Monday, March 31, 2008
Now, to satisfy your eco cravings, the announcement of a new book, published in the UK by Markam Publishing. Written by Laura Burgess, editor and blogger of http://www.ecoescape.org/, this new paperback - Eco Escape: UK - offers up 208 pages of "landscape, attractions, foods and dwellings," highlighting the art of slow travel with a complete Slow Travel Toolkit.
As you may have guessed by the ever-present colon in the title, this is the first of a new series of travel guides that will celebrate escapism "closer to home." You can expect to see the following guides released this year:
Ireland (May 2008)
Islands of Britain (September 2008)
Budgets and Backpacks (September 2008)
Says Burgess, "ecoescape begins at home. It's about reconnecting to familiar places - our cities, villages, birthplace or countries - and finding ways to escape that we may never have realised were there. We also want to discover new spaces to think and breathe. ecoescape helps you find ways to get off-grid at home and further afield without sacrificing the quality of travel experience or the potential to relax and escape everyday life."
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Imagine my surprise when I recently stumbled upon travel-sized Pacifia candles, poured neatly into packable tins. Coming in at seven ounces, these candles are made with the brand's exclusive vegetable soy wax blend, a natural, clean-burning, renewable resource. Of course, Pacifica soy candles are hand-poured using lead-free cotton wicks, natural essential oils, and essences.
To create an at-home ambiance in your hotel suite, try lighting up Madagascar Spice, which blends spicy clove, sweet orange and a touch of black pepper.
Price: $13.95 at http://www.pacificacandles.com/. Also available at Whole Foods.
We thought so.
InStyle magazine did the dirty work for this post, rounding up their favorites, which boast eco-friendly features like organic facials and reclaimed furnishings. So next time you find yourself in one of the below cities, drop in for a guilt-free massage... or pedi... or vichy...
Chicago: Salon Echo
Tucked away behind the salon, this serene spa was built almost entirely of recycled or sustainable materials. Guests will find organic-cotton sheets on massage tables, organic scented oils that soothe tired muscles and botanically based laundry supplies too.
Dallas: Exhale Spa
An eco-adviser helped develop the new facilas and skincare line for this spa, using mushroom enzymes and echinacea.
Los Angeles: Dtox Day Spa
Buddhas and bamboo add zen to this urban retreat, which offers up organic tea and treatments to smooth and hydrate.
Miami: Uhma Spa
Slip into a bamboo robe at this South Beach spa before getting rubbed down with organic oils.
New York: Priti Organic Spa (pictured above)
This downtown spa utilizes organic products like nontoxic nail polish to pamper guests.
San Diego: Blue Marble
Read all about this sleek spa in one of Green Globetrotter's previous posts.
San Franciso: Sen Spa
Munch on organic dried fruit and dark chocolate at this wellness center, located in renovated WWI barracks.
Santa Monica: The Bey's Garden
Organic products, natural beauty products and recycled plastic sheets make this spa one to check out. It also boasts an adorable spa shop to browse.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Luckily, more and more tourism operators are making the decision easier on stressed getaway planners. One such instance is Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s eco effort, Travel Green Wisconsin (http://www.travelgreenwisconsin.com/). Launched in 2006 as a Web site, the program does more than highlight the Great Lakes state’s environmental contributors, it does a nice job of categorizing, describing and rating businesses such as hotels (54 accommodations are currently listed), adventure tour operators, and restaurants. And as it turns out, there’s much more than cheese here.
To get the scoop on why Wisconsin took the green plunge, we quizzed Will Christianson, outreach coordinator for the state’s department of tourism and the gentleman to head up the sustainable travel program.
So how did the program come about? Says Christianson, “Travel Green Wisconsin was an idea that was sparked in 2004 when being sustainable and green wasn't considered mainstream as it is today.” After searching round for an existing program that could be tailored to Wisconsin tourism efforts – and coming up empty-handed – the department decided to create a program of their own.
