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Green Travel
Treasured Trash

You’re lying on the hot sand, sipping an icy soda and listening to snorkelers yap about the gems that lurk under the turquoise water. And because you’re in the resort of Maho Bay, located on the Caribbean island of St. John, there is another treasure nearby—your spent can.

Maho Bay has a unique strategy for recycling its trash. The aluminum cans, paper, fabric, and glass bottles chucked by visitors are transformed into art either during classes or by professional artisans. In fact, the “Trash to Treasures” program is so successful that it takes in about $250,000 a year.

Click on the image below and join Maho Bay’s developer, Stanley Selengut, as he talks to Audubon about finding creative—and profitable—ways to reuse materials.

Photo of bananaquit birds on a railing: Emily McMahon.
All other photos: Courtesy of

When Selengut designed Maho Bay Camps 30 years ago, he intended to preserve the local landscape (most of the island of St. John is National Park) and attract clientele with an interest in enjoying nature and keeping it pristine.

Click on the image below to hear Selengut’s perspective on ecotourism. 

Photos of Trunk Bay and elevated walkway: Emily McMahon.
All other photos: Courtesy of

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