By: Mary Campbell, Extension Director and Urban Sustainability Director
Taking your green practices on the road may be challenging, but with a little preparation you can be comfortable and green at the same time. Book your next hotel stay with a designated member of the Florida Green Lodging Program. Properties are located throughout the state and range from local bed and breakfast’s to five star resorts with more than 1,000 rooms to suit any traveler’s needs. Designated properties have implemented a variety of environmentally friendly practices, such as: installation of low flow plumbing fixtures, linen and towel reuse programs, installation of ENERGY STAR® appliances and programmable thermostats, recycling in guest and staff areas, bulk and recycled content purchasing, use of green cleaners and use of high efficiency air filters.
Even with high gas prices, you can take a vacation that doesn’t deplete your wallet or the environment by traveling “green”. DEP’s new Green Travel website features an interactive map to locate Green Lodging properties and Florida state parks close to home and lists dozens of tips on being green while enjoying the Florida Summer.
Close-to-home Florida State Parks offer the perfect avenue for family relaxation or recreation. Just outside your door, many state park adventures await within a short car ride. Plan your affordable family getaway by visiting One Tank Adventures.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging people to travel green while on the road this summer, and choosing hotels that have earned EPA’s Energy Star is a great place to start. Energy Star labeled hotels are independently verified to meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by EPA. Hotels that have earned the Energy Star perform in the top 25 percent of hotels nationwide, use at least 35 percent less energy and emit at least 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than their peers – making an environmentally friendly lodging choice a snap when planning a summer vacation.