Leave a lighter travel footprint in celebration of America Recycles Day on Saturday. Margaret Kelly, editor of Fodor's Green Travel: The World's Best Eco-Lodges and Earth-Friendly Hotels, shares her list of environmentally thoughtful lodgings with Kathy Baruffi for USA TODAY.
Banff Park Lodge Banff, Alberta
"This resort in the Canadian Rockies offers 360-degree views of pine trees, snow-flecked mountains, and the town of Banff," Kelly says. "The lodge has received many awards, including four leaves from the Hotels Association of Canada's Eco-Rating Program." The lodge's extensive environmental management program goes right up to the roof, which is made of recycled materials. 800-661-9266; banffparklodge.com
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Wyo.
"Green meets luxury at this state-of-the-art boutique hotel that opened at the gateway of Grand Teton National Park last year," Kelly says. "Floor-to-ceiling windows regulate natural temperature and capture natural daylight along with the views." Recycled materials, including more than 80% of the steel, were used to build this eco-hotel. Food waste is composted, and energy recovery technology is used throughout the property. 800-631-6281; hotelterrajacksonhole.com
Bathurst Inlet Lodge Nunavut, Northwest Territory
"This low-impact lodge, located 30 miles inside the Arctic Circle, is co-owned with the Inuit of Bathurst," Kelly says. "Established in the '60s, it was an ecotourism lodge long before the word became popular." Rather than using all-terrain vehicles, guests walk on existing game trails or move by water to leave nature unspoiled. Visit the historic buildings that formerly made up a Hudson's Bay Company trading post and a Catholic mission. 867-873-2595; www.bathurstinletlodge.com
Villas Ecotucan Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico
"The villa sets high environmental standards in an area where they are sorely needed," Kelly says. "The public buildings are built from sustainable-sourced local wood and palm thatch, and the five thatched cabins are each built from the trees that were felled to make space for them." The bright and spacious interiors, with naturally cool, tiled floors and airy, high ceilings, are 100% solar-powered. 011-52-983-834-2516; villasecotucan.info
Fairmont Chicago Chicago
"At first glance, this glitzy, 37-story, five-star hotel appears to be an unlikely environmental pace-setter," Kelly says. "In 1990, the parent company, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, introduced a progressive Green Partnership Program to bring genuine sustainability to all of its hotels." The recently renovated property has more than 100 environmental initiatives, from comprehensive recycling to the donation of old uniforms to the underprivileged. 312-565-8000; fairmont.com/chicago
The Colony Hotel Kennebunkport, Maine
"At this grand, family-owned New England holiday resort, an environmental policy was adopted long before it was fashionable," Kelly says. "Styrofoam containers, aerosol sprays and plastic bin liners were outlawed, recycling introduced, and today the wicker wastepaper baskets in each room have four compartments to encourage guests to divide their wastes." The resident naturalist leads tours on the nearby beach and discusses problems affecting Maine's coastal ecology. 800-552-2363; thecolonyhotel.com
Dobson House El Prado, near Taos, N.M.
"Here is architectural proof that two problems can make a solution," Kelly says. "The thick U-shaped outer wall, which provides passive heating and cooling, is constructed using car tires filled with rammed earth. The interior walls are built with beer cans and covered in adobe." The house disposes of its own sewage and is self-sufficient in water and electricity. Guest suites offer views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 575-776-5738; new-mexico-bed-and-breakfast.com
Maho Bay Camps & Concordia Estate St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
"There's a history of environmental practices here," Kelly says. "The original 18 cottages (there are now 114) were solar- and wind-powered and linked by raised walkways to protect the vegetation and prevent erosion." A network of trails, easily accessible to the property, lead to deserted bays where you can lounge on the sand or snorkel over coral reefs. 800-392-9004; maho.org
Inn Serendipity Browntown, Wis.
"This century-old farmstead amidst beautiful rolling farmland and the 'Swiss Cheese Capital of the USA' has been retrofitted with solar and wind power and now uses 100% renewable energy," Kelly says. "Food is harvested year-round, thanks to the gardens of organic produce and a solar- and bio-diesel-heated straw-bale greenhouse. The inn contains only two guest rooms — the Music Room is decorated with musical memorabilia; guests who stay in the Writing Room are invited to contribute to an ongoing manuscript." 608-329-7056, innserendipity.com
Hotel Triton San Francisco
"With its jazzy furnishings and prime location opposite Union Square, the trendy Triton is a favorite for stylish, eco-conscious celebrities who value the hotel's emphasis on sustainability," Kelly says. "The late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and guitarist Carlos Santana have put their stamp on the place by designing their own eco-suites — with 10% of the proceeds going to the stars' chosen environmental charity." 800-800-1299; hoteltriton.com