Marketing research proved that addressing eco issues was vital. Seventy-eight percent of respondents surveyed by Wisconsin rated eco-friendly or green certified attractions and lodging as “important” or “quite important,” making it clear that Wisconsin had a case for a strong environmentally-focused movement. To create a top-tier green rating system, the Dept. of Tourism teamed up with the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative for a program that would include not just the “ten-percenters that are all ready living and working green,” but all tourism businesses that were moving toward sustainability. The end result is a scoring system that “places higher point value on practices that cost a lot of money or resources to implement, and lower point values to those that are could be easily implemented,” says Christianson.
The response? Positive. Christianson cites several program participants that have increased involvement specifically because of their affiliation with the program. He elaborates, “Conservation, sustainability, and eco-tourism have strong roots in Wisconsin that reach deep: John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Frank Lloyd Wright, [and] Gaylord Nelson are just some of the individuals in Wisconsin's history that championed eco-focused initiatives.”
An avid outdoorsman himself, Christianson rattles off some of his favorite green destinations, including the town of Bayfield, Wisconsin, Baraboo’s International Crane Foundation and Aldo Leopold Legacy Center and Wyalusing State Park, one of the many parks that make up the state’s 1,700 miles of trails.
What should you check out? Door County Kayak Tours (pictured above) offers visitors the opportunity to paddle thousand-year old caves and glimpse Native American etched petroglyphs, while the Artha Sustainable Living Center (pictured left) hosts weekend retreats (like the solar water heating workshop) among its organic gardens. Who knew Wisconsin could be so exciting? With plenty of earth-friendly offerings and sultry summer temperatures, this could just be the place to pitch your tent during the months to come.
[Fascinating tid bit: Capitol city, Madison, Wisconsin was the first city in the U.S. to offer a curbside recycling program.]
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Building the first carbon negative airport (The Daily Green)
Reducing your carbon footprint (Grist)
Get set for the Seattle Green Festival (Herald.net)
DTW goes green with hydrogen shuttles (CheapFlights.com)
Otherworldly & Earth-Friendly Delights in Iceland (Spring)
Lofty pledge to cut emissions comes with caveat in Norway (New York Times)
It's called Free Rice - http://www.freerice.com/ - and for each word that you correctly guess the meaning to, they'll donate 20 grains of rice to help end world hunger. Legit? It is. Parntered with the UN World Food Program, Free Rice is a sister site to http://www.poverty.com/. Yesterday, wordsmiths the world-wide racked up 120,839,820 grains for donation.
Got a minute? Stop searching for great, green travel deals and join in the fun here.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Model Josie Maran, who you may recognize from Maybelline ads, Sports Illustrated or the Van Helsing movie, is a fan of Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Cali. Says Maran, "I just took the most amazing trip there."
Model Shalom Harlow, frequenter of Ralph Lauren ads and co-host of House of Style, raves about King Pacific Lodge in British Columbia. Says Halrow, "This is an eco-resort nestled right in the wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest."
Fashion designer Behnaz Sarafpour points to Anatara Resort and Spa Golden Triangle in Thailand (shown in photo above) as her dream eco sanctuary. She says, "I would love to visit the Elephant Conservation Centre that the Royal Thai Government has set up at this resort."
Lastly, environmentalist and actress Alicia Silverstone (Clueless, anyone?) relies on We Care Spa in Desert Hot Springs, Cali for a dose of relaxation.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
What you see here is the pool at Hotel Eco Paraiso Xixim in Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico. Designed and constructed with consideration to the environment, the small hotel sits on an untouched, natural beach, within a plantation of malayan dwarf coconut palms, using a mere one percent of the 62-acre property. Consisting of 15 thatch-roof bungalows overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Eco Paraiso focuses heavily on recycling, environmental education and beneficial construction and gardens. They also utilize solar panels to heat the pool (shown to the left) and purchase all-natural products as often as possible.
Click here for full details on the hotel's ecology program. And here for a list of tours offered. Rates start at $180 per night.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Organized within Bwindi and Mgahinga (Uganda) or Parc National des Volcans (Rwanda), globetrotters are able to view Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat, where a dwindling 700 are still active. Besides the awe-inspiring experience of witnessing these marvelous mammels at play, guests that visit parks and stay in the stunning ecolodges are helping to fund conservation and community projects, while helping the local communities understand the value of the ape's continued survival.
Seven day safari - Gorilla, Wildlife and Chimp - Bwindi and Kibale, starts at $3,378.00, based on double occupancy.
