When considering where to rest your head, look for places that set aside the “traditional” hotel experience. Many hostels are quite sustainable, for example, because they don’t change linens daily, and allow you to prepare your own food, O’Dea says.
But don’t take logos and seals of approval at face value. Look up hotels and resorts through independent authorities such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development (LEED) to maintain the local environment and limit negative impact. Costa Rica, for example, runs a green tourism program that looks at the effects tourist facilities and companies have on natural and cultural resources, local communities’ quality of life, and the country’s economic development.