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Eco-friendly travel is not just about water-efficient bathrooms and hotel recycling. They provide guests with the time and space to reconnect with nature and enjoy earth’s natural resources. You don’t have to travel to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or the beaches of Fiji to explore some of the most beautiful and eco-friendly locations around the world. Some of the greenest vacation spots are right here in the United States. Here are 4 eco-friendly travel destinations that you should make your next getaway.

Maui, Hawaii: The island of Maui is often known for luxury resorts and honeymooners, but that is changing due to more affordable hotels opening just minutes from Wailea Beach. This tropical paradise offers several different outdoor adventures for guests such as poolside activities, zipline tours, sugar cane plantation tours, hula lessons, and kayak and canoe excursions. Hawaii is also at the forefront of renewable energy and ecotourism. Maui is proving to be the perfect place for testing new energy technologies and offers solar, wind and wave power to electric cars and green certified accommodations and tours.

 

Portland, Oregon: Portland is Oregon’s largest city and is one of the greenest and most sustainable cities in the United States. Portland uses more renewable energy than other states and was one of the first cities to ban plastic bags. The city also implements extensive green urban planning. They use timed traffic signals to cut back on gas consumption and carbon emissions and promote bicycle use by offering more than 300 miles of bike lanes and providing bike racks on public transit for commuters. Nature lovers will enjoy Portland’s many bike tours, hiking trails, and parks.

San Francisco, California: San Francisco is not only a beautiful city, but it also has a number of practices in place with a focus on waste reduction, water conservation, sustainable food, transportation and infrastructure, and proximity to the great outdoors. While here, explore Golden Gate Park, a park that is home to museums, gardens and green space in the heart of the city. Visit the botanical gardens, take a stroll through the Japanese Tea Gardens or visit the California Academy of Sciences which is the largest building in the world to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Lake Placid, NY: There’s more to New York than just Manhattan and the other four boroughs. The state of New York offers many eco-friendly adventures found in the beautiful areas of the Adirondack, Catskill mountains and the Hudson Valley.  Not only has Lake Placid been able to reduce its carbon footprint drastically in the past few years, it is also home to some of the highest rated eco-sustainable hotel properties in the United States. Visit the natural history center in Tupper Lake near Adirondack Park and learn about their mission of keeping people and the natural world coexisting together. You can also learn about the center’s sustainable building project and youth climate program.

Today, more and more travelers are expressing an interest in ecotourism, focusing their getaway search on visiting eco-friendly travel destinations, staying in green hotels and supporting improved environmental practices. Help support the environment and visit one of the locations listed above to experience some of the greenest vacations spots around the country.