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Green Travel – Do You?

Committed to green goodness

Thanks to the slow greening of the hospitality industry, it's getting easier to lighten my carbon footprint, even if I can't erase it. I know what you're thinking. A few low-energy, long-life bulbs and a recycling program do not a green hotel make.

I agree.

Hotel LivingHotel LivingBut I'm not willing to stop traveling either. My travel dollars support communities that rely on tourism for survival. By traveling with a conscience, I'm making a commitment to being a better global citizen.

The problem is that it's hard to find standardized information on what's truly "green" or "eco-friendly" - which can mean anything from giving you the opportunity to not launder your sheets to full-out composting, environmentally friendly cleaning products and educational programs.

That's why I'm very excited about these green sites that will help me figure out which hotels are doing it best in the places I want to go. And they all offer the ability to book online, which gets me on my travels faster.

Environmentally Friendly Hotels: I love that this site vets hotels based on a set of clearly defined "green attributes." Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times all agree it's hugely helpful for sourcing green hotels. If you find a hotel you like (there are more than 2,000 listed here), be sure to stop back and post a review.

Green Hotels Association: A list of more than 300 properties (mostly throughout the U.S.). Be warned this site is not as easy to navigate and some of the hotels have fairly underdeveloped green programs.

Sustainable Travel International: A full-bodied site that allows me to customize my search by activity and region. And it includes accommodations worldwide.

Responsible Travel: A reliable site that began with funding from Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop. You'll find start-up and luxury accommodations here, including some that aren't listed in mainstream media.

How do you balance your responsibility to Mother Earth without giving up travel altogether?

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