Traveling always brings new experiences and the opportunity to try new things. As the global community becomes more environmentally conscious and is taking steps to become more carbon-neutral, consider trying out some of these suggestions for making your vacation a greener experience.
Utilize Public Transportation
Rather than renting a car or taking a cab, many cities have bike programs that you can rent and drop off at various locations! Bikes are much friendlier to the environment, and allow you to travel more freely than a car, which requires you to stay on designated roads. Biking will help keep you active, too, and will alleviate the challenge of trying to find parking wherever you go.
Additionally, cities have bus, trolley, and train systems that make getting around town easy and efficient. If you’re considering any of those modes of transportations, just make sure to check the schedules ahead of time so you can plan your day.
Reuse Your Linens
Hotels will change your sheets and towels every day, which takes up a lot of water. You can instead opt to reuse them, thus saving water and energy. Especially for a short trip, it isn’t a huge sacrifice, and in the process, you’d be helping the hotel save about 40% of its total hot water consumption.
If you do need them changed for whatever reason, simply call the front desk and they’ll accommodate you.
Appropriately Dispose of Your Trash
This is hopefully a no-brainer, but the simple act of disposing of trash appropriately will greatly help the environment. Pay attention to recycling signs, rather than throwing everything away in the trash. If the hotel you are staying at doesn’t have a recycling program, perhaps make a note in your guest review about implementing one, or wait to throw out a plastic bottle somewhere that does recycle.
If you have paper maps, don’t throw them away: leave them at the hotel