Sweet Niche: Lesbians, Volunteerism & Sustainable Travel
Sweet is a lesbian travel company with a sustainable travel twist. Their goal? "To make the world a better place while having a blast in it". Sweet is about making life sweet; so, trips are eco-friendly, socially-responsible and fun. When the Sweet team works on their policies, partnerships, plans, etc., they ask, "How can we make that Sweet?" or "Is that Sweet?" Kind of sweet, right?
Sweet was founded in January, 2008 by Shannon Wentworth and Jen Rainin. Wentworth served as editor in chief at Care2, and worked with Deepak Chopra, Randy Paynter an other visionaries. She was named in Advocate Magazine's "40 Under 40" and GoMag's âWomen We Love". Jen Rainin runs the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, which supports medical research, education and the arts. Among other projects, Rainin works with the San Francisco Film Society to support films that explore social justice issues. Rainin and Wentworth were dreaming about creating a "sweet" business that would give back, and be sweet through and through. So, Sweet became one-of-its-kind among sustainable travel companies.
Sweet's vacations are all carbon neutral, since they offset all carbon emissions. Their first trip was a CarbonFree Sweet Caribbean Cruise that started out in New Orleans. Sweeties helped restore wetlands destroyed by Katrina, and then the 1,200 lesbians set sail on the sustainable travel cruise. (It was the largest lesbian cruise, ever). They went on to Roaton, Honduras, Costa Maya, Mexico, Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize.
Sweet volunteeristas have picked up trash on the beach of Cozumel and painted the walls of a children's hospital in Belize. They've been on an African Safari (hosted by a partner: an eco-friendly lesbian-owned company). They've been eco rafting on the Salmon river. Other upcoming sustainable travel itineraries include an Alaska cruise, Â Mexican Riviera cruise, Cozumel Palace resort and Machu Picchu.
At the end of April, Sweet is going to Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) in Mexico, and taking over the resort.Â The island was once a sanctuary for lxchel, the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine, and so it's just the right setting for their "week of romance and reconnection". Sweet is also having their first singles week in Isla Mujeres. And, it's free to switch trips, in case a vacationers single status changes sometime in the months before the trip.
What else sets Sweet apart? All-inclusive pricing. No one gets nickeled and dimed. Sweet also works with various entertainment partners, such as Babeland (a friendly place for sex toys). Babeland employees sometimes host toy parties on Sweet cruises, and they hand out discount cards and prizes. Sweet isn't offering plain-old-vanilla vacations: this is niche sustainable travel at its best.