Individual hotels are doing their part in encouraging more ethical travel. Here’s a clutch of Green hotels, also called eco-hotels, you may want to check out for Earth Day:
*New Hampshire’s Mountain View Grand Resort, which recently installed a 121-foot wind turbine that is now generating up to half the resort’s power. Kids can check out the computer monitor in the lobby of the green hotel that shows how it works.
*The Little St. Simons Island in Georgia is accessible only by boat and boasts a staff of seven naturalists who can teach you and your kids how to start your own composting system.
*The tiny Playa Viva, located 30 minutes south of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport and far from the violence that has plagued Mexico’s border towns, boasts a turtle sanctuary, coastal forest and mangrove ecosystem. The resort is regenerating the environment and the community, running on off-grid solar energy and working with a local salt cooperative.
Take a green tour at an Appalachian Mountain Clublodge and teach the kids about landscaping with wildlife in mind or how insulation can save energy — big time.
Maine’s Inn by the Sea, a designated butterfly way station, gives kids milkweed seeds to plant at home for the survival of the endangered monarch butterfly. They can also dress like bugs and learn about ecosystems from a bug’s perspective.
Or opt for Santa Fe’s Eldorado Hotel & Spa and save 15 percent with a "go green save your green" deal. The San Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort offers free eco-education activities until April 24.
(Dolphin Monday, anyone? In California,Loews Coronado Bay Resort invites families to explore a state beach with an environmental educator and then help with a beach clean up.
The Hyatt Regency Monterey lets you buy a tree sapling with proceeds to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Or book in April withwww.planeterra.org and receive a 10 percent on all volunteer travel.
I just wish hotels would offer these programs all summer, not just for Earth Day.