Outside magazine proclaims “best new eco-getaways”

If the state of the environment concerns you, or if you’re looking for a good excuse to spend some money on an environmentally friendly, swanky place, March’s Outside magazine has some suggestions. Their ‘best new eco-getaways” in the United States are:

The Lodge at Sun Ranch in Cameron, Montana. There is a green tour of the ranch to see its sustainability practices. The magazine mentions its practice of planting 10 trees in the Amazon for every guest. I don’t think that means the owners run down to the Amazon each and every time, but pays another organization that plants trees to take care of some carbon footprints. Deirdre Wollarad summed up this place on Luxist. Luxury can be green.

The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina. One great thing about this place I can tell you already is that SkyBus heads here. You can get to green for cheap if you happen to live near a SkyBus airport with a flight to Greensboro. Solar panels heat 60% of the water, 7-ft. windows in each room invite in natural light, and you can find the first elevator in North America that recaptures electricity.

The Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco, California–Billed as the newest and greenest boutique hotels, this is the only hotel in California to be built within the standards of green buildings set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The hotel earned a “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED®) certification for the efforts. I like the fact that local artists’ work are part of the decor.

The Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in American Canyon, California. Not only is this hotel environmentally friendly, it has a package deals that may be a good reason to hang out in Napa Valley for awhile. Too bad February is almost over. If you stay three nights, you get the 4th for free. Part of the hotel’s aim to promote green hotels is to attract visitors by offering affordable deals. There’s a video on the Web site that tells just why this hotel has earned a gold certification with LEED. The owner is interviewed and explains his philosophy and the hotel’s practices. There’s also a tour that explains each green feature.