The New York Times by Michael Croley

For years, ecotourism has been both a buzzword and a lifestyle trend. Tour operators, hotels, and even private jet companies have come up with ways to attract the wealthy who still want to enjoy luxurious vacations while limiting their impact on the earth.

These concepts have also arrived in the second-home market, where a new spate of buyers, keen on limiting their effect on the climate, are pushing developers to rethink how they plan and build both individual homes and communities.

Renewable energy and sustainable building materials are only part of the way these destinations work to reduce their effect on the climate. Developers are becoming more aware of how they can help — and how much potential owners want them to — shape and improve local communities rather than simply develop the land and hire the local population for a work force.

Club Ki’ama, the Bahamas

Club Ki’ama’s homes on Elizabeth Island, just 10 minutes by boat from George Town, are completely off the grid. They use solar power and hydrogen batteries for their backup generators.

The project was designed to be completely sustainable from conception to completion. Homes were prefabricated in Belize, which helped to reduce waste, time, and costs, then shipped to the Bahamas and assembled on-site. Thirty-three fractional ownerships have been sold among the 16 planned club residences with construction underway.

Developed by EcoIsland Development, in partnership with Silent Yachts and Silent Resorts, Ki’ama claims to be “the world’s first 100 percent solar powered, fully sustainable carbon neutral private island yacht and residence club.”