Monday, April 12, 2010

Green Travel: Washington D.C.

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington, D.C. with my son to attend an open house on the campus of George Washington University. We were quite impressed with the campus and the experience. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my son Michael was going to stay overnight in the JJ Building, an eco-friendly dorm. I couldn't have planned that if I wanted to! While he was safely snoring away in the green dorm, I drove my eco-friendly (it was billed that way by Budget) rental car down the street to The Kimpton Hotel Palomar on P Street in Dupont Circle. I enjoy staying in Kimpton hotels due to their sustainability and social responsibility policies. They also let you bring your pets. How nice is it to have a recycling trash can in your room? Sweet. The next day,  I went for a sight seeing jog around the neighborhood, so quaint and charming with its rowhouses, front yard gardens, cafes, boutiques and restaurants. Heaven. Needing some nourishment, I stumbled upon an eco-friendly restaurant called Sweet Green that sold fresh soups and salads made with local in season produce and frozen yogurt. I thought it was so cool that it actuall had a bin in whci to place compostables. Even the utensils are compostable. It was great. Apparently, others felt the same way, as there was a major line. That afternoon, I picked up my son from GWU, where he was treated to a nice tee, a BPA free water bottle and a boxed lunch. After settling him into the hotel, I enjoyed a cup of tea with my friend and fellow social mediaite, Ananda Leeke of Go Green Sangha and BAP Living at a charming restaurant in Dupont Circle called Teaism. It was divine. Ananda took me down to her neck of the woods in the U street area, where I really enjoyed the beautiful greenery of the pocket gardens. The next day, Michael and I walked to the Georgetown area, where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at another green restaurant, Farmers and Fishers in Washington Harbor, owned by a collective of farmers in the region. He said that their fish sandwich was awesome and I really enjoyed my veggie sandwich, "the farmers daughter", made with grilled rye bread, avocado, roasted veggies and brie. Amazing. After enjoying the Potomac River, we checked out some of the shops, including a cool vintage clothing store called Annie Creamcheese. The items were a bit pricey compared to what we can find in Cleveland, but there was a nice selection of vintage clothing for men and women. That evening we dined at B Smiths restaurant in Union Station, where I was pleased to find vegetarian ribs. On Sunday, we dined at another green restaurant, The Founding Farmers on Pennsylvania Avenue in Foggy Bottom and had a great brunch of chicken and waffles (I broke my meat free fast that day). I must say, by that point, I was getting used to a complete vegetarian lifestyle. I think I will be there completely once my son takes off for college. Anyway, I digress. There was a wonderful eco-friendly French bakery that we stopped at before heading back to C-Town, called Le Pain Quotidien. I ordered the chocolate brownie and the pistachio marzipan tart. To....die....for. I have never tasted store baked goods that were that amazingly delicious. I don't think I will be buying many baked goods, since I have been introduced to such refined deliciousness. I must say, that this was a pretty green trip, the only thing that was missing was the lack of fresh fruit. As soon as I arrived home, I killed a juicy green apple. Ahh, raw is good again. Green travel tips:
  • Drive or take the train to your destination
  • Rent an eco-friendly vehicle
  • Pack your own snacks, including lots of fresh fruit, for the road and late nights in the hotel
  • Fill up your own water bottle to stay hydrated while driving to your destination
  • Stay in hotels that support the environment and give back to the planet
  • Don't buy new clothes for your trip or purchase from vintage or consignment
  • Stay in walkable areas, with plenty of public transportation
  • Walk, walk, walk - try to go on walking tours if possible
  • Take advantage of eco-friendly cab services
  • Support local green businesses and restaurants
  • Check out the cool vintage and thrift stores in the area
Bon voyage!


Amy in Tacoma said...

Sounds like you had a great time! My cousin is about to graduate from GWU and she loves it there. They have a very active, politically aware student population.

GLORIA said...

I can see why she loves it! We got a really positive vibe on campus. Wish I could go back to school there! It is sooo expensive though. I wish your cousin the best of luck!

Ananda Leeke said...

TY for sharing how Green DC is. Glad you and your son had a great and green time in DC. Was so happy to have tea with you too. Ty again for your support of my work and social media adventures.