Now more than ever, travellers are becoming more and more conscious of the impact they have on the environment, as well as the communities of the countries they visit. As a result of this, destinations around the world are boosting efforts to encourage sustainable tourism, and Barbados is at the forefront of this movement.
Barbados is committed to achieving its 2030 goal of 100% renewable energy, and one integral part of this plan is an increase in the use of electric and hybrid transportation and the destination is already known as one of the world’s top users of electric cars. Receiving an incredible 3,000+ hours of sunshine a year, the island is primed to harness the sun’s energy for sustainable purposes and as the home to the headquarters of Megapower – the leading Electric Vehicle supplier in the Caribbean, their 350 solar powered cars attests to this which dramatically reduces the islands’ emissions and keeps them on track for their 2030 goal.
It is estimated that every day around 8 million pieces of plastic makes their way into our oceans. Barbados is famous for its idyllic sandy sand beaches and glistening water, which is why it’s no surprise that in 2019, the destination implemented a ban on the importation, retail, sale and use of petrol-based, single-use plastic on the island. This includes single-use plastic cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws; plates, egg trays, and Styrofoam containers used in the culinary retail industry.
“Banning single-use plastics goes some way to ensuring the protection of our pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters that we are famous for. As a destination however, we realise that our sustainability efforts cannot stop there and we are proud to say we are embracing many conservation projects and methods across the island, from driving electric cars to biodynamic farming, we are excited for a more sustainable future” Cheryl Carter, UK Director, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, commented.
Marine Conservation Efforts
Barbados understands the importance of marine life and the island is dedicated to protecting the rare and wonderful species that live in its waters. To support this, Barbados have implemented a number of conservation efforts on the islands including, the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. The initiative focuses on the conservation of the endangered marine turtle species that forage around and nest on Barbados. The project provides a 24-hour Sea Turtle Hotline (230-0142) year-round which the public and visitors can use to call in information on turtles nesting, hatching of eggs, or lost or injured turtles. Project staff relocate nests made too close to the high tide line, rescue hatchlings disoriented by hotel lights, rehabilitate turtles that have been accidentally hooked or partially drowned in fishing nets and patrol high-density nesting beaches nightly during nesting season.
Coral is one of Barbados’ most important natural resources, and the reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provides habitat and nursery grounds for fish species as well as jobs and income to the local economy from fishing, recreation, and tourism. The Coral Reef Restoration Alliance Barbados is a non-governmental, non-profit association established to foster conservation and restoration of coral reef ecosystems in Barbados. The Alliance is focused on reef restoration and conservation by consistently monitoring local reefs, growing and transplanting coral fragments and raising awareness about reef protection throughout the island.
Overall, Barbados continues to lead with sustainability initiatives in efforts to encourage a greener and more eco-friendly environment for locals, tourists and native wildlife. The island proudly offers a growing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants as well as several sustainable accommodation options for travellers, including the Eco Lifestyle Lodge and Naniki, offering guests retreats and holidays with an environmental focus.
For more information on sustainability in Barbados please visit www.visitbarbados.org