It’s not easy being green – especially when planning your eco-friendly holidays. Although many travel agencies and eco-tour operators will be happy to help you plan a sustainable vacation, how do you know the travel agent, hotel, cruise or destination you dream about really passes the green test? To help you overcome this dilemma, the Rainforest Alliance proposes you to ask the following questions (as featured in a recent article on GreenYour.com):
1. What is your environmental policy?
2. What percentage of your employees are local citizens?
3. Do you support any projects to benefit the local community?
4. Do you support conservation? How?
5. Is your business certified?
6. Have you won any eco-awards?
7. Are you recommended by any reputable NGOs or conservation groups?
8. What sorts of policies have you implemented to reduce water consumption, conserve energy or recycle wastes?
9. How do you educate visitors about local natural areas, wildlife, energy conservation, and local culture?
10. How do you monitor these practices?
Having said that, there is no guarantee that you’ll get any answer. Many hotels just wouldn’t know or bother doing the research. However, the next offer is just a click away and tourism operators know that. So be persistent and reward those who put serious effort in offering an eco-friendly and socially responsible holiday. Good for you, good for the local community, good for the planet.
Picture credit: Jun Kaneko
And soon: My very own experience of recent stays at the Rydges in Rotorua, and Solscape in Raglan, New Zealand.