Travel Guide: 10 businesses that give back while you travel
The human impact of travel and the tourism industry takes a huge toll on our environment each year. The United Nations Environment Program identified three significant environmental affects of tourism: depletion of natural resources, pollution and the degradation of the communities and ecosystems in the places we travel.
Our planet is beautiful and meant for exploring. We believe that traveling to new places, learning about other cultures and experiencing truly wild places holds the power to educate us all and encourage environmental change. So, we aren’t asking you to stop traveling—but rather, we hope you take the proper precautions when planning your next trip to ensure that your travels are environmentally cautious and cause as little harm as possible to the places you explore.
Sustainable travel can easily be put into practice—whether you’re working with an environmental nonprofit to help you travel responsibly or checking off your packing list of sustainable 1% for the Planet member products.
You can also reduce your travel footprint by choosing tourism businesses, lodging and travel agencies within the 1% for the Planet network. Understanding the environmental implications of human travel, these members joined 1% for the Planet to take responsibility for the impact their business has on the planet.
Buckeye Tree Lodge & Sequoia Village Inn
📍Sequoia National Park - California
In recent years, our National Parks have seen a huge influx of tourists (thanks, Instagram). Due to underfunding and overcrowding, it’s becoming more and more important to ensure that tourists take steps to protect these public lands from pollution and degradation. While it’s no surprise that everyone wants to capture the natural beauty of these picturesque parks, travelers can reduce their impact by choosing sustainably responsible accommodations when booking their trip.
Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn are located just outside of Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California. Not only are these local businesses 1% for the Planet members, but they also implement many environmental and community initiatives into their business model. From solar powered systems and energy efficient appliances to eco-friendly products, your trip to Three Rivers is sure to be as fulfilling as it is environmentally friendly.
No matter what time of year you’re hoping to visit Sequoia National Park, these affordable lodges have activities for every season. So, be sure to put whitewater rafting, fly fishing, high-elevation hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, bear watching, and giving back on your bucket list.
Every stay at Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn contributes to their commitment to give back to their community and protect the National Parks they call home. Through their 1% for the Planet partnerships, Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn support the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the Sierra Club.
📍Around the world
There’s no better way to tread lightly (do you get it?) on our world than by traveling by bicycle. Unless of course, it’s biking with a business that actively works to preserve and protect the environment they tread on. Discovery Bicycle Tours is family owned and joined the 1% for the Planet family in 2018 when Scott and Thistle Cone took the reins as co-owners.
Discovery Bicycle Tours offers inn-to-inn bicycle tours around the world. The company aims to provide outstanding bicycle tours, top-notch service and give back to the extraordinary places they love to bike.
With tour offerings in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, you could start your trip at Discovery Bicycle Tours headquarters in Vermont, explore Chile’s lakes and volcanoes, bike Key-to-Key in Florida, visit the world’s happiest country (and biking-mecca) Denmark, or even bask in in some of the most spectacular scenery in Southeast Asia as you adventure through Vietnam.
With Discovery Bicycle Tours, the possibilities are endless and the environmental impact is minimal.
In an effort to protect public lands and preserve the outdoor spaces we explore, Discovery Bicycle Tours supports the Nature Conservancy, the Vermont Land Trust, Local Motion, and BikeCentennial—Adventure Cycling Association.
📍Victoria BC, Canada
Eagle Wing Tours was our first whale-watching member and has been a true steward for the environment since day one. With the belief that wildlife viewing can provide educational merit and encourage environmental sustainability, the Eagle Wing Tours team goes to great lengths to ensure that their tours also have positive impact on their community.
Beyond their 1% for the Planet membership, Eagle Wing Tours is 100% carbon neutral and a founding member of the Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance. Their boats are energy efficient, clean and quiet to reduce water and air pollution. Oh, and they provide every customer with a whale sighting guarantee.
“The natural world has massive demands placed upon it every day. At Eagle Wing we believe that being a responsible steward means being active, positive contributors to the ecosystem we love and are able to make our living from.” - Brett Soberg, Eagle Wings Tour co-owner
Through 1% for the Planet, Eagle Wing Tours supports Cowichan Energy Alternatives, Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, Sierra Club BC, Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Society, Saturna Island Marine Research & Education Society (SIMRES), Center for Whale Research, Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) and Race Rocks to just name a few! We highly encourage you to take the time to learn more about their environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.
📍Around the world
Conscious Adventurist is a global travel organization committed to ethical, sustainable and responsible travel. Conscious Adventurist aims to provide they best customized, mindful travel for any age or experience. From adventure trips for the adrenaline junky to a relaxed trek through a new country, every itinerary is customizable and can accommodate any travelers needs. Every trip is a combination of fulfilling a traveler’s desire to connect with a new place and the obligation to protect the environment for future adventurers.
With Conscious Adventurist, you can truly go anywhere in the world— get inspired by 7 Life-Changing Experiences Around the World and 23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel. Wherever you decide to go, you can travel knowing that your trip helps give back.
Want to learn more about how you too can be a more sustainable traveler? Learn from the experts at Conscious Adventurist about 5 Ways to Give Back When You Travel and 15 Ways to Reduce Waste When You Travel.
As a 1% for the Planet member, Conscious Adventurist strives to give back as much as possible by supporting nonprofit organizations like Protect Our Winters. They are an eco-conscious organization that works to build environmental initiatives into their business.
📍France, Italy & Switzerland
There’s no denying that the French, Italian and Swiss mountain ranges are some of the most stunning views in the world. Run The Alps provides the opportunity to explore these incredible mountains by foot. Run The Alps aims to provide the best trail running experience for runners of any level, with guided and self-guided tours.
Whether you’re exploring the Italian Dolomites or running through French, Italy and Switzerland on their most popular tour, Tour Mont-Blanc, Run The Alps always incorporates Leave No Trace principles into their trips. They are committed to responsible travel and work to reduce the impact of their travel, including purchasing carbon offsets and of course, their 1% for the Planet membership.
Through their 1% for the Planet membership, Run The Alps works to protect the wild places they run by supporting 1% for the Planet and research in the impact of climate change on high altitude environments through their partnership with The Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems.
Alaska Alpine Adventures started in 1998 with sustainable roots as they worked to incorporate conservation ethics into every part of their company and travel itineraries since day one. In 2015, they took their commitment to protecting Alaska to the next level by joining 1% for the Planet.
Through Alaska Alpine Adventures, you can explore Alaska’s wildest places via backpacking, hiking, kayaking, rafting or a combination of adventure sports. The hard question isn’t how you’ll explore Alaska, but where will you go. With so many incredible options through Alaska’s national parks, it’s hard to decide on just one trip. We’d suggest starting with Alaska Alpine Adventures’ bread and butter: Lake Clark National Park. This extraordinary trip is where Alaska Alpine Adventures guided their first tour in 1998 and to this day is regarded as their favorite place to explore.
Alaska Alpine Adventures supports Alaska Center for the Environment and Trout Unlimited to protect their local environment with, Student Conservation Association to inspire future generations to to the same, and 1% for the Planet to strengthen and grow environmental philanthropy around the world. Additionally, Alaska Alpine Adventures is heavily involved in the ongoing battle to save Bristol Bay.
📍Florida, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada
Legacy Vacation Resorts provides experiences for families and friends to create unique moments and lasting memories in a manner that respects the environment, employees and community. As part of their mission, they hope to educate consumers on the importance of supporting conscious businesses as well as the hospitality industry on how to attain sustainable economic development. The company boasts eight locations across four states, delivering a variety of options for travelers of all ages including warm beaches, thrilling mountain adventures, natural settings, iconic attractions and more.
With a core passion for sustainability and using the power of business as a force for good, this 1% For The Planet Member and Certified B Corporation® offers carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction initiatives, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns and green-focused renovation projects. Travelers to each location can not only enjoy their vacation but also know their trips are supporting causes to create positive impact for the environment and the communities in which they visit.
Stays at LVR properties contributes to a variety of charities such as the For Good Movement, an organization dedicated to inspiring the spread of conscious business in the State of Florida and beyond. Every single guest who books directly with the resort has their carbon footprint offset on behalf of the company via We are Neutral. Legacy also supports a wide variety of other environmental programs and organizations such as Solar United Neighbors, IDEAS for Us and the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative at the University of Florida.
Globe + Tribe
📍Around the world
Globe + Tribe is a boutique travel agency with a big goal: purposeful tourism. This company firmly believes that ‘intentional’ travel journeys hold the ability to encourage future environmental stewards and promote community development, sustainable development and conservation efforts in the world’s most wild places.
With these goals in mind, Globe + Tribe specializes in ‘emerging’ and ‘frontier’ destinations such as Andalusia, Cuba, Georgia, Iberia, Mongolia, and more. For the most adventurous travelers who enjoy life off-the beaten-path, they also offer Discovery Journeys where you can join Globe + Tribe on a test-run before they offer trips to the general public.
Globe + Tribe is a new member to our network. While they currently support 1% for the Planet, they’re working closely with our membership team to choose their nonprofit partners that align with their mission.
📍Everywhere you travel
Okay, so you’ve reached this far in our blog and you may have already decided where you want to go next. Beyond incredible travel destinations, our network also offers incredible services that ensure your travel plan goes smoothly. Let us take this time to introduce you to Wanderwell.
Wanderwell is a social enterprise masquerading as a travel insurance company. Their tag line is “you go, we give” and they mean it. When they joined 1% for the Planet, they pledged to not only meet their 1% commitment but bumped it up to 10%—because as a member and BCorp Certified business, they’re serious about environmental conservation and sustainable business practices.
“The more we travel the clearer our lenses become to view how interconnected the beings and elements of our planet are to each other. We discover the need to conserve, contribute, and sustain, and our responsibility to act in such a way expands. Traveling breeds environmental consciousness.” - Wanderwell
📍Anywhere you go
As we mentioned, travel can increase our negative environmental impact. Luckily, there are companies like Carbon Credit Capital that help off-set the carbon emissions we produce when we fly, drive, eat and basically do anything as humans.
Carbon Credit Capital aims to increase our understanding of carbon emissions and ways that businesses, organizations and individuals can work to reduce (and reverse) their impact. To start, we’d suggest reading through their Carbon Cutting Tips to better understand the ways your travel and everyday actions play a role in climate change. Then, consider how your travel plans can be mitigated and altered to decrease your impact. Finally, consider purchasing a carbon off-set plan from Carbon Credit Capital for your travels. With the carbon off-set credits, Carbon Credit Capital supports projects that reduce, avoid and destroy harmful greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.