These US Hotels Are Helping Guests Celebrate Earth Day With Eco-Friendly Programming

,Want to travel while also doing something good for the planet? These hotels are offering packages and promotions in honor of Earth Day.

Auberge Resorts
Various U.S. Locations

Auberge Resorts has six properties in the United States, each of which is committed to what CEO Mark Harmon calls “Responsible Luxury.” In honor of Earth Day, each resort is featuring special programming for the month of April. Some of the activities include:

  • Palmetto Bluff (Bluffton, South Carolina) – The property will host a “New Earth Year Resolutions” two-hour nature walk on Monday, April 23.
  • Auberge du Soleil (Napa Valley, California) – Guests can partake in a “Napa Valley Dream Experience” package, part of which includes a visit to the winery and vineyards at Long Meadow Ranch, followed by a three-course winemaker’s menu prepared with local ingredients and a private tour of the organic and biodynamic Quintessa winery.
  • Encantado (Santa Fe, New Mexico) – On Earth Day, Taos Pueblo tribesman Robert Evan Trujillo will lead a special Earth Day blessing and drumming ceremony at 6:00 p.m.

For more information on properties and Earth Day activities, call 866-282-3743 or click here. St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Boulder, Colorado

St. Julien Hotel and Spa is an upscale accommodation immersed in the laid-back beauty of the Rocky Mountains. To help reduce its impact on the environment, the property is working with UHG Consulting to minimize their waste, use eco-friendly products and implement greener practices. During the week of Earth Day, St. Julien Hotel and Spa will be featuring special promotions and programming. Moreover, a portion of the proceeds raised during Earth Week will be donated to the Center for ReSource Conservation. Some of the events include showing a sustainability-themed movie on April 22, and a happy hour benefit on April 28.

Call 720-406-9696 or click here to book.

Terranea Resort
Los Angeles, California

Terranea Resort is an eco-luxury getaway, located on the picturesque Palos Verdes Peninsula. From April 18 to April 22, the property will be hosting an array of green activities to commemorate Earth Day. Clean-ups by kayak, an edible landscaping workshop and tidepooling excursions will be part of the programming as well as:

  • Sea Lion Release and Volunteer Drive – Volunteers will work with the Marine Mammal Care Center rehabilitation and rescue team to help reintroduce sea lions into the wild.
  • Tree and Habitat Restoration – Participants will trek through Terranea’s Discovery Trail with a guide, and assist in restoring indigenous plants.
  • Hawk Walk – The hotel’s ornithologists and falconers will educate guests on the area’s native birds and discuss their environmental contributions.

Call 866-802-8000 or click here to book.

Kimpton Muse Hotel
New York, NY

Kimpton Muse Hotel is a fashionable boutique accommodation located near Manhattan’s theater district. In honor of Earth Day, the property will be hosting an Eco Chic Boutique on April 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. During the event, guests can browse eco-friendly stalls while sipping organic cocktails. Some of the vendors that will be in attendance include:

The entrance fee is $15, which includes one signature drink. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the New York Restoration Project.

Call 212-485-2400 or click here to book.

New York, NY

Royalton is a sophisticated property located in midtown Manhattan that introduces elements from all over the world into its design. For instance, while the building’s facade is from France, the wall patterns reflect African tribal art. In observance of Earth Day, the hotel is featuring four special “Earth Day” cocktails from April 16 to April 27. Ingredients for the cocktails will be purchased from the Union Square Farmers Market to help ensure freshness, quality and sustainability. Each drink will be $16, with $2 of the profit going to benefit Grow NYC. Moreover, to give guests something to take home, menus will be printed on seed paper that can be planted to grow herbs and flowers.

Call 212-869-4400 or click here to book.

Red Mountain Resort
Ivins, Utah

Red Mountain Resort is a holistic accommodation focused on relaxation and helping guests to get active in nature. On April 22, the property is offering a 40 percent discount at their spa on their Nature Inspired Treatments. Some of these discounted menu items include the “Four Directions,” which offers a full-body cornmeal tobacco exfoliation and sweet grass herbal wrap, or a body wrap made of Great Salt Lake mineral salts, sesame, avocado, apricot kernal, shea butter and jojoba oil.

Call 877-246-4453 or click here to book.

Turnberry Isle Miami
Miami, Florida

Turnberry Isle Miami is a tropical resort located in North Miami Beach. Being that the property’s design is focused around the continued growth of a 100-year-old banyan tree, it’s no surprise the hotel is going all out for Earth Day. On April 22, Turnberry Isle Miami will be hosting an array of green activities, like a 2.9 mile Earth Day Run that will benefit Operation Green Leaves, a complimentary Chef’s Garden Tour and a night of Glow-in-the-Dark Solar Drop cocktails.

Call 855-201-8027 or click here to book.

JW Marriott Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

The JW Marriott Chicago is a deluxe accommodation in downtown Chicago, located near Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile. In honor of Earth Day, the property is offering a Midwest Craft Beer & Cheese Flight from April 20 to April 22. Locally crafted beers and cheeses will be paired by Chef Michael Reich in the hotel’s stylish Lobby Lounge. In his culinary and beverage creations, Reich focuses on using high-quality organic ingredients. The beer and cheese flights will cost $12.

Call 800-228-9290 or click here to book.

