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Guest blogger Jackie Edwards gives tips for business travelers and FIT on how to make a responsible accommodation choice.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Traveling is an exciting pastime, but jetting across the globe can take its toll on the environment. Eco-conscious travelers can work to reduce their carbon footprint by looking for a sustainable hotel when booking their trip. Here are some tips on how to find eco-friendly accommodations on your next trip.

Book Near the City Center

Booking a hotel that’s within walking distance of local attractions can help tourists cut back on carbon emissions. A centrally located hotel eliminates the need to rent a car since attractions that are not nearby can often be easily reached by public transit. Some hotels offer bicycles for rent so that guests have an eco-friendly way to explore the city.

Not only is cycling and walking beneficial for the environment, but it can also help tourists to save on their trip. Renting a car can be significantly more expensive than taking public transit, and traveling by foot costs nothing at all.

Find Out About Water and Energy Usage

Guests can check out a hotel’s website or call ahead of time to see if the establishment operates using sustainable practices. Some eco-friendly hotels have made the switch to solar, wind, or geothermal power in an effort to go green, while others have started using LEDs and low energy bulbs to improve energy efficiency.

Water consumption is also a consideration when booking a green hotel. Guests should look for hotels that install fixtures such as low-flow toilets and showerheads. Some places even go so far as to collect rainwater. Hotels that boast pools and decorative fountains may not be a green choice, as they can drain water from the local environment.

Pick a Hotel that Gives Back

Eco-conscious tourists hoping for a relaxing break that is guilt-free, can find hotels in many areas that promote programs that give back to the local community, such as donation efforts, low-cost healthcare services, and nutritional assistance. Guests can also look for hotels that hire from within the local community to help support neighborhood families.

A hotel’s menu can also have an impact on the surrounding community. Locally sourced menus not only support local farmers but also reduces emissions from packaging and transportation. Guests get to enjoy fresh, home-cooked meals while knowing that they’re helping to make a difference.

Before booking your next vacation, take some time to research your hotel. Conscientious tourists can find eco-friendly hotels that help to preserve the environment and support their local community.

There are several online booking engines that can help you find a sustainable option on your travels:

 

See more of Jackie’s writing: 

A little closer to home: sustainable everyday life choices

A guide to sustainable travel for seniors

Beginning at home – the next generation of sustainable travelers

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November 03 2015 – As always, the annual reopening of the Icehotel is a big deal. Each winter, visionary Swedish entrepreneur Yngve Bergqvist’s nippy and never-the-same hostelry reemerges from the frozen tundra more than 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a completely unique form. Matt Hickman Read more.

Towards the Business Case for Sustainable Hotels in Asia: Motivations and Impacts of Sustainable Hotel Development in Asia

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This study capitalises on three years of submissions for the HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards and serves as a guideline on smart, practical and cost-effective development and operating practices. The case studies making up the bulk of this report have been drawn from a range of operations large and small, city and resort, mainstream and niche from across the region (see Map) – and provide an insight into the motivation for, and impact of more sustainable practices. Our intention in drawing these case studies together is to provide examples of what can be achieved, to encourage and inspire others, and set a benchmark for further reviews.

World Wild Fund, Horwath HTL & HICAP

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