Hotels and resorts are known for having a large carbon footprint. It can be difficult to maintain a green status in a hotel when you must accommodate so many guests coming and going at all different times of the day and night.
It’s not impossible, though. A growing number of hotels and resorts are trying to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint and appeal to those eco-friendly customers. So you do not have to sacrifice your eco-friendly ways when you are traveling. You can find places to stay that accommodate your green spirit. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly hotel or resort, then here’s how to start finding these places.
Finding Eco-Friendly Accommodations
1. Booking sites
Browsing the Green Hotel directory on sites like Orbitz or Travelocity will help you find an eco-friendly hotel or resort. Trusted travel websites will also have a list of eco-friendly hotels and resorts listed for you to search through.
2. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified Hotels
There is a certification hotels can receive for their attempts at being eco-friendly. They are rated based on what they have done. Hotels are ranked on a one-hundred point scale. The higher the rating, the better. There is a Silver level (50-59 points) Gold level (60-79) and Platinum level (80 and higher). Many large hotel chains have hotels which have achieved varying levels of eco-friendliness.
3. Large hotel chains
Most major hotel chains will have a section on their site which lists their eco-friendly accommodations. Their website will also display their LEED certification.
4. Consider house sitting
Another alternative to staying in a hotel is to be a house sitter. There are websites you can join where people will “hire” you to stay at their home while they’re away. When you do this, you can control your carbon footprint much easier by using limited electricity or watching how much water you’re running.
5. Look for shared accommodations
See if you can find a place that will allow you to stay with some locals for the time, to help reduce your carbon footprint together. Be sure to do your due diligence in researching anyone you meet over the internet before staying with them, for your own personal safety.
6. Avoid large cities
You might find that you’ll have better luck finding eco-friendly options for accommodations if you ditch the big city and stay in a less populated area. Big cities have multiple large hotels, oftentimes to accommodate multiple travelers. But if you stay in a neighboring town instead, you’ll find it to be less crowded and also much more eco-friendly in many circumstances.
Even if you can’t find a hotel or resort at a price point that you’re comfortable with that will accommodate your eco-friendly needs, you can still do your part where you stay to reduce your carbon footprint. Don’t leave lights on when you leave, turn off the heat or air when you’re not in the room, and ask the hotel to not change towels and sheets every day. This will be a great way to stay green while on vacation.