Sustainable Tourism

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is a proud leader in the Sustainable Tourism movement. Sustainable tourism is the practice of incorporating the principles of ecotourism into the overall guest experience by creating increased benefits for both the host community and its visitors. It enhances the positive experience of our travelers in an environmentally sensitive manner while also protecting the destination.

Three Pillars Of Sustainable Tourism

Factory with leaf instead of steam

Environmentally friendly operations and facilities

Hand holding the planet

Support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage

Hand holding a plant

Direct and tangible social and economic benefits to local people

Solar Panels at the Interpretive Center

Eco-friendly Construction and Certifications

The Lodge was constructed to meet the elevated standards of LEED© Gold, SITES© Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial™ certifications. During construction, over six football fields of coastal dunes and native plant communities within the building site were protected. A roughly equivalent amount of landscape, previously disturbed by construction activities, has also been restored. Gulf State Park and the Learning Campus are also pursuing partnerships with the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society. 


of all building materials are recycled materials


of construction waste
was recycled


reduction in energy usage
by design


reduction in water usage compared to a typical facility

Lodge Footprint and Energy Conservation

The Lodge now has a footprint of 21 acres, 1/3 less than the original. The new footprint is set back over 200 feet further from the Gulf, allowing for more dune restoration and natural dune movement. To conserve energy, guest room air conditioning units have been installed with sensors that cut off the unit if balcony doors or windows are left open or ajar. The Lodge is also equipped with energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors to reduce unnecessary waste and energy. Our buildings are positioned to take advantage of gulf breezes for natural ventilation and lighting through passive cooling techniques and wood screens to filter sunlight and reduce energy usage.

Exterior - pool

Responsible Water Sourcing and Routing

There are many unique ways that the Lodge repurposes water. For one, our HVAC system collects and recycles condensation that is then used to replace the water in the pool. Storm water from the Lodge roofs and paving is naturally filtered and absorbed through our functional wetland, rather than being diverted to a sewer. The Lodge also features a permeable parking lot that uses TrueGrid technology to allow rainwater to drain into the ground.

Wildlife Conscious Features

The Lodge isn’t just a destination; it’s also a home to many species of Gulf Coast wildlife. 75% of the site has been landscaped using native species that can thrive without irrigation, chemical pesticides, or fertilizers. By planting native species, the coastal landscape has been restored, and habitats have been created for native birds, nesting sea turtles, and the Alabama beach mouse. The Lodge’s lighting is designed with local wildlife in mind. All lights are shielded from turtle nesting areas and pointed away from the beach. Lights on the beachside of the property are warmer to be less confusing to wildlife, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the main lobby are complete with bird-friendly safety measures.

Eco-Friendly Bath Amenities

It’s important to be kind to yourself and the world around you. That’s why each room at the Lodge is complete with sustainable BeeKind products that are good for the skin and the Earth. Environmentally friendly facial and toilet tissue, as well as bio-enhanced trash bags, are also at your disposal to be sustainably recycled in landfills, composted, or buried in soil.

3 drinks by pool

Waste Reduction and Recyclable Materials

Our team recycles all cooking oil and sorts trash into separate bins for composting, animal feed, recycling, and more. The Lodge also partners with Proud Source® spring water to utilize reusable and recyclable water bottles, and Wave Ware® ocean calcium sand straws to use renewable, sustainable and biobased mineral material. Water bottle filling stations can also be found next to the guest elevators and in the meeting spaces building to decrease the number of empty plastic bottles.

Conscientious Menus

The Lodge participates in many food and beverage programs to ensure only the freshest quality. Our Zero Single Serve Initiative promotes discontinuing single-serve items for guests, and we also practice local sourcing and invasive species fish harvesting to help eliminate non-indigenous saltwater species from the Gulf. Our Bycatch Seafood Program helps local fishermen sell their unintentional species catch since we are committed to purchasing any bycatch to serve in our restaurants. We are also proud members of the Sustainable Seafood Organization and the Gulf Seafood Foundation.


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