5 Hotel Booking Sites Making An Impact

By Zygmunt Spray

Many major travel booking sites boast value propositions like having the biggest selection of hotel and the best prices. They offer up details about the hotel, like its facilities, WiFi access and location. But when it comes to hotel carbon footprints or fair wages, there just isn’t a search filter. And they aren’t doing anything good with the profits from your booking either.

Here are 5 alternatives to the major hotel booking sites. These sites are on a mission to make a positive impact, one hotel booking at a time.

TripZero

TripZero

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

The nightly rates on the site are similar to the competition too. TripZero works with Expedia to keep rates low, and funds the carbon offsets with the commission paid by the hotel to TripZero.

The only downside: there is a lack of information about each hotel’s environmental practices. So, if you want to reduce your impact at the hotel itself, you’re going to have to do your own research.

Book Greener

BookGreener

BookGreener was developed with a mission to promote hotels that employ green practices. They aim to make it easier for travelers to find hotels that minimize their environmental impact and give back to the local economy.

On the site each hotel listed is visually rated from “green bud” to “forest green” to show travelers how much each property is doing for the environment.

A partnership with Green Earth Appeal means every booking translates into a planted tree in some of the world’s most critically endangered ecosystems. This is financed by BookGreener’s profits.

BookGreener goes beyond the hotel room too. It also provides travelers with guides to find businesses they think would appeal to the responsible traveler: yoga studios, organic restaurants, bicycle rental shops and more.

Book Different

BookDifferent

With BookDifferent you can “stay green” and “sleep well” at over 750,000 hotels around the world. BookDifferent rates every hotel and every room based on the carbon footprint of your stay, and even gives a rating for the city you’ll be visiting using data sourced from Green Destinations.

The website is clear and easy to use, allowing you to put sustainable travel back on your checklist. As an added bonus, half of the commission from your booking goes directly to the charity of your choice. BookDifferent has 100 charities to choose from, with missions ranging from better health and international aid to the environment. After doing the math, about 2.4% of what you pay goes to charity. Not bad. They work with Booking.com too, so their rates are going to be competitive.

Green Hotel World

Green Hotel World

E S L C V. These letters define Green Hotel World. These letters are used in the site’s ranking system to help customers searching for a green hotel know how, and in which areas their choice is performing. ESLCV stands for environment, social issues, local economy, cultural heritage and verified green practices, respectively.

Green Hotel World works like a traditional hotel booking website. It’s powered by Booking.com’s engine, meaning your experience on their website is enjoyable and the rates are competitive.

While green hotels are shown first in your search results, travelers still have 8,000 properties worldwide to choose from. There are many places to visit that don’t have certified green hotels. In these cases, the site will manage carbon offsets for your stay through a partnership with myclimate. Again, with no additional cost to you.

Trees Can Fly

Trees Can Fly

This is a relatively new travel search company that cares about, you guessed it, trees. No, they are not strapping hundred-year old oak trees into the aisle seat in economy class or giving a pine a chance to explore new forests.

This search company pledges to plant 10 trees for every booking made through its site. As the name would suggest, the site handles flight bookings. But it also allows socially conscious travelers to book hotels. The trees are planted in partnership with Trees for the Future, a nonprofit organization that has planted more than 120 million trees in over 20 countries since 1989.

Published: 2/4/2016

Zygmunt, or "Ziggy" to family and all of you friends, travels the world, breathing visual storytelling. He lives behind a camera lens capturing the inexpressible moments that, in summation, become our life's story and a larger narrative on the human experience. He started The Wayward Post with Christina to share amazing travel photography and to inspire other people to travel and do good in the world.

When he's not behind a camera, you'll find him moving to a spot... where he'll then use his camera. Indulge yourself in his beautiful work at  Zygmunt Spray Photography and 500px. Follow him on Twitter.