California-based tour company Journeys Within has a new and unique “Hotel Karma Ratings” system that measures properties based on their efforts toward a better planet. The initaitive is a new way to give tourists a voice in environmental and climate policies and to promote a higher strategic emphasis on the environment in hotels and Bed and Breakfasts.
There are four categories of hotels:
Nirvana: These are the hotels that have found a project or projects, to support and then do so in a sustainable and consistent manner. Nirvana hotels take this support one step further and help enlighten and inspire others by getting guests involved. Whether through donations, environmental practices, or donating time, these hotels are talking the talk and letting their guests walk the walk with them.
Enlightened: Enlightened hotels are committed to their communities and the environment beyond just the usual lip service. They find and support projects that help to change lives or save the planet and they do it above and beyond the bottom line benefits. They haven’t yet gotten their guests involved, but they are on their way!
Novice: Like a Novice monk still learning to chant, these hotels have the right attitude, but haven’t taken it to the next level. They “hire local” and give guests the option not to change their sheets and towels, but they don’t go above and beyond. They might point guests in the right direction, but they aren’t yet leading by example.
Non-believer: Though often lovely properties, these hotels haven’t seen the light yet and do not supporting their communities or the environment. These are also the hotels that didn’t respond when asked about best practices.