Published on Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Travelers can cut carbon by choosing cheaper chain hotels

Here’s a simple way to shrink your carbon footprint when checking into a hotel: try a mid-range or budget chain place.

So says Brighter Planet, the eco-minded tech firm in Vermont that is known for its studies of how to use technology to measure environmental impacts.

The most energy- and carbon-efficient hotel chain in the US, according to Brighter Planet, is Vagabond Inn, followed by Red Lion Hotels Corp., both mid-range national hotel chains.

Red Carpet Inns, a budget hotel chain, came in third.

The upscale JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts came in last out of 75 chains analyzed by Brighter Planet.

The ranking was based on several factors. They included the age of the hotels and the amenities offered. The location of the hotels was also a factor because power companies in some parts of the US use more renewable energy.

Other criteria included the size of hotel rooms and swimming pools in determining how much energy hotels use, according to Robbie Adler, director of business development for Brighter Planet.

The idea behind the study, he said, was to push hotels and travel websites to provide travelers with energy-efficiency information and pollution data for each hotel.

By David Wilkening

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