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Travelers Go Green in the US


Going on a holiday may not involve a guilt trip when it comes to the carbon footprint you make as a traveler. Travelers go green a lot more today than 10 years ago, thanks to the sustainability efforts being made by airline and hotel industries, as well as car rental agencies.

Travelers Go Green in the US

The airline industry has made huge headway in reducing its carbon footprint by adopting eco-friendly technologies and procedures. They are building fuel efficient aircraft and exploring alternative fuel technologies like biodiesel, a fuel that not only produces lesser greenhouse emissions but also increases the life of the engine.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is made of composite substances making it lighter and fuel efficient. Airbus will release its latest A350 XWB in 2014, which is said to reduce emissions and also use 25% lesser fuel. Some airlines have switched to electric-powered ground vehicles for transporting bags. A building at Philadelphia International Airport that houses transport vehicles was constructed using 20% recycled materials. United Airlines’ aircraft have wings with added winglets, which help in reducing drag and improving the efficiency of fuel consumption. The airlines have also recycled aluminum weighing 20 million pounds and reduced paper waste by introducing mobile device boarding, and providing pilots with iPads as an alternative to bulky paperwork.

Rental car companies are also taking initiative and adding electric vehicles to their increasing hybrid fleet. Enterprise boasts more than 5000 electric and hybrid vehicles available for rent in 70 different locations, while Avis and Hertz too have a substantial number of electric and hybrid cars. Most companies have also started offering services like car sharing, helping in reducing carbon footprint. There are some companies like that exclusively rent out electric or hybrid vehicles. Companies are also getting their cars SmartWay certified by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is a certification awarded to cars that are environmental-friendly as measured in terms of greenhouse emissions and air pollution.

Eco-Friendly Promotional Items in Hotels Wanted After Travelers Go Green

Hotels too are moving towards eco-friendly practices. The newer hotels that are coming up are either green hotels or revamped buildings that are constructed in an eco-friendly way. More and more hotels are providing their rooms with eco-friendly promotional items like key cards to control lighting, motion sensors, fluorescent bulbs, etc. that help conserve energy. Hotels are recycling waste and substituting large dispensers for individual soap and shampoo bottles. Instead of disposable plastic and paper utensils, they are using glassware and metal cutlery. Hotels like Choice Hotels’ Econo Lodge are also joining programs like “Room to be Green”, under which they must adopt sustainable practices like a recycling program, offer the option to re-use linens and towels to hotel guests, and use indoor lighting like LED bulbs that are energy-efficient.


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