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Deal of the Day: 6 Earth-Friendly Places to Stay
By Lisa Scherzer, SmartMoney.com
April 24, 2008

"ECO-TRAVEL" USED to conjure thoughts of cold showers and a 10-square cap on toilet paper use. But now, as a growing number of travelers clamor for "greener" alternatives, environmentally-friendly travel doesn't have to mean sacrificing creature comforts.

Both here and abroad, the lodging industry is polishing up its green credentials, offering everything from organic breakfasts and fair-trade coffee to low-flow sink aerators. Not only do such measures help eco-friendly hotels cut operating costs (i.e; less dependence on pricey oil and electricity), but they also help them lure in a growing number of green-leaning customers. According to a survey by the Travel Industry Association and ad agency Ypartnership, more than half of U.S. adults say they'd be more likely to select an airline, rental car or hotel that uses more environmentally-friendly products and processes.

"Everybody is taking a look at this. Every hotel company has an environmental officer, who works with the design and engineering departments to come up with programs that are specific to their brand," says Joe McInerney, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Unfortunately for travelers, there's no uniform set of standards for what makes a hotel truly green. Various organizations give hotels their own green stamp of approval, but it's ultimately up to the consumer to seek out what they deem important, whether it's a hotel that offers carbon-offset programs or simply recycles. "I advise travelers to do a little bit of due diligence," says Brian Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International, a nonprofit that supports ecotourism.

Here are six reasonably-priced hotels that are teeming with eco-friendliness.

 

AAA Four Diamond
Proximity Hotel | 704 Green Valley Road | Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone 336-379-8200 (toll-free 1-800-379-8200) |
proxinfo@proximityhotel.com | Fax 336-478-9123
AAA Four Diamond Award | LEED Platinum Certified by U.S. Green Building Council
Proximity Hotel is part of the Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels Family

Print Works Bistro | O.Henry Hotel | Green Valley Grill | Lucky 32
LEED Platinum