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How do I choose a sustainable hotel?

5 easy questions to ask your hotel to avoid being greenwashed.

Choosing a sustainable hotel / to stay in sustainable accommodation has an impact on both the environment and also the local community. In response to a changing consumer sentiment, hotels are busy advertising that they are more planet friendly and sustainable than ever.

There are sustainable stays available for all budgets – from camping and eco-hostels to eco-hotels and luxurious resorts. However, it is necessary to do your research to make sure you are not simply being ‘greenwashed’ and falling for smoke and mirrors.

To ensure you are supporting a business who shares your values and vision for a better world, ask them the following 5 questions: (You may find some answers on a ‘Sustainability’ tab on a webpage – otherwise, pick up the phone and give the front desk a call!)

1. Do you use local staff and products?

Sourcing staff, local produce and products can really help support a local community and is definitely something to look for.

2. What kind of energy do you use?

Look for hotels using renewable energy and LED lighting to ensure their immense electrical use is as sustainable as possible.

3. Do you have a water recycling system or water waste reducing initiatives?

Sustainable hotels don’t just encourage you to re-use your towels, they also collect rainwater for their gardens to ensure they aren’t draining local water supplies.

4. Do you have a waste recycling system?

Does the hotel have a proper recycling system and use bulk amenities in rooms, to save thousands of those little shampoo bottles going to landfill?

5. Do you invest in and support your surrounding local community?

This is where your consumer dollar can support many wonderful initiatives if you choose to support a conscious hotel. Does the hotel manage and help to protect the natural habitat surrounding it?  Hotels can do this through replanting native plants or supporting conservation. They can also fund health, education and clean water projects to benefit locals and also to provide work opportunities.

Once you start thinking about how to have a planet positive effect when you travel, the sky is the limit. Through educated conscious choices, it is possible that our travels can support many incredible initiatives along the way. For more, read ‘Sustainable Travel Tips – Leave Behind Only Footprints‘.

To quote Anna Lappe, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

If you would like to ensure the products you buy are also kinder to our planet, ethical and healthier for your body, look through the Clean + Conscious Directory to find the best conscious buys.

Wishing you many very happy, conscious holidays!

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