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Top Budget Eco-Travel Destinations

By travelanswerman | March 31, 2009

Having a wonderful and eco-friendly time doesn’t necessarily mean traveling thousands of miles to experience it. There are affordable and green places to stay throughout the United States, Canada, and outlying territories. Save on fuel and discover a treasure in proximity to your home. Here is a list of 10 destinations to help you get started:


1. Napa Valley, California


Tour wine country and see how organic wine is produced.Where to stay:

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa received an exceptional Gold LEED certification, meaning that it was constructed following strict energy-saving and conservation guidelines. The common spaces in this hotel use only solar lighting during the day and screens in the lobby show how much carbon, electricity, and water the place is using. Not that many places will be so forthcoming about their impact. Low-flow shower heads, CFL lighting, and carpet made from recycled materials round out an eco-stay here.
2. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Wildlife, flora, and vast landscapes.


Where to stay:

Pick from one of the park’s historic accommodations, including Lake Jenny Lodge, a rustic retreat surrounded by pine trees. Open May through October, this gem’s price per night includes breakfast, dinner, bicycling, and horseback riding. $550 and up. Or, for a closer-to-nature experience, stay in the Colter Bay Log Cabins, some of which originally housed settlers. Since lodging is inside the park itself, the lodges must follow strict environmental guidelines. The company uses recycled materials for construction, eco-friendly paint, and recaptures waste water to be purified.


3. Moab, Utah


Hiking, biking, and exploring the red Arches nearby.Where to stay:

Kokopelli Lodge is a block from downtown Moab and close to its famous arches. This affordable and pet-friendly hotel tends to draw cyclists because it offers a secure storage space for bikes and an area for repairs. The lodge uses nontoxic cleaners and eco-friendly appliances. They buy products for it with an eye on reduced packaging, have recycling onsite, and use fluorescent bulbs in the interior to reduce energy consumption.


4. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands


Swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the national park’s virgin forests.Where to stay:

Maho Bay Camps utilize wind generators and solar panels for power. The resort collects rainwater for reuse, actively recycles, and has special roofs that maximize the flow of cool air. Frequently recognized for its outstanding environmental work, the resort made its buildings from recycled plastic, glass, and rubber materials. Raised walkways allow guests to enjoy the white sand beaches while protecting the beach from soil erosion.


5. Florida Keys, Florida


Visiting the coral reefs, seeing local Key deer and white herons.Where to stay:

Deer Run Bed and Breakfast is located in lush Big Pine Key and treats guests to full organic vegan breakfasts. The owners collect rainwater for reuse, purchase fair trade products, and compost. Low-flow faucets and shower heads conserve water and plans are in the works to install solar power. In 2007, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection welcomed the B&B into its Green Lodging Program, recognizing the owners’ dedication to cost-saving green practices.


6. Southern Vermont


Hiking, canoeing, and relaxing in a classic New England environment.Where to stay:

The Stone Wall Inn, located in Windham, Vermont, doesn’t look like your typical inn. Its angular architecture integrates sustainable design with classic materials like red brick and wood, only these materials were either recycled or came from local sources. The inn has a solar collector on the roof and high-efficiency wood stoves to keep the place cozy. Guests receive biodegradable soaps and shampoo, and the inn opens up to botanical gardens that bloom with colorful flowers in the summer months.


7. Montreal


Olympic Park, the Biodome, and a European atmosphere.Where to stay:

ALT hotels, a newly-launched hotel chain, has locations in Montreal, Quebec, Vieux-Quebec, and Toronto. The buildings are constructed with a focus on energy and water conservation. Geothermal heating and cooling is at work in every room, radiant floor heating keeps the lobbies comfortable, the toilets are dual-flush, the lighting is energy-efficient, and sensors in the stairwells turn the lights on only when there are people walking through. Ten-foot ceilings, flat-screen televisions, and goose down duvets set these affordable rooms apart. Every day, a guest who reserved online is chosen to be billed just one dollar for the room.


8. Anchorage, Alaska


Seeing the Northern lights, whales, and bears.Where to stay:

North Country Castle Bed and Breakfast, a Victorian home in Anchorage’s Chugach Mountain Foothills gets top green ratings for its energy and water conservation, composting, and participation in local environmental programs. This cozy B&B has recycling bins in guest rooms, organic food, and non-toxic cleaners. Owners Wray and Cindy Kinard are known for their scrumptious breakfasts and making guests feel at home.


9. Austin, Texas


Austin City Limits’ live music and wildflowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Center. Where to stay:

Habitat Suites is voluntarily part of the Green Hotels Association. This award-winning hotel has its own gardens and guests get complimentary breakfasts with vegan and vegetarian options. The grounds are maintained with natural, nontoxic pesticides and ladybugs around the property promote healthy plant growth. Rooms are cleaned with green products, guests are given recycled and unbleached paper products, and the hotel added solar arrays to increase its energy-efficiency. A downloadable brochure lays out the hotel’s myriad conservation practices.


10. Banff, Alberta


Mountain biking, camping, and wildlife viewing in Banff National ParkWhere to stay:

Aurum Lodge in Nordegg, Alberta, was constructed using recycled materials and designed to take advantage of natural light. Most of its windows face south and solar panels provide the lodge with power. A composting toilet, sand septic system, and graywater treatment conserve water. Guests who stay in this rustic lodge will be within driving distance from Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefield, and the nearby Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

Source:  www.blueegg.com   www.travelanswerman.com 

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