The Hawaiian Islands are one of those places that tend to generate visions of something along the lines of a tropical paradise. Typical day dreams of Hawaii include beautiful beaches lined with coconut palms where surfers ride massive, tubular waves on a blue ocean under a hot sun, waterfalls that rush through luxuriant jungle vegetation, and soothing Hawaiian music with the whispering sea as a backdrop.
Hawaii does showcase such appealing images but eco-travelers planning a visit to the islands should also be aware of the incredibly fragile and endangered nature of Hawaiian ecosystems. As is common with island flora and fauna that are left to evolve into strange and amazing forms all on their own, the plants and animals of Hawaii are easily outcompeted by introduced species. To help native Hawaiian species as much as possible, it’s especially important to go green when visiting Hawaii.
One of the greener choices for accommodation near the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is at the Volcano Guest House. A cozy little hotel where the owners live on the premise, this bed and breakfast-like place was partly constructed with recycled wood and has a number of green features.
Guests will be happy to know that the sun is heating their hot water showers and was used to dry their bedding, rain water is captured by the hotel buildings and then made drinkable through filtration and treatment with UV rays, and recycling is a basic component of the business.
The owners enjoy educating guests and visitors about the sustainable practices at their hotel for the present as well as the future. One of these projects involves gardens with native plants to investigate restoration of surrounding rain forests.
Its location is also perfect for experiencing the unique habitats of Hawaii in being found just outside of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The high elevation forests of this park can be visited to see a number of endangered bird and plant species, some of which can also be found in the six acres of native habitat that grows on the grounds of the hotel. There are many economical Hawaii flights available and carbon offsets can be purchased.
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