"It's Very Good and Very Green" — by Barbara L. Steinberg

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Editor’s note: Barbara L. Steinberg‘s article first appeared in her Examiner.com column.]

As I have mentioned before, I love to drive my old Subaru. Dear old companion . . . more than 197,000 miles. But I also enjoy sitting back, watching the world roll by in the comfort of alternative transit. Sacramento isn’t all that transit friendly except when thinking about trips to the Bay Area. Then Amtrak and, sometimes, Bay Link Ferry, come into the picture. What it means is fewer traffic and parking hassles and being good to the environment by having one less fossil-fuel consumer on the road. That would be me and my faithful Subaru.

Amtrak (photo © Barbara Steinberg)
Amtrak (photos © Barbara Steinberg)

This weekend I am thrilled to be heading off to San Francisco via Amtrak. I have taken this trip many times but still love the experience. I look forward to the shrill of the train whistle, rumbling away from the station and crossing the Sacramento River. The endless debate — which side has the best views? It doesn’t matter if I choose right or left. Somewhere along the way I am certain to jump to check the scenery on the other side. There are just so many things to see that can’t be seen from behind the wheel of a car. . . . Subaru or otherwise. My favorite views come once the train diverts through Suisun Marsh and on towards San Pablo Bay and past the coastline around Port Costa and Crockett.

So, on this adventure I am doing all that I can to be kind to the Earth. I walked to light rail which whisked me away to the Amtrak station in downtown Sacramento. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden light rail and was shocked (really shocked) to see that a one-way ticket has skyrocketed to $2.50. Talk about discouraging the use of public transit. I know Sacramento Regional Transit has suffered in the economy along with the rest of us, but Sacramento officials have done little to encourage alternative transit. The big investments all go to more lanes of traffic on the interstate.

Arriving at the Amtrak station, I board the Capitol Corridor train heading for San Francisco.I know the routine. . . in Emeryville we will board a connector bus that takes you across the Bay Bridge — no tolls, no lanes of traffic at the toll plaza “parking lot.” Once on the other side, you have a range of locations to disembark. On this day, I am heading to Moscone Center. This is actually my final destination, heading to a trade show that starts tomorrow. But getting off the bus, I will walk a few blocks to overnight lodging at Good Hotel. It figures into this whole good travel experience.

Good Hotel in San Francisco (photo © Barbara Steinberg)
Good Hotel in San Francisco

Another in the long line of Joie de Vivre Hotels, Good reinvented and re-opened in 2009. It defines recycled and kind to the Earth philosophies. Many decor features are reclaimed or recycled construction materials. The registration counter is recycled newspaper. Some light fixtures are made from recycled water bottles. There’s even a box in the lobby to recycle dead batteries. Bed frames are 100% recycled wood. In-shower soap dispensers feature holistic bath products. There bikes available for guest use. Signs of water and power conservation are found throughout Good Hotel. They really are walking the “good” talk.

Good Hotel is part of the South of Market District and walking distance to many attractions and was easily accessibile from the Amtrak connector bus. I made good on my quest to travel green this weekend. And will do the same in reverse on my way home.

It really is all good! And pet friendly, too!

Barbara L. Steinberg

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