Becoming a conscious consumer is a journey of finding awareness about the impacts created from the products we purchase, businesses we support, and habits we adopt. It’s not only about avoiding the companies and practices that create a negative impact but mindfully choosing the ones that are creating a positive impact – environmentally, socially, and economically.
What does this look like in the travel industry?
Choosing trains over planes and bikes over buses are by far one of the most effective choices, and next up in travel is where you choose to stay. Below is a breakdown of what happens when conscious consumerism meets travel and specifically– why you should choose eco-accommodations.
The big term to understand when examining your travel habits is sustainable tourism. Under the umbrella of sustainable tourism, there are eco-accommodations.
Hearing the term ‘eco-accommodation’ you may associate some type of tree-house or eco-lodge in the wilderness but in truth, they come in all shapes and sizes. (Defined by ecomadic) an eco-accommodation can be a hotel, hostel, apartment, bed & breakfast, holiday home, homestay, holiday park & campground, luxury lodge, boutique lodge and so on. It’s not the category the property falls under that defines its sustainability, it’s the creators of the property, their mission, and how they operate. For example, where does their energy come from? What do they do with their waste? Are they employing locals?
At its core, each eco-accommodation should ensure–environmental protection, socio-cultural efficiency, and economic viability for all relevant stakeholders.
Image credit: Renate Vanaga/Unsplash
Reduce Your Footprint
Booking eco-accommodations is about doing research and choosing to support businesses that are creating a positive impact. (See company website & ask relevant questions before booking!)
Choosing to stay green can help reduce your carbon footprint in more ways than one. Eco-accommodations analyze their sourcing and purchasing and do so on local levels. They conserve water and energy and not only effectively manage their waste but work to reduce it. They also mitigate pollution and offer plant-based options– major bonus!
At eco-accommodations, your decisions are made easier and your carbon footprint is smaller.
Eco-accommodations employ locals, display cultural roots, and can advise you on all the social norms in the area. Employees can answer your questions and share their culture with you. This ultimately gives travellers a more intimate experience. Most eco-accommodations can also connect you with local guides and tours.
Eco-accommodations are connected to their surrounding community. This means your dollar is contributing directly to the surrounding region’s economy and creating jobs. In developing regions, eco-accommodations often contribute to community development projects. For example, Loola Adventures in Bintan, Indonesia actively works to create Safe Water Gardens for village families.
Discover Unique Places
While eco-accommodations can be anywhere, they are often located outside of major tourist hubs. This promotes tourism dispersal and can help you truly discover a country and what it has to offer. Without the crowds, your experience will be more peaceful and authentic.
Educating yourself on the impacts of tourism and your own travel decisions can be an eye-opening activity. It is guaranteed to lead you to have better travel experiences.
Don’t know how to find eco-accommodations? ecomadic is working to curate a collection of eco-accommodation across the world for you to book with! Check out our current listings and digital travel magazine – The Sustainable Seed.
If you’re interested in the inner workings of eco-accommodation→ click here to download ecomadic’s ‘digital backpacks’ which include detailed guidelines and suggestions that accommodations normally follow to be considered eco.
Featured image: Taylor Simpson/Unsplash