Sustainability in Resorts: Iowa’s Honey Creek Resort Sets a Precedent

Tourism is famously unsustainable. However, one resort in Iowa is changing the way resorts impact the environment. Honey Creek Resort is one of the state’s only hotels with LEED certification, meaning that all of its buildings met rigorous sustainability criteria by third-party experts. 

Honey Creek Resort also is recognized by Green Key Global as a “four Green Keys” resort. Green Key Global offers resources specifically to hotels so that they can become more energy efficient and carbon neutral. 

One of Honey Creek Resort’s buildings, the Activities Building, was designed to have a net-zero energy impact. Additionally, the golf course is Audubon certified, meaning that visitors can be assured the local birds are safe and unaffected by the hotel.

Honey Creek Resort is not only committed to being sustainable on its own; they also offer educational programs about the importance of maintaining nature, utilizing the preserved forests near them. They also have charging stations for electric cars, and electronic paperwork. 

While all of these certifications are impressive, there are some steps Honey Creek Resort implemented that any resort could follow. Thoughtfully designing new buildings with water and energy reduction in mind, giving guests reusable or compostable items whenever possible, and minor building upgrades such as light sensors that keep the lights off when no one is in a room are all great steps towards becoming more green.