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Lodging with a Conscience

See the world—and help protect it—by choosing accommodations that have an environmentally friendly focus.

By Ann Costa LaRose

May/June 2004

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Black Sheep Inn


THE COYOTE COILS, THEN LEAPS INTO THE AIR, MAKING A SMALL ARC AS HE LANDS ATOP his prey. I am ecstatic and barely able to catch my breath. I've just left the warm confines of Old Faithful Snow Lodge, nestled deep in Yellowstone National Park. Sunrise is still an hour away, but I've brought a flask with what I hope will be enough hot tea to see me through the morning. My addled fingers have managed to fasten the bindings on my snowshoes. I'm heading out into the snowy wilderness with naturalist Jim Williams and several researchers who are tracking the progress of the park's wolf packs. By lunchtime, when I finally retreat to the cozy warmth of the sustainably-operated eco lodge, I have seen a number of bison, several elk, and a Golden Eagle—and learned, in the process, about how these species interact in perfect balance within this wilderness environment. While this may not be the typical resort experience, it's definitely within the realm of possibility for any traveler who chooses to unpack at one of the growing number of environmentally-minded eco lodges around the world.

Crave a little quiet? You won't hear any traffic at this small, ecologically-friendly hotel, but you're likely to be serenaded by the dogs, ducks, llamas, and black sheep who call it home. Rated one of the top ten eco-lodges in the world by Outside Magazine in 2003, Black Sheep Inn is a sustainable operation that embraces—and operates by—the philosophy of caring for the Earth. On the road to becoming a permaculture demonstration site, the inn features composting toilets, gray water recycling systems, organic gardens, and the recycling of metal, paper, and glass. Wellness features: Vegetarian meals, sauna, sweat lodge. Call 593-3-281-4587 or visit

Other lodges from all over the world were also listed.
By Ann Costa LaRose

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SKY Magazine
Top 10
* May 2009 *

Eco Club Eco Lodge Award
2006 & 2008

Ecotourism Award Skal International

Responsible Tourism Best in Mountain

Smithsonian Magazine Sustainable Tourism Winner

Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Finalist


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Last updated: September 21st, 2009