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San Diego Eco-Friendly Hotel Guide

Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo

  • Hotel Indigo
  • L’Auberge Del Mar
  • Doubletree Hotel San Diego-Del Mar
  • Courtyard Marriott San Diego
  • Crowne Plaza
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Earth Day was the brainchild of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in response to environmental dilapidation. It was intended to rouse awareness and appreciation for the natural environment. The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people nationwide participated that year. In 2009, the United Nations declared April 22International Mother Earth Day. Four decades after the first Earth Day, the event is recognized in over 175 countries with 500 million people joining in to clean up our planet. Green initiatives have extended to businesses and the hospitality industry as well, establishing environmentally-friendly practices that save water, energy and reduce solid-waste. The following hotels are a sampling of San Diego’s numerous green properties.

Crowne Plaza
2270 Hotel Circle North San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 297-1101
The “I Stay Green” organization provides eco-friendly hotel ratings throughout the world. Properties are ranked by green leaves - one leaf denoting acceptable, up to five leaves signifying exceptional. Crowne Plaza is the only San Diego hotel boasting four leaves. They have won the Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) and the city’s Director’s Award for Recycling. Their efforts include low-flow showerheads and toilets saving a combined 617,000 gallons of water per year, an energy management system for air conditioners reducing kilo watt hours by 95,922 yearly, compact florescent light bulbs throughout 95 percent of the hotel, and recycling 10 tons of glass, one ton of aluminum cans and eleven tons of grass trimmings annually. The Plaza’s environmental efforts also have a philanthropic bend, with the donation of 500 pounds of electronics and 35 pounds of unused food product to Father Joe’s Homeless Shelter every year. (Rates start at $101/night)

Courtyard Marriott San Diego
595 Hotel Circle South San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 291-5720
Marriott International, Inc. is a leader in the green movement. Ecotourists applaud the efforts made by the company’s 3,000 properties to engage their employees and guests in preserving our environment. Courtyard’s meeting room tables are void of coverings, eliminating laundering, and water pitchers are in lieu of individual bottles. Paper is made from recycled materials, as are the 48 million pens the entire chain purchases per year. The building’s signage is LED, contributing to Energy Star’s 77-point ranking out of a possible 100, with 75 or better considered top performance. (Rates start at $139/night)

Doubletree Hotel San Diego-Del Mar
11915 El Camino Real San Diego, CA 92130 (858) 481-5900
The California Green Lodging Program has placed its star of approval on the Doubletree in Del Mar. To qualify, the hotel had to pass an in-person field study of 120 items, for example “is your laundry detergent non-phosphate, non-toxic and biodegradable?” Additional criteria of waste, freshwater and hazardous material is mandatory, along with recycling and energy efficiency. The program feels these to be imperative considering a hotel the size of the Del Mar property with 221 guestrooms purchases more products in one week than 100 families do in a year, and each room generates 30 pounds of waste per day. Now multiply that by the number of hotels in America … yikes. (Rates start at $161/night for the "Purely Green Package," which includes an allergy friendly room, Doubletree recycled grocery bag, Doubletree eco-friendly stainless-steel water bottle, How to be Green tips, and $10 for anyone driving a hybrid car)

L’Auberge Del Mar
1540 Camino Del Mar Del Mar, CA 92014 (858) 259-1515
Destination Earth is the name of the L’Auberge Del Mar carbon footprint initiative. It’s no-holds-barred when making sure every facet of the hotels operations is implemented with the environment in mind. Sustainability is key with the restaurant staff at Kitchen 1540. A backyard garden supplies fruits, veggies and herbs for the guests’ three-squares. Seafood and free range meats are purchased from local vendors, and the cooking oil is converted into bio fuel. Guestroom towels and linens are reincarnated into cleaning rags when they start to age. The spa’s signature wraps feature silky sheets made from potato skins. And starting this year, L’Auberge will offer a charging station for guest’s hybrid cars. (Rates start at $275/night)

Hotel Indigo
509 9th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 727-4000
I’d be amiss if I didn’t include the Hotel Indigo, due to their status as the first LEED certified hotel in San Diego. LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is a verification that a building was designed and built using energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and sensitivity to their global impact. California remains the most prolific LEED state with 21 qualifying hotels. Indigo’s floor-to-ceiling windows give natural light as opposed to florescent, and they open allowing guests to choose nature's ventilation over air conditioning. To-go cups from both the restaurants are made from a compostable, natural material derived from corn. Herbs harvested from the ninth floor garden flavor the chef's dishes. The eco-roof is the most unique feature. Pat McTigue will tell you about it in the following video. (Rates start at $171/night)