How luxury Aruba hotel became the first carbon neutral resort in the Caribbean

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When an angry German man demanded to know why his beer was being served in a plastic cup some 30 years ago, luxury resort owner Ewald Biemans didn’t have an answer, but he did have a solution.

And why stop at getting rid of plastic tumblers, he thought, when he could do away with shampoo bottles and even water bottles at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, his hotel on the Caribbean Island of Aruba.

‘In the 1980s I started to eliminate plastic,’ he told me while dining in his oceanfront Elements restaurant, explaining how Bucuti & Tara has been able prevent the use of more than half a million plastic bottles a year.

Carbon neutral: In 2018, Bucuti & Tara (pictured) became the first resort in the Caribbean to become carbon neutral

Carbon neutral: In 2018, Bucuti & Tara (pictured) became the first resort in the Caribbean to become carbon neutral

Paradise: Bucuti & Tara is an adults-only 4 star resort nestled on the spacious white-sand Eagle Beach on the Dutch island - dubbed One Happy Island

Paradise: Bucuti & Tara is an adults-only 4 star resort nestled on the spacious white-sand Eagle Beach on the Dutch island - dubbed One Happy Island

Island life: Eagle Beach is widest beach in Aruba is famous for its pristine and soft white sands and is rated among the best in the world

Island life: Eagle Beach is widest beach in Aruba is famous for its pristine and soft white sands and is rated among the best in the world

Over the next few decades, Biemans took every step possible to turn his stunning beach-front property into an eco-friendly paradise.

And his hard work paid off in 2018 when the luxury hotel became the first resort in the Caribbean to become carbon neutral, offering eco-conscious travelers a guilt free holiday destination.

That isn't to say guests won't feel just as pampered, indulged and relaxed as they would at any other upmarket resort.  

I was put up in one of the hotel's luxurious Tara suites, with views across the sparkling turquoise ocean and the waves lapping against the white beach.

Along with a sumptuous king-size bed, there was a separate elegantly-decorated living area and a luxurious bathroom with walk-in shower and an electric mirror with built-in TV.

Bucuti & Tara is an adults-only 4 star resort nestled on the spacious white-sand Eagle Beach on the Dutch island - dubbed One Happy Island.

The widest beach in Aruba is famous for its pristine and soft white sands and is rated among the best in the world.

The island basks in warm, sunny weather for most of the year, with Aruba also located outside the hurricane belt that can wreak havoc on other Caribbean islands from June to November.

As well being the first certified carbon-neutral resort in the Caribbean, Bucuti & Tara won the Green Globe Award for being the most sustainable hotel in the world.

It was awarded TripAdvisor gongs for being one of the top 10 most romantic hotels in the world, and number one in the Caribbean, along with a long list of other awards.

Owner: Biemans is a highly awarded visionary in sustainable tourism who has spent decades transforming the resort to make it carbon neutral

Owner: Biemans is a highly awarded visionary in sustainable tourism who has spent decades transforming the resort to make it carbon neutral

Home away from home: I was put up in one of the hotel's luxurious Tara suites, with views across the sparkling turquoise ocean and the waves lapping against the white beach

Home away from home: I was put up in one of the hotel's luxurious Tara suites, with views across the sparkling turquoise ocean and the waves lapping against the white beach

Mod cons: The bathroom in my suite had an electric mirror with built-in TV. Plastic bottles are replaced by dispensers attached to the walls which are filled with Aruba Aloe products

Mod cons: The bathroom in my suite had an electric mirror with built-in TV. Plastic bottles are replaced by dispensers attached to the walls which are filled with Aruba Aloe products

Rest and relaxation: Although Bucuti is the perfect location for a chilled vacation, the island is also packed with activities

Rest and relaxation: Although Bucuti is the perfect location for a chilled vacation, the island is also packed with activities

Eco-friendly: Guests walk around with branded Bucati & Tara canteens which can be filled up at the faucet

Eco-friendly: Guests walk around with branded Bucati & Tara canteens which can be filled up at the faucet

Being green at Bucuti & Tara requires the minimum of effort, and won't kill your holiday vibe.

Guests walk around with branded Bucati & Tara canteens which can be filled up at the faucet because the island’s water is pure, refreshing and safe to drink.

Recycled cardboard signs hang on the doors, and guests earn credits when they choose a Green Stay - opting out of having their towels washed each day.

Those who decide to hit the gym can also help power the property using the electricity-generating exercise equipment linked up to the energy supply.

Other than that, you would never know you were helping save the planet by choosing Bucuti & Tara. Apart from that warm feeling you get when you reach for your flask instead of a plastic water bottle. Or when you use the shampoo and conditioner dispensers in the shower, which are filled with Aruba Aloe products.

Climate change continues to be a hot topic, with environmentalist protesters from campaign group Extinction Rebellion causing chaos in major cities, and the Duke of Duchess of Sussex being accused of hypocrisy for using private jets despite being outspoken on environmental issues.

And although most people now take everyday steps such as recycling and reusing plastic bags to help save the planet, these good intentions often fall by the wayside when on vacation.

But there's no nagging sense of guilt at Bucuti & Tara.

Flying to Aruba on a nearly full flight and staying at the resort is

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