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Ocean Friendly Hotels

Stop Plastic Pollution At The Source

Plastic is a problem before it reaches the beach. Extraction, production, consumption, and disposal all carry serious environmental and humanitarian consequences. Single-use plastic is particularly detrimental as bags, bottles, straws, expanded polystyrene foam, and food wrappers consistently top the list of items our volunteers collect at cleanups. Researchers estimate up to 11 million metric tons of plastic waste is entering the ocean every year and that by 2025, 11 billion metric tons will have accumulated in the environment.* This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems and wildlife including seabirds, dolphins, fish, turtles, and whales. Plastic fragments are even displacing plankton as the base of the food chain. It's not just ocean life at stake - plastic contains toxic chemicals that can transfer from containers, cups, cutlery, and straws directly into the food we eat. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of microplastics we're exposed to on a daily basis through our food, water, and air.* *sources can be found on Beachapedia


While the problem may be complex, the solution is simple - we need to stop plastic at the source! The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Hotels program does just that. We recognize hotels that are committed to cutting out wasteful single-use plastic and offer a simple, straightforward framework to help them make sustainable choices for our ocean. The result is a community of like-minded hotels that we can promote, support, and lift up as examples of success to influence plastic reduction legislation. The larger we grow our network of Ocean Friendly leaders, the more mainstream the concept of plastic-free becomes.

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Find an OFH Near You

Adrift Hospitality

Ocean Friendly Practices:

  • No plastic beverage bottles or plastic bags are sold or used onsite. 
  • No expanded polystyrene is used anywhere onsite (aka Styrofoam). 
  • Cups, utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items in rooms are reusable or made from naturally occuring materials and are not packaged in plastic. 
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, etc.) are not packaged in small plastic bottles.
  • Water refill stations are available for guests onsite.
  • If applicable, restaurants or cafes onsite are Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants.
  • Proper solid waste recycling procedures are followed and bins are amply provided for guest use.
  • Coffee and tea stations do not use single-use pods or plastic packaging in rooms.
  • Room keys are reusable or made from naturally occurring materials.
  • Onsite gift shops only sell or provide sunscreen that is reef friendly.

Learn more HERE

The Ranch at Laguna Beach

DJI_0108-1

Ocean Friendly Practices:

  • No plastic beverage bottles or plastic bags are sold or used onsite. 
  • No expanded polystyrene is used anywhere onsite (aka Styrofoam). 
    Cups, utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items in rooms are reusable or made from naturally occurring materials and are not packaged in plastic. 
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, etc.) are not packaged in small plastic bottles.
  • Water refill stations are available for guests onsite.
  • Restaurants onsite are Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants.
  • Proper solid waste recycling procedures are followed and bins are amply provided for guest use.
  • Coffee and tea stations do not use single-use pods or plastic packaging in rooms.
  • Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold or distributed in plastic packaging, including in room mini bars.
  • Room keys are reusable or made from naturally occurring materials.
  • Energy efficiency efforts are in place. 
  • Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented. 
  • Inspired by Surfrider Kauai Chapter’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, solo trash cleanup kits are available for guests. 
  • Light pollution is minimized by all outdoor lighting following Dark Sky practices.

Learn more HERE

OFH-About-Program

About The Program

The Ocean Friendly Hotels program is an expansion of Surfrider’s nationally-recognized Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. Our Ocean Friendly Restaurants and activists have been able to influence policy and show society what a plastic-free future can look like, one plate at a time. We started the Ocean Friendly Hotels program to showcase even more businesses that are turning the tide on plastic pollution. Together we're building an inclusive community of eco-conscious businesses, activists, and patrons that support a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our planet in order to find more joy and peace in our everyday lives. We hope you will join us! 

The Ocean Friendly Hotels program recognizes hotels that are committed to making sustainable choices for our ocean so that people can lodge with peace of mind.

How To Participate

Mandatory Criteria
All 7 Required

  1. No plastic beverage bottles or plastic bags are sold or used onsite. 
  2. No expanded polystyrene is used anywhere onsite (aka Styrofoam). 
  3. Cups, utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items in rooms are reusable or made from naturally occurring materials and are not packaged in plastic.1 
  4. Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, etc.) are not packaged in small plastic bottles.2
  5. Water refill stations are available for guests onsite.
  6. If applicable, restaurants or cafes onsite are Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants.3
  7. Proper solid waste recycling procedures are followed and bins are amply provided for guest use.