According to Volcanoes Safaris:
In post-conflict Rwanda, the Volcanoes Safaris BLCF Project, backed by the
British government, has helped improve hotel infrastructure, train local people
in hospitality and guiding, increase income and develop new skills. The project
has brought over 1.5 million US dollars to the Rwandese economy. In Uganda, the company is setting up a partnership project near Kyambura Gorge, home to a group of threatened chimpanzees. The team at Volcanoes Safaris believes that long-term partnerships between ecotourism companies, local communities, conservation organizations, governments and donors are essential for the survival of primates.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Dubbed the Transit Connect Taxi, it's a Ford concept, but it's got legs, boasting an easy-to-climb-into interior and "the maneuverability and fuel efficiency of a small car," according to Ford. Take one look and you've got to believe that it beats the current Crown Victorias in space - score one.
Score two is for its standard, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, equaling an estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city – more than 30 percent improvement in fuel economy and nearly 90 percent lower tailpipe emissions than most of today’s traditional taxis.
An infotainment screen in the backseat and panoramic roof are added bonuses. Hopefully, it won't be too long before green travelers are hailing these eco-friendlier transit options on NYC streets.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Located in Los Angeles’ upscale Westwood neighborhood, adjacent to Beverly Hills at 10740 Wilshire Blvd., the sophisticated hotel will boast an art theme amongst its 268 guest rooms and sweeping city views. Also incorporated are more than 40 eco-friendly practices, including in-room recycling bins; energy-efficient lighting; water-efficient fixtures; toiletries made from natural ingredients by earth-friendly manufacturers; organic food and beverage options in its mini-bars and a restaurant that follows the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch’s sustainable seafood guidelines.
In recognition of the hotel's efforts, the California Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded Kimpton its most prestigious ecological honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, which goes to businesses that focus on preserving the state’s resources.
For all the juicy details on EarthCare, Kimpton’s company-wide environmentally friendly program, click here.
In it, you'll find 144 lightly lined pages for recording your steamy travel stories or keeping track of the best restaurants in Shanghai.
To grab your own, visit Plain White Press. Journals cost $24.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Eco-Friendly Copenhagen (TravelConnect)
Green Ideas: Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel (ABC News)
Macedonia Goes Green (Lonely Planet Travel Blog)
The Plus and Minus of Green Cruising (Cruise Critic)
AND... here's to a very jolly St. Paddy's Day for all! Cheers!
That means that from now until March 22, I'll have the opportunity to donate $1 for my tap water when I go out to eat. That measly buck equates to 40 days of clean water(!) for one child in need. Not so measly any more, eh?
To find out if any restaurants near you are participating, visit http://www.tapproject.org/.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Come 8:00pm on March 29th, the hotel, which was one of the first in Toronto to sign on for Earth Hour events, will "go dark." That means that when the clock strikes, the hotel will turn off as many of its lights as possible, including the red marquee sign above the hotel, the 460 bulbs in the east entrance canopy, as well as various other interior and exterior lights. (It's worth noting that many of these bulbs are energy-efficient.)
According to The Star article, Melanie Coastes, a Fairmont public relations director says, "It will be so romantic." She's refering to the candle-lit checkin that guests will receive, as well as the darkened pool, lit by 100 floating candles.
Indeed. And instead of a pillow-top chocolate for guests as they turn in for the night, they'll find one of 1,365 black bookmarks that ask guests to join in the effort.
Says Coates, "Lights make up only 5 percent of our energy draw, so it won't make a large impack on the grid. But we believe it will have a very great influence on people's understanding of climate change."
To learn more about Fairmont Hotels' Environmental philosophy, click here. Or, to make reservations at the hotel where one-night "Green Getaway" packages start at $269 CAD, click here.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I own a few sets of these lifesavers and would vouch for them any day. Unscrew the lid, fill 'er up with your fave potions (mine are loaded with hair gel, sunscreen and body lotion) and off you go. Easy as pie and much sweeter to the environment. Not to mention they're just plain pretty. ($52 for the set pictured above.)
