EcoTravel Trends and News We’re Loving

Carbon-neutral flights, sustainable lodging and product re-use

Destination bound

As an agency, Revolution PR is a team who loves to travel. Whether we’re heading up to Whistler, Canada, for a ski weekend, taking the train down to Portland to see family or boarding a flight for an international vacation. But we all know commercial travel isn’t the friendliest to the earth. And, there are some travel companies and destinations that are straight up not good for the planet.

Luckily, ecotravel or ecotourism is growing in popularity and becoming more mainstream. According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotravel is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” More broadly, it can include anything that offsets the impact of travel and makes it more sustainable. As a leader in sustainable lifestyle PR, we keep an eye on the trends and news surrounding ecotravel. Here are a few stories and announcements in sustainable travel we’ve noticed in the past few months:

  1. In January, JetBlue announced all domestic flights will be carbon-neutral by July 2020. This is a first for a major U.S. airline, and an important one -- flying has the largest environmental impact of any form of travel. JetBlue will calculate the carbon emissions of each flight, then offset that amount by donating to forest conservation projects, wind and solar farms, and other organizations that promote sustainability. We look forward to seeing more airlines follow JetBlue’s lead.
  2. Speaking of carbon offsets, Health in Harmony is a nonprofit taking an innovative, holistic approach to offsetting carbon-heavy flights. The nonprofit uses its funds to “[focus] on two areas of health: that of the planet, and that of individuals who live in and around rain forests.” Not only does the money go into seedlings for valuable trees, it also supports the indigenous communities who call the rainforest home!
  3. Airbnb isn’t just an app to book your next getaway home. They’re also doing great sustainable campaigns and contests. The latest one, launched in January, will send five lucky winners to the Bahamas -- but not just to drink cocktails by the beach! The winners will “assist researchers and local experts in preserving the Carribean’s natural and cultural resources by restoring coral reefs and learning about ethical fishing and agricultural practices.” I’m sure there will still be time in the two-month trip to enjoy a cold drink, too.
  4. Ever wonder what happens to the bars of soap in your hotel room after you check-out? There’s a good chance the soap is recycled by a company called Clean The World. Clean The World works with over 8,000 hotel and resort partners around the world to collect used soap, recycle it, and then distribute hygiene kits to communities with high pre-adolescent death rates due to pneumonia and cholera. Earlier this month, Clean The World announced that it produced 5.8 million bars of recycled soap in 2019. This is a 52% increase from 2018, thanks to more hotels and resorts implementing sustainability practices.