Want to book a holiday where sustainability is more than just an optional extra? Bookitgreen promises to make booking an eco-friendly trip a breeze.
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with tons of cheap flights available and the growth of the sharing economy opening up cheaper accommodation options for budget travellers. But if it's not done right, it can have a huge impact on both people and planet - tourism is currently thought to account for a huge five to twelve per cent of global greenhouse gases - and the industry just keeps on growing.
And faced with the dizzying amount of options on offer and all the different aspects there are to consider (what makes travel "sustainable" anyhow? The transportation? Accommodation? Food? Activities?) trying to plan an eco-conscious break and stay true to your sustainable principles - can be complicated, overwhelming, and enough to put you off even trying.
What if there was a website out there that would do most of the work for you? That's where bookitgreen comes in.
Set up by Moritz Hintze, Andreas Teufl and Phillip Fickl, bookitgreen wants to make booking sustainable accommodation as easy as it is to book a "normal" holiday, minimal hassle guaranteed. By gathering sustainable accommodation options all together in one easy to navigate directory, bookitgreen wants to streamline the search and selection process - with a big focus on clarity, transparency and what "sustainable" here actually means.
Each accommodation option must meet at least four of their 15 sustainability criteria - which range from the use of renewable energy, ecological cleaning products and water-saving taps, to the serving of organic and/or regional food, and how accessible the site is via public transport. Depending on how many criteria are met, it is awarded 1-5 green leaves - a clear indicator of an accommodation's sustainability. User reviews and personal check-ups from bookitgreen's team also help ensure that the promised criteria are met.
© Book It Green
The website currently only offers accommodation in Europe - with a focus on German-speaking countries - but they plan to strengthen their presence throughout the rest of the continent in 2018, with the view to eventually offering easily-bookable, fairly-represented and transparent sustainable options throughout the whole of the world.
Accommodation options range from luxury hotels, B&Bs, holiday homes and flats to organic farms and camping grounds, with the options bookable in up to 6 languages.
Bookitgreen estimates that just by choosing the options available on the site, each traveller already saves (on average) 90 litres of water and 6 kilos of CO2 per night booked. But, keen to go the extra mile, bookitgreen also offer other carbon-cutting extras. As well as having a partnership with atmosfair, which allows you to offset the carbon footprint of any flights you might take, they also have a cooperation with Eden Projects and will plant a tree for every booking made - that's one whole tree per person per night!
Sounds like it might be time to start firming up those travel plans...