San Luis Obispo creates an easy way for tourists and residents to reduce their carbon footprint.
The new “Keys for Trees” program allows people to book at “green hotels” – and a portion of the fee will go towards planting thousands of trees over the next decade.
The program is part of the City’s program Climate action plan, the San Luis Obispo Tourism Improvement District will dedicate 1% of its annual income 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 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of SLO’s natural assets.
Molly Cano, City of San Luis Obispo Tourism Manager, says Keys for Trees is an effort to keep the city beautiful and protect the environment. “All of the dedication and care from our community that makes San Luis Obispo such a special place is something our visitors can help us support even more,” said Cano.
Mary Ciesinski, Executive Director of EcoSlo, explains the importance of this effort.
“10,000 trees will improve our environment by providing space for wildlife. And directly to climate action, it will help cool our buildings, cool our streets and it makes the city of SLO and our community much more resilient to the changes that are coming and that are already happening with climate change. “
San Luis Obispo is the first American destination to launch this type of initiative funded by local hotels, which is not surprising because SLO has always been at the forefront of climate action.
“About 25 years ago the community came together and asked the city to be a leader in preserving open spaces for our region and it did. we have an incredible green belt because of this action, ”said Ciesinski.
Cano said ecotourism is in demand as more visitors flock to the central coast.
“They make buying decisions looking for places where they can take green travel or sustainable travel. or make smart choices when they are able to offset the choices when visiting, ”Cano said.
“All the dedication and attention that our community brings to the values that make San Luis Obispo such a special place is something that our visitors can now help us support even more by giving back to our local community and helping to preserve this place. that we know and love, ”added Cano.
All hotels and some host families in San Luis Obispo that are in the Tourism Business Improvement District participate.
Visitors can go to VisitSLO.com to see the full list of participating hotels.