Green energy, green homes, green jobs, green living – today’s world is filled with green options and aspirations based on values of sustainability and whatever is best for our planet. Along the spectrum of all things green, there are serious products, programs and methods as well as those that are more symbolic of green values. Every consumer makes their own choices about environmentally friendly products and services – it’s a personal choice based on one’s values and needs. You might value luxurious comforts when on vacation, but also need to know that you are being environmentally responsible – perhaps the same value judgment involved in buying a hybrid BMW.
In tourist accommodations, the green trend is growing, whether it’s an eco-resort cabana on a beach in Mexico, a rental yurt in an Austrian forest, or a green-theme city hotel.
I recently enjoyed a stay at a green hotel in one of the greenest cities in the world, Amsterdam. It’s a city where bikes rule the streets, public transportation is excellent, and people still rely on their own two feet to get around. My stay at the Conscious Hotel was an education in how a business can make environmentally conscious and healthy choices in its furnishings, food, and overall operation.
With two locations in Amsterdam, Conscious Hotels strive to be as green, sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. They say they’re more hip than hippy, which does reflect the cool, modern look and attitude of the hotel and its staff. I stayed at Conscious’ Vondelpark location, which is named for the neighboring park. The city’s largest green space, Vondelpark is a tranquil green paradise for walking, biking or picnic lunching.
A few green features of the hotel stood out. The desk in every guest room is made out of recycled materials and only green cleaning products are used to clean the rooms. Made from 100 percent natural materials, the beds were super plush and comfortable – no compromises necessary here to be green and natural. After a peaceful sleep, I headed to the hotel’s restaurant for a satisfying breakfast made with organic ingredients.
At the end of my two-night stay, I was well-rested and my need to be green was also satisfied. I saw that the hotel was truly striving to be green in a meaningful way. Conscious Hotels is a fairly new Dutch hotel chain that deserves credit for doing their part to make the hotel industry more environmentally responsible while making tourists more environmentally conscious.