Should we be mindful of the travel company or hotel policies in regards to protecting our planet while making our travel plans? The answer is: Only if you care!
We have choices to make…lots of them…when planning a vacation. Companies are finding truly innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact. It is up to us, the consumers, to research and consider those who are doing their part to preserve and protect our fragile world.
It is likely you are aware that when purchasing a flight you may pay a carbon offset fee to reduce the carbon emissions. According to Wikipedia, “Offsets are typically achieved through financial support of projects that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the short- or long-term. The most common project type is renewable energy, such as wind farms, biomass energy, or hydroelectric dams. Others include energy efficiency projects, the destruction of industrial pollutants or agricultural byproducts, destruction of landfill methane, and forestry projects. Some of the most popular carbon offset projects from a corporate perspective are energy efficiency and wind turbine projects.”
A recent article in Travel Weekly shared that, according to the Environmental protection Agency, nearly a third of all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere comes from powered transportation. Below are some of the ways suppliers are keeping our planet greener.
- MGM Resorts has found a way to divert 55% of the food waste to be converted into nutrient-rich soil for farming.
- One of the all-inclusive resorts on St. Kitts (Belle Mont Farm) has instituted a “holistic, agricultural approach to hospitality.
- Some travel agencies are focusing on sustainable tourism.
- A cruise line is showcasing itineraries that show the damage caused by climate change.
- River boats in Europe are shutting off ship power and plugging in during port stays.
- G Adventures, one of my favorite group travel suppliers, has been promoting sustainable travel since it’s founder began the company. They use local people, guides, and hotels whenever possible, and have contributed to community growth locally while protecting the land. it’s non-profit arm, Planeterra, was founded over ten years ago by Bruce Poon as a way to “minimize the impact of tourism on the world’s great destinations and promote sustainable solutions to make the world a better place not just for travelers, but for the communities that call those destinations home.” Love that! And every trip you buy provides money to the foundation.
I love the MGM story as well. Instead of taking up landfill space, food waste is recycled. Even bones can be ground up to provide livestock feed.ON a daily basis, for example, the weight of 35 cars is sent to composting facilities. That diversion saves more than 50,000 gallons of gas that would have been used to take it to a landfill! Also, according to the Travel Weekly article, The EPA estimates that 95% of US food waste ends up in a landfill. Wow. Bellagio alone sends 600 tons of food scraps a month to compost.
Let’s also mention, since we are speaking about Vegas, that the Venetian and Palazzo hotels, run by Las Vegas Sands, are recognized by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) certification program.
Let’s do our homework when deciding who to book travel with…for the sake of future generations!