Increasingly we are hearing more and more about the effects of climate change on the news, and to be honest I do get a little worried sometimes about it. Going on vacation can be considered pretty eco-unfriendly sometimes, hopping from a plane, to a rental car, to a hotel can actually be a lot of extra carbon floating around up there.
I try to make up for it by always re-using my towels in hotels, as many places have those little notes now requesting something like leave your towels on the floor if you want new ones every night, but hang them up if you want to save water and reuse. Yup, I’m an eco-warrior with my dirty towels.
Now, for many this is a bigger concern, and to combat that a ton of really eco-friendly hotels are popping up all over the place. If you are someone who is very interested in the cause and feel it’s really important to stay in an eco-friendly place, well this list is for you.
Of course Portland, Oregon would start off the list (you have seen Portandia, right), land of all things eco-friendly, bike paths and farmer’s markets.
First up the Hotel Monaco. Not only did they recently receive a Corporate Citizen of the Year Award by HotelWorld, they also offer a ton of eco-friendly amenities from recycle bins in the room, to use of ceramic mugs for organic fair trade coffee instead of paper cups to the donation of un-used bath supplies to local community programs. As part of the Kimpton umbrella, they are participants in the EarthCare Program.
They also allow pets, and give you a complimentary bicycle to use during your stay, pretty cool, oh yea and the across the board 4.5 star ratings from TripAdvisor don’t hurt either. It’s nice to get a feeling of staying in a beautifully designed hotel that still thinks through how to be environmentally conscious.
Another great hotel under the Kimpton brand (are you seeing a pattern here), is the Onyx Hotel in Boston, though their judgement might be a bit off because they was the same hotel that offered a Brittney Spears designed room that was advertised in conjunction with the ill fated Onyx Tour. But, let’s slowly walk back to the eco-friendly, shall we? The Onyx was chosen as one of the top 5 eco-friendly hotels in Boston (others include the Seaport Hotel and Lenox House), and was given a Massachusetts Good EarthKeeping Award.
For those looking to travel to the Mid West, and catch a Cubs game, check out the Hotel Felix. Beyond doing things like improving lighting, and going paperless, Hotel Felix also took eco to a design level, using bamboo flooring in the spa, cork flooring in the meeting rooms and rugs made of recycled material in the guest rooms. The building was specifically designed and built to meet LEED specifications, and is located just steps from public transportation for easy travel around the heart of Chicago.
Since most eco-friendly hotels are more of the boutique sort, you might be wondering if there are any affordable, yet still environmentally friendly hotels around. Answer: of course. Perfect example is the Super 8 Ukiah in Mendocino County, California. Smack in the middle of Wine Country and surrounded by a variety of vineyards, the Super 8 is Super eco-conscious, certified green it features Energy Star ratings, fair trade organic foods, and biodegradable goods. Another cool feature: it has free electric vehicle charging stations available for guests.