Carbon offset companies, ecotour operators, green hotels, hybrid rental car agencies … with so many eco-friendly resources on the internet, where’s a would-be green traveler to start? I’ve cut the confusion by gathering my favorite green travel resources in one convenient spot—so whether you’re interested in renting a hybrid car or offsetting the pollution from your last flight, you can find the info you need right here.
General Ecotourism and Green Travel Resources
Learn more about the principles of ecotourism and green travel by browsing these sites.
- Ethical Traveler
- Green Lodging News
- International Ecotourism Society
- Nature Conservancy
- Rainforest Alliance
- Sustainable Travel International
Carbon Offset Companies
There are a number of companies and charitable organizations that will offset your carbon emissions, not only for flights but also for car travel and household energy use. The range of projects varies widely, so I’ve explained a little bit about each organization to help you decide which offsetter is right for you.
- Atmosfair: German nonprofit organization that donates funds to alternative energy projects
- Carbon Footprint: British company that retires carbon offsets, plants trees, and supports international energy-saving projects
- Carbonfund.org: American nonprofit organization that retires carbon offsets, plants trees, and supports renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects
- The Conservation Fund: American nonprofit organization that plants trees across the U.S.
- GreenSeat: Dutch company that supports renewable energy projects
- Terrapass: American company that funds clean energy, biomass, and industrial efficiency projects
Eco-Friendly Lodging and Green Hotels
Looking for a hotel that takes steps to care for the environment? These green travel resources can help.
- a&o green: Sustainable hostel brand
- B’n’Tree: Plants a tree for each hotel booking that originates on the site
- Design Hotels: Upscale green hotels
- ECOCLUB: Ecolodges across the world
- Element Hotels: Environmentally friendly chain with worldwide locations
- Five-Leaf System: Green hotels around the world rated with up to five “leaves” for eco-friendliness
- Green Getaways Australia: Eco-friendly lodging in Australia
- Green Globe: Certified eco-friendly hotels across the world
- GreenHotels: Green hotels in Greece
- Green Hotels Association: Eco-friendly hotels in the U.S. and worldwide
- Green Vacation Hub: Green hotels and vacation rentals around the world
- ResponsibleTravel.com: Eco-friendly lodging worldwide
Eco-Friendly Tour Operators
These tour operators take a sustainable approach to travel, with some even paying for carbon offsets for their trips.
- Adventures Within Reach: Adventure travel around the world
- AdventureSmith Explorations: Expedition cruises and wilderness trips
- Backroads: Biking, hiking, and adventure trips around the world
- Blue Ventures: Volunteer trips for marine conservation projects
- Context Travel: Small-group city walking tours with an educational focus
- Country Walkers: Walking tours around the world
- Dragoman Overland: Overland tours
- Earthwatch Institute: Research expeditions worldwide
- Ecoteer: Volunteer trips in Asia
- Ecoventura: Carbon-neutral luxury yacht cruises in the Galapagos Islands
- Elevate Destinations: Travel combined with local philanthropy
- Escape Adventures: Biking and multi-sport tours
- Explore!: Small-group adventure trips
- G Adventures: Small-group adventure tours
- Gamewatchers Safaris: Safaris in East Africa
- International Expeditions: Nature-focused tours and small-ship expeditions
- Intrepid Travel: Small-group tours around the world
- Lindblad Expeditions: Expedition cruises around the world
- Mosaic Adventure: Trekking expeditions in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan
- Natural Habitat Adventures: Wildlife- and nature-focused trips around the world
- OARS: Outdoor adventure tours
- Peregrine: Small-group trips led by local guides
- Rainforest Cruises: Expedition cruises
- REI Adventures: Adventure tours
- ResponsibleTravel.com: Eco-friendly tours worldwide
- ROW Adventures: Whitewater rafting and other adventure trips
- Seacology: Volunteer trips to various conservation project sites
- UnCruise Adventures: Small-ship cruises
- Wildland Adventures: Luxury trips, including family vacations
Hybrid and Fuel-Efficient Rental Cars
Opt for a hybrid or other fuel-efficient car rental on your next trip from one of these providers.
- Alamo: Hybrid rentals at select locations
- Avis: Hybrid rentals at select locations
- CarRentals: Search engine for hybrid rentals around the world
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Hybrid and electric car rentals
- Fox Rent A Car: Hybrid rental vehicles at select locations
- Hertz: “Green Collection” of hybrid and fuel-efficient rental vehicles
- National Car Rental: Hybrid rental vehicles at select locations
More from SmarterTravel:
- 6 Easy Ways to Travel Plastic-Free
- 11 Endangered Bucket List Destinations (and How to Visit Them Responsibly)
- What Your Sunscreen Is Doing to the Environment
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with the latest information.
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