My point (...I'm getting there...) is that it's not uncommon for eco-minded folks to lapse when they're on vacay. After all, someone else is worrying about the utility bill, right?
Well, yes, they are. Hotels like the Westin in St. Maarten are harnessing the sun's rays to counteract the less-than-green habits of its customers, except that they're not blaming it on the customers. That's all me. Truth is, a significant amount of energy goes into operating a 317-room hotel in the Caribbean. And while the hotel has been using solar energy to offset guestroom heat and water since 2007, this new project - which includes the installation of 1,200 solar panels by 2014 - will benefit resort-wide energy consumption.
The energy squeezed from the solar panels will be equivalent to that used to power 111 homes annually, or will save the same amount of CO2 emissions that would be used driving 1.2 million miles in an SUV. When the finishing touches are completed a year from now, the goal is that the hotel will operate in strictly solar mode for six hours per day.
So, if you've been pining for an excuse to escape to St. Maarten, look no further. The Westin's full-service European-style Hibiscus spa should do it, if the island's largest infinity pool doesn't.
Full details at: WestinStMaarten.com.(Rates starting under $200 per night.)