Green Travel: The Ultimate Green Vacation

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Green living is becoming a way of life for many of us. Cutting energy consumption, conserving water, and recycling are all well established in the consciousness of a growing number of people.

This means that people are increasingly living a greener lifestyle at home. But what about when they leave home? How well established is green travel?

Having a green vacation can take various forms, from roughing it in a remote camp site to relaxing in luxury at a five-star resort that recycles everything and generates its own solar power. But what about getting both the feeling of being in the middle of a natural wilderness and the full luxury treatment? These two experiences don’t often come together in the same place. Now there are a few vacation spots that are attempting to bring vacationers the best of both of these seemingly dichotomous worlds.

treeclimb2

The Pacific Tree Climbing Institute doesn’t sound like a place to go on vacation. It sounds more like a school. But in fact, it is an ultra-green vacation resort that also provides a high level of luxury.

As for the green part, think about this. You will climb a tree to a height of about 150 feet or more. Don’t worry, you will be harnessed so that you will not fall and equipped with a helmet to protect you from any minor missteps. The climb is arduous, and it could take you the better part of an afternoon to reach your goal, high in the air. But then, there is this little catch. You will spend the night up in that tree as well. That will be your accommodation for the evening.

Your “hotel room” in this ultra-luxury resort will be a glorified hammock anchored to the tree by stout ropes near the top of a tall Douglas Fir. It is made of high quality canvas. Once inside, you are completely surrounded by its walls so you cannot fall out. You will be given a Nalgene bottle for any call of nature that may occur while you are up there. Then, settle in and try, if you can, to sleep.

The next morning you descend with assistance from a descending harness to enjoy an incredible breakfast down on the ground. There are only fresh ingredients, freshly cooked and prepared.

If you are hankering for a vacation like this, the combination of nature and luxury will not come cheap. Here are three options. The Pacific Tree Climbing Institute, located about 60 miles from Eugene Oregon (cost: $600 for a climb and overnight); Treehotel in Harads, Sweden (rooms not so high, about 20 feet up, with a cost of around $535 per night); Cockatoo Hill Retreat, North Queensland, Australia (stay in tree houses 230 feet above the Coral Sea, cost is around $390 per night).

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June 2011
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