Green Travel or ‘Greenwashing’?

By Maggie Fazeli Fard |

As ecotourism has grown in popularity, many travel providers and hotels have jumped onto the “green travel” bandwagon while doing little to actually support its sustainable practices and conservation efforts.

“Greenwashing” — claiming to be eco-friendly without making a significant effort to minimize environmental impact — occurs in all industries, and travel is no exception. A hotel chain, for example, might promote itself as green because it allows guests the option of reusing towels or sleeping on the same set of sheets for more than one night. But, according to the University of Oregon’s Greenwashing Index (GWI), this policy “actually does very little to save water and energy where it counts — on its grounds, with its appliances and lighting, in its kitchens, and with its vehicle fleet.”

There is no internationally recognized group that certifies the environmental practices of the travel industry, so it’s mostly up to individual vacationers to make their getaways as green as possible. These suggestions can help you be a savvy eco-minded traveler:

  1.  to minimize the environmental impact of vacation flights.

Find more tips at

For more on sustainable travel, check out “.”

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