Eco + Green Travel
Do you know a travel company that's changing the world? We want to hear about it!
In 2010, travel and tourism is expected to contribute some $5.8 trillion to the global GDP. Lately, more and more of that money is being channeled in ways that give back to the places we travel though. You know what we're talking about: the tour operator in southern Africa that's providing local communities access to education and jobs. The South American cruise line that's meticulously conserving fragile habitats. The European hotel group that's contributing to the preservation of a vulnerable historic monument. The multinational corporation that's lightening its carbon footprint and developing the technology that will allow others to do the same. And the multitude of travel companies that selflessly step in with resources and on-the-ground expertise when disaster strikes around the globe.
Every year Travel + Leisure 's Global Vision Awards recognize the companies and organizations that are leaders in responsible travel. If you know of one that we should consider for the 2010 awards, please encourage it to fill out this year's application, available here:
2010 Application for Nontravel Nominees
2010 Application for Travel Nominees
For more on last year's Global Vision Award winners, visit: TravelandLeisure.com/ideas/eco-travel
Amy Farley is a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Recently I went to a Toronto tourism event that featured a
honey tasting. My favorite nectar—a luscious caramel-brown with herby mint
notes—belonged to the Fairmont Royal York’s
14-story-high rooftop hives (called the Honey Moon Suite), and is served
to guests at tea service and in specialty cocktails. The mint flavor (someone snootily insisted it was a hint of
“eucalyptus”) comes from the rooftop garden’s herb plots, where the bar gleans much of their greenery for muddled mojitos and
The apiary is a cross-brand initiative with hives already
set up at the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews
and the Fairmont Waterfront in
Vancouver with more on the way.
Honey—golden, sticky, amber goodness—turns bitter and
looses nutrients during pasteurization. Hotels looking for an eco-luxe draw are
turning to the home-grown raw stuff like, well, bees to honey.
Here at T+L, we've gotten a bit of a bad rap, because folks seem to think we have some major beef with the lovely city of Philadelphia. Why's that? Well, for a few years now, the City of Brotherly Love has gotten some not-so-favorable results in our annual America's Favorite Cities survey. But I want to remind you: those numbers are entirely based on reader response to our poll, which is open to the public for voting. And I can assure you, we—especially yours truly—are actually quite fond of the sometimes underappreciated city. The only beef we do have with the city comes in the delicious form of a greasy cheesesteak.
That being said, I recently learned about a newly opened project at the 92-acre Morris Arboretum, in northern Philly's Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Though it's a bit of a trek (some 10 or so miles) from the über touristy Old City—home to the Liberty Bell, former City Hall, and Philadelphia Mint, among other historic attractions—this looks to be well worth the trip.
The last time I visited Denver I fell in love with Little Man Ice Cream (or, rather, its banana chocolate chip frozen custard, with a dollop of hot fudge). Now that the city is offering up 500 red Trek cycles in its bike-sharing program, I’ll pedal there myself, and order up a double scoop to celebrate the calories I’ve burned.
Riding on the heels (or wheels?) of similar initiatives in Montreal and Mexico City, Denver B-Cycle is the nation’s first citywide bike-share, and incredibly cheap (it was sponsored by various big-money partners, including Kaiser Permanente). Purchase a 24-hour membership for $5 with your credit card at any of 40 ubiquitous B-cycle stations (above, see map here), and soon enough you’ll be free-wheelin’ it throughout the Mile High City. Legs getting sore? Just return your bike to its hub (stations are everywhere from the Denver Art Museum to the Highlands, the nabe Little Man Ice Cream calls home).
On its daily four-hour trip across a swath of southwest oil country Tuesday, Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer was blazing a new trail of sorts: one fueled by biodiesel. The run marks the Earth Week inauguration of a 12-month test of alternative fuels along the 206-mile route.
The fuel, a blend of 80% diesel and 20% beef by–product (if the train industry is shunning Texas oilmen, at least they’re tossing a shank bone to region’s cattle industry), performed well in lab test. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions were reduced by 10%, particulates by 15%, and sulfates by 20%, so hopes are high for the track test.
And, no, the fuel does not smell like burgers.
With last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, we're reminded of the value of life's most basic necessity—water. So, efforts to raise awareness about this precious resource couldn't have come at a better time.
A group of celebrities, activists, and philanthropists—actress Jessica Biel, actor Emile Hirsch, musician Santigold, and activist Alexandra Cousteau (of Jacques Cousteau lineage), to name just a few—recently banded together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a part of Summit on the Summit (SOTS), and shine a spotlight on the importance of clean drinking water.
The crew reached the top of Kilimanjaro—which, at 19,340 feet, is Africa's tallest peak—last Tuesday, where they stopped briefly to take a photograph (below) before beginning the (much less arduous) trek back down to the bottom. (The ascent took a grueling 6 days, while the descent took just 2.)
Hit the ground running. CityGoRound.com, a remarkably useful new website, has compiled tools that can help you get around wherever it is you’re heading. Just type in your destination city for up a list of websites and easily-downloaded apps for mobile phones (not just iPhones) that can get you up real-time help in navigating the mean streets.
Some of the available tools are tried-and-true favorites like Google Maps, but others possess that tingly magic of future must-haves:
A couple weeks ago in Times Square, Duracell marked the opening of their Smart Power Lab by unveiling the newest design for their Power Rovers.
At this point, you might be wondering: What is a Smart Power Lab? And what are these Power Rovers? Well, as most people know, one of the biggest celebrations to happen in New York City is the dropping of the New Year’s Eve ball. No doubt a tremendous amount of electricity is used for this iconic event.
If you’re traveling more than 1,000 miles, hopping on a carbon-squandering jet is actually the greenest choice for lone travelers or couples. (Well, honestly, bus travel is a more conscientious choice, but traveling by bus for 1,000 miles sounds like the plot of the most boring yet frightening horror movie ever.) Air travel even beats out trains for this distance, though the carbon equation shifts for trips shorter than 500 miles, when train trumps plane travel.
The Union of Concerned Scientists,
which bills itself as “the leading science-based nonprofit working for
a healthy environment and a safer world,” knows you’re not going to
give up travel and they don’t think you should.
This past August, I traveled as a writer and social networker with Green Living Project, a non-profit organization that films sustainable programs across the world for inspirational and educational purposes. In GLP's two-year history, the organization has documented over thirty diverse projects in ten countries across Latin America and Africa. I joined Green Living Project’s first domestic trip in the land of plump lobsters, historical small-town reminiscing, and tongue-staining summer blueberries in Maine.