As our last post in the “before you go” section of 25 Days to Green Travel, we’ve chosen to write about finding green accommodations. As greenwashing becomes ever more popular, it’s critical that we are cautious when searching for environmentally-friendly lodging. There are 5 basic types of accommodations to consider when you are looking to lessen your impact: hotels, eco-lodges, hostels, camping, and what I’m going to call “shared housing.” Camping is generally the greenest and hotels are generally the least green.
But before you make your reservations, consider your preferences. Do you want the most environmentally-friendly? The most convenient? The most centrally located? How much are you willing to pay? All of these considerations will factor into your choice of accommodation.
After you’ve answered those questions, use these resources to explore your lodging options.
Tip: When camping, practice leaving no trace. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide.
If you’re looking to camp with your furry friend, check out Kimberly’s 5 Tips for Camping Green with Your Dog.
About.com’s Find a Campground Just click on a state to get started.
ReserveAmerica /Reservations.NPS.gov / Recreation.gov These three sites recently merged. You can search by type of campground, state, park name, and dates.
L.L. Bean’s Park Search Thousands of campsites across the world, searchable by country, outdoor activity, or park name.
photo credit: stereogab
Europe Camping Guide 5,600 campsites searchable by country.
European Federation of Campingsite Organisations and Holiday Park Associations
Interhike Book 4,200+ hostels and find information about 19,000+ camping sites in Europe.
Aussie Camping Information on the many camping and caravan sites around Australia.
camping.com.au Over 2,800 listed campgrounds and holiday parks, hotels and resorts, campervan, RV and motorhome rentals.
CouchSurfing Meet locals and stay for free, then host travelers in your home. It’s a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.
WWOOF: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – Volunteer on organic farms across the world.
You can find more shared housing options in: Vagabondish’s 8 Tools to Help You Travel Forever and Live Rent Free.
Eco Hotel & Lodge Collection An association of environmentally and socially responsible hotels, lodges, inns & resorts.
ResponsibleTravel.com A selection of eco lodges that caters to the responsible traveller at all budget levels.
Finding an environmentally-friendly hotel is tricky as I learned when writing Finding Environmentally-Friendly Hotels through Green Accreditation Directories. Many of the directories are pay for link services which don’t require any true standard for listing. Some green accreditation directories include: EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com, Sustainable Travel International, and Audubon International.
How to Find Green Accommodations is the twelfth post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our feed (also available via email) and stay up to date.
- Shades of Green Travel: Accommodations
- Learning About the Local Culture: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 4
- 4 Principles for Choosing Green Transportation: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 6
- Ultimate Directory of Top Green Travel Destinations: 25 Days to Green Travel, Day 3
- 25 Days to Green Travel: Intro to the Series