Although sustainable hotels are often only scrutinized by their environmental impact, at Global Basecamps, we believe a sustainable hotel should not only be energy efficient and ecologically responsible, but also help sustain its local community.
In this new series of blog posts, we will be investigating what makes a sustainable hotel, from green building techniques and design innovation to conservation efforts and community outreach. Because sustainability is so wide-reaching and complex, we’re breaking down the sustainable hotel into its simpler parts and explaining the criteria for great sustainable hotels.
If I'm not traveling, talking about travel, dreaming about travel or eating, you'll likely find me up to my neck in research - and by research I mean stalking my favorite travel bloggers. You see, for many in the travel industry, "travel writer" is a highly coveted job title. Who wouldn't want to get paid to explore the globe, even if it meant eating insects and mystery meat à la Anthony Bourdain? Travel Channel pipe-dreams aside, the hardworking travel bloggers of the world (many who make little profit for their efforts) are changing the way we wander the globe. Find a travel blogger you identify with and you've essentially got a personal test pilot exploring the world for you and reporting back on what you'll love and what you can live without. With this in mind, Global Basecamps has decided to seek out bloggers who represent some facet of our travel philosophy and get them to share insider tips and knowledge they’ve gained on their global escapades.
Our first featured blogger is Matt from LandLopers.com. He describes himself as "a typical Gen-X professional who has a passion for all things travel." What we most love about him is the fact that he's not a backpacker nor traveling in the lap of luxury. He's found a way to be a global landloper (a.k.a. wanderer or adventurer) without breaking the bank, and is eager to make travel more accessible to all.
Although Japan is often featured as a bustling country with booming cosmopolitan cities, it also offers vast countrysides, sprawling mountain ranges, gorgeous beaches and quaint towns. Travelers can visit in any season; spring and summer feature warm weather attractions and festivals, while fall and winter offer spectacular foliage, winter sports and hot springs. At least a week is necessary to truly experience popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, and just a few more days can allow exploration into areas off the beaten path like Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We were happy to learn that one of Global Basecamps’ favorite airlines, Virgin America, has been awarded “Most Eco-Friendly Airline” by SmarterTravel.com. We were already in love with their great customer service and unparalleled seatback entertainment system, so this is major icing on the cake.
It turns out that a Virgin America flight from New York City to Los Angeles emits about 680 fewer pounds of carbon per passenger than United. Their young fleet consists of many Airbus 319s, which are 15 percent more efficient than the similarly sized Boeing 737. These numbers add up, making Virgin America about 25 percent more fuel and carbon efficient than the average domestic fleet.
Traveling green just got easier. Novothink has created the first Apple-certified solar powered charger for iPhones and iPods. Although the product, called Solar Surge, isn't getting much attention as a travel accessory, we think it's a perfect fit. Just imagine the possibilities! You're climbing Kilimanjaro and only steps away from your victory moment (which obviously calls for your "Eye of the Tiger" summit theme song) you see that your iPod charge is dwindling...You've just settled in on the white sands of Zanzibar when Steve Jobs calls with the deal of a lifetime as you realize your phone is a half bar from mutiny...You've landed in the U.K. for a month long escapade and realize you've forgotten your charger (not to mention your adapter), but luckily your iPhone and Solar Surge have become one (because it doubles as a case) and you'll just need a few hours outside a day to keep the good times rolling.