Top eco-friendly hostels worldwide
HostelWorld.com, a Web site that offers online reservations for hostels around the world, recommends the following environmentally friendly hostels:
1. Gyreum, Sligo, Ireland: "Direct from Middle Earth and nestled snugly in the Irish countryside, this solar and wind-powered hobbit-hole is constructed from renewable resources, including sheep wool insulation and a 'living roof'," says Colm Hanratty, Web editor for HostelWorld.com.
"Designed with a reverence to the natural world, the structure aligns to the dawns and dusks of the summer and winter solstices when beams of light enter into the great central hall."
Rates start at $21 US a night.
2. Grampians YHA Eco-Hostel, Grampians, Australia: "Situated in Grampians National Park, the YHA Eco-Hostel is the epitome of eco-friendly living, utilizing solar hot water and state-of-the-art energy and water conservation techniques to reduce consumption to approximately 50 per cent of the standard hostel," says Hanratty. "Free-range eggs are available from the resident chickens and seasonal organically grown herbs, vegetables and fruit tantalize the senses. At dusk, kangaroos congregate to eat on the hostel lawn."
Rates start at $19 US a night.
3. Reykjavik City Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland: "Located next to one of the great geothermal swimming holes in the city, this hostel promotes energy monitoring, erosion control and extensive recycling services, while offering its pampered guests high-speed Internet access, laundry service and fully equipped kitchens."
Rates start at $31 US a night.
4. Deepdale Backpackers Hostel, Burnham, Deepdale, England: "Built around a partially covered stable courtyard and dating back to the 17th century, Deepdale transcends time, melding Old World traditions with New Age amenities. Located at a working farm, which in 2004 was voted the most beautiful farm in Britain. Deepdale is currently working with major universities to explore new forms of environmental approaches such as water recycling, wind turbines and bio diesel fuel."
Rates start at $25 US a night.
5. Enigmata Treehouse Ecolodge, Camiguin, Philippines: "Channel your inner Swiss Family Robinson with a stay in this state-of-the-art treehouse, overlooking the ocean and surrounded by white beaches, soaring waterfalls and bubbling hot springs," says Hanratty. "Operated by a vibrant artist and environmental protection group known as the Enigmata Creative Circle, the treehouse's existence and operation is a testament to environmental awareness, offering biodiversity workshops and conservation seminars."
Rates start at $10 US a night.
6. Hostelling International Boston, Downtown Boston:
"Located at the birthplace of the American Revolution in Boston's Back Bay and within steps of Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, H.I. Boston is at the forefront of another uprising, the movement toward environmentally conscious lifestyles in bustling urban jungles. H.I. Boston not only provides guided tours of the Freedom Trail and kayak trips down the Charles River, but also an eco-program that pushes both staff and patrons to be stewards of the Earth by offering recycling stations, energy efficient lighting and appliances, recyclable carpet and low-flow plumbing."
Rates start at $27 US a night.