How to visit Reno-Tahoe as an eco-conscious traveler

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — As summer vacation planning is in full swing, the Reno-Tahoe region wants nothing more than to ensure travelers have the resources at their fingertips to make good, healthy and long-term impactful choices that become the first consideration in travel planning.

Whether it’s how you get here, the hotel you stay at or the activities you do, there’s concerns about how to do it right. The phrases, “pack it in, pack it out,” and “leave no trace,” are just the beginning.

Edgewood Tahoe is a Silver LEED-certified resort with a number of sustainability initiatives geared toward minimizing their footprint in the basin.

Stay in a sustainable hotel

For eco-conscious travelers, Reno-Tahoe has several options. In Reno, several of the casino resort properties have been certified by the Green Building Initiative for their environmentally friendly hotel practices. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa has put in place extra energy-efficient measures like light sensors, energy management systems and a special perk for guests – the Vivreau Advanced Water System that provides both still and sparkling water for free to all guests on the casino floor.

In the Stateline, South Tahoe area, Edgewood Tahoe is a Silver LEED-certified lakefront lodge elevating the resort’s green efforts with a number of sustainability initiatives geared toward minimizing their footprint in the Lake Tahoe Basin, as well as encouraging guests to be conscious of their impact.

Edgewood is responsible for several sustainably driven practices such as treating and removing 500,000 pounds of sediment per year from Lake Tahoe, realigning and daylighting Edgewood Creek to allow native fish passage and spawning habitat and using a lake source cooling system throughout the property. Expect to keep that sustainable mindset throughout with reusable water bottles, elimination of all plastic straws and plastic bags, and the use of infrared sensor thermostats to provide the best comfort while reducing energy consumption.

North Lake Tahoe hosts the Tourism Cares Lake Tahoe Summit May 18-20, 2022.

Participate in eco-tourism

What better way to discover a new destination than getting involved in the intricacies of its landscape, and participating in a way that leaves a positive, lasting impact? Visitors to Lake Tahoe have options.

North Lake Tahoe hosts the Tourism Cares Lake Tahoe Summit May 18-20, 2022. The travel summit looks to connect industry professionals and local changemakers with the goal of learning from one another, infusing more sustainability into local businesses and completing volunteer work in the local community. The Lake Tahoe summit focuses on climate change, conservation of natural resources and the critical role sustainability plays holistically for the popular tourism destination.

Keep Tahoe Blue is another option for visitors to give back to the destination. The Tahoe Blue Crews are a volunteer effort empowering the community and visitors to clean up after themselves and others. It could be spending 15 minutes after a day at the beach cleaning up extra trash, or it could be a day-long volunteer effort, or anything in between. The goal is to ensure Lake Tahoe continues to remain some of the cleanest water in the world and the habitat and beaches continue to foster the life and ecosystem it relies on.

South Lake Tahoe is encouraging visitors to Pledge for the Wild, an organization taking steps to ensure the preservation of our nation’s wilderness for generations to come. The supporting nonprofit is the Tahoe Fund. In North Lake Tahoe, visitors are encouraged to take the Traveler Responsibility Pledge, committing to preserving the natural wonders of the Sierra.

Choose human-powered activities

There’s no shortage of eco-friendly activities in Reno-Tahoe when the great outdoors is this vast and diverse. Head to Sparks and paddle board or kayak on the Sparks Marina, a 77-acre lake continuously recharged by a naturally occurring aquifer, offering paddle enthusiasts a beautiful and clean escape right within the city center. Further south, wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy a serene kayak, canoe or paddle board experience at Topaz Lake in the Carson Valley. Known as “The Desert Gem,” Topaz Lake is framed by the Eastern Sierra in a remote location off Scenic U.S. Route 395 and is famous among fishing enthusiasts.

On land, hit the trails in Carson Valley. The Carson Valley Trails Association has a vision of “connecting people to the outdoors through a system of trails.” The nonprofit has created and maintains more than 60 miles of trails across six distinct trail systems through volunteer efforts and collaboration with partners.

Getting Here

The Electric Highway is one way to get to Reno-Tahoe. The Electric Highway began as a partnership between the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, NV Energy, and Valley Electric Association to expand the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure by placing charging stations at cost-effective and strategic locations, initially along U.S. 95 between Reno and Las Vegas, making it that much easier to traverse rural Nevada with an environmentally responsible vehicle. Not to mention, numerous charging stations for electric vehicles from the oldest operating hotel in Nevada, the Gold Hill Hotel based in Virginia City, to large properties such as Peppermill – a charge is easy to find.

If driving an electric car isn’t an option, consider the many convenient direct and one-stop flights. Reno-Tahoe International Airport offers 13 airlines with more than 27 nonstop destinations. Worried about excess carbon emissions caused by aircraft? Some airlines are offering programs where passengers can pay to help offset these carbon emissions. Southwest is offering 20 points per dollar spent with their carbon offset program, and United Airlines has committed to sustainable aviation by investing in innovative technologies that will reduce carbon emissions.

Source: Reno-Tahoe Territory. For more information, visit

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