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Santa Monica's got a new green hotel Add to ...

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Solar on the beach

Santa Monica, Calif. - Travellers who are mindful of minimizing their carbon footprint can sleep soundly at Shore Hotel, the city's only LEED Silver-certified property. This eco-friendly beachside hotel was partly constructed out of salvaged and recycled materials from two demolished motels that formerly occupied its space. Roof-mounted solar panels, high-efficiency boilers and burners, low-flow shower heads and a storm-water runoff plan help to conserve energy and protect natural resources. And if you're looking for a restaurant that serves locally sourced fare, consult the Green Concierge, an electronic compilation of the neighbourhood's greenest shops, restaurants and transportation options. shorehotel.com

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A modern marvel

Seattle - Industrial-design junkies can peruse more than 220 pieces made by George Nelson, one of the founders of American Modernism, at Bellevue Arts Museum. The retrospective includes some of Nelson's most iconic designs, which include the Coconut Chair and Marshmallow Sofa (above). History buffs can step back into the Cold War era and peruse a partial reconstruction of Nelson's submission for the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow. His model kitchen became the backdrop for the acrimonious “kitchen debate” between then vice-president Richard Nixon and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. bellevuearts.org

Eco-friendly amenity

Toronto - If you like sampling lotions and creams, don't miss the new line at Fairmont by New York perfumer Le Labo. The chain's properties worldwide now feature an exclusive collection of soap, shampoo and body products made by former Armani perfumers. Each squirt bears the subtle scent of Rose 31 (Le Labo's bestselling organic blend of floral, spice and cedar) and is free of petroleum, paraben and sodium lauryl ether sulfate. The products come in containers made from soft-drink bottles, and will biodegrade in a landfill site within two to three years. The line is also available for sale in Fairmont stores in Canada and the United States, and, starting in December, online at fairmontstore.com



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