If you’re looking for a green destination in the US, you don’t need to look much further than Vermont. The Northeastern state has sustainability engrained in its DNA, recognizable as soon as you start driving through. From quirky resale shops and solar panels, to a sense of community that fuels local businesses to thrive– it’s a super cool place to visit if I do say so myself.
The beautiful city of Burlington is the first U.S. city to use 100% renewable energy.
Vermont was the first state to ban slavery (although not as simple and great as it sounds).
Vermont has dairy farms with Cow Power– an initiative that turns methane gas from manure into a renewable energy source helping power homes and businesses around them.
There’s an extended list of responsible businesses in Vermont in fact, it’s hard to find businesses that aren’t doing something good for the world (even the big ones! see: Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery).
ecomadic’s Vermont responsible business roundup is just a start to the kinds of places you’d be proud to support.
Now here’s a quick guide to being a responsible traveler in this destination.
Be Knowledgeable & Responsible
Vermont wasn’t always Vermont. We recognize the traditional owners of the land as the indigenous tribes that inhabited the region before European settlers. In this case the most prominent are the Abenaki tribe, Mohican tribe, & Massachusett tribes (Pennacook and Pocomtuc).
You can learn more about the history of the land, including the Abenaki tribe and their heritage at the Ethan Allen Homestead museum. This community based museum recently partnered with an intertribal Abenaki organization that is dedicated to Indigenous cultural revival. They’re working towards creating an Indigenous Heritage Center.
As mentioned previously, Vermont was the first state to ban slavery. Visit the Rokeby museum for a unique and immersive experience into the history of the Underground Railroad.
What’s in season?
Not only does eating seasonally provide more nutrients and taste better, but it reduces pollution and the distance food needs to travel to get to your plate. Check this chart to find out what’s in season while you’re traveling to Vermont and choose restaurants that offer local ingredients. Also don’t miss out on the local markets. Burlington Farmers Market has been around since 1980 and offers a fun Saturday morning activity as well as the opportunity to buy and cook with Vermont ingredients. If you’re too far from Burlington, here’s a search engine to find a closer market.
Tip: in Vermont, there is never a bad time to get some Maple Syrup!
Connect with Nature
Connecting with nature in Vermont is a huge reason why people travel. In fact, it’s a great place to escape and camp in the wilderness without seeing a soul. Depending on the time of year you visit, the activities available will change. Autumn is perfect to hike and experience fall foliage, while in the winter you can ski down Stowe Mountain. Spring would be great for a camping trip and in Summer you can spend time in the waterfalls and famous Lake Champlain.
As always, leave no trace and be respectful of any animals. Like most destinations, there’s wildlife to be aware of. Although run-ins are rare, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, moose, amongst others are native to Vermont.
Support Local & Unique Experiences
What better way to learn about where your food comes from than staying on a farm? Vermont is unique in that it has farm stays and tours. A few of our favorites are:
Don’t forget reviews!
To help out the little guys, don’t forget to review each business you visit. Your voice can be used to help guide and point other travelers in the direction of who they should support as well.
ecomadic is a sustainable tourism brand that empowers travelers to make more conscious decisions. By curating a marketplace to easily find and identify responsible businesses to support, and providing educational publications through our online green travel magazine, ecomadic is committed to helping empower travelers make responsible choices throughout their journeys.