Green Getaways in the San Juan Islands
Make a difference while you travel with these eco-friendly lodgings
Many lodgings in the San Juan Islands are doing their part to help protect this beautiful and fragile ecosystem. These green getaways strive to reduce their carbon footprints and encourage travelers to do the same. By working together, local businesses and their guests can help keep these precious islands safe and healthy for generations to come.
This farm getaway is consciously working to preserve the precious resources of the islands. Known for its permaculture farming, OrcaSong implements sustainable design systems that strive to banish waste in all its forms - pollution, water waste, energy waste, etc. Permaculture pushes farmers to “work smarter, not harder,” and increase natural productivity and efficiency by mimicking how plants in a natural ecosystem would function. OrcaSong has organic certified lavender and hemp fields that are drought resistant and assist in soil remediation. The farm keeps bees, utilizes cover crops, and composts. The home of Leadership Ed for Climate Action, OrcaSong also serves as a hub for community discussion and leadership development. During your stay at the farm, you’ll be hard-pressed to find single-use plastics and will enjoy rooms cleaned with green products. After your visit, you’ll be singing the praises of OrcaSong Farm!
Island Inn at 123 West
Island Inn at 123 West has its own “Eco Ethos.” Everything from the bathroom amenities to the landscaping carefully considers the environmental impact. At the Inn, you’ll find 100% recyclable microfiber sheets and organic waffle weave towels made from 100% natural cotton. These lightweight options dramatically reduce the amount of energy required for daily washing and drying. The Inn also collects rainwater from roofs and walkways and uses it to irrigate plants around the hotel. Electric bicycles are available to rent for guests looking to lower their carbon footprint as they explore the island. The hotel is LEED Silver Certified and sources coffee and granola from local vendors. By packaging beans and granola with recyclable materials, the Inn has drastically reduced its carbon footprint while supporting Island neighbors.
Earthbox Inn and Spa
Earthbox Inn and Spa is committed to helping preserve the beauty and fragility of the San Juan Islands. They’ve documented 25 eco-friendly things they’ve implemented around the property, including buying local products, minimizing waste, and using environmentally-responsible products. All of their single-use “silverware” is made from compostable cornstarch and wooden stir sticks are used in place of plastic straws. The inn uses e-cloths for all of their cleaning - no chemicals, just water, and the bacteria-killing cloths. They offer two electric car charging stations and free beach cruiser bikes for guests looking to lower their gasoline use. The inn also uses battery-operated lawn and garden tools instead of gasoline ones wherever possible. Read the full list of Earthbox’s green practices HERE.
This charming B&B eliminated all single-use plastics and toiletries years ago, and orders things like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in bulk. You won’t find wasteful bars of soap (think about it - after one guest, the entire bar has to be thrown out) or harmful pesticides in the garden.
Hillside House uses an Envirocycle Composter for all the food scraps, which, once composted, are used in the gardens for soil nutrients. Fruit trees on the property provide delicious and pesticide-free snacking.
Discover a greener way to travel. With an emphasis on energy cleanliness and efficiency, Discovery Inn is installing a 25kW Solar Array on the roof and replaced an old oil furnace with individual heat pumps. The inn hasn’t lost sight of the small things either, such as replacing lighting with LEDs and optimizing the use of water and energy in the laundry. They’ve reduced the use of bleach in laundry by over 80%, and reduced or completely eliminated the use of most toxic cleansers in the rooms. Now, guests are greeted by the sweet, natural smell of lavender products from Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island.
Doe Bay Resort
Nestled on the east side of Orcas Island, this resort knows what it means to “close the loop.” An impressive amount of the ingredients used at the Doe Bay Café are sourced from the onsite, organic garden or procured from local farmers and fisheries. Then, almost all the food waste from the Doe Bay Café is composted back into the Doe Bay Garden. You’ll find locally produced crafts and foods at the Doe Bay store - but you won’t find any plastic water bottles! The resort stopped selling plastic bottles in favor of reusable and sustainable bottles.