Whole Foods To Ban Sale Of Unsustainable Seafood: The Global Impact

In a landmark move, Whole Foods has just announced that starting on April 22 — Earth Day — it will no longer sell seafood from depleted or otherwise unsustainable fisheries, or species harvested with ecologically damaging methods such as trawling. The industry ratings for these species are determined by the Blue Ocean Institute and California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium, which produces a popular “Seafood Watch Recommendations” pocket guide and phone app for shoppers. Say bye-bye to Atlantic halibut, skate, octopus and sole.

It’s a bold move for the world’s largest, most powerful green grocery chain to defer customer demand for better buying practices, but according to Whole Foods’ seafood quality standards coordinator Carrie Brownstein via an AP article, “In the long term, what we’re really looking to do is help reverse trends of overfishing and by-catch, so that really we can move the industry as a whole toward greater sustainability.”

So how does what you eat here at home have a global impact? Depletion of any fishery always has a negative effect on the food chain because of a ripple effect. Foreign fisheries may also employ unsound fishing methods that increase by-catch (think dolphins and other aquatic species, albatross, etc.). You may love Chilean sea bass (it’s actually Patagonian toothfish) but it has long been a fishery on the verge of collapse and by purchasing it at the store or ordering it at a restaurant, you create demand for that product. Once a species is extinct, it can seriously throw a marine ecosystem out of whack. Plus, you know, extinction kind of sucks.

It’s harder for world travelers to be on top of what’s sustainable and what’s not, especially if, like me, you love street food. In developing nations, especially countries with a coastline, fishing is usually a key part of the local economy. But saving our rapidly depleting oceans trumps putting a few pennies in local pockets: they’re not looking at the big picture, which is the more seafood we consume, the less there is to sell.

Order something besides seafood unless you’re positive it’s caught in a non-environmentally degrading way, from a healthy fishery. Go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Recommendations site for a global guide to what’s sustainable and what’s not. It offers alternatives, so odds are, you can travel and have your lobster dinner, too.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Eneas]

Starwood hotels plans to recycle hotel shampoos, soaps

Some hotel guests take the mini soaps and shampoos from hotel bathrooms, others leave the pint-sized amenities behind – which option is better for the environment?

Did you know your unused hotel toiletries could be put toward recycling efforts to help people in need?

That’s the premise behind Clean the World, a social enterprise working with hotels around the world in an effort to help improve lives and protect our planet.

In an effort to give back, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. inked an agreement with Clean the World on Earth Day to collect and recycle hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases. The deal would include around 500 Starwood hotels in North America (Starwood’s brands include St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element).

.”Our North American properties represent more than 176,000 rooms, each of which offer the highest quality soaps and bottled amenities to our guests on a daily basis,” says Denise Coll, president of Starwood Hotels in North America, in a statement. “This partnership amplifies our commitment to corporate social responsibility, and it also should make every member of our Starwood family feel better about the role they play each day in caring for our Earth and the people who inhabit it.”

According to Clean the World, an estimated 1.6 million pounds of hotel soap may be recycled each year through this partnership.

Readers: Will you think twice before swiping your hotel bath amenities now?

Travelocity’s “roaming gnome” hosts Earth Day scavenger hunt in NYC

Celebrate Earth Day with one of Gadling’s favorite trip booking sites, Travelocity. Their mascot, the Roaming Gnome, is hosting a virtual and real week-long scavenger hunt, where Facebook fans and Twitter followers have a chance to win prizes, while finding the “greenest” hotspots from uptown to downtown Manhattan.

Starting April 18, the mascot (@roaminggnome) will host four scavenger hunts in NYC, hiding out in eco-friendly hotels and attractions. He’ll Tweet clues about where he’s hiding via his Twitter feed using #greengnome.

Prizes will include: two-nights stays at green hotels, show tickets to popular Broadway shows – gift certificates toward a new, eco-friendly clothing line and sustainable treats from Sweetery gourmet food truck.

On the actual Earth Day, April 22, the Gnome will be in Times Square starting at 11 AM EST. Those who stop by his booth and take a picture with him can enter for a chance to win a sustainable vacation package. Those playing along at home via Twitter can also enter to win.

Sounds like a fun and creative way to explore the city’s finest green hotels and win prizes. Why didn’t we think of this first??

Psst- want to stay at a green hotel? Check out Hotels Editor Melanie Nayer’s post.

Plant a tree, help fight climate change

We live in a “Golden Age” of travel. Never before in history have so many people traveled so widely, easily, quickly or cheaply. But this convenience comes with a hidden price. All those vehicles that take us there – the planes and cars – play a significant role in the gradual warming of our planet. In honor of Earth Day, the Conservation Fund is offering a way for you to help.

Check out the Conservation Fund’s new video for a campaign called “Go Zero.” The project seeks to raise awareness of the amount of carbon each of us produces from activities like travel, offering a chance to offset our carbon emissions. The group is trying to get 10,000 new trees planted before the end of this year’s Earth Day. It couldn’t be more simple to help – just click the button “plant a tree” on the embedded video above if you’d like to donate. If you want to learn more, make sure to stop by Conservation Fund’s website and try out the Carbon Calculator to see what you can do to fight climate change.

Our lives have all been immeasurably enriched by travel – let’s make sure future generations have a chance to enjoy the same opportunities.