12 Hip Green Hostels Around the Globe
Fancy spending some time on an organic farm, practicing yoga and taking long walks through the hills? Or would you rather stay in an art-filled old downtown warehouse, and maybe hire a bike to hit the city's nightlife?
Whether your traveling tastes run rural or urban, green hostels offer an inexpensive and character-filled -- not to mention sustainable -- alternative to bland hotels. After picking a dozen of the best places in North America for backpackers to lay their heads, we start our international tour off in Ireland and the U.K., where budget travelers are downright spoiled with eco-friendly accommodations.
It's a big world out there: What are your favorite green hostels? Let us know in the comments section.
1. The UK (Rural): Deepdale Backpackers Hostel (Deepdale Farm, North Norfolk Coast, England)
Officially recognized as a "Walkers Welcome" and "Cyclists Welcome" lodging by VisitBritain for catering to the needs of people traveling under their own steam, the Deepdale Backpackers Hostel is set on a working farm, parts of which date back to the 17th century. Crops on the farm are minimally irrigated and rotated to reduce the need for chemical sprays. Solar hot water and efficient underfloor heating and motion-sensitive lights all help save energy, while showers and toilets have low-flow settings and some of the loos are even flushed with rainwater. Hostel staff -- who receive help finding nearby housing to lessen their commutes -- lead stewardship walks, conduct surveys of the local flora and fauna, participate in woodland-management projects, and are working with local universities to bring even greener practices, from straw-bale building to wind turbines, to the farm.
Treehugger - Journalist: Jennifer Hattam