By Michele Herrmann
Thanks to a growing concern by the general public and coverage in the media, true eco-friendly travel is no longer remaining a niche focus. Major travel booking sites now feature green travel sections, virtual influencers like Google have created flight searches monitoring carbon offsets and various online sources offer their share of recommendations. This being said, the question still remains: how do you guarantee your source for finding environmentally-friendly travel options provides a truly, eco-conscious choice (vs a selfish marketing agenda)?
Get started with these five standout travel booking platforms that both help you book an eco-friendly trip and do their part in assisting the environment.What's your favorite platform for booking #green #travel? Click To Tweet
More of a search engine, Ecosia is described as an eco-friendly alternative to Google. It works like any other browser or portal through your desktop or smartphone, but goes a step further by donating at least 80% of its surplus advertising revenue to a tree planting program benefiting local communities (mainly Burkina Faso in West Africa). This is how it works: search the web through Ecosia (about travel or otherwise), and the results add up how many trees you’ve helped plant with a counter in the upper right corner.
Every month, Ecosia publishes and updates a progress report on the trees they plant and those they benefit. As of now they’ve planted over 4 million trees.
Powered by Booking.com, BookDifferent touts itself as the first hotel booking site that is able to let users indicate and compare which of their hotels are green, and siphon out which ones aren’t through a carbon footprint rating. Additionally, half of BookDifferent’s commissions for every hotel booking made goes to charity. More than 100 participating different charities benefit from this process — like Amnesty International, Greenpeace and War Child — and the consumer selects which one they’d like to support.
Bonus: they offer a Best Price Guarantee on their over 800,000 hotels.
While air travel inevitably leaves a carbon footprint, Glooby helps fliers select low-carbon emission options. As both a search engine and affiliate website, Glooby assembles a list of flight suggestions from sources such as travel agencies, airlines and booking sites then compares several flight factors – greenest, quickest, cheapest and most popular – calculating fuel consumption per aircraft, number of seats and cabin class. As for hotels, Glooby sorts out eco-friendly lodging by standards adopted from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.These 5 #tools help you book more #ecofriendly trips! Click To Tweet
This nonprofit hotel booking site operates on the belief that every hotel should be held accountable for its environmental impact by offsetting their CO2 emissions. It practices its preaching by putting 75% of profits from earned commissions toward its cooperation with Myclimate, a fellow nonprofit, in financially supporting poverty alleviation projects in India, Nicaragua and Kenya.
Remaining portions of these earnings go toward its site and advocacy measures for a greener hotel industry. Every six months, data on hotel bookings conducted through GreenHotelWorld and accompanying offset stays get analyzed by the site’s team. In turn, they provide these hotels with insights how they can become more eco-friendly.
BookGreener works by hand-picking and promoting luxury hotels worldwide that are implementing environmentally and socially responsible policies. Its three-level rating system categorizes environmentally conscious properties based on different beginner (Green Bud), middle (Spring Green) and high-level (Forest Green) stages of application. The platform also offers a free self-assessment to their hotel partners to evaluate their merit and make positive changes. As for travelers, after their stay they can rate and review their impressions of the hotel’s green practices. There’s also a “Sleep for Trees” program plants a new tree each time their website is used to make a booking.Want to #travel greener? Here's how to do it! Click To Tweet
What’s your favorite platform for supporting green tourism? Please share in the comments below!
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