As we enter the time of year where we start thinking about a vacation (yes we do it too), if only there were some way to rid our guilty yearnings for sand and sun-soaked shores. Well you're in luck, you can now view and select hotels based on green practices and choose flights that account for less emissions into the atmosphere, basically your environmentally conscious Trip Advisor. If you hadn't already heard, Trip Advisor has developed a Green Leaders page, which lists a variety of eco-friendly hotels ranging from recycling, organic foods, electric car charging stations, you name it. They include budget-friendly to luxury resorts and each is awarded with a medal (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum accordingly) in regards to their commitment level. Each listing page has a leaf, and upon clicking it, will list the green practices for the user.
But it doesn't stop there, Eric Zimmerman, publishing executive and founder of 'Green Edition' which sets sustainable standards in book publishing, has also developed Trip Zero. With this website you can virtually plan your entire trip, and then see how large of a carbon footprint it costs. Not only do you see your impact, but if you book with Trip Zero they will offset your footprint by funding reforestation, forest protection, renewable energy, and methane capture programs. Trip Zero explains travel impact with this statement, "A family of four flying from Boston to Los Angeles on vacation will emit 8 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. That's equivalent if not more than a mid-size van driven 10,000 miles of the electricity consumed by an average home in a year." They also are programmed for businesses, an awesome way to see how much your business travel is really costing you.
The website uses a model that first calculates the mode of travel, airports traveling to and from (factoring in delays and emissions), and the ages and types of passenger. Then the destination is calculated using the environmental factors, and the number of rooms and people. I tried this for an imaginary Florida trip, went on to look at my hotel prices, I was surprised to find they were affordable! Trip Zero has listed much of the same deals one would find through Expedia, but by booking through them, they counter that amount with a donation to one of their featured programs.
Hotels pay a commission to be directed to booking through Trip Zero and by partnering with Expedia, they are still able to offer a low price. Unfortunately the commissions aren't enough to book air travel but Trip Zero offers suggestions on lowering your footprint and Trip Advisor has listed the greenest airlines on SeatGuru, we encourage you to check it out! With all that said, we hope you are able to take few moments to yourself to reflect on your purpose, your global contribution, and for pete's sake we really hope you get to do it on a beach somewhere! Happy to provide you with companies that may make us all breathe a little easier; we also have holiday dresses coming into Unity Boutique, make a trip in to check them out! And if you are heading somewhere tropical for the holidays, our summer dresses are 70% off, perfect time to snag a sundress for your suitcase.