With the ever-growing popularity of sustainable travel, many hotels are cashing in on being eco-friendly, without the proof to back it up. Any conscious traveler knows the headache that comes with dealing with “greenwashing.” Determining which hotels are truly sustainable is tough. Major online travel agents haven’t prioritized sustainability. As a result, it requires a lot of research to find the green hotels that are doing it right.
Based in the Netherlands, where sustainability is a way of life, Book Different aims to take the mystery out of picking an earth-friendly dig. The website lists over two million accommodations. From treehouses to business hotels, they are all rigorously checked for sustainability.
Green Check rating system
Travelers can see how hotels match up thanks to the company’s “stay green check”—a stamp of approval with up to four green hearts, each representing a different category of sustainable travel.
Hotels listed on the website earn a heart for each category in which they excel. Things like sustainable management, fair and equal treatment for employees, respect for local traditions and taking care of the environment are included. “Stay green checks” are determined through a conglomeration of the world’s leading eco labels and third-party audits. No “greenwashing” here!
When travelers search for a hotel in a specific destination, bookdifferent.com automatically filters the options. The most “stay green checks” rise to the top. That way, users see the most sustainable options by default. Each listing also comes with a carbon footprint calculation. The footprint is expressed in kilos per guest, per night. Therefore, hotels with the lowest footprint stand out with a “green foot” label.
While their aim is to mainstream sustainable travel, the platform doesn’t just want travelers to stay in the greenest hotels. They also want them to travel to the most sustainable destinations. That’s why they’ve partnered with Green Destinations to promote the world’s most sustainable locales. Together, they highlight responsible things to do once you’re there. Guilt-free travel has never been easier.
-Shannon Valdes Leiderman