Even the most ardent environmentalist would probably admit that there are some modern conveniences they are just not willing to give up no matter how committed to green living they may be. For example, are you willing to give up toilet paper for a year to save more trees? How about new mothers – – are you willing to go back to the old fashioned cloth diapers when you are working a 9 to 5 job and taking care of one in training pants and a newborn in diapers? We all strive to live as green as possible but there are some modern luxuries that we are just unwilling to give up.
Just last week my husband and I were traveling and I noticed the little sign in our hotel bathroom requesting that we reuse our towels and skip the daily maid service. The hotel said it was joining the EPA’s WaterSense H2Otel Challenge and would like all guests to consider conserving water by reusing towels. As my husband laughed, I moaned that it was the “green thing” to do and agreed that if he was up for the challenge so was I (I really hated it because that is one of the things I love about travel – – clean sheets and clean towels each day). It did make me realize that I need to take my commitment to a green lifestyle on the road with me as I travel. In anticipation for my next trip, I compiled a list of helpful hints to keep me green the next time we take a vacation.
- Reuse bathroom towels and request that bed linens not be changed during our stay unless absolutely necessary.
- Request that no soaps, lotions or other items be placed in our room as we carry our own and do not want to waste the precious plastic mini-bottles.
- Cut off the television, air conditioner, lights and other appliances when we leave the room – – just because it is not our electricity bill does not mean we are not paying for it with our environment.
- Instead of renting a car, plan to use public transportation when possible. Many hotels have shuttle busses and the public transit in large cities is fantastic.
- Keep showers to a minimum even though it is tempting to stand under the hot running water for 20 or 30 minutes when I am not paying the water or electric bill.
- Bring, and use, our own plastic travel water bottles rather than buying bottled water at each stop (if you worry about the water, buy a bottle that has a built-in water filter).
- Avoid fast food and restaurants that use paper or plastic plates and utensils.
Making small changes really does help save our environment and make our planet a much nicer place to live for ourselves, our children and the generations that come after them. Make sure you travel green the next time you leave home!