Wondering how you can squeeze five into your beauty bag? Cut down on the product by picking up this Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath combo from philosophy. Dubbed Message in a Bottle ($20), it's a definite multi-tasker and best of all, 100 percent of the net profits go directly to the Rainforest Foundation.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
So far, 25 cities have been dubbed as flagships by the World Wildlife Fund, including U.S. hot spots like Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and sunny San Francisco. Who will be powering down to show their support for global climate change? The Sear's Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge, to start. The John Hancock Building and even Alcatraz (escape!) have joined in as well, shedding some darkness in order to make a crucial statement.
Want to play a part? Sign up to participate here, or get info on creating an entire community intiative. Better yet, power down your laptop or PC at 8:00pm tonight, walk around your house and flick off the unnecessary lights and electronics, and enjoy a relaxing read before hitting the pillow. It's a small step, but the first step in making a difference, even when you're at home.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
What makes it so special? Writers that don't know where to begin can rely on the journaling triggers listed on each page - this "Write It Down!" journal is specific to travel, although they available for almost any hobby or passion (think: golfing, gardening, dating, movies, wines, etc.). It includes space for your notes on the dates you traveled, the weather, where you stayed, the most memorable event and more. Each journal has 200 pages and runs about $19.00.
Check out the journals (mini sizes are available too) here.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A writer myself, I don't go far without a journal. And when I'm traveling, it's a staple. Colors, scents, and lively atmospheres are all thoroughly noted in my record of journeys. I've gone through several, each symbolizing a different part of my life and different sector of the world. In the next few days, I'll be pointing out some of my favorite brands for your own consideration. It may only be a bound pad of paper, but these blank pages give way to the most wonderful story ever told: yours.
The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company's Elephant Silhouette Journal
Yep. It's made of poo. Asian elephant poo, that is; which is really a mish-mash of dried fibers that (surprisingly!) lend no scent. Considering its creative source, this is one lovely book for writing down your deepest travel memories. Best of all, it's 100 percent recycled and offers 20 pure pages for chronicling your journey. Just enough for a long trip, wrapped up in one clever volume. $12.00 here (a portion of profits is donated to elephant welfare and conservations projects).
Readers can also read first-hand experiences of "slow travel" by visiting these blogs, suggested by the campaign:
Babs to Brisbane
The 2Wheels Blog
Slow Travel Blog
Check it out and share your own green travel tips with the world.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Known for their indigenous gardens certified as a wildlife habitat, the Inn says it reaches beyond accepted sustainable business practices to protect its natural surroundings. The first hotel in Maine to heat with biofuel, and the first to be carbon neutral, the renovation includes many new earth friendly features to accompany its 57 guestrooms, including: solar heating pool panels, recycled rubber flooring in the cardio room, and dual flush toilets. The Inn is working with a LEEDS consultant for a spa addition with low VOC wall coverings and sealants, and recycled studs and sheetrock.
Inn by the Sea is a Maine DEP certified Green Lodging and has received a Legislative Sentiment as an Environmental Leader. You can visit the Web site (which is still in the works) here. Reservations are currently being accepted for June 6, 2008 and beyond.
How to spot the travel industry's eco-spin (MSNBC)
Trips that keep on giving (ODE Magazine)
Plane flies five passengers from US to London (Telegraph)
Eco chic concierge: Brian Mahan (Sprig)
Walk, bike or hike - each of the April 18-20 events is free to the public and features a weekend of "music and environmental awareness." Approximately 500,000 people are expected to attend the family-friendly events, in their third year.
To get the scoop on musical performances or to sign up as a volunteer, visit http://www.greenapplemusicfestival.com/.
Is your city hosting a festival?
- The National Mall (Washington D.C.)
- Central Park (New York City, NY)
- Bicentennial Park (Miami, FL)
- The Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL)
- City Park (Denver, CO)
- Fair Park (Dallas, TX)
- Santa Monica Pier (Los Angeles, CA)
- Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA)
Sunday, March 9, 2008
For those not yet sick of the snow, "camp" consists of a main lodge plus nine pods that are really dome-shaped tents and allow access via foot or ski. Adventurous travelers can choose from three types of pods: the Expedition Pod (think wood burning stove, hand basin and a double bed for two), the Pavilion Pod (twice the size as the Expedition with the bonus of a toilet, terrace and room service), and the Group Pod (sleeps up to eight and includes a lounge area).
