One of the fundamental dilemmas we face as travellers is the knowledge that our desire to explore the world often causes us to unintentionally harm it. From flying to dining out to staying in hotels, the things we all do on vacation can have a negative impact on the environment.
According to a study by the UN World Tourism Organization, tourism (an optional luxury) is responsible for 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. While transportation accounts for a substantial chunk of this total, the accommodation sector is responsible for a significant 20 per cent. These aren’t surprising numbers considering how wasteful we tend to be when we’re staying in a hotel, living in carefree vacation mode. We crank up the AC in hot climates, get our sheets and towels laundered daily and forget to turn off the lights when we leave the room.
But as the responsible travel movement continues to grow, travellers are thinking more seriously about their eco-unfriendly behaviour and demanding that their hotels do the same. More travellers are choosing hotels that are doing their part to protect the environment and hotel industry practices are slowly changing as a result.
With that in mind, we’re profiling five hotels across the globe that are making a difference with their eco-conscious accomplishments. From ambitious reintroductions of indigenous wildlife to simple measures like motion sensor lighting, these hotels are making the travel world a little greener. They aren’t total solutions for the wide-ranging consequences travel has on the environment, but they are taking steps in the right direction.