It’s not easy being green, but hotel booking site BookDifferent.com is trying to make searching the Web for green-certified accommodations less of a herculean task.
The Netherlands-based booking engine claims to be the first to allow users to compare so called eco and non-eco hotels, all while donating half of its commission to a charity of your choice.
“We believe there is a strong green awareness among leisure and business travelers alike, and this will continue to grow,” said Bastiaan Fronik, chairman at BookDifferent.com.
The website recently teamed up with Green Globe Certification, the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for the sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses.
BookDifferent.com users sifting through the website’s more than 245,000 hotels can now siphon out all the ones that are not eco-labeled in the same way that one might search for hotels by the facilities they offer.
Green Globe-certified hotels allegedly protect the environment, create safe and healthy work conditions, and give back to their local communities. Green Globe Certification’s CEO, Guido Bauer, said the collaboration with BookDifferent.com will “support promoting our green philosophy worldwide.”
“All Green Globe members are rigorously certified under 41 criteria, which have been accepted globally as the definition of sustainable travel and tourism,” he said. “To complete the certification process, these members undergo an independent on-site audit to ensure their sustainability efforts have been thoroughly inspected.”
BookDifferent.com also allows users to sift through hotels certified by Green Key, a program of the Foundation for Environmental Education that’s become the world’s largest eco-label for companies in the tourism and leisure industry.
Most people who book green hotels tend to seek them out individually, which can entail hours of scouring the Web. BookDifferent.com functions on the assumption that the way to get more people to stay in eco-friendly accommodations is the make it easier to find them.
The site lists just over 1,000 hotels in 62 countries that have been awarded one or both of the eco-labels, with the most in the Netherlands, France and Greece. The project is still in its early stages, so while cities like Amsterdam turn up 57 eco-labeled accommodation options, New York or London turn up none.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...