Monday, July 27, 2009

Being green and saving green when you're traveling...

Please excuse my absence on Friday... The day just ran away from me with lots to do... Then I woke up this morning admittingly unsure what to blog about. A bit of writer's block I suppose ;) Not to mention that I don't like blogging unless I have something exciting and relevant to say...

Well at it happens, as many of you know I absolutely love to travel. Especially on a budget! Last year in particular was my year of travel, I made it all across France, bits of Italy, Beglium and Netherlands, Bangalore and Mysore, India, the Philippines... Not just Manila to surprise my family, but a small town called Donsol with my older brother G and his friend Jack to swim with whale sharks, plus an unexpected trip to the Bahamas! (We spotted one whale shark, and got a chance to swim above it... Unfortunately no photos of the biggest fish).

All travel was on a super tight budget, needless to say I was thrilled when the Frugal Traveler Matt Gross of the New York Times featured my favourite notebooks on his blog!

So speaking of traveling turns out InHabitat did a great piece of the Top 5 Incredible Eco-Hotels and Hostels of the World... While they are not super affordable they are very environmentally friendly... I am particularly fond of the idea of turning an old plane that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill in to a hostel. Although it would likely be the most expensive hostel I've ever stayed at if that were the case!

The other worthwhile mention is the Shipping Container Travelodge in the UK... That's right a shipping containers... Check out this great little video of how it works here... Very affordable especially for expensive UK prices!

I was discussing the article with my Uncle M who happens to run a travel agency with his wife my Auntie A in Connecticut when they told me about a series of cottages in Litchfield, CT that just opened... However I was disappointed to see that there is no mention of the Winvian accommodations being the least bit green... Although they do apparently have a cottage with a helicopter in it.

While I am fond of luxurious from time to time... After all, I don't know anyone who isn't. I am convinced there are ways to enjoy the luxurious things in life and still be kind to the environment. That's why I am a strong advocate of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council which is quickly becoming a standard in architecture around the world.

I once worked in the architectural industry a few years back, and it was great to see so many architects take the rigorous steps to become LEED accredited. In fact, many institutions demand that architects have LEED qualifications to be considered to be their lead architects... no pun intended ;) Kudos to such institutions such as numerous universities, a selection of Green Buildings in Canada featured by the Canada Green Building Council available for viewing here.

That's it for now folks... It rained all weekend, as in ALL weekend long here in Toronto so with the sun shining I must spend the evening outdoors!


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