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Eco-Friendly Hostels: A Responsible and Affordable Choice

By Amanda Thompson

Tags: eco-friendly hostels, green travel,

Most Americans are keeping close tabs on spending these days. Though luxuries are usually the first things to be cut out of a budget in hard economic times, it’s easy to get lost daydreaming about breaking your cabin fever and heading somewhere new as spring gets closer. (At least it’s been happening a lot to me lately.)

When looking for a spring break destination this year, try looking for a place to stay that can keep your wallet and the environment happy. Hostels are always a great deal, and has come up with a list of 11 of the most eco-friendly hostels in the world. 

Solar Panels/Eco-friendly hostels previewed 11 of the most eco-friendly hostels from around the world, many of which use solar energy to power their buildings. Photo By Living Off Grid/Courtesy Flickr. 

Hostels have a bad rep for being small, dark, dirty places, but these hostels are anything but that. Take a look at the following five hostels to get an idea of the eco-friendly basics you could enjoy: 

• The Sleepzone Connemara, Connemara, Ireland
This hostel is still in the process of taking more steps to lessen its carbon footprint. It already uses compact fluorescent lighting and has recycling in place, and has begun installing solar panels. It’s also planning to improve water conservation methods and begin using biomass fuels.

Hedonisia Hawaii, Pahoa, Big Island, Hawaii
This hostel was built of recycled, renewable, free and donated materials, giving it a one-of-a-kind look. For the more extreme at heart, there’s an “eco-friendly toilet” that offers a view of the island.

Hostel One66, Singapore
One66 is decorated on the inside with recycled materials. From the welcome sign made of a child’s play mat to the sewing-table-turned-computer-desk, nothing about these decorations is average.

Gyreum, Sligo, Ireland
This futuristic-looking hostel uses geothermal heating and passive solar energy to maintain warmth. Renewable materials (even sheep’s wool!) were used to construct the building, which is situated in a way that allows for optimal sunlight in any season.

Hostelling International Boston Downtown, Boston
This hostel exhibits the environmental consciousness of travelers and the staff. It uses energy-efficient lighting and appliances, was decorated with recyclable carpet, includes low-flow plumbing and houses a recycling station.

Take ideas from these places when looking for somewhere to stay. Checking for recycling options and energy practices can help you make an informed decision.