Sustainable travel: four smart ways to make a positive impact (Irish Times)
#3 Stay in sustainable lodging
Where you choose to sleep at night also plays a key role in being a green traveller. This part requires some legwork and research, however.
“Hotel sustainability practices have grown tremendously in recent years, especially through certification programs that follow international best-practice standards,” Bray said.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognises certification programmes for hotels and tour operators, Bray said. Travellers can visit its site to see lists of these programmes, which include The Rainforest Alliance and Earth Check, and hotels that are accredited will typically show a GSTC certification logo on their own websites and marketing materials.
But hotels that are not officially recognised for their green efforts can still be sustainable, which is why you should inquire with a hotel you’re considering before you book. “Always ask your holiday provider for their responsible tourism policy – if they don’t have one then they are not taking it seriously and you may want to reconsider,” Francis said.
Key aspects to look for in a responsible tourism policy include environmental, social and local economic effects, from waste, water and energy. You should also look for the hotel’s commitment to its local community and the fair employment of local people, Francis said.