Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Travel Green Tuesday for the Final Week!

It's the last Travel GREEN Tuesday of the Be the Change Eco-Challenge! Tell us what you're doing today to travel sustainably.

This is a very important day to try reduce your carbon footprint by the largest percentage.  Your method of travel has one of the largest impacts on greenhouse gases than other sustainability issues (such as choosing to eat locally or recycling, etc.), especially if you travel by air frequently.  

Here is a great infographic on why you should travel GREEN (click link below image to enlarge).

We hope you found these tips helpful.  If you did, we would be very grateful if you would share by emailing to a friend or sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.  Thank you!

Tell us about your Tuesday challenge activity in the comments section below.  There are only 7 days left in the challenge, so make sure you continue to earn your points towards winning the Conscious Box.  
Plus, to obtain more points, head on over the The RMOG Facebook Page and The Muse in Purple Blog!! 

~Kristin & Kelsey

Today I would also like to share some tips with you about travel booking sites and which ones are leading the way in sustainable-travel options.

What are the best travel booking sites for eco-friendly hotels?
So you are planning a trip?  How will you decide where to stay?  And if you are here on the Green Seal site, we know you are interested in finding an eco-friendly/green hotel, right?
There are many travel sites out there to choose from.  You may have been swayed by “Captain Kirk” (aka William Shatner) to check out Priceline, or the simple “hotels.com” website is easy to remember.  But what are the best sites when you are looking for an eco-friendly hotel?
Travelocity is the current leader for promoting sustainable travel options out of all the mainstream travel booking sites.  Unlike other popular travel booking sites such as Booking.com and Hotwire.com, the Travelocity site shows a “green leaf tag” when you are searching their site.  This tag indicates that the hotel is eco-friendly.  Hotels.com has a similar filter for sustainable hotels; however they are not backed by third-party certification.
Travelocity’s hotels are certified to be eco-friendly by a Third-Party certification company: Sabre® Eco-Certified Hotel Partners, which uses the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) (Sabre, 2012).

Green Seal (GS) conducts similar certification of hotels.  For a hotel to be GS-33 certified, they must meet specific standards in waste management; energy efficiency and conservation; management of fresh water resources; waste water management; hazardous substance control; and have in place an environmentally and socially sensitive purchasing policy.  One example of GS-33 criteria requires the use of environmentally preferable laundry and cleaning products (Green Seal, n.d.).  
In contrast, the GSTC criteria only suggest that harmful substances should be minimized.  The criterion reads:
The use of harmful substances, including pesticides, paints, swimming pool disinfectants, and cleaning materials, is minimized; substituted, when available, by innocuous products; and all chemical use is properly managed (Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, 2012).

While this is a positive step for the environment, this criterion is very vague and difficult to measure.  Four main categories summarize the GSTC criteria: sustainable management, socioeconomics, cultural impacts, and environmental impacts.  Unlike Green Seal, which uses specific and measurable criteria, GSTC is more focused on the social and economic aspects of sustainability, and less on the environmental aspects.  
Both Green Seal and Sabre® are reputable certification companies with positive goals of sustainability in mind and a traveler would do well to choose a certified hotel from either of these companies.
Green Seal offers a simple list of their certified hotels on their website, here.  The list is sorted by state and shows standard rating level (bronze, silver, gold) and links to the hotels’ website.  This is a great option for travelers to find a reputable green hotel easily.  
Two other mainstream booking sites offer a comprehensive list of green hotels: Orbitz and Expedia.  Travelers should be aware, however, that they are not backed by Third-Party Certification.

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. (2012, March). Global sustainable tourism criteria. Retrieved from http://www.gstcouncil.org/uploads/files/global_sustainable_tourism_criteria.pdf
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. (2013). The global sustainable tourism criteria.  Retrieved from http://www.gstcouncil.org/sustainable-tourism-gstc-criteria.html
Green Seal. (n.d.).Green seal environmental leadership standard for lodging properties, 5th edition. Retrieved from http://www.greenseal.org/Portals/0/Documents/Standards/GS-33/GS-33%20One%20pager.pdf
McFadden, K. (2012, November 30). Top 10 travel booking websites based on customer satisfaction. Retrieved from http://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/3772/20121130/top-10-travel-booking-websites-based-customer-satisfaction-jd-power-associates-booking-com-hotwire-priceline-orbitz-hotels-expedia-travelocity-cheaopair.htm
Sabre.  (2012, February 6). Sabre launches industry’s first eco-certified hotel program. Retrieved from http://www.sabre-holdings.com/newsroom/release.php?id=1477
Travelocity. (2010). Travelocity: Travel for good. Retrieved from http://www.travelocity.com/TravelForGood/green-travel.html


No comments:

Post a Comment