In light of the heightened awareness of how our ways are affecting the environment, you may want to involve yourself in helping out through simple ways. Going green does not necessarily involve a sudden overhaul of your living, but consuming less resources and decreasing your personal carbon footprint. This is a trend that has been popularized through Nobel laureate Al Gore’s award-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”. Because of these trends towards environmentalism, several businesses have responded to this by incorporating environment-friendly, or “green” efforts in their business models.
Among the fruition of these efforts is the emergence of the so-called “green hotels” and “green towns”. The perfect example of this is Denver: it has been positioning itself as the epitome of a “green” town, which helps it attract environmentally conscious tourists. If you want to try out the experience of going to Denver on an environmentally friendly trip, here’s how you can find a green hotel in the site of the 2008 Democratic Convention.
- Remember that there still is no strict definition of what a green hotel is. While there are still no standards set, a green hotel will usually exhibit positive efforts in the following categories.
- Energy efficiency
- Waste Management
- Water Use Efficiency
- Purchase of Environmentally Friendly Products
- Reduction of Toxin Use
- Environmental Education of Guests and Staff
- You can also find out if a hotel is truly green if it has been certified by a neutral and unbiased party. There are a plethora of standards that can be used to claim green status, but here are a few of the most credible bodies to certify the environment-friendliness of a certain establishment.
- US EPA Energy Star for Hospitality
- US Green Building Council’s LEED Program
- Green Key Eco-Rating Program
- Green Seal for Lodging Properties
- EcoRooms and EcoSuites
- There are varying degrees of “green” to choose from. You will have to find out how “green” you want your hotel to be. The rule of thumb is, the greener the hotel, the fewer traditional hotel amenities and luxuries there are to be found. This is a tradeoff that everyone will have to make, although there are a few luxury hotels that still merit green status.
- A good place to start would be the Green Hotel Association. This is not simply a listing of green hotels, but a comprehensive website that defines the different shades of green of different hotels. Not only this, it also lists the green practices of the different hotels, so you can easily choose which ones you can live with.
- All it takes is a quick search online to find out listings of green hotels. Among these include an article by the Denver Post on the green hotels, and the Alliance of Sustainable Colorado. They have lists which show the different hotels and their green level.
If you cannot find a green hotel for your price range, you can opt to go for the smaller communities around Denver. They are smaller hotels, but can give better deals as well as environment-friendliness. Small bed&breakfast establishments are also a viable alternative to hotels.