it has an animal sanctuary (think spider and howler monkeys, sloths, foxes), 20,000 teak trees, and a butterfly sanctuary with 61 species. Interiors and water features were designed with feng shui practices in mind to enhance positive energy.
Costa Rica, too, is a very earth-friendly destination. At the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Peninsula Papagayo, their take on eco-adventure puts honeymooners right in the middle of nature, with flat-bottomed boat tours through Palo Verde National Park's many ecosystems, a guided climbing expedition through Guachipelin canyon, and nature hikes in Rincón de la Vieja National Park.
And Australia properties have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to maintaining their homeland's natural beauty. A few hours from Sydney, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is an ultra-luxe conservation-based resort in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains that occupies just one percent of the bucolic conservancy land it's on. It's the world's first hotel to achieve a carbon neutral certification by CarbonZero, and guests can even participate in Conservation Hour each morning by planting a tree or testing water quality. In the South Australian outback, Arkaba Hotel is a vast 19th-century sheep station turned 21st-century ecological tourism destination, with a renovated luxury homestead. Book the Coachman's Cottage for a romantic sense of privacy and journey out for adrenaline-fueled walking safaris and even nights spent on a bedroll under the stars, where you'll be woken by exotic parrots and the sun rising over the raw outback.