It’s only natural that tourists be mindful of the environment when visiting Arizona, as the state’s main attraction is its rugged, yet surprisingly delicate, landscape. Increasingly, ecotourists—travelers who are drawn to a natural locale and try to minimize their environmental impact—are choosing to explore the Sonoran Desert. To capitalize on this movement and ensure that future generations are able to appreciate the desert, Arizona’s tourism community has started to make green-minded changes to how they operate.
In Sedona , the Institute of Ecotourism  serves as a think tank for environmentally sensitive travel and tourism. Its museum showcases the indigenous plants and animals that inhabit the Sonoran Desert, and its interactive exhibitions highlight just how fragile Arizona’s ecosystem can be.
The Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau has introduced an online resource, as well. Scottsdale Green By Design (www.scottsdalegreenbydesign.com ) outlines environmentally conscious travel ideas and resources, including cultural attractions and outdoor activities. The site also provides a list of individual hotels, resorts, and restaurants that are incorporating sustainable tourism practices, from water conservation and recycling programs to organic menus and spa treatments.
Even Scottsdale ’s impossibly thirsty golf courses  are turning…well, green, by using nonpotable water for irrigation. Some are also replacing traditional turf with more drought-tolerant grasses.