NORWALK, Conn., Dec 18, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The focus on living green or becoming more “eco-friendly” in the way we go about our everyday lives is becoming more and more common all across the world. But we sometimes find it hard to practice these same activities – recycling, conserving and reusing – when we travel.

“Traveling eco-friendly is not about giving up luxury, it’s about traveling more thoughtfully,” said actress and author Mariel Hemingway. “By travelling greener we not only enjoy this world’s beautiful destinations, but also help preserve them for people to enjoy for years to come.”

Fortunately, it’s becoming easier than ever to travel green. In fact, according to the World Tourism Organisation, eco-tourism is considered the fastest growing market in the tourism industry, growing at a rate of 5 percent worldwide each year and representing 11.4 percent of all consumer spending.

“A greener vacation doesn’t necessarily mean premium price,” said Leslie Downey, director of Travelers Advantage and TravelersAdvantage.com. “Unlike organic items in a grocery, green travel is accessible for any budget. And from your next business trip to an exotic excursion, it’s easy to go green regardless of where or why you travel.”

Green travel can be defined in many ways. On one level, there is a whole segment of travel resorts and excursions that are targeted at providing a luxury experience sans carbon emissions. Others provide you with an intensely local experience, from native cuisine, locally owned lodging and unique area excursions greatly accessible by foot, bike or on the back of an animal. And even if you are staying in a standard hotel or on your usual family road trip, there are things you can do to make your trip greener:

  • Take a train instead of flying for shorter trips
  • Use public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars whenever possible
  • If you do have to take a rental car, consider a hybrid or smaller economy car instead of larger vehicles
  • Hang up your towels and leave a note to hotel staff that it is unnecessary to change your sheets every day
  • If your hotel doesn’t recycle, take your recyclables home with you

Nearly 1 billion tourists travel around the globe each year. And if we all act more environmentally responsible when we travel, we can help ensure our world’s breathtaking locations and beautiful vacations remain that way forever.
If you’re interested in making your next trip a little greener, the experts at Travelers Advantage recommend researching the following unique locations:

  •  Hotel Terra – Jackson Hole, Wyo. – Hotel Terra offers an in-room
            recycling program and uses 100 percent organic cotton sheets, towels,
            bath mats and robes. The hotel is donned with non-toxic paints and
            carpets and uses chemical-free cleaning products among many other
            eco-conscious activities. Go for great skiing in the winter and enjoy
            sleigh rides, dog sledding and winter wildlife expeditions. This hotel
            is currently pending a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
            Design) certification which would put it in an elite group of
            environmentally sustainable buildings in the U.S.

 

  •  Jungle Bay Resort – Dominica – This Caribbean resort was crafted from
            used wood and discarded stone from an old mining quarry, but the luxury
            accommodations are anything but second-hand. The resort’s
            restaurant serves 95 percent locally grown organic food and practices
            composting. All guests receive a reusable water bottle on arrival that
            can be filled at water stations throughout the property. Local guides
            trained in responsible travel techniques take guests on guided
            educational tours through fragile ecosystems.

 

  •  Eco Lodges – Indonesia – Boasting the prestigious Green Globe EC3
            certification for sustainability and highest environmental standards in
            global travel, the Udayana Eco Lodge in Bali is centrally located for
            easy walking to Bali’s beaches, shopping areas and fish
            restaurants. The hotel is tucked high in the Jimbaran hills in a
            conservation area for birds and butterflies with vista views abounding.

About Mariel Hemingway
Mariel Hemingway made her silver screen debut at 13 years old in “Lipstick,” and was nominated for an Oscar four years later for Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.” She has starred in some 30 films. Currently, she is producing a film based on her grandfather’s epic best-seller “A Moveable Feast,” a set of memoirs of his experiences in Paris in the 1920s. In addition to her film career, she found a passion for holistic and balanced living. She’s written two books and conducts wellness retreats across the country sharing her insights about yoga, meditation, nutrition and home. She is currently working on a cookbook called Mariel’s Kitchen Cookbook that will be released by Harper San Francisco Publishers in the spring of 2009. Hemingway is the mother of two teenage daughters.

About Travelers Advantage
Members of Travelers Advantage ( www.travelersadvantage.com or 1-877-841-1335) can save money on air travel, cruises, car rentals and accommodations, as well as earn five percent cash back on eligible travel booked with preferred providers through the service. Travelers Advantage is offered by Affinion Group, a leader in the membership, insurance and loyalty marketing businesses, providing products and services that touch the lives of millions of Americans.

About Affinion Group
As a global leader with nearly 35 years of experience, Affinion Group ( www.affinion.com) enhances the value of its partners’ customer relationships by developing and marketing valuable loyalty, membership, checking account, insurance and other compelling products and services. Leveraging its expertise in product development and targeted marketing, Affinion helps generate significant incremental revenue for more than 5,300 affinity partners worldwide, including many of the largest and most respected companies in financial services, retail, travel, and Internet commerce. Based in Norwalk, Conn., the company has approximately 3,300 employees throughout the United States and in 10 countries across Europe, and markets in 14 countries globally. Affinion holds the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for the highest information security practices, is PCI compliant and Cybertrust certified. For more company and investor information visit http://www.affinion.com.

SOURCE Travelers Advantage

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