There's a reason they call our planet "Mother Earth." With nearly 1 billion tourists crisscrossing the globe annually, today's Moms find it more important than ever for their families to minimize their carbon footprints and reduce the impact they make on the earth's natural and cultural resources.
According to Andrea Learned, gender and consumer behavior expert, "anyone who's serving a sustainable consumer should be watching green moms… these women are very influential among their peers and their momentum is building."
Scott ParisiScott Parisi, President and CEO of EcoGreenHotel, a consulting firm that assists in improving hotels' environmental sustainability and prepares them for green certification believes that the hotel recommendations by mothers is determined by whether or not a hotel is 'green.'
"Some hotel are claiming they are 'green' by simply asking guests to participate in their linen and terry reuse program," notes Parisi. Over the course of the last several years, fortunately there are more and more credible certification programs available for the hospitality industry. Green Moms are now savvy enough to ask if a hotel is Energy Star, Green Seal, LEED or Green Key labeled. "When hotels achieve one of these prestigious distinctions, Moms can be assured they will be introducing their family to the most eco-conscious hotels that go far beyond the minimal green practices," adds Parisi.
Green Moms are aware that you don't necessarily have to pay more to travel green. According to an IndependentTraveler.com report, there is a whole host of companies that have sprung up to help travelers go "carbon neutral," saving between $10 and $40 per flight, depending on the distance traveled. They are also booking environmentally friendly hotels, B&Bs and lodges around the world, including those recommended by EcoGreenHotels. Green Moms are keen to ask the following questions before booking a truly green hotel:
Everyone has a role to play in creating responsible travel and tourism. Governments, business and communities must all contribute to improve sustainability, but as a Green Mom responsible for family travel, they have found many ways to make a difference during hotel stays:
- Do guests have the option to reuse towels and sheets instead of having them changed every day?
- What programs does the hotel have to reduce consumption? Examples include energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and showers, and alternative energy sources like solar or wind power.
- How does the hotel contribute to the local community?
- What kind of recycling programs does the hotel have in place for aluminum, plastic, paper and composting?
- Is the hotel locally owned and operated? If not is it staffed by local employees?
For hoteliers, airlines and tourist operations, its important to be aware of today's traveler's scruting regarding green initiatives. The critics that looked at the 'greening of the planet' as a passing phase are growing smaller and smaller in number. And for those that are still not convinced that Green Moms are one of the major influencers in making green travel decisions, just take a look at some of their numbers.
- Bringing their own toiletries and drinking cup rather than using the prepackaged ones provided. If you do use the hotel's toiletries, take them with you and use them at home or during the rest of your trip.
- Knowing your hotel's recycling program and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home with you to recycle them there.
- When you leave the room, turning off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices.
- Keeping your showers short, and shut off the water while you're brushing your teeth.
- Giving your hotel feedback. Express your appreciation for any eco-friendly programs it currently offers — or if it doesn't, encourage the management to go green in the future.
Green Mom Stats provided by Deliver Magazine