“Green” is becoming the new “awesome,” which is the old “amazing.” In other words, use other words — green is overused. It used to stand for something; now it often means that a business is concerned that its “brand” will lose interest on Wall St. for not appealing to “the tree huggers.”
But, if you are reading this you probably DO still care about choosing organic, environmentally-friendly lifestyle alternatives so read on.
Summer’s still bubbling with possibilities, and no one is dying to get out of Hartford more than you and the Mister. The kids are yammering to go to Disneyworld; Grandma Sue wants to drive up to Maine; you just want to chill out somewhere by a pool and a tall drink-with-umbrella. What to do?
Everyone will be happy if you make a commitment to not get wherever it is on fossil fuels. Here’s why:
Your grandchildren and their children will thank you for it. Days in the US are already soaring above the tripple digit mark. Want to visit a 135-degree Minneapolis? Didn’t think so. Start off in your vacation planning, then, by thinking truly green: the train.
Lovely Amtrak rides throughout the US and Canada. If you are hankering to be a bit adventurous, get away from the extreme heat and practice your French, then take the Adirondak from New York Penn Sta. up to Montreal. (You can take the Amtrak train out of Hartford to Penn. Sta. for $37/ea way and then transfer.) It’s just $62.00 each way.
While in Montreal, consider these lovely green or sort-of-green hotels:
- Le Centre Sheraton Montreal features a bevy of green accoutrements including an electric vehicle charging station, composting of biodegradable kitchen waste, locally grown eggs, vegetables and fair grown coffee at breakfast and low-flow faucets that purportedly reduce water loss to .5/gal per minute from 1 gallon per minute.
- L’hôtel le Germain Montréal features environmentally-friendly furniture made in Quebec, according to the hotel’s web site; also goose down duvets and pillows, a non-smoking policy, hypoallergenic pillows upon request and eco-friendly lighting. (Note – green or not, the hotel also boasts Molton Brown toiletries. Go for that alone.)
- Alt Hotel features geothermal heating, which means that the property stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter without damaging the environment one iota. The energy comes from deep within the earth. If you’ve never experienced geothermal heating/cooling, a visit to this hotel may convince you to install this energy source in your Hartford home. In addition, Alt touts a toilet with a dual-flush option, heat recovery from water used in commercial washers and oversized windows to provide maximum light.
While travelling up to Montreal, don’t forget to bring a bunch of green snacks, too: fruits, veggies and fresh muffins from Whole Foods in Manhattan stuffed in your burlap or cloth bag. Teach the kids about the horrors of plastic bags by making up songs en route to lovely Canada.
Note: an earlier edition referred to an upcoming piece on bike routes. The writer will try to get to that sometime soon.