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April 22, 2010

Eco-Travel for Earth Day 2010

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Caño Island National Park - provided by genier@flickr, photo by La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Costa Rica

Am I the only one who finds it odd that we're only celebrating the "40th Anniversary" of Earth Day? I mean, the Earth is older than that, right? :)

In any case, Earth Day is upon us once again, and this year's trend seems to be "eco-travel" or "eco-tourism". What does this mean? According to Wikipedia, "eco-travel" (also known as "eco-tourism", or "ecological tourism") is responsible travel to fragile, pristine and usually protected areas that strives to be low-impact and (often) small scale. This type of travel generally appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals; however, the general idea of "eco-travel" is becoming a more popular trend with mainstream destinations. Many times, eco-travel focuses on volunteering, personal growth or environmental responsibility; the "mainstream" definition does not always cover this aspect - focusing more on creating eco-conscious destinations for travelers.

Here are some destinations and others in the US travel industry who have "gone green" in honor of Earth Day:

  • Southwest Airlines: In a Southwest Airlines announcement, the airline reaffirmed their commitment to "Environmental Stewardship" - the efficient use of energy, people and materials - and introduced their new "green" plane. Their green planeintroduces environmentally friendly materials and helps to improve on the plane's fuel efficiency. Keeping up with green initiatives is certainly exhausting!
  • Hotel Palomar Chicago: as part of a city-wide eco-friendly initiative, Hotel Palomar Chicagohas installed a new roof! Their new roof is covered in grass and other vegetation in order to help improve air quality in the city. Now that's a breath of fresh air!
  • Hard Rock Hotel San Diego: the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego (HRHSD), via the American Forests' "Global ReLeaf" program, will plant a tree for every guest that checks in during the month of April. Rock on!
  • Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort:offering fun for families! Through Saturday, April 24th, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resortwill offer complimentary eco-education sessions for kids and families. Each 30-60 minute activity will focus on a unique aspect of Marco Island's eco-system - from dolphins to sea turtles! Eco FUN!

In addition to all these great Earth Day activities, there are quite a few establishments offering to SAVE you some green this Earth Day too!

  • Free lodging at Ithaca, NY B&Bs: the New York Daily News reports that four eco-friendly B&Bs in Ithaca, NY are offering travelers free lodging (free night with a minimum 2 night stay) if they're a hybrid driver! The four B&Bs are: Climbing Vine Cottage, Frog's Way B&B, Wild Goose B&B, and Turtle Dreams. This offer is good through May 10th.
  • Eldorado Hotel & Spa - Santa Fe, NM:rewarding green travelers with their "Go Green, Save Your Green" discount. Travelers who mention the code "PROGG" will receive a 15% room discount, free overnight parking for hybrid vehicles, and a 20% discount on organic products from Nidah Spa. Rates start at $149/night and this offer is valid throughout the month of April.
  • Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club - St. Petersburg, FL: drivers of hybrid vehicles will receive free self parking at the Renaisssance Vinoy Resort through April 30th. The Vinoy Day Spa also offers organic treatments and uses natural bath products.  

Of course, it doesn't have to be Earth Day to take advantage of good travel deals and to be an eco-conscious traveler...but it certainly helps. :)

Posted by Dawn Sue-Dare on April 22, 2010 at 10:58 PM in Current Affairs, Travel | Permalink

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Comments

its really cool...An environmentally friendly resource for the latest on ecotourism...Cheap Travel News

Posted by: Cheap Travel News | Apr 27, 2010 7:07:08 AM

It is great that people actually cares and demands for green products

Travel Spots

Posted by: Enrique | Jul 2, 2010 10:48:53 PM

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