I recently had the novel experience of trying out a low carbon stay in Cape Town’s city centre. Now cities and low impact are not usually synonymous, especially for a country girl like myself for whom a city embodies high input and high output of resources and consumerism. And yet, the densification of people and buildings certainly has its merits, as I soon discovered, because you are able to minimise your carbon footprint by using the most eco friendly mode of transport around, your own two feet! Saving time, money and well, a whole lot of carbon into the already burdened atmosphere.
I was lucky enough to stay at the Green Annexe, part of The Hollow on The Square, where every care has been taken to be a low impact hotel. It was built using recycled materials and has energy saving features such as double glazed windows, A-rated appliances, eco light fixtures and has a real organic feel compared to most hotels with its cork flooring, bamboo furniture and upcycled wooden picture frames. And isn’t it exciting that we have great innovations at our fingertips like saving on electricity by only allowing the lights and air conditioner to work when the hotel card key is inserted in the card slot, which makes sure guests don’t leave the room with everything blazing (that is if you absolutely HAVE to use the air conditioner). I think the lesson that can be learnt here is that luxury does not need to be lost when creating a green hotel experience. On the contrary it makes the stay all the more real and feel good.
So there were no taxis, trains or traffic jams involved in my trip to Cape Town, I simply stepped out the door of the Green Annexe and walked 5 minutes through well treed squares and avenues to the international convention centre. And it felt so good! I also walked up through town for the most sublime ethical breakfast in the calm haven of Dear Me, but that story deserves a blog all of it’s own… So while Uber may have revolutionised the way we travel within foreign cities we must not forget that walking was the original and ultimate way to experience a city…and by far the best if you’re conscious of carbon.
To search for this hotel or other eco friendly accommodation or activity options in South Africa, use the Eco Atlas search tool.