The Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in California is attempting to become 'green certified' by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Council developed the LEED rating system seven years ago, where buildings are graded on their environmentally friendly features. The hotel features waterless urinals, solar lighting and recycled paper. Another nice touch is the replacement of the standard hotel-room bible with a copy of An Inconvenient Truth.
Although some of the large chains are making a token gesture to become compliant in some buildings, it is only small independant hotels that are making any real effort. All large new hotels in California will have to be built to LEED standards, but older buildings will remain exempt. "If that choice is available, why not take advantage of it,'' said frequent traveller Josh Dorfman, "It's a way to be able to enjoy traveling and to still feel good that I'm doing it in a way that supports a cleaner planet. It's a win-win.'' :: Bloomberg