Travel Sustainably at Eco-Friendly Lodges

So you love the mountains, and therefore nature. Most likely you are traveling to a destination to enjoy frolicking in said mountains (not all of us have the good fortunes of residing in the Rockies or Swiss Alps). But continuing climate change is affecting the very activities we love—ahem, skiing and snowboarding.

We must hold ourselves accountable for developing more sustainable lifestyles and environmentally friendly travel habits and encourage others to do so if we wish to continue to be able to gaze upon powder-enshrined slopes. A simple way in which we can help to achieve such goals is by taking some time pre-trip to research and reserve a spot at one of the growing number of eco-friendly lodges worldwide. Below is a list of several lodges to jumpstart your eco Googling.

Kicking Horse River Lodge

If you’re into champagne powder (quite frankly, who isn’t?), consider a trip to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, located near Golden, British Columbia. In addition to a wealth of backcountry access, the resort boasts North America’s fourth highest vertical drop. Now that you’re drooling over this ski mecca, reserve a room at nearby Kicking Horse River Lodge.

The Douglas-Fir dove tail log lodge is near six national parks and utilizes geothermal heating and cooling for year round comfort, reducing the lodge’s CO2 emissions by up to 77%. This system circulates groundwater to maintain ideal temperatures within the building. The lodge takes their green mandate a step further by incorporating practices like using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies into daily routines.

Whitepod Summer Escape

Anyone who argues that a minimalist, eco approach to lodging equates to a loss of luxury has never spent a weekend at Whitepod in Switzerland. Enjoy the Swiss Alps in the off-season at these unique accommodations that value minimally impacting the surrounding environment over aesthetically pleasing, swanky digs.

Guests choose between a family-size and a standard size pod. Each pod is an ultra-insulated geodesic dome tent perched upon its own wooden platform. Decorated with antique objects from the region and equipped with a wood-burning stove, personal shower and bathroom, the pods are rustic chic, not to mention privy to panoramic views of the Alps.

The Black Sheep Inn

Find peaceful solitude high in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador at the budget friendly, rural eco lodge The Black Sheep Inn. Three meals featuring gourmet vegetarian food fueled by the property’s organic garden are included in the price, as are unlimited coffee, tea and purified water. The inn is currently working toward their goal to become completely self-sufficient in regards to energy, water and food production.

Some of their steps toward self-sufficiency include composting toilets, a solar-powered water pump, and the installation of a hybrid solar/wind electric system, which the folks at the inn designed themselves. And the inn’s aggressive recycling program has led to Zero Waste. The Black Sheep Inn also facilitates a volunteer program to assist and/or donate funds to the nearby community in Chugchilá.

By AI Blog contributor: Megan Parks