Walking through a Kohl's one day, I heard through their intercom that they are striving to be a more eco-friendly store, using solar-powered energy for their electricity. How awesome is that? If only more places were like this, I thought. If you're like me, you cannot wait to take on this summer and travel the state, country or world. When we plan accommodations, we only think about things like pricing and proximity to local activities. It's rare that we take into account whether or not a hotel is eco-friendly. We should start taking a closer look at the environment initiatives of our impending getaways! Here are some gorgeous and sustainable hotels for you to start booking, guilt-free:
1. 1 HOTELS
1 Hotels, located in New York and South Beach, takes "green" to a new level. The buildings are made of natural and reclaimed materials and are covered with a variety of gorgeous lush flora. Beyond the physical appearance of the structures, 1 Hotels has enacted an energy conservation program; using only electric Tesla cars to transport guests, and works to minimize food waste with the help of renowned chefs like Tom Colicchio and Jonathan Waxman.
2. HOTEL TERRA
Located in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Hotel Terra was built using recycled materials and features 100-percent organic beds, towels, and robes, along with an efficient water-saving system. In addition, the hotel's power is offset with the purchase of solar, hydro, and wind energy, and outdoor air is pumped into guests' rooms to improve air quality.
3. SPICE ISLAND BEACH RESORT
The Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada (a tiny country in the Caribbean) is a family-run hotel with a mission to maintain the natural beauty of the destination, which was once one of the world's most treasured sources of exotic spices. The resort implements the use of energy-efficient light bulbs, line dries clothes as opposed to using machines, replants beach front trees, provides non-chlorinated guest swimming pools, and regularly participates in a community cleanup.
4. TIERRA HOTEL AND SPA
"We believe discerning travelers are looking for adventures that also respect the unique locations and cultures they visit," reads the website of the stunning Tierra Hotel and Spa in Patagonia, Chile. "From the beginning, all three of our lodges [the other locations being in Atacama and Chiloé] have had sustainable practices, from thoughtful architecture to solar energy and a close collaboration with the local communities." Additionally, the Tierra Hotel group financially supports Reforest Patagonia, a citizen campaign that aims to plant 1,000,000 trees in Chilean Patagonia.