6 Travel Companies Embracing Eco-Friendliness on Earth Day and Beyond

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As awareness of the importance of sustainable and “green” tourism continues to increase, more travelers are demanding eco-friendly travel experiences. In order to answer to these eco-tourism requests, companies around the world—from airlines and hotels to tour operators—are rising to the occasion by embracing these ideals. As the world gets ready to celebrate Earth Day, take a look at these six travel companies implementing eco-friendly practices in their businesses.

6. Barcelo Hotel Group

Occidental Nuevo Vallarta. (Photo courtesy of Barcelo Hotel Group)

This year, the Barcelo Hotel Group announced that for the first time Allegro Cozumel, Occidental Cozumel, Occidental Nuevo Vallarta, and Barcelo Puerto Vallarta have attained the Green Globe certification, which promotes the implementation of sustainability standards in the operation and management of resort destinations and communities. In addition, Barcelo Maya Grand Resort—comprised of the Barcelo Maya Beach, Barcelo Maya Caribe, Barcelo Maya Colonial, Barcelo Maya Tropical, and Barcelo Maya Palace—as well as the Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort—comprised of the Barcelo Bavaro Palace and Barcelo Bavaro Beach—have both been rectified by the organization in 2019. The Green Globe certificate evaluates several sustainable practices including the preservation of ecological balance, the protection of the environment, and the responsible use of resources without compromising the quality of life for future generations.

For more information, visit barcelo.com.

5. Hilton Hotels on Oahu

Maui Mule Cocktail. (Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels)

Now through May 27, 2019, guests at any of the five Hilton properties on the island of Oahu can sip on their cocktails knowing that not only are they enjoying a delicious beverage, but a portion of the price they pay for that drink will go towards benefitting Ko’oalu Mountains Watershed Partnership (KMWP), a Hawaii-based nonprofit that strives to protect the native rainforests on Oahu’s Ko’olau Mountains. Through this island-wide Cocktails for a Cause initiative, guests will also get to enjoy drinks specially crafted for the campaign by local bartenders and using local ingredients.

Examples of drinks on the Cocktails for a Cause menu include the Garden Isle Colada, which is available at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and the Maui Mule, which guests will find at the Hilton Waikiki Beach. The Garden Isle Colada is made with Koloa spiced rum from Kauai, cream of coconut, fresh local pineapple juice and mint, while the Maui Mule blends Paui Maui vodka, passionfruit puree, and lime juice topped with ginger beer.

4. Etihad Airways

(Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways)

In an effort to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will become the first airline in the region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board when it departs from Abu Dhabi on April 21, 2019 and lands in Brisbane, Australia on April 22, 2019—Earth Day. The milestone flight is part of Etihad’s ongoing commitment to the environment, which extends beyond Earth Day celebrations as the company pledges to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 percent not just in-flight, but across the entire organization by the end of 2022.

3. Seadust Cancun Family Resort

(Photo courtesy of Seadust Cancun Family Resort)

Seadust Cancun Family Resort is celebrating Earth Day with the launch of its Waste Separation Program. The program’s goal is to reduce waste production by complying with local sustainability regulations, developing ecological initiatives to recycle and revalue as many materials as possible while maintaining guests’ experiences top-of-mind. The program is predicted to surpass the 35,000 pounds of waste recycled last year through the beginning stage of the Waste Separation Program. In the first phase of the program, the resort will discontinue the use of disposable containers such as cups, plates and bowls. Next, Seadust Cancun will work to eliminate the use of plastic straws by providing them only to guests who specifically request them. Finally, the resort will encourage staff and guests to recycle by providing respective bins, as well as educational signage throughout the property educating guests and staff on recycling regulations and tips.

For more information, visit seadustcancun.com.

2. Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach

(Photo courtesy of Kimpton Angler’s South Beach Hotel)

Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach has adopted a coral reef site off the shores of Miami Beach as part of a citizen science program and mission to help guests learn about local preservation efforts, while also assisting in the restoration of the area’s coral reef population. Working in conjunction with the University of Miami Benthic Ecology and Coral Restoration Lab, Kimpton Angler’s funding has provided for the restoration of the Angler’s Reef site, which is now thriving.

For guests interested in getting an up-close look at the reef, the Kimpton now offers a Reef Rescue Dive/Snorkel Discovery Experience. Excursion participants can opt to dive (approximately 25 ft. deep), snorkel, or ride along to the Angler’s Reef site led by a licensed captain and crew. Guests traveling in groups can also customize their experience, with catering, scuba diving re-fresher courses, and other options are also available.

For more information, visit anglershotelmiami.com.

1. Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is bringing travelers to marvel at the enormous trees that Sequoia National Park is known for, while also giving them the opportunity to work alongside biologists to track, conduct research on, and help protect wild bumblebee populations. Through the Science in the Field: Tracking Wild Bumblebees in the Sierra Nevada itinerary, guests will spend four days exploring various parts of the park such as the Mineral King glacial valley, the meadows of Cedar Slope, and more. In addition to learning about wild bees, another highlight of the itinerary is an after-dark adventure into the woods to find the bioluminescent millipedes that call the park home. Rates start at $980 pp including accommodations in Silver City Mountain Resort, trip leaders, three dinners, daily picnic lunches, and additional snacks.

For more information, visit atlasobscura.com.