For the second year in a row, SmarterTravel.com's CEO has taken the whole company—and not just us nice writerly types whose work you read every day (you do read us everyday, right?)—to some far-flung locale for a company bonding session. Last year it was Las Vegas. This time, Mexico's Mayan Riviera. No joke.
But I'm not here to brag about how great our CEO is (although, if you're reading this, thanks Dan!). Nope, today I'd like to tell you how great my coworkers are. That's because the entire editorial department at SmarterTravel, plus the CEO and his wife, decided to offset the carbon dioxide emissions from our flights to Cancun through a company called Conservation International.
In our case, each traveling editor ended up spending about $14 to help offset the environmental impact of our travels. Of course, we're not the only ones who've decided to do a small part in keeping the planet green for ours and future generations. Studies by National Geographic, The Travel Industry Association, and The International Ecotourism society have shown that more than 70 percent of U.S. travelers believe it's important not to cause environmental or cultural harm when traveling. (And by the way, what's up with the other 30 percent?)
Travel retailers have taken notice, too. Both Travelocity and Expedia now offer buyers the option to offset carbon emissions when purchasing travel by giving a small donation to a carbon offset fund. Top hotel search engine Quickbook now features a shortcut that allows buyers to search for only ''green'' hotels. Hertz and Fox car rental companies, among others, have introduced "green" rental fleets.
Long story short? It's not that expensive to do your part toward protecting the environment.