Finding eco-friendly hotels or apartments for your next trip is not that easy. While there are some Organic Hotels in Germany, but what about other natural, sustainable accommodations that just don't call themselves organic hotels yet? I came across a platform where you can find very specifically Find sustainable accommodation and book, which have been analyzed for 15 sustainability criteria. This platform is called bookitgreen. And with Moritz, one of the founders, I had a coffee date. Below you will find our interview, which gives you an insight into the young platform for sustainable hotels. Have fun!
One thing in advance: Since we are working together from now on, you get 20€ discount on your first booking at bookitgreen with the voucher code "carebig".. 🙂
Hello Moritz! What is your background and what do you want to achieve with bookitgreen?
bookitgreen is the first booking platform that wants to enable travelers to book sustainable vacation accommodations worldwide online in an uncomplicated way. We went online in August 2017 and since then have already inspired over 500 sustainable vacation accommodations from bookitgreen.
The idea itself came about in the summer of 2016 when I met Andi during an internship in Munich. He grew up on a former farm in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, and as a child I spent every year on vacation with my siblings at the organic farm Helchenhof on Lake Constance. Together, we then discovered how complicated it is to find and book sustainable vacation accommodation online. A study by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment proved us right: 49% of travelers interested in sustainability have difficulties searching, finding and booking sustainable vacation accommodations.
Thus the idea was born to build a booking platform with the full focus on sustainable vacation accommodation, from organic farms on Lake Constance to eco-lodges in Bali, everything should be there that the sustainable travel heart desires.
Andi and I then brought Phillip on board as the third founder. As a developer, he brings the relevant experience to set up such a platform technically. The enthusiasm for entrepreneurship with a positive impact on our environment inspires all three of us equally and accordingly we got started at the beginning of 2017.
With bookitgreen we have the vision to make sustainable travel worldwide possible in an uncomplicated way and focus on sustainable vacation accommodations worldwide. Following the example of other companies, we have also decided to plant a tree for every night booked through bookitgreen.
In the meantime we have grown to an energetic, international team of nine employees and a small office in Berlin and are always happy to receive feedback, recommendations of accommodations or to welcome you as our guests.
Who are your users and what is the added value of booking through you?
With our approach, we want to offer added value to both travelers and hosts.
There is actually no such thing as a typical guest or host with us. Our guests are united by their focus on a conscious, ethical lifestyle and they range from young and old, families, couples or backpackers and come from all income levels due to our diverse offer. In professional circles, this target group is now referred to as the so-called LOHAS ("Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability" - i.e. a group of people whose lifestyle is focused on health consciousness and sustainability). For them, we want to make sustainable vacation accommodations worldwide bookable with just a few clicks on a transparent booking platform that represents their values.
It is important that the values of this target group can be lived in everyday decisions and thus also on vacation. Families with children, for example, not only want to eat organic food at home, but can also be sure on vacation at an organic farm that the environment is good for the children and that the quality of the food sold on site is excellent.
We want to encourage everyone else to raise their awareness of sustainable consumption and show that you can have a big impact on the environment by taking small steps in your everyday life and planning your travel more consciously.
On the other hand, we have our hosts. Here, especially the smaller and individual establishments can stand out from the crowd, which are quickly lost on usual booking platforms and have so far been ignored by sustainable travelers could only be fished out with difficulty. So both sides are brought together more quickly and easily. This then benefits, for example, a small eco-lodge in Portugal, which can not only maintain its sustainable business, but also expand it and hire new employees from the region. So the whole thing not only has a positive impact on the environment, but can also add value to the region by creating jobs.
Tell us a little bit more about the sustainable trips you offer.
Our hosts really do not lack creativity. You can discover a lot on the bookitgreen map. It's best to simply go on an exploration tour. Included are for example: Indian tipis in Portugal, four-poster beds under the open sky on the hills of Tuscany, an organic farm in Brandenburg or a guest room with breakfast service in a sustainable warehouse apartment in the middle of London. Sometimes you dream of your own pristine property where you can live out your creativity. Who knows, maybe one day I'll become a host on bookitgreen myself.
Currently, the focus is on accommodations in German-speaking countries, Portugal and Spain. However, we have started in the new year to inspire more and more accommodations in other European countries and are growing very quickly. So it's always worth checking back!
On average, a traveler saves 90 liters of water and 6 kg of CO2 per night in sustainable accommodation and per person compared to conventional accommodation. As already mentioned, a tree is planted for every night booked. This is made possible by our partner Eden Reforestation Projects, who exclusively employ local people for their reforestation projects and thus support the local community on site in addition to the positive environmental impact.
What criteria are used to rate accommodations at bookitgreen?
On bookitgreen there are several forms of criteria and ratings. First, there is the minimum requirement for hosts to meet four of our 15 sustainability criteria. These range from the use of renewable energy, ecological cleaning products and water-saving options to the use of organic and/or regional food. Depending on how many criteria are met, an accommodation receives 1-5 green leaves. This is our first clear indicator of the sustainability of an accommodation. There are also a lot of international, but also regional certificates for Sustainability in tourismwhich many hosts can present. These can also be displayed directly on the page after verification by bookitgreen and provide the guest with even more details about the sustainability of the accommodation. In addition, we build on our community, which can rate the sustainability of the respective accommodation after each trip. To complete the picture, we are currently working on a concept called "confirmed by bookitgreen", where we check particularly environmentally friendly accommodations and "confirm" their sustainability. These will then be displayed to the guest at the top of the search.
This gives as complete a picture as possible of the sustainability of bookitgreen vacation accommodation. Here too, however, we are always happy to receive input from guests and hosts. For example, one host recently suggested that we should include electricity connections for electric cars, because she only selects her accommodations based on this. We think ideas like that are great!
What do you think about the travel industry? Will more attention be paid to sustainability when traveling in the future?
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with countless low-cost airline offers and a growing sharing economy that opens up cheaper accommodation options for budget travelers. We want to encourage travelers to still plan and book their adventures consciously. According to the Swiss Environmental Foundation, tourism contributes about five percent of all greenhouse gas emissions to global warming worldwide. So if we can simplify sustainable vacation planning through bookitgreen in the future, we are already one step further and are happy about everyone who jumps on this bandwagon and wants to share ideas with us.
In principle, however, awareness of sustainable travel is definitely growing. You can see that in you, your readers, us and our guests and hosts. We want it to continue to be just as positive.
Thank you for the interview, we'll be in touch!
Moritz and his co-founders have put a great idea into practice. I find bookitgreen particularly useful because it preserves our connection to nature and conscious living even when traveling.
Since we share the same ideology and are working together from now on, you will receive here with the coupon code "carebig" directly 20€ discount on your first booking. 🙂
I am very curious what you think of the idea and what your personal experiences with sustainable accommodation were. Or maybe you have a question? In any case, feel free to write me a comment below this article.