Optional Criteria
Choose At Least 3

  1. Coffee and tea stations do not use single-use pods or plastic packaging in rooms.4
  2. Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold or distributed in plastic packaging, including in room mini bars.
  3. Room keys are reusable or made from naturally occurring materials.
  4. Energy efficiency efforts are in place.5 At minimum, rooms must have signage that reminds guests to turn off lights and air/heat when leaving the rooms.
  5. Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.6 At minimum, rooms must have signage which asks guests to consider using their towels and linens more than once in the rooms.
  6. Inspired by Surfrider Kauai Chapter’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, solo trash cleanup kits are available for guests. 
  7. Onsite gift shops only sell or provide sunscreen that is reef friendly.7
  8. Light pollution is minimized by all outdoor lighting following Dark Sky practices.8
  9. Hotel landscaping follows Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Garden Program criteria or there is an Ocean Friendly Garden onsite.9

Mandatory Criteria
All 7 Required

  1. No plastic beverage bottles or plastic bags are sold or used onsite. 
  2. No expanded polystyrene is used anywhere onsite (aka Styrofoam). 
  3. Cups, utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items in rooms are reusable or made from naturally occuring materials and are not packaged in plastic.1 
  4. Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, etc.) are not packaged in small plastic bottles.2
  5. Water refill stations are available for guests onsite.
  6. If applicable, restaurants or cafes onsite are Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants.3
  7. Proper solid waste recycling procedures are followed and bins are amply provided for guest use.

Optional Criteria
Choose At Least 3

  1. Coffee and tea stations do not use single-use pods or plastic packaging in rooms.4
  2. Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold or distributed in plastic packaging, including in room mini bars.
  3. Room keys are reusable or made from naturally occuring materials.
  4. Energy efficiency efforts are in place.5 At minimum, rooms must have signage that reminds guests to turn off lights and air/heat when leaving the rooms.
  5. Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.6 At minimum, rooms must have signage which asks guests to consider using their towels and linens more than once in the rooms.
  6. Inspired by Surfrider Kauai Chapter’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, solo trash cleanup kits are available for guests. 
  7. Onsite gift shops only sell or provide sunscreen that is reef friendly.7
  8. Light pollution is minimized by all outdoor lighting following Dark Sky practices.8
  9. Hotel landscaping follows Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Garden Program criteria or there is an Ocean Friendly Garden onsite.9
  1. Examples of acceptable alternatives include naturally occurring materials (e.g. hay, bamboo, paper) and reusables (e.g. metal, glass), not including bio-based plastic.
  2. Examples of acceptable alternatives include reusable containers that can be mounted on the wall or placed on the counter, or bar soap wrapped in paper.
  3. See here for requirements. Even though the OFR Program allows plastic for takeout only, the OFH program does not allow single-use plastic cups to be used in waterfront or beach bars. Review our Ocean Friendly Foodware Guide to learn about greenwashing, product alternatives, and creative ways to implement more reusables in your restaurants.
  4. Examples of acceptable alternatives include sourcing local coffee grounds or loose leaf tea packaged in paper or aluminum with a drip coffee maker or french press. Machines that require pods should use the reusable kind or hotels can offer complimentary coffee in the lobby.
  5. Examples include switching to LED lighting, motion sensor lighting, installing solar panels, using Energy Star certified appliances, updating insulation on windows and doors, and providing group shuttles to airports and attractions. 
  6. Examples include installing low-flow faucets, toilets, washing machines & dishwashers, no hosing down outside to reduce urban runoff, and up-to-date septic or sewage to prevent wastewater pollution.
  7. Examples of active ingredients to avoid in sunscreen are Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Nanoparticles or “nano-sized” zinc or titanium, and any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads.” See Surfrider’s guide for more information.
  8. Examples include installing shielded lights, warm colored lights, lights with lower lumens, motion sensor or timed lighting, and lights mounted as low as possible. See Dark Sky for more resources. 
  9. See here for requirements. Hotel grounds with golf courses are not eligible for this optional criteria.

Hotels that meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Hotel!

OFH-Sign

Hotel Benefits

  • Ocean Friendly Hotels marketing collateral including signage and table tents.
  • Use of Ocean Friendly Hotels logos for websites and other hotel  marketing materials.
  • Hotel listed on Surfrider national and chapter websites. 
  • Hotel included in Ocean Friendly Hotels national map on Surfrider national website.
  • Launch parties with your nearest Surfrider chapter.
  • Access to national vendor discounts on sustainable restaurant and to-go products.
  • Tax-deductible donation opportunity.
  • Association with a nationally recognized nonprofit with thousands of members and supporters working hard to keep our ocean healthy and protected!

Do you own, manage, or can you recommend a hotel that you would like to signup as an Ocean Friendly Hotel?

Getting Started

Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Hotel Member?

Get started by reaching out to the Ocean Friendly Programs Manager.

Are you located in the Great Lakes region?

Visit our Great Lakes Friendly Hotels page for more information.

Want to learn more about the program?

Let us know, and we'll get right back to you.

The Surfrider Foundation acknowledges that we cannot claim that all listed Ocean Friendly Hotels are 100% in compliance with our standards at all times, but that the Surfrider Foundation strives to diligently review compliance on a regular basis. If an Ocean Friendly Hotel is found to be out of compliance, they are removed from the website as quickly as possible. Such a restaurant will not be reinstated on the list of Ocean Friendly Hotels until the compliance issue is remedied.