Advances in Green Travel
Over the last decade, we have started hearing more and more about the importance of living green and saving our planet. I have been thrilled with this progress, especially in the construction industry. I have spent my life working in the construction field, both as an independent contractor and a commercial contractor. Since this is my area of expertise, I am especially interested in green living as it applies to building codes and regulations.
LEED certification has become a standard that many builders strive for, but there are also many other ways to recognize builders and companies that choose to make eco-friendly choices.
In Asia, The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards were founded by a large accommodation company to recognize tourism-based businesses who have made positive changes to help the environment. The awards are given to both big and small businesses for engaging the community, reducing their carbon footprint and providing tourists with an environmentally responsible choice for accommodations.
I think it’s important to realize that every part of the tourist industry can make positive changes; it does not just have to be major hotel chains who make a difference in the world. For example, a family owned restaurant can provide greener resources by serving a menu of locally grown foods; this helps the local economy and the consumer receives fresher food and a small bed and breakfast can use less water by installing low-flow toilets and showerheads.
Great strides are being made in some of the top vacation destinations in the world, too. The Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently earned the title of "The Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America." This huge property has drastically reduced its energy consumption by recycling its used waste into new energy, making it one of the most environmentally conscious hotels in Las Vegas. The facility not only meets the LEED standards, but it exceeds them!
Las Vegas isn’t the only big city that’s making greener changes, New York City's ink48 Hotel started the Earthcare program to help users exchange green living ideas. When companies and individuals apply the concepts that companies like Ink48 inspire, they can start reducing their carbon footprints’ as well.
Millions of people travel each year, which can create a lot of waste and you can make a difference by wisely choosing where to spend your travel dollars. It is not a secret that money talks and you can use your money to support hotels, attractions and restaurants that make green living a priority. In addition, we can all collectively make a big difference by making small changes in our daily lives at home, school and work.
Sam Marquit is an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value