Carbon offsets tend to be such a "far away" and elusive solution to the dramatic crisis of global warming, deforestation and water conservation that it's rare for me to suggest "offsetting" as a tactic in environmentally-friendly travel. After all, how can we as consumers be 100 percent sure that our hard-earned travel funds are truly going to protect the ecosystem and not slipping directly into the pocket of a green speech fraud?
Marriott is trying to solve the problem - or, at least, make it easier to swallow (with a dose of credibility, too) with a recent partnership with the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Through the program, which brings together both the government and private sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 1.4 million acres of endangered rainforest in the Juma Sustainable Development reserve will be protected.
Marriott has committed $2 million to fund an environmental management plan administered by the newly created Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. By year end, Marriott guests will also be able to offset carbon emissions generated from hotel stays by contributing to the fund.
But don't feel TOO bad about your personal carbon footprint; Marriott has released the calculations of their own global footprint - 2.9 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Ouch.
To learn more about Marriott's applaudable green initiatives, click here.
Says J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of the company, "We believe the future of business is green... because we're all guests on this planet." Not bad, huh?
Image courtesy of Marriott