• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Should sustainable tourism influence where you sleep?

business-traveller

Planet Earth is in crisis. 195 countries convened in Paris late last year to discuss how each territory can reduce its carbon emissions and discussions are still on going. As a traveller on the move, what better choices can you make to create a lesser carbon footprint impact?
I once worked for a century old, historic hotel in Kentucky. It was renovated just before I joined the team with a focus on incorporating green practices. The cleaning amenities used were eco-friendly, kitchen waste was added to a compost, used vegetable oil repurposed, and sensory lights that switch off automatically in vacant rooms were installed as well as toilets that use less water to flush.
These renovations earned the hotel a gold award from the United States Green Building Council. As tour guides, we were quick to point out to visitors and guests every facility and procedure that made the hotel environmentally friendly. That was a unique selling point and the earth was kept happy.

When I travel, I look out for airlines, hotels, tourist locations, and organizations that are conscious about preserving the environment in the smallest of ways. For one, have you ever wondered what large flight carriers do with all those aluminium cans they sweep up at the end of a long haul flight? An aluminium can when recycled can be converted to energy powerful enough to run your home television set for three hours.
Sustainable tourism is promoted when more awareness is created on the positive impact such practices can have on the environment.  For instance, the organizers of Malawi’s most popular music and arts festival, Lake of Stars have collaborated with a Malawian- European social enterprise, Root to Fruit to promote sustainable tourism during and after the festival.
At a cost of 20 dollars, travellers arriving by flight can offset the carbon emissions from their journey. How so? Root to fruit will plant and monitor 10 trees over the course of 4 years with the money paid. Just think, if 100 travellers pay 20 dollars in promotion of green travel, 1000 trees will be added to the ecosystem by 2020. That can make a lot of difference.
Think green when you travel. Seek out establishments in your travels that offer eco-friendly partnerships and give the earth a vacation as you take one too. The more aware we are of such organizations, the easier it will become to imbibe environmentally friendly practices even when on the move.