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  • Rachel Atlas


In Tulum, those expanding the “eco-friendly” beach paradise are also destroying it.

There is no electricity on the beach so diesel generators run 24/7 to power hotels and restaurants, which are contaminating the air with toxic particulates. The beach has no adequate sewer system and wastewater consistently leaches into the underground river. And to top it all off, Tulum’s landfills are over capacity and rotting in the middle of the jungle. The paradox of all this is that the same businesses you often see advocating for a more sustainable Tulum, are the first ones to buy plastic cups when organizations like Oceanic Global – who are boldly creating necessary standards and environmental certifications – are finished with their verification process.

Are reusable cups really a "good start?" At this point in the game, it is the bare minimum a beachfront establishment can do to help our crumbling environment. So when hotels and restaurants claim to be plastic free while conservationists like Oceanic Global are present, and then use "bio-plastics" and send them to the landfill, it is beyond comprehension. It comes as no surprise that it all boils down to greed – the plastic is simply cheaper than the water, labor, and energy required to wash the same amount of reusable cups.

As consumers, we have a choice where we spend our money; however, greenwashing and false advertising make it increasingly difficult to decipher which businesses we should support – so keep your eyes wide and your money close.


You can support honest businesses that are making a difference! Like Farm to Table, for example, who is approaching the social aspect of the food chain with its local organic farm. Or Casa del las Olas, which is one of the oldest properties on the beach road and is designed to work in harmony with nature. And CoCon Amor and La Minimal that both offer zero waste alternatives for shopping needs.

Digital Art by Rachel Atlas

Original Photo by Luz Mendoza


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