Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes. It could be a weekend road trip to a nearby city or a two-week long adventure overseas. I love having the opportunity to explore new places and try new things. However, as I’ve gotten more active in reducing my environmental impact, I’ve been more and more conscious about the larger effects of my travels on the world. That’s why I started researching eco-friendly hotels. As it turns out, there are some really cool options out there. In fact, many of these low-impact spots are all-around innovative. I now have a short list of places for my next vacation!
ION Adventure Hotel: Nesjavellir, Iceland
At ION Adventure Hotel, you’ll find breathtaking views of the Northern Lights, a convenient location to nearby outdoor adventures, and an all-around fantastic location. Better yet, this hotel takes sustainability seriously. They use organic and fair-trade ingredients at their restaurant. A good deal of their furniture—including chairs and sinks—is made from recycled material. And, the hotel itself is located in a previously abandoned building. This is one eco-friendly boutique hotel you don’t want to miss.
Whitepod: Valais, Switzerland
Far from your traditional hotel, Whitepod demonstrates that places can highlight environmental conservation and still provide guests with a fantastic stay. They take many steps to limit their eco-footprint, including recycling waste, using local ingredients, and limiting their effects on nature and use of energy. The fun dome shape of the rooms serves a purpose, too! It decreases the energy needed to heat and cool the space. And, all of these benefits are just the start of how they’re trying to help the environment while offering you a fantastic stay. Oh, and did I mention the absolutely gorgeous view you’ll get to experience every morning as soon as you wake up?
Proximity Hotel: Greensboro, North Carolina
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One great thing about Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC: It’s the first place to get a LEED Platinum “green hotel” rating! When designing and building it, they considered sustainable approaches in everything from energy efficiency to indoor environmental quality. This means you can sleep well when you’re there knowing the place you’re staying is taking steps to make a difference. The hotel says they follow 70+ sustainable practices, which you’ll notice in additions like their reclaimed and recycled material and the bicycles they have available for guests to get around on.
Hix Island House: Vieques, Puerto Rico
Surrounded by beautiful views of nature, the Hix Island House provides the relaxing getaway you’ve been wanting—and the place considers ecology in its design, too. They use solar energy to supplement electricity, collect rainwater, and use as few chemicals as possible. Thanks to these types of measures, the Hix Island House earned certification as a Sustainable Tourism Facility. When you’re on a trip to enjoy the reprieve of nature, it’s refreshing to know that you’re traveling in a more eco-friendly way.