Outside Magazine: Is Your ‘Eco-Lodge’ Really Eco-Friendly?
According to a 2019 report by Booking.com, 70 percent of global travelers would be more inclined to book eco-friendly accommodation. The industry seems to have taken the hint: eco-lodges and “green” hotels are trending. But these days, it can be difficult to discern between environmentally friendly digs and those just trying to profit from the craze.
So how can you tell if a hotel is just stamping a feel-good leaf on its literature or if it’s actually taking steps toward sustainability? We’ve consulted the experts on the questions you should be asking to make sure you’re putting your dollars in the right place.
Is it certified as sustainable by a reputable organization?
Gregory Miller, executive director of the Center for Responsible Travel, a research group based in Washington, D.C., tells travelers to look for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council logo on hotel websites. The organization publishes minimum sustainability standards for the travel industry that account not only for environmental aspects, such as energy and water conservation, but cultural considerations as well, including the protection of sensitive or meaningful sites. While the nonprofit does not certify hotels itself, it verifies that the standards used by third-party certification bodies, such as Control Union and Video Srl, do evaluate whether hotels comply with GSTC criteria. Its icon, a burgundy foot fashioned out of an infinity symbol, seen on a hotel or certification agency’s website, is an easy way to identify businesses that have been through a rigorous vetting process.