These days, we are all having eco-friendly values drilled into us; often small steps such as choosing organic tomatoes in the supermarket or installing an energy-saving light bulb at home. Yet, there are bigger changes at play that are far more impactful, like driving hybrid cars and selecting ‘carbon offset’ options when booking flights, for example. Itâ€™s gotten to the point where it seems thereâ€™s a green version of almost everything, including money. Take this product from online payment company paysafecard, for instance. Using it to make a purchase indirectly supports environmental sustainability programs. Whatâ€™s more, the company itself helps fund efforts for climate protection organization, myclimate. Finally, greenbacks really are green.
The travel industry is constantly in the spotlight for ways to reduce carbon emissions and be more eco-friendly overall â€“ because if someone is going to travel, why not travel green? As a result, many green hotels have sprung up across the US that actively sustain eco-friendly efforts, like minimizing linen and towel washing, recycling programs, providing bikes to guests, as well as ensuring that electricity and air-conditioning are switched off when guests arenâ€™t in their rooms.
Bardessono is situated in the Napa Valley district of California, and is the only LEED Platinum certified hotel in the state, and, surprisingly, one of only three in the entire United States. With 62 rooms built from salvaged trees and non-toxic and non-allergenic materials, along with dedicated composting and recycling programs, Bardessono shows every reason to have earned the highest standard for environmentally-friendly design.
The hotel used specially designed glass windows which restrict hot and cold air escaping or entering the room, as well as automatically controlled thermostats that detect when guests are inside. Though it may seem simple, exterior blinds on the windows vastly reduce heat from the sun, while reflective materials lessen heat absorption.
Of course, solar energy, water recycling for irrigation, energy-saving bulbs, plus many more techniques, all come as standard in the relaxing retreat. And bad news for smokers, the hotel is 100% non-smoking â€“ with a $400 fine if caught.
Situated in the gorgeous wine district of Healdsburg, California, the h2hotel consistently ranks as one of the best environmentally-aware hotels in the US, if not the world. The beautifully designed hotel holds a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, and is built using 85% reclaimed wood and concrete.
As well as bamboo flooring, organic sheets and towels, h2hotel only sources local food and drinks on their menu. Additionally, the pool and washrooms are heated by solar panels; rainwater (what little there is during this terrible California drought) is filtered through a roof system for a variety of uses; and the hotelâ€™s EcoSpace elevator uses 60% less electricity than a typical hydraulic elevator.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Located in downtown Miami, the Hampton Inn & Suites is a 221-room hotel that practices strong sustainability techniques, with one interesting factor being the charging station for electric Tesla vehicles. Water conservation is also a large aspect of the hotelâ€™s green methods, as low-flow valves are installed on all shower heads, as well as motion activated bathroom faucets and toilets. In addition, there is a 35,000+ gallon cistern which collects rain water, for use on washing exterior washing surfaces and irrigation.
The hotel, which has a LEED Silver certification, lists many effects which take place in the building, but there a few simple measures which make a big difference, such as sensors to control lighting and air-conditioning, biodegradable tableware, furniture from recycled materials, and the ‘ozone laundry system’ to reduce energy required to wash towels and linens.
For more unique accommodation to see across the world, be sure to read this piece on Airbnb residences.