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HootRoot Travel Tool

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, November 17 12:01 PM

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To be (green), or not to be, that is the question. When it comes to traveling, the answer is usually "not." But website HootRoot, which has just won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency award, aims to change all that.

Plug in your start and end points (say, Boston and New York City), and HootRoot cleverly scans Google Maps and HopStop for routes, travel times, and carbon dioxide emissions for various modes of transport. For the Boston-New York City trip, for example, flying takes only 29 minutes (minus airport time) but emits a whopping 428.9 pounds of CO2, while driving clocks in at four hours and 238.84 pounds. Transit, which takes just minutes longer than a car trip, whittles one's carbon footprint to just 18.07 pounds. Consider it ready ammo for making green decisions--and saving a bundle on offset credits.

Photo: Courtesy of HootRoot

Shore Hotel, Santa Monica, California

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, October 24 09:10 AM

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You drove your Prius to the airport, bought carbon offset credits for your flight, even saved your leftover pretzels to compost back home. And now you have a place to lay your head guilt-free, thanks to Santa Monica's new Shore Hotel, the only LEED Silver-certified property in the city.

Half of the building materials were "upcycled," the pool is solar-heated, a Green Concierge directs guests to nearby eco-friendly businesses. And the building itself, designed by L.A. firm Gensler Architects, is quite the looker. The 164 rooms have bright poppy- and turquoise-accented interiors, custom teak furnishings, and balconies that overlook the Pacific. Hotels of green, skies of blue, what a wonderful world.

Photo: Courtesy of Skott Snider

Bella Sky Comwell Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, October 05 10:58 AM

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It's no surprise to see paradigm-shifting architecture in a country that spawned design titans Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen. And we've come to expect Scandinavia to lead the way in green innovations. But we didn't see this coming. One of Copenhagen's newest hotels, the glittering Deconstructivist 812-room Bella Sky Comwell, also has the world's busiest guests: 600,000 honeybees.

The hotel has found the bees digs on an adjacent rooftop, from where they'll help pollinate flowers and trees in the city, making Copenhagen even greener. The honey they produce can be sampled at the hotel's breakfast buffet and in its signature cocktail Bella Be Sour (a sweet spin on a whisky sour). Now that's what we call buzz-worthy.

Photo: Courtesy of Bella Sky Comwell

Topo Designs Klettersack Backpack

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, September 08 07:00 AM

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As the wee ones tromp off to school, we have to admit we're a little jealous. Not of juice boxes or chalkboards or recess (okay, maybe a little jealous of recess). What we really covet are their backpacks. As we hoist heavy purses and messenger-style bags onto sore shoulders, we long for the days when a carry-on could mean a snappy knapsack.

Thankfully, happy days are here again with the new Topo Klettersack ($139). It has the functionality and comfort of a backpack as well as grown-up style. The rugged Cordura pack has a water-resistant liner and padded straps reinforced with seat-belt webbing for serious durability. Plus, it's made in a LEED-certified shop. That's an A+ in our book.

Photo: Courtesy of Topo Design

Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceanography Sailings, South Pacific

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, March 22 06:51 PM

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Children are our future, and if you treat them well--perhaps with a luxury cruise in the South Pacific--you'll be surprised by how they lead the way. At least that's the idea behind Paul Gauguin Cruises' new ten-night sailing headed up by Jean-Michel (son of Jacques) Cousteau.

Cousteau aims to get your kids on board with conservation by giving them an up-close introduction to the wonders of French Polynesia. Lectures aimed at both parents and children describe the ecology of the Society Islands and the Tuamotus, and the explorer leads dives to legendary spots like Rangiroa, home of the world's second-largest lagoon. Because what kid (or kid at heart) wouldn't want to protect the ocean after coming face-to-face with a playful dolphin?

Paul Gauguin Cruises' Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceanography Sailings, May 25 and June 29, 2011, $4,447 (double occupancy).

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises

Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa, Peru

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, February 23 11:27 AM

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The new Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly property built in glass and stone that sits beside the Vilcanota River in Peru's Urubamba Valley. The 128-room complex centers on a gorgeous two-pool spa, an ideal place to relax after hiking or cycling the quinoa-covered grounds or a day trip up to Machu Picchu on the recently opened Urubamba train line.

While you're in Peru...

Eat here:
Malabar
Malabar is Peru's first outlet for haute Amazonian cuisine, served amid brightly colored furniture and a riot of artwork. Though many of the jungle's creatures, fruits, and vegetables take the form of street food in their native habitat, at this Lima restaurant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino creates soufflés (hearts of palm), purées (yuca), and vinaigrettes (the applelike cocona).

Climb here:
Machu Picchu
The 2011 centennial of Hiram Bingham's rediscovery of the mysterious Incan ruins promises to attract bigger crowds than ever. One of the most rewarding ways to sidestep the hordes is to trek along the fabled Inca Trail. On the last morning you reach Machu Picchu's Sun Gate by sunrise, after which you can expect a tourist-free couple of hours before the buses start to roll in.

Photo: Courtesy of Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa

Reestore's Deborah Desk

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 02 12:47 PM

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There are plenty of people guilty of winging it at work, but Reestore's Deborah desk, made from a plane's wing, gives you the perfect excuse to do just that. Made of aluminum, on stainless steel legs, the retro-style desk is topped with a slab of heavy-duty glass to stop your computer and other stuff from slipping off the aerodynamic surface.

The Deborah is one of a number of furnishings and accessories that have been cleverly transformed from abandoned objects by Reestore's designers. Other products include a shopping trolley repurposed as a chair (the Annie) and an illuminated coffee table made from a washing machine drum (the Silvana).

At around $3,000, the wing desk is a whole lot more expensive than Ikea, but at least you'll be flying the flag for eco design.

Photo: Courtesy of Reestore.com

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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