5 Getaways That Reinvent Eco-Tourism

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5 Getaways That Reinvent Eco-Tourism


“Just make your world the world,” said Mr. Smiley as he walked along a new 6.2-mile nature trail on the inn’s rewilded golf course. “If you make small daily changes like curbing waste and ditching plastic, you’ll feel good.”

Deep River, Ontario

“I think the climate crisis can cause people to feel such paralysis, like it’s almost too little, too late,” said Shannon MacLaggan, who created Anupaya Cabin Co., with her husband, Pete, as a wilderness retreat and incubator for climate action in 2021. “There are massive esoteric concepts about how to tackle global warming, but this is something tangible and applicable.”

The 12-acre property (nightly rates from $232), along the upper Ottawa River, has a lodge, private beach and eight renovated cabins, each with a kitchen, grill, fire pit and porch views of the Laurentian Mountains. Anupaya invites every guest — inner-city youth groups receive a 50 percent room discount — to join the environmental movement in whatever way they can.

That might mean participating in cleanups through the hotel’s One Pound Promise initiative (60,000 pounds of waste have been collected so far), foraging workshops, planting fruit trees and berry bushes, or learning to grow and harvest food in the garden, where guests are often found pulling invasive plants and picking salad ingredients. Visitors can also work on trail management projects with the local Friends of Rivière du Moine nonprofit, or do trail maintenance at nearby Four Seasons Conservancy. “The whole reason we started Anupaya is to remind people how a part of nature we all are,” Ms. MacLaggan said. “If you love something, you feel a sense of responsibility toward it.”

Anupaya is introducing more formal volunteer opportunities in 2024. The Sustainable Saturdays initiative, to run from May to November, will offer free two-hour educational sessions on composting, starting a medicinal garden, raising chickens and more.

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