Traveling Green is it’s own reward.
For more and more people, making green decisions is a part of their vacation planning process. Green lodging choices and eco friendly activities make sense especially in environmentally rich and sensitive areas like Sedona and the surrounding Verde Valley. Traveling green doesn’t mean sacrificing anything and it doesn’t mean spending more – as a matter of fact, it can save you money.
What does it mean to be green?
There are lots of green certifications out there, with varying degrees of stringency and verification. When you see businesses claiming to be green in one way or another, you might want to know exactly what that entails. There are 2 local green programs in the Verde Valley, Value the Verde and One for the Verde, plus certification programs by Trip Advisor and the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association. Here is a short explanation of each one, listed from least-stringent to most-demanding, to help you make your vacation planning more green.
Value the Verde
Value the Verde was this area’s first green initiative and has been around for several years. Businesses that display the Value the Verde window decal have voluntarily implemented green business practices, signed a document call the Verde Compact in which they describe the steps they have taken to be eco-friendly, and promise to increase their commitment to green practices over time.
The Value the Verde program is optional, free to local businesses, and the business’ green practices are not verified, but it is a valid first step in the process of becoming green.
The 100+ Value the Verde participants can be found on the Verde Guide website and they are listed in the eco-tourism section of Sedona-Arizona-Vacations.com. When you do business with a Value the Verde participating company, please thank them for their commitment and encourage them to keep up the good work!
One for the Verde
One for the Verde is a new program started in 2013 that demonstrates a significantly higher commitment. One for the Verde is a program that funds preservation, water flows, and river access along the Verde River and Oak Creek. When you do business with a One for the Verde participant, they will ask you if you would like to add a small amount to your bill, often just $1, to fund water conservation efforts on the Verde River and Oak Creek. Your donation, along with hundreds of others, will be donated directly to those programs.
You can learn more about the One for the Verde program and see the participating businesses at their website.
Trip Advisor Green Leader/Green Partner Program
Launched in April of 2013, the Trip Advisor program is a survey-based program that is offered to US hotels at no charge. Points must be earned to be certified as a Green Partner, or the more demanding Green Leader with bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. Certifications must be renewed annually and hotels are subject to audits, driven primarily by reviews and comments made by Trip Advisor’s huge user base.
Look for a Trip Advisor Green Partner of Green Leader badge on hotel websites. You can learn more about the program here.
Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association Certifications
The AZHLA Green Certification program was launched in 2010. The program requires hotels to document their green business practices to accumulate points toward their certification. The hotels pay a fee to go through the process, their documentation is verified, and must be renewed every two years. Hotels in the Sedona area that have earned this valuable certification include the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona and the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa. These two hotels are also Trip Advisor Green Leaders.