When you travel into nature, finding an eco-lodge or eco-friendly resort is becoming easier and easier. But what happens when you travel through America’s cities?The sad truth is that green travel in the U.S. pales when compared to Europe, so more than likely, your hotel wastes a ton of water; your rental car spews carbon dioxide; and your restaurant has been cleaned with harsh chemicals.
At least, that’s true for now—the focus on green travel to American urban areas is decidedly on the rise. And while hotels are the most obvious way to make your stay green, they’re not the only factor in assembling an environmentally friendly itinerary. Restaurants, rental-car companies, taxis, museums, and theaters are—in some places—shifting their practices to become more earth-friendly.
It’s going to be a long haul. More and more urban hotels say they’re committed to the environment, but do low-flow showerheads and recycling programs represent green dedication, or just “greenwashing?” “The model we have now only focuses on environmental management systems—it’s a diluted version,” says Hitesh Mehta, one of the world’s leading eco-architects. “Urban hotels have a lot to borrow from nature lodges, and eco-lodges in particular.”
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