How to Have an Eco-Friendly Vacation in the Virgin Islands
We’re so excited to have you join us in the Virgin Islands for your next vacation. The islands of St. Thomas and St. John have so much to offer in terms of activities, culture, food & drink, and – perhaps most importantly – natural beauty.
We here at VI EcoTours are all about protecting the natural beauty of this destination for generations to come. In our business, we’re always looking for ways we can reduce our impact on our immediate environment and help guide visitors in interacting with the islands’ flora and fauna in a low-impact, respectful fashion.
We’re consistently impressed by all of the kind, eco-conscious visitors we meet who inquire about ways they can “go green” during their vacation. By popular request, we’ve compiled some of our top tips to help you prepare for an eco-friendly vacation to our slice of the Caribbean.
There are several ways you can make a positive environmental impact during your trip to the Virgin Islands:
1) Reduce your usage of single-use plastic
Managing trash on a small island is a beast. The biggest contributors to our landfill are single-use plastic items such as cups, straws, cutlery, bags, and more. If there’s a reusable option for your needs, we encourage you to embrace it! Carrying around a reusable cup and straw while you’re bar-hopping around the VI can make a tremendous difference. The same goes for when you’re shopping for souvenirs and/or groceries – carry your own reusable bag(s) for your purchases and say no to plastic. And rather than popping your phone and money in a ziplock bag when headed to the beach, get yourself a reusable waterproof phone case you can use for years to come.
2) Choose reef safe sun protection
Sunscreens containing oxybenzone are toxic to our fragile reef system and have been made illegal here in the Virgin Islands. One way you can help is to choose reef-safe sunscreen when you’re packing for your trip. We also sell both The Naked Bee and Raw Elements brands in our shop if you’re in need when you arrive here. Wearing rash guards and hats is also an excellent way to protect yourself from the Caribbean sun without adding any chemicals to our waters.
3) Wear a reusable, washable mask
During these times of COVID-19, it is important that we prioritize the safety of both visitors to the island, as well as the local community. Wearing face masks in situations where you’re unable to social distance is currently recommended. While the disposable medical masks do the job, they often end up discarded on the roads as litter and add to the burden on our landfills. We recommend choosing a reusable mask that you’re able to wash and re-wear. We sell fun, island-style designs in our shop that make excellent souvenirs to bring the tropical spirit home with you.
Thank you for helping us preserve paradise! Every little bit counts and we appreciate your kindness and respect for the islands we call home.