5 Ways Sustainability Has Changed Travel


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As we usher in the age of earth-friendliness, you may become familiar with the green movement’s buzzwords. Emphasis is placed on things like sustainability, local-sourcing, energy-efficiency and more. But what does all of this mean? For the travel industry, sustainability has caused big changes in the way they do business.

To put it simply, sustainability is meeting the current needs of business and individuals without compromising the future of the planet’s resources or individual welfare. One leader in the sustainability movement is the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Their work to make a luxury hotel more sustainable has won countless awards and is leading the movement. Included here are a few ways that sustainability has changed the way we travel and find accommodations.

Green Construction of Hotels

One of the most frequently remodeled structures around the world are hotels. Subject to changing building codes and personal preferences, hotels are constantly working to stay relevant and inviting in a cut-throat travel industry. One of the risks of all of this remodeling is the waste in building products and efficiency.

Thankfully, many hotels have begun to look at their remodeling projects with a critical eye. Instead of merely making their hotels more aesthetically appealing or larger, they are working to make them more energy-efficient and sustainable. This means utilizing environmentally-friendly materials and being conscious of their waste materials.

Fuel Efficiency in Flights

In many ways, travel is dependent upon good earthly stewardship. Flights are only possible with appropriate weather conditions, and many individuals are traveling to visit natural wonders around the globe. This failure to preserve the natural environment could destroy the travel industry from the inside out, so it is wisest for them to invest in the globe and their patrons.

One way many airlines are attempting to lessen their environmental impact is in terms of fuel efficiency. Working to implement aircraft models that are more fuel-efficient can greatly decrease the amount of emissions released into the environment. Additionally, taking care to reduce and recycle from in-flight hospitality measures can be another drop in the bucket for earthly-awareness.

Water and Energy Conservation in Hotels

Hotels can be exceptionally poor stewards when it comes to their water and power consumption. While many people are cautious about their water use or power consumption when at home, they fail to take it into account when they are vacation. This “escape from responsibility” is not helping the planet any or the bottom line of hotels.

One way many hotels are improving their revenue, and the health of the planet, is by taking steps to reduce their water and energy consumption. One method is to allow guests the option of postponing room cleaning and keeping towels for another day. Additionally, they can implement energy efficient appliances in rooms to cut down on that consumption.

Some hotels choose to purify and recycle water to use in laundry or other cleaning methods. The company, Clean the World, works to recycle all partly used bottles of shampoo and bars of soap from hotel rooms. These items work together with a water, sanitation and hygiene program to save lives in third world countries. Another important step that can make your hotel more appealing to guests as you give back internationally.

Local Travel

While local travel seems like a bit of an oxymoron, what this is really referring to is traveling by ground. Taking the time to carpool with several friends, or go by train or bus, can work wonders in preserving the environment. Even with the reduced fuel measures of airplanes, they are some of the biggest fuel consumers on earth. Traveling by land can reduce the carbon emissions and create more affordable vacations.

Food Waste Reduction

Perhaps one of the biggest wastes among today’s travelers can be found in relation to food. Countless travel industries surround food service, but they take little consideration into their food waste. One way some businesses are cutting down on food waste is by selling it by the ounce. When an individual is paying for exactly the amount of food they want to eat, they tend to value it more and conserve products.

Additionally, many other companies are taking the time to begin composting leftover food. Instead of throwing all of that food into the garbage and sending it off to a landfill, it could be usable by local gardeners for creating a valuable and nutrient-rich compost for their garden soils.