All feature silent, snowy panoramas of the majestic Alps - best enjoyed snuggled under the resort's organic bedding and sheep skin throws. Once out of bed, guests can spend their time skiing, spa-ing or hiking (who would have guessed?).
Pods start at $318 per person, based on double occupancy and include coffee and afternoon tea. You can find details on the resort's eco philosophy here.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Experience green with cross-country skiing (Green Living Online)
New England Spring Flower Show gets greener (Boston Globe)
10 greenest college campuses (The Ecopolitan - National Geographic)
Cruising green in Iceland (The Star)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
For an even bigger boost, choose a B&B in your own state and make it a clean weekend getaway by renting a hybrid for the scenic drive!
The Spencer Hotel: Chautauqua, NY
From now until June 20, the green package includes one night's accommodations with one picnic lunch, breakfast, and two bicycle rentals for biking on local scenic trails for $239 per couple. Two-night packages cost $412.
Flery Manor: Grants Pass, OR
Through October 31, 2008, book a two-night stay, mention the Green Getaway, and a seedling tree will be provided for planting in the lower meadow along with a plaque bearing the guest's name and date of planting plus a photo of the planting, starting at $240 per couple.
Washington School Inn: Park City, UT
(Shown above) Until April 12, when you make a reservation, convince Jean that you've made a difference in the fight against global warming. Mention BedandBreakfast.com's green getaways - and prove your duty to green - and you'll get a one-day Park City Resort ski lift ticket ($79 value) free.
Stay tuned for more details on green-focused B&Bs in the U.S.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Teaming up with General Motors, the London-based carrier will offer three Chevrolet Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars for "Upper Class" limo service, debuting as a trial option in Los Angeles. If globetrotters are hungry for such chic, carbon-considerate transportation, the service will also roll out in New York City later this year.
Says the ever entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, "Our mission to be the sustainable airline is clear, both on the ground and in the air. Partnerships such as this with General Motors show that we are pioneering in the aviation industry when it comes to reducing emissions at every stage of our passengers' journey."
For more info on Virgin Atlantic's dedication to sustainable travel, click here.
Click here for the scoop on Chevrolet's Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell - a fully functional crossover SUV.
I was also robbed of several, highly-moisturizing (and pricey!) lotions by those TSA folks. What would have been quite convenient on those many trips is this moisture stick by skincare line Deep Steep. Available in sweet scents like Honeydew + Spearmint, Rosemary + Mint, and Grapefruit + Bergamot, the solid stick is made with 100 percent natural ingredients and packaged in recyclable and biodegradable materials. (Not to mention, solids can't be swiped by TSA!)
It might be dainty, but it's packed with Echinacea, vitamin E and cocoa butter to smooth even the dryest skin, according to FutureNatural.com. You'll find the product for purchase on this site as well, retailing for $5.00 per 0.5 oz stick.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Settled beside both Flinders Chase and Kelly Hill National Parks, yet close to the island's central hustle and bustle, Southern Ocean Lodge serves as an ideal base camp for exploring all that Kangaroo has to offer. Most important, however, are strict environment principals put in place by owners James and Hayley Baille, including local limestone interiors highlighted with recycled timbers, natural spa treatments and a host of naturalist-guided tour options.
Hole up in one of 21 contemporary suites (think sunken lounge areas and outdoor terraces) and expect to dish out AUD$900 (about $844 U.S.) per person, per night, based on double occupancy. A gourmet breakfast, light lunch and four-course dinner are included, as well as select beverages and all local, guided adventures.
Want to know more? Check out the Web site here.
Chargable by solar power, this SteriPEN from adventure outfitter, REI, uses UV light rays to zap bacteria and viruses from foreign tap water with the touch of a button. The cost of pure water? Some may say that it's priceless in comparison to the wrath of Montezuma's Revenge, making $140.00 for this gadget a sweet steal. View the entire Alternative Consumer post here.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Interested? Readers can subscribe now for either the print ($15) or e-mailed version ($12) here. Travel stories, typically featured online, will likely make it to print as well.