Are you familiar with Doe Bay Fest? The popular summer musical festival draws large crowds to Orcas Island, and Doe Bay Resort works to offset the carbon footprint of the event. The resort charters water taxis for Doe Bay Fest attendees and encourage guests to choose this option over driving. This helps reduce the number of cars on the island and the traffic impact on the community.
Green glamping at its finest! Nestled in Moran State Park, these canvas cabins take extra care to source products from the San Juans. During your stay, you’ll enjoy local coffee and granola from San Juan Island, packaged in recyclable material. The lumber for the tent platforms was milled on San Juan Island, and sawmill scraps from that same mill are used as kindling for campfires! They also offer natural fire starters and dried local alder for low-emission campfires. From the linens to the paper products, LEANTO uses recycled and repurposed materials. They use plant-derived cleaning products that are GMO-free, cruelty-free, made in the USA, fragrance-free, sulfate-free and petroleum-free. The glamping sites don’t offer water, electricity, or cell phone connections, ensuring resource conservation. Guests enjoy access to a shared water spigot and the shared state park bathhouse with coin-operated showers to keep guests mindful of water consumption.
Pebble Cove Farm
“Eco-friendly is eco-beautiful,” Pebble Cove Farm says. Nestled on the west side of Orcas Island, this enchanting getaway knows the importance of preserving the beauty of the island, their guests’ health, and the natural resources. All food served on the property is vegan, and products are fair trade and organic whenever possible. Even the animals that have free reign of the property are fed organic grain! The farm uses cruelty-free, all-natural toiletries as well as non-toxic, all-natural cleaning products. You won’t find pesticides or chemicals on the property – only stunning, waterfront views, fresh produce, and that classic Orcas Island peacefulness.
Friday Harbor House
Overlooking Friday Harbor, this upscale hotel doesn’t overlook sustainability. In addition to careful recycling practices, compostable trash bags, and the elimination of plastic water bottles and straws, Friday Harbor House has done away with plastic key cards, too. Now you’ll be given a bamboo RFID key with a recycled paper key packet. Pour-over coffee has eliminated the need for single-use Keurig pods, and recycle to-go containers have replaced Styrofoam and plastic containers. You’ll find locally sourced products in the Friday Harbor House restaurant, including fresh produce from Mama Bird Farms and Stillwater Ranch along with beverages from San Juan Brewing, San Juan Island Distillery, and Madrone Cellars.
Beach Haven Resort
This is a haven for eco-conscious travelers. In addition to regular recycling and energy-efficient appliances, Beach Haven Resort works closely with the University of Washington Marine Biology program to conduct research along their shoreline. Students from the UW labs in Friday Harbor study the sea life around Beach Haven, and use their findings to monitor the health of the Salish Sea. Around the property, the resort has replaced invasive plants with native species that require less watering and fertilizing. The resort doesn’t rent motorized watercraft to guests and makes a concentrated effort to use recyclable materials, biodegradable packaging, and green cleaning products. They even have a subscription with a laundry detergent company called Dropps.com that is committed to responsible and sustainable practices by utilizing small, dissolvable packs with plant-based ingredients to eliminate single use plastic.
Kangaroo House Bed and Breakfast
Bounce on over to an eco-friendly hideaway on Orcas Island. Serving only organic food, many of the ingredients come from Orcas and Lopez Islands. Food scraps become compost for the organic garden that guests enjoy during their stay. The house itself boasts eco-friendly features, including a white, reflective cool roof, recycled cellulose insulation, and low-flow, water-saving fixtures and appliances. Inside, you won't find single-use plastic bottle toiletries, but instead, tissue-wrapped soaps, raffia-wrapped handmade soaps, and glass dispensers. Enjoy beautiful Orcas Island from this eco-friendly BnB!
Responsible Travel Tips
Join us in enjoying and protecting the islands we love. Be a responsible visitor and use these tips to help ensure the San Juans remain a beautiful and unique place to live, work, and play for generations to come.