A new crop of eco-friendly alternatives makes fueling up a little less painful.

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Inspiration from a gas station? It’s hard to imagine, especially with rising (and rising) fuel prices. But a new breed of fill-up stops are taking small-- but important -- steps to show that even gas stations can go green.

Take Helios House, located on the corner of Olympic and Robertson Boulevards in central Los Angeles. Evoking a design from The Jetsons, BP’s stainless-steel-crafted, LEED-certified station shows the fuel company’s commitment to balancing our undeniable need for energy with environmental responsibility. Though the station sells conventional gas products, its eco-friendly complex gets points for being constructed entirely from recycled or sustainable materials. The station utilizes solar panels and motion-sensor lights to save energy, collects rainwater to hydrate its CO2-reducing landscaping, and serves as a recycling site for cell phones and other items. While it’s not a solution to all of our environmental woes, Helios House reflects the belief that little steps do make a difference. 8770 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 855-9346

Customers of the first Green Spot Market & Fuels, located near White Rock Lake in Dallas, show that what we put in our cars is as important as what we put in our bodies. This gas station with a conscience sells both alternative fuel (B5 at the pump and B100 from an above ground tank) and regular gas. The accompanying market offers a vast array of organic sushi, sandwiches, and flowers, as well as fair-trade chocolate and coffee, so you can fuel up the right way too. 702 N. Buckner Blvd., Dallas; (214) 319-7768