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Green Hotels and Open-Source Sustainability
When most people think about sustainable travel they usually imagine low-impact huts in the rainforest or tented safari camps out under the shadow of Kili. We're actually seeing the biggest steps with the smallest footprints being taken in the urban jungle with not only retrofits of existing hotels but a huge surge in green sourcing of everything from locally grown food to bamboo-blend sheets. You've been hearing a lot about LEED, The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and more specifically their Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Besides loving acronyms almost as much as we do LEED and the USGBC developed a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction in the late 90's and have grown to more than 14,000 projects in the US and over 30 countries worldwide. LEED certification has become the biggest benchmark in new hotel construction and hotels are popping up all over the country with Silver, Gold and Platinum certificates that would have been nearly impossible to attain even 10 years ago.
We love that in an age of shady greenwashing LEED uses an open and transparent process where all technical criteria proposed by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval by the more than 10,000 membership organizations that currently constitute the USGBC. Open source sustainability at it's best.
With so many new projects it can get tricky figuring out who's been certified and who hasn't. We'll be listing all of the certifications, LEED included, of all of our basecamps in the near future but check out this master list put together by the guys at Simple Green Choices to keep track of which hotels have put their money where there mouths are and achieved certification for their efforts.
Check out LEED and the way they're changing construction in the hospitality industry (among others).