TripZero: Tackling Climate Change One Hotel Booking at A Time

Book flights, hotels and tours. Get passports, visas and vaccines.

These are the items often at the top of a to-do list before a trip.

While negating the environmental impact of a trip is often on the socially conscious traveler’s mind, it can sometimes get pushed to the bottom of our list of priorities. Estimating the environmental impact for a trip and purchasing carbon offsets takes time. Something we have little of in the midst of pre-travel chaos.

Fortunately, you can check accommodations and carbon offsets off the to-do list at the same time with TripZero, an eco-conscious hotel booking platform.

The way the company works is simple. When you reserve your hotel room with TripZero, the company offsets your carbon footprint for the trip by funding reforestation and renewable energy projectsat no additional cost to you.

Projects funded through TripZero bookings are third-party certified carbon offset programs. Campaigns funded include Patagonia Sur, which promotes conservation in some of Chile’s most stunning ecological areas, as well as the Indiana School Wind Project, which constructs wind turbines in the northern part of the state.

TripZero was started in 2013 by Eric Zimmerman, a man who already knew a thing or two about green living. Before building the platform, Zimmerman had introduced post-consumer recycled paper books to his publishing company and retrofitted his house to minimize the environmental impact of his home.

After realizing the biggest portion of his personal carbon footprint came from travel, he moved to develop TripZero, which creates value for the socially conscious consumer by combining hotel booking and carbon offsets into one step in the travel planning process.

One part of TripZero’s value proposition is that the carbon offsets are free to the customer booking their hotel. You may immediately ask yourself “are the nightly hotel rates marked up to, well, offset the offsets?” The answer is no. As a member of the Expedia Affiliate Network, TripZero is able to offer a low-price guarantee. A portion of the commission hotels pay to TripZero for referring customers is used to fund the carbon offsets for your trip.

The process is simple too. After selecting your desired destination and dates for a hotel stay, the site then prompts you to enter basic details about your mode of transport for getting there. TripZero then provides you with a calculation of your carbon footprint before presenting the search results for hotels. Calculating the carbon offsets adds a mere 60 seconds onto your total time searching and booking a hotel.

The only downside to TripZero is that hotel search results provide little information about the sustainability practices of the accommodations, so finding the right room for your conscience requires further research.

Future changes to make information about each hotel’s commitment to the environment more transparent would go a long way to securing TripZero’s place as the irreplaceable booking site for the eco-conscious traveler.

Nonetheless, the good intentions are there for TripZero. The booking platform is certified as a B-Corporation, largely for its commitment to the environment. TripZero’s core mission takes on one of the biggest hush-hush problems of travel: carbon emissions.

The company’s description on its B Corp community page cites that travel contributes to 4 percent of the globe’s annual carbon emissions, on par with pollution statistics of countries like Japan and Germany.

While it's only one part of the needed solution within the tourism industry to fight climate change, carbon offsets go a long way to making travel better for the environment. TripZero makes sure we don't overlook them just because we’re too busy planning the rest of our trip.

Published: 12/23/2015

While traveling the world as a digital nomad, Christina found it difficult to find the fine travel experiences that satisfied her conscience. She started The Wayward Post with Ziggy to help travelers find those travel experiences that are driving positive change and to give the Wayward hat tip to travel-related brands doing the right thing. All while amplifying the work of amazing writers and photographers.

When she's not writing for The Wayward Post, you'll find her working with do-good brands run by amazing people with the marketing agency, ZATWIC. Or maybe just drinking a craft cocktail.  Follow her on Twitter.

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