5 great reasons to book an eco-friendly vacation

November 1, 2014

Across the globe, eco-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular choices for tourists. Find out why you should consider booking an eco-friendly hotel for your next vacation.

What makes a hotel eco-friendly?

Although eco-friendly hotel specifications differ from country to country, they still share many features that appeal to their environmentally-conscious guests. When you stay at an eco-friendly hotel, here's what you can expect:

Non-toxic cleaning agents and laundry detergent: This is especially important for any friends and family who are allergic to harsh dyes and detergents. At an eco-friendly hotel, you can rest easy knowing every effort is made to use effective, but gentle, cleaning products that leave behind no irritating residues or strong perfumes.

Sheets, towels and mattress made from organic materials: This is one of the most effective ways hotels can contribute to conservation. Some eco-friendly hotels go so far as to use fabrics and materials from local vendors. It keeps the environmental impact at a minimum, plus it's good for the area economy.

Extensive use of renewable energy sources, including solar power and wind energy: Beyond helping the environment, eco-friendly hotels are often gorgeous to look at, illuminated extensively by light sources powered by the sun. To allow in as much light as possible, lobbies, bars, restaurants and even guest rooms usually have large windows. At night, even shimmering skylights can be stunning after the sun goes down.

Energy-efficient heating, cooling and plumbing systems: Green hotels make use of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems to ensure guests remain comfortable no matter what the climate or weather. Remember to ask if your hotel has a grey water recycling system. These are systems that reuse kitchen, bath and laundry water–non-toxic for the soil–for gardening and landscaping purposes.

Locally sourced food and material: At eco-friendly hotels with restaurants, eating is half the fun. If your hotel has a restaurant, more than likely they’ll serve livestock and produce grown by local farmers. Always fresh and always delicious, you’ll go green with every bite.

Towel and sheet re-use programmes: You’ll find green hotels are much more encouraging of towel and sheet re-use programs. Usually you’ll find a special towel rack in your bathroom: just leave your towel on that hook to let the housekeeping team know not to replace it. It'll help use less water, detergent and heating power. Even the simplest of eco-friendly actions can make a difference!

Community involvement: Usually, due to their commitment to use sustainable, locally-sourced products, eco-friendly hotels have a direct link to the businesses and residents of the community. This can be a lifesaver when you’re new to a country. The staff can help make sure you have all you need to fully enjoy your vacation. They may even know of local tips and tricks to help you see everything their town has to offer.

It’s easy to see why eco-friendly hotels are becoming top destinations for tourists across the world: They're comfortable, convenient, showcase interesting local cultures and people, plus they're good for the environment.

5 great reasons to book an eco-friendly vacation
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