Thursday, March 11, 2010

Growing number of hotels with environmental awareness

If you are planning your next vacation getaway and you're interesting in finding one that is in line with your own environmental awareness habits you are in luck. A growing trend is people taking off to destinations that are considered green and even staying in eco-friendly hotels.

These hotels and resorts have installed low-flow shower heads, low-flush toilets, dishwashing valves that limit water consumption, among other traits to reduce overall water usage and have taken care to limit their energy consumption as well. These green hotels also have limited the amount of laundry they do by encouraging guests to let their towels air dry with towel rack hangers left in the bathrooms and they then ask them to try to reuse their bedsheets instead of having them changed everyday. These green hotels are popping up across the World and supported by different organizations, all putting environmental awareness first and foremost. There are 'Green Key' awards that go to such restaurants, hotels, and hostels; other marinas and beaches can merit a 'Blue Flag' award by adopting water conservation and other eco-friendly practices, and in the US there is the Green Hotels Association that has a growing number of members. So no matter where you idea of paradise may lie you can stay there in the greenest of accommodations.

There are also destinations that you can hit that will further improve your stats as an ethical consumer. Visit a national park or other similar natural expanse; not only will you be helping to support tourism and the local economy there but will in turn gain an even greater appreciation of the importance of preserving these habitats. For some truly remarkable sights you may want to head out to Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands which is an underwater delight with its intricately balanced ecosystem. There is the Napo Wildlife Center in Quito, Ecuador where a walk around the lodge will meet you with chattering monkeys and exotic birds. This rain forest is one of the few left unmarred by the hand of man.

Even if you may not be able to head to one of the more tropical reaches of the planet you can still do your best to make your destination with the most environmental awareness as possible by traveling with your green habits. If you can't find hotels meriting of of these seals then you can encourage them to do so and then in your own room limit the amount of lights and electricity you use and inform the maids that you don't need linen service each and every day. Yet the best way you can be an ethical consumer is to support those establishments making the changes necessary to protecting our environment; spread the word to the hotels and resorts you stay at and who knows maybe one day it will be 'Green Motel 6'!

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