The benefits of choosing a green hotel can range from producing less waste, consuming less water, and increasing energy efficiency. Your conscious decision can help to preserve the destination and the local community you are visiting.
Why Does Responsible Travel Matter?
Travel is a privilege, and many people see the need to gain organic experiences from foreign places. According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors globally. 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded in 2019 globally, up from 25 million in 1950, representing over a 5500% growth rate.
Tourism can be important for both the travelers and the people in the countries they visit. For visitors, traveling can increase their understanding of and appreciation for people in other countries and their cultures. In many places, like Hawaii and Barcelona, most people rely on tourism for their income. In some places, it is one of the largest industries.
However, if we don’t travel mindfully, tourism can have negative impacts on the Earth and society, contributing to carbon emissions and overconsumption and producing a substantial amount of waste and pollution. There is no doubt that human behaviors are influencing climate change.
Research has confirmed that tourism can stress local land, pollute the environment, and endanger species. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourism is responsible for approximately 5% of global emissions and 22% of all transport emissions. It is an energy-intensive industry. Therefore, we must increase our efforts and take conscious actions to make our travel have a positive impact.
Life is often busy and stressful for parents. Traveling is a way of spending quality time with our children. Begin making your family trip a meaningful journey by making conscious choices to protect the local community and nature and lessen the negative impact on the environment. Being a responsible traveler is about behavior and how we interact with the destination. It is essential that parents lead by example and involve children to make the world a better place.
Related article: 5 Reasons Why Responsible Travel Matters?
What Are the Benefits of Staying at a Green Hotel?
A green hotel is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. Many green hotels decide to replace one-time wasteful packaged products with sustainable items and use clean energy from renewable sources, such as energy-saving systems and water-saving equipment. Furthermore, green hotels make conscious purchases from suppliers, such as organic farms and natural furnishings. With joint efforts of your conscious choice and the green hotel’s sustainable practices, it helps to consume less water, use green energy, and produce less waste.
Improve Health Benefits and Well-being
Green hotels are healthier than traditional hotels. The materials used in construction, furnishing, and daily cleaning products are all elements that contribute to pollution and can, in some cases, release harmful toxins. There’s no doubt that when odors, fumes, and residues of poisonous chemicals are constantly present in the working environment, it creates a toxic cycle for both the staff and visitors. Therefore, being green means guests, staff, and management are healthier. Staff can be more focused on working in a sustainable environment, which can increase productivity. On the other hand, visitors can sleep better and improve their mood just by being on the property.
Promoting Local Economy
As mentioned earlier, the tourism industry is on the rise, and some cities rely on tourism as their main source of income. While staying in an eco-sustainable accommodation, you could get to know places like local farms and artisans that can help preserve local traditions. When the green hotel is conscious about the suggestions they are providing to their guests, it can influence the guests’ satisfaction because they are highlighting their commitment to the environment. It also helps visitors gain knowledge about being a sustainable traveler.
How to Find a Green Hotel?
There are various organizations and travel booking websites that can help you book responsible accommodation and holiday packages. When searching for a hotel online, consider typing in search words like “ecolodge” or “sustainable hotel,” along with the name of the place you want to visit.
Please note that when you are looking for a “sustainable” hotel via a search engine, it will only come up with websites that have added keywords such as “sustainable” in their marketing tags. Also, be aware that many hotel booking sites do not verify whether the hotels listed as “sustainable” on their sites are actually doing what they claim.
Happy children are the key to happy parents, so try to find accommodation that has fun things to do and also helps your children learn new things. For example, some hotels offer family-friendly activities that also help the planet, such as Ritz-Carlton’s partnership with the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. This initiative offers responsible whale watching tours and sea turtle visits, as well as crowd-pleasers such as poolside movies. Take note that many smaller, independent hotels may also accommodate family preferences, so don’t hesitate to ask!
Eco-certifications for Green Hotels
There are many eco-certifications available for hotels around the world, but some of the most widely recognized include:
- LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
- Green Globe
- Green Key
- Green Tourism
- Biosphere Responsible Tourism
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP)
- Nordic Swan Ecolabel
- EU Ecolabel
- Green Seal
- Energy Star
Each certification has its own criteria and standards for evaluating the sustainability of hotels and their practices, and some certifications may be more applicable to certain regions or types of accommodations.
Book Green Hotels from eco-accommodation Sites
EcoHotels.com is a website that provides a directory of eco-friendly hotels, lodges, and resorts around the world. The website aims to help travelers make sustainable choices by providing a curated list of properties that have been vetted for their environmental practices and social responsibility.
EcoHotels.com also provides information on green travel tips and sustainable tourism initiatives. The site is designed to appeal to travelers who are concerned about the impact of their travel on the environment and who want to make informed choices about their accommodations.
The travel company Better Places specializes in sustainable tourism and offers a booking platform for eco-friendly hotels, lodges, and resorts worldwide. Better Places aims to connect travelers with local communities and promote sustainable tourism initiatives while providing unique and authentic travel experiences. The company works with a network of local travel experts who provide personalized travel advice and design custom itineraries for travelers.
Better Places emphasizes responsible travel practices such as supporting local businesses, minimizing waste, and reducing carbon emissions. The company believes in offering travel in a responsible way to help make the world a better place. It offers easy, affordable, and insider tips for travelers looking to design a perfect travel experience. In the German market, Better Places operates under the name Fairaway.de.
Bookdifferent offers over one million accommodation options, including responsible destinations that have been carefully vetted for sustainable travel. As a travel website, Bookdifferent aims to promote sustainable tourism by providing a directory of eco-friendly hotels, lodges, and resorts across the globe. The website uses a comprehensive sustainability rating system that evaluates properties based on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and use of renewable resources.
Bookdifferent also provides useful information on sustainable tourism initiatives and encourages travelers to make responsible choices. With its booking engine, users can search and book eco-friendly accommodations directly on the website. Bookdifferent highlights the significance of sustainable tourism in preserving natural and cultural resources while promoting a more responsible and ethical approach to travel.
Responsible Travel is a travel website that promotes sustainable tourism and provides a directory of eco-friendly tours, accommodations, and activities worldwide. The platform connects travelers with responsible tourism operators who prioritize social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Using a sustainability rating system, Responsible Travel evaluates the impact of tourism on local communities and natural resources and provides information on sustainable tourism initiatives and responsible travel practices.
In addition to the directory, the website offers a booking engine that allows users to search for and book responsible travel experiences directly. Responsible Travel emphasizes the importance of sustainable tourism in preserving natural and cultural resources, as well as empowering local communities to benefit from tourism in a responsible and ethical manner.
Fairbnb is a travel website that aims to promote sustainable and responsible tourism by providing a platform for booking accommodations and experiences that support local communities. The platform worked with local hosts and organizations to offer authentic and sustainable travel experiences that benefit both travelers and local residents.
Fairbnb emphasized responsible travel practices, such as supporting local economies, reducing carbon emissions, and respecting cultural and natural resources. The website had a 100% refund policy and donated a portion of its profits to community projects and social causes.
In addition to its directory of accommodations, Fairbnb offered a booking engine that allowed users to search and book responsible and sustainable travel experiences directly. The company was founded with the goal of creating a more equitable and fair tourism industry that benefits local communities and preserves cultural and natural heritage.
Ecobnb is a travel website that provides a directory of eco-friendly accommodations and experiences around the globe. The platform aims to promote sustainable tourism by connecting travelers with properties that are verified for their eco-friendly practices and commitment to social responsibility. Ecobnb evaluates properties based on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and use of renewable resources.
The website also offers information on sustainable tourism initiatives and responsible travel practices. Users can use the website’s booking engine to search and book eco-friendly accommodations and experiences directly. Ecobnb emphasizes the importance of sustainable tourism to protect the environment, support local communities, and promote responsible and ethical travel. The website was founded to create a more sustainable tourism industry that benefits both travelers and the planet.
Select Green Hotel
At Select Green Hotels, the focus is on providing the best experience for both clients and hotels through quality, experience, and sustainability. The company is a booking portal and community of handpicked sustainable hotels in Europe. Select Green Hotels works with hoteliers who prioritize sustainability while also emphasizing great design and impeccable service. The company has personally verified and reviewed every hotel on its platform.
Booking.com, although not a dedicated sustainable eco hotel portal, offers a way to search for hotels with sustainable practices. The website has a filter called “Sustainable Stays” that allows users to search for accommodations that implement eco-friendly practices, such as energy and water conservation, use of renewable resources, and waste reduction. The filter also includes options for finding hotels with certification from recognized sustainability organizations, such as Green Globe, EarthCheck, and LEED.
By selecting the “Sustainable Stays” filter, users can find hotels that prioritize sustainability and have taken steps to reduce their environmental impact. While Booking.com may not specialize in sustainable tourism, the website does provide a way for travelers to make more responsible and eco-friendly choices when booking accommodations.
Choosing to stay in an eco-friendly accommodation means making the right choice for ourselves and for the planet, supporting those who have decided to make a difference.
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