Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Green" Travel

More and more travelers are becoming aware of or at least hearing the term "green travel." Maybe you are one of those travelers but you are not quite sure what it means. To me, a better term to use is "eco-friendly" which is synonymous with what we are talking about.

Resorts, cruise lines, some airlines, and major hotel chains are all starting to promote themselves as eco-friendly or "green." This means that they all are doing something to promote a healthier environment and do what they can to leave less of an impact on the environment around them. Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have adopted programs such as "Save the Waves" where they adhere to strict recycling rules and convert waste water to gray, usable (non-drinking) water throughout the ship. Princess Cruise Lines has announced that they will connect to Vancouver's hydro-electricity grid when in port to reduce emissions from their diesel powered engines.

Then there are hotels like Marriott who design hotels that use less water and are more energy-efficient. Great Wolf Lodges in the U.S. has a "green" initiative called "Project Green Wolf" in which they are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste, reduce water consumption and even educate their guests on how they can help protect the environment.

Other examples of companies who have "green" or eco-friendly initiatives are:

Walt Disney World
Amelia Island Plantation
Inn at Chaa Creek-Belize
Harmony Studios-St John (USVI)
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts

These examples show how the travel industry is becoming more conscience of the environment and making efforts to be eco-friendly. More and more hotels and tourism-related companies are seeking to be designated as "green" by such organizations as the "International Ecotourism Society" and "Sustainable Travel International."

Are you interested in "green" travel? Do you see this as a trend for the future or just a passing fad? Do you already support those companies who are making the effort to have less of an impact on the environment in which they operate? I am interested to get your thoughts and comments.

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