How to Stay Green on Every Continent

••• The InterContinental in Cairo stands tall and mighty. InterContinental Hotel Official Website

Where to next? When the travel bug bites, planning your next adventure starts with a single question. However, as a sustainable traveler, you have to ask yourself so much more. How can I ensure that my visit does not have a negative impact on the local ecosystem? How can I best learn about and join the local community? How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

Thankfully, you’re not alone as you try to figure out how to be your best traveler.

Hotels around the world have vouched to protect the environment, reduce their carbon footprint and encourage their guests to be self-aware, positive impact guests. To help you plan your next adventure, no matter how far from your home base, we’ve rounded up a list of hotels that are committed to guiding you in making sustainable choices throughout your stay.

North America: Ritz Carlton Montréal

Montréal is an ideal getaway for US travelers that want to be immersed in a different culture while staying on a familiar continent. The Ritz-Carlton Montréal is a landmark of the city’s downtown area that opened its doors in 1912. Not only does the hotel possess a unique combination of historic charm and luxury, as a property of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, it also comes with an impressive commitment to sustainability. Each of the hotel company’s locations has a multi-discipline team that fosters environmental strategies and pioneers projects that will benefit its surrounding environment.

Just this month, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced that it will be offering charging stations to service electric car owners at properties around the world, including the Ritz-Carlton Montréal. Only a six-hour drive from New York City, crossing the border over to Montréal has never looked better, or greener.

Central America: Four Seasons Costa Rica

If a tropical getaway is what you’ve been dreaming of, then head South to the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. Named one of 2016’s top sustainable travel destinations by travel expert and About.com contributor Misty Foster, Costa Rica as a nation is a pioneer in environmental conservation and sustainable practices, truly setting an example for other countries to follow. The Four Seasons Costa Rica continues this legacy by uniting employees and guests in the effort of protecting the planet.

South America: JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Peru has quickly become one of South America’s most sought out travel destinations thanks to its archeological wonders, its diverse ecosystems and in recent years its renowned cuisine.  The JW Marriott El Convento which was built around a 16th-century convent offers travelers visiting Cusco, the historical capital of Peru, truly unique accommodations. Visitors staying at the JW Marriott El Convento can rest assured their stay will not only be ecologically friendly but also proactively contributing to the wellbeing of Peru’s ecosystems. In addition to Marriott’s goals to reduce energy and water consumption 20% by 2020, the hotel group is investing in a portfolio of innovative conservation initiatives.

One such initiative is supporting to the Amazon Sustainable Foundation (FAS) to protect the acres of rainforest in Peru, Brazil, and other South American countries. 

Europe: Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri

When in Rome, stay at the Rome Cavalieri for a breath of fresh air in the hills adjacent to the bustling city. After a day of admiring every piazza and wandering down winding stradas, the Rome Cavalieri is perfect for winding down next to the pool or at the luxury spa. The Rome Cavalieri is a luxury resort by Hilton - the first global hospitality company to be certified ISO 50001 for Energy Management, ISO 14001 for Environmental Management and 9001 for Quality Management. Read: All very high "green" accolades for a hotel. Hilton Worldwide has not only standardized energy reducing practices across its hotels and resorts, it also encourages its employees to contribute to their local communities.

For the past year, the Rome Cavalieri, known for its lavish banquets, has been donating leftover food to local charities. The luxury hotel has donated 35,000 meals over the course of a year, transforming what was once considered waste into nutrition.

Australia: Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto

As the second largest city in Australia, Melbourne offers visitors the best of both worlds. Visitors can indulge in urban attractions and take in Australia’s natural wonders all in one city. A vibrant urban center, Melbourne is located at the bay of Port Phillip and expands towards the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges. To keep your visit as green as the mountains, stay at the Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto. The Intercontinental Hotel Group is an active member of the IHG Green Engage system which helps minimize each hotel’s impact on its local environment by measuring energy, carbon, water, and waste. In 2015, the Intercontinental Hotel Group achieved a 3.9% reduction in its carbon footprint per occupied room. By 2017, they're targeting a 12% reduction.

Asia: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Breathtaking beaches, private villas, an underwater eatery and a staff that has vouched to protect its surrounding ecosystem? It doesn’t get much better. As a member of Hilton Worldwide, the Conrad Maldives was awarded a Travel Purpose Grant in 2014 which was used to provide the local community with a fertilization system to grow fruits and vegetables for daily use. Hilton awards Travel with Purpose Action Grants each year in order to support the development of local solutions and build stronger bonds with the communities each of is hotels serve. As the project at the Conrad Maldives expands, the fruits and vegetables harvested will be sold by community members to generate income.

Africa: Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis

This historical hotel sits on the Nile River, the pulse of Cairo, Egypt’s capital city. While the luxury hotel is located in downtown Cairo, next to the Egyptian Museum and bazaars of Old Cairo, the Nile River is without a doubt the greatest nearby attraction. The river that gave life to one of the World’s earliest civilizations, is still depended on today by Egypt’s population as it is the primary source of drinking water. Staying at the Semiramis instills in visitors an understanding of how much the city depends on the Nile and why water conservation is a pressing issue. In 2015, the Intercontinental Hotel Group formed a partnership with the Water Footprint Network (WFN) to further understand water usage on a local level and significantly reduce water consumption. In 2015, the Intercontinental Hotel Group achieved a 4.8% reduction in water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas like Cairo. By 2017, the Intercontinental Hotel Group decided to target a 12% reduction.