One of our core values is sustainability. What does that mean in practice?
We are living amidst a climate crisis. The impacts of climate change, due to carbon emissions released from fossil fuel sources across the globe, will continue to worsen throughout the years until we completely transition to a clean economy free of energy pulled from carbon-emitting sources (ex: fracked gas, oil). While much progress is underway in terms of utilizing renewable energy, our utility grids across the globe, particularly in the U.S., are slow to transform to be completely powered by renewable energy. In the U.S., over 60% of U.S. electricity generation still comes from fossil fuels (U.S. EIA).
While building Into The Box, it was important for our company to contribute positively to our economy and provide as close to a carbon-zero experience as possible (our eventual goal!) That's why our operations are off-grid. In practice, all ITB business lines will be powered by a combination of solar panels and compact wind turbines. Our STRs and ADUs will have the option to utilize self-contained septic to eliminate reliance on public utilities. We are dedicated to providing a truly sustainable experience, while also educating the public on off-grid living and the luxury one can have while doing so.
Unlike other vacation rental services and ADU providers, by renovating used shipping containers, ITB does not create unnecessary industrial waste. Our carbon-neutral shipping containers set us apart. ITB is committed to using 100% renewable energy to power our Boxes, and eventually, ITB envisions installing all electric appliances and transporting our Boxes using electric trucks. These goals may not be economically feasible or commercially available yet but don't worry, we'll get there!
While giving new life to old shipping containers and utilizing renewable energy are crucial to ITB's sustainability strategy and our intent to minimize our company's environmental impact, we see sustainability as going further than that.
Our initial STR business line is dedicated to contributing to the regenerative travel movement - the future of how we think about global tourism. Regenerative travel takes the current ecotourism standard to the next level. While sustainable tourism focuses on not having a negative social and environmental impact, regenerative travel focuses on positively contributing to local communities and the environment. Regenerative travel aims to make a tourist destination better for future generations, and places the same amount of importance on the wellbeing of locals as the conservation of land. To do this, those practicing regenerative travel invest in local communities and reduce industrial waste through reuse, repair, and upcycling, and regenerate the natural systems their hospitality service benefits from. A surge in regenerative tourism efforts have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic to seek a rebalancing of nature and the communities impacted by over-tourism prior to the pandemic.
To adhere to the principles of regenerative travel, ITB has modeled its business around improving the communities where our Boxes are hosted. ITB is committed to dropping our Boxes in locations within 200 miles of at least 10 million people to encourage more sustainable traveling habits. Traveling by car rather than plane for a vacation is one of the most important things you can do to travel more sustainably and minimize global carbon emissions. Traveling locally is also an incredibly important piece to sustainable travel and living. ITB will prioritize supporting small town America and stimulating the economies of rural, oft-overlooked communities across the U.S. We want our Boxes to help create not only a more sustainable environment, but stronger local economies as well.