7 Sustainable California Stays for Earth Day

The Ranch at Laguna Beach has implemented numerous sustainable practices
The Ranch at Laguna Beach has implemented numerous sustainable practices | © The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Go a little bit greener on your next vacation by staying at one of California’s numerous eco-friendly hotels.

From comprehensive recycling programs to eliminating the use of plastic water bottles, hotels are taking measures to reduce their waste and become more sustainable. Two Bunch Palms Resort in the Coachella Valley is now carbon-neutral since installing their own solar panel field in 2015.

Meanwhile, The Ranch at Laguna Beach has cut down their water usage by 21.2 million gallons a year through a system that uses recycled water for irrigation. So the next time you’re planning a trip in California, try one of these seven green accommodations.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Resort, Eco Hotel, Golf Hotel
The Ranch at Laguna Beach is surrounded by nature.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach is surrounded by nature | © The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Nestled where canyon meets coast, The Ranch at Laguna Beach sits on 87 acres in the Aliso and Wood Canyons in Orange County. One of The Ranch’s most unique measures is the use of a GLSand glass-bottle crusher, which creates a sand-like product from recycled glass bottles. Besides reducing waste volume, the resulting product can also be used for pavement repairs and pool filtration at the hotel. The Ranch also partnered with The Ecology Center of Southern California to create a half-acre on-site garden that provides fruit, vegetables, and herbs for the resort’s restaurant, Harvest. Because of its sustainable practices, The Ranch at Laguna Beach was selected as one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World.

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Ventana Big Sur

Resort, Eco Hotel
Glamping at Ventana Big Sur.
Glamping at Ventana Big Sur | © Ventana Big Sur

Recently reopened in the fall of 2017, Ventana sits among redwoods and meadows on 160 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Inspired by the surrounding natural environment, the eco-resort has taken numerous sustainability measures, from integrating low-flow faucets and LED lights to using 100% recycled water for irrigation. Some of the on-site furniture was constructed using fallen redwood trees from the resort property and surrounding area. Ventana also offers sites for glamping that are only accessible by foot. When it comes to food, the hotel is part of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, meaning that they serve local seafood purchased from sustainable sources.

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Eco Hotel
h2hotel's green roof hides solar panels in the back.
h2hotel's green roof hides solar panels in the back | © h2hotel

The undulating roof of h2hotel is literally brimming with life. Planted with succulents, the living roof filters rainwater and reduces the amount of heat the hotel gives off. Also on the roof, solar panels heat the swimming pool and water in the hotel rooms. Instead of plastic water bottles, guests are given a reusable glass bottle and tumblers made from recycled wine bottles. Located in Healdsburg, h2hotel is a bike ride away from Sonoma vineyards, and guests can borrow complimentary wheels during their stay.

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Two Bunch Palms Resort

Resort, Eco Hotel
Mud bath therapy at Two Bunch Palms Resort.
Mud bath therapy at Two Bunch Palms Resort | © Greater Palm Springs CVB

Considered one of the first sustainable resorts in the U.S., Two Bunch Palms in the Greater Palm Springs area is completely carbon neutral, generating electricity from 100% renewable sources, including their own 3.5-acre solar farm. The restaurant grows produce on-site, and the resort also uses biodegradable cleaning products. Known for its wellness program, Two Bunch Palms is home to 600-year-old mineral hot springs. The naturally warm water flows into a pool at the resort where guests can relax. Among their famed spa programs is mud bath therapy, where visitors float in a tub mixed with peat moss and their mineral waters, and clay.

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Orchard Garden Hotel

Eco Hotel
The Terrace at the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco.
The Terrace at the Orchard Garden Hotel | © Orchard Garden Hotel

A year after it opened in 2006, the Orchard Garden Hotel became the first hotel in San Francisco to be a LEED certified hotel, an internationally-recognized system that vets green buildings. Among their extensive list of eco-friendly practices is a key card energy control system that turns off the electricity when guests leave their room. Orchard Garden Hotel also uses 100% recycled paper, and for every review left on TripAdvisor they plant a tree in partnership with the Plant a Billion Trees initiative.

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The Stanford Inn

Resort, Eco Hotel
The Stanford Inn sits in Mendocino.
The Stanford Inn sits in Mendocino | © Stanford Inn

With views of Mendocino Bay, The Stanford Inn is situated on the family’s 10-acre organic farm, offering a true farm to table experience at the inn’s restaurant, The Ravens. All food and organic waste from the hotel is composted and used in the gardens. They also have six charging stations for electric vehicles. Guests can bring their pets, which in addition to cats and dogs has in the past included iguanas, parrots, and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. Located near Big River and numerous trails, guests can rent canoes and bikes for exploring the local area.

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Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The Terrace on Hotel Indigo's 9th floor.
The Terrace on Hotel Indigo's 9th floor | © Hotel Indigo

Located in San Diego’s Gaslamp District, Hotel Indigo was the first LEED certified hotel in the city. Both the hotel’s 9th and 12th floors have green roofs planted with native species that help reduce the heating and air conditioning costs. Hotel Indigo also has an on-site recycling and composting program. Due to its location, Hotel Indigo is walking distance to public transportation, food, and entertainment options, allowing guests to go car-free during their stay.

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