Millennials are always keen for green, but Earth Month gives added impetus for travelers to put their money where their mouth is and choose accommodations that actively embrace sustainability. With that in mind, here’s a sampling of lodging choices in top city and resort destinations that are perfect for an eco-conscious adventure:
- In sync with the Adirondacks. From the felled trees used in its construction (all found on property) to its reuse of dying trees as mulch and in landscaping, just in timber Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge has demonstrated its environmental cred. The award-winning, all-suite resort is tucked into the High Peaks of Lake Placid, surrounded by the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous U.S. Among the Lodge’s other green measures: eliminating 43,000 water bottles each year by installing water filters on kitchen faucets and filling bedside carafes with filtered water; saving 1,200 gallons of water daily with laundry measures; installing LED lights to save $95,627 over the next 15 years; and recycling soap for distribution to families in need. A partnership with Tesla Motors provides four stations that fully charge vehicles overnight.
· Green from the ground up at Element Boston Seaport. Located in Boston’s thriving Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport strives to give back to the Earth with sustainable design and amenities. Among the more innovative features: a stationary kinetic bike in the fitness center that challenges guests to power their personal electronics by putting pedal to the metal. Other eco-features include recycled tire flooring, bathroom amenity dispensers and filtered tap water to cut down on plastic waste, energy-efficient kitchen appliances, dual-flush toilets, in-room recycling bins, electric vehicle charging stations, and a complimentary Bikes-to-Borrow program that encourages guests to explore Boston without their vehicle.
· Loggerhead love at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. With the world’s third largest barrier reef just offshore, this all-suite resort on Florida’s Gold Coast is an eco-adventure destination in itself. Besides energy-saving measures on property (like power- and water-conserving appliances in suites and a water- and energy-saving linens program) the Palm Beach Marriott has focused its attention on protecting Florida’s turtle population. Three different resort initiatives benefit the nearby Loggerhead Marine Life Center. They include:
o Plush turtles in each suite available for purchase, with a percentage of sales going to the center.
o “For the Love of the Si Turtles” program at the award-winning SiSpa, donating 10 percent of sales from a 50-minute Signature Massage or Signature Facial.
o A Little Loggerhead overnight package featuring a private tour of the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, participation in its Adopt a Sea Turtle program, and a percentage of package proceeds donated to the center.
· A Sanctuary for monarchs and more. One of Scottsdale, Arizona’s leading resorts, Sanctuary works to preserve its surrounding desert environment with measures that include the use of low-flow toilets throughout the property, drought-tolerant plants, organic cleaning products and services, and a staff incentive program to encourage positive environmental practices. The resort’s in-room amenities, created exclusively for Sanctuary by Red Flower, are organic, cruelty-free, and made of sustainably sourced ingredients. In 2015, the resort also became a certified monarch butterfly habitat as a result of the increase in monarch butterflies in the Scottsdale area.
- Plant for the Planet at Sofitel New York. Guests of this midtown Manhattan luxury hotel can rest easy knowing that their stay helps small-scale Vermont farmers protect watershed health through tree plantings, thanks to Accor World Wide’s Plant for the Planet initiative. The hotel donates 50% of the utility and chemical savings from its guest room linen re-use program to the program. In addition, Sofitel New York estimates 600,000 gallons in annual water savings from its new, high-efficiency toilets and has reduced its daily waste by 44 percent with the installation of an innovative ORCA Digestive Machine that turns organic material into waste water, reducing landfill impact.
- Green on and off the course at Pebble Beach. The world-renowned golf courses of Pebble Beach Resorts are not only home to some of the game’s most legendary tournaments, they are eco gems as well. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and The Links at Spanish Bay are Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, earning Pebble Beach a Green Resort Award from Golf Magazine and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am a Gold Certification for sustainable golf tournaments from the Council for Responsible Sport. Most recently, Pebble Beach Resorts won the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) 2017 Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency, highlighting its water reclamation project and solar-powered golf maintenance facility. Off the course, the company takes seriously its role as an environmental steward of the Del Monte Forest and Monterey County coastline, sustainably managing its 5,300 acres for the enjoyment of future generations. Maintained by a full-time staff of ecology, forestry, and native plant nursery workers, its nursery is capable of growing more than 50,000 native plants a year for revegetation and reforestation projects. Extensive retrofits and upgrades in recent years have reduced the resorts’ energy usage by 16% — saving 1.9 million pounds of carbon emissions.
- Inviting sustainability home. The eco-travel trend and booming vacation home rental market converge in a pair of guilt-free retreats within InvitedHome’s exceptional luxury portfolio. The first of these two environmental all-stars, Upper East Retreat (Santa Barbara, California) has earned design awards for its redevelopment via deconstruction – salvaging as many pieces as possible from the original structure, and innovative features like operable trellis louvers that control light and air flow. Up to eight travelers can enjoy the four-bedroom home, which is within walking distance of the historic Santa Barbara Mission. White Cap Lodge (Breckenridge, Colorado) is a ski-in, ski-out gem that has been singled out with a “Best Sustainability” award by the Verdigris Group. Located in the sought-after Warriors Mark area, it features four bedrooms sleeping nine guests and modern amenities like a gourmet kitchen, outdoor hot tub, cozy gas fireplace, and sweeping views from every balcony.