And when Bernie went after Trump won and had town halls in Trumpland, people ended up embracing him and agreeing with everything that he said. So that gives me hope that basically, we can be human beings all united to help our neighbors, if you just appeal in the right level, and there are so many people who are doing amazing things all over this country, I mean, talking to teachers who are just putting in an enormous amount of hours trying to help kids whose parents don’t speak English but who want their kids to succeed, and trying to deal with school boards that are completely gone off in the wrong direction, and healthcare workers, and people that are housing people, and people… There really are, in every community, amazing human beings, amazing human beings that move me with their generosity.
MC: You were mentioning that the pandemic has given us time and an opportunity to really reevaluate a lot of things in our lives. And I think one of the things that on the Condé Nast Traveler team that we’ve been thinking about a lot is moving around the world in a more responsible, ethical, eco-conscious way. How do you see your own habits changing or what hope comes out of that reevaluation from a travel perspective?
SS: Having even this come up in a conversation about travel with a brand that is a luxury brand [like Fairmont], and which has been around for a long time, I think is enormous that they have gone to the trouble and feel that there are people that are going to be staying in their hotels that are interested in some way of offsetting their footprint, and that they have programs addressing reforestation, and water conservation, and energy savings, and food waste, and unionizing, and all of these things that maybe hadn’t been at the forefront, especially when you’re looking at the iconic hotels, like the one in Banff, and the one, the Plaza.
It’s easier to deal with it in the Maldives where you’re building fresh and that these things are part of our conversation. But I think a lot of people are aware that they want to offset their footprint somehow, and they want to know how the places where they stay, what are these communities doing? They want to make sure that they are in some way benefiting moving these communities where the hotels are forward.
I mean, it always kind of cracked me up to be in Vegas when they say, “Turn off your light when you go out.” That’s ridiculous in Vegas. But I mean, there’s other places where it makes sense to develop these habits.
The other thing is, yes, don’t use plastic straws. Do recycle, do blah, blah, blah. But, when you have Chevron getting away with dumping billions of toxic waste in Ecuador, when you hear things like that happening, I think we have to be more aware of the big problems, the military pollution with our military, and what big corporations are doing, and hold them responsible, and be more involved that way.
So yeah, plant your garden and start being careful with the detergent you’re using, and be aware of what’s in cosmetics, and how much you’re buying of fashion, and all of these things that you can do personally. But also look towards your government who are the big spenders in terms of pollution. And demand… These kids that are in the Sunrise Movement, God bless them—they really have linked the problem to policy.
And so, yes, it’s great that the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are entering into this century understanding that people care about that, and that people are having that conversation, that are lucky enough to travel and stay at their hotels. And I think we have to commend them for doing that, but also keep the pressure on in our businesses.
MC: Well, thank you so much for joining us, Susan. We really appreciate it.
SS: You’re so welcome.
MC: You can find more information on Susan’s work with Fairmont at fairmont.com/offers/grandest-feelings. Be sure to follow Women Who Travel on Instagram and sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter.