SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- San Luis Obispo (SLO), a city on the Central Coast of California, is the first U.S. destination to launch an urban reforestation sustainability initiative funded by local hotels. Through the new Keys for Trees program, part of the City's Climate Action Plan, the San Luis Obispo Tourism Business Improvement District will dedicate 1% of annual revenue to planting 10,000 trees throughout the community by 2035. The program is part of a partnership with the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo (EcoSLO), a nonprofit dedicated to protecting SLO's natural assets.
This initiative foregrounds sustainability, giving travelers a unique opportunity to offset the impact of their visit and, subsequently, help them make more sustainable travel decisions. With this new program, visitors to SLO can feel proud that a portion of their hotel fees will go towards replanting trees, ultimately offsetting carbon emissions.
"Many travelers seek 'green' hotels and this new initiative allows everyone staying in San Luis Obispo to be part of SLO's climate solutions," said Molly Cano, Tourism Manager at the City of SLO. "There's no extra step to take and we think visitors will enjoy knowing that just by booking an overnight stay, they are helping to preserve our community's beauty," she said.
Urban tree planting cleans the air we breathe, filters the water we drink, and provides habitat to over 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. Once planted, the 10,000 trees will offset more than 40 cars' worth of carbon produced during one year. "We know that's just the start," said Cano, "but the idea is to help travelers confront their practices head-on, and planting trees is one visible action that can lead to countless others."
This isn't SLO's first sustainability initiative. In 1990, SLO was the first city worldwide to ban smoking in public buildings, bars and restaurants. You won't find drive-thrus here and the independent Palm Theatre was America's first solar-powered movie theatre.
SLO residents consistently label climate action as a top concern. The city responded with an ambitious 2035 goal to achieve carbon neutrality. Other practices already activated include an innovative anaerobic compost facility (the first of its kind in the country), and sustainable winemaking practices, all in addition to planting 10,000 trees.
For more information on SLO's sustainability efforts: https://visitslo.com/sustainable-slo/
SOURCE City of San Luis Obispo Tourism
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