There is no doubt that the belief in sustainable practices are growing at home and abroad. Discerning consumers are increasingly choosing to spend their money with brands and companies who have a social conscience and give back to Mother Nature or their local communities. “According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the percentage of US companies with travel reservation policies that require or recommend that a hotel adopt sustainability measures has risen from 11% in
2011, to 19% today.”
Here are 3 ways you can travel green without sacrificing those special little luxuries:
Opt for responsibility
Chosoe a hotel or resort with a social and ethical responsibility policy. The list of operators that offer more than simply offering to wash your towels and sheets less is on the up. Seek out places that support their local schools, have solar panels to conserve energy, have living gardens offering farm to table experiences or go further and stay in a sustainable luxury hotel like 1Hotel.com just opening up in Central Park & Brooklyn, NYC and South Beach, Miami. In the words of its CEO Barry Sternlicht, “We aren’t just focused on making our hotels better, we want to make the world better.”
Try to give back
Choose a tour operator that gives you an eco-experience. Stay places that allow you to get involved with the community and give back. National Geographic Expeditions has high-end eco tours to destinations on all seven continents with all proceeds directed to National Geographic research programmes. Take a trip to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwandaâ€™s Parc National des Volcans which is the habitat of the endangered mountain gorilla. All profits are used to finance local community and conservation initiatives.
Use independently tested hotels
Turn to websites like Eco Lux Hotels for a wealth of luxury eco hotel options all over the world that are rigorously tested by their group of independent experts & journalists to ensure standards are met. This group of journalists and technical experts personally visit and assess each hotel on their site to make sure that they live up to real meaning of sustainability.
Dahlia Nahome is the General Manager of Rancho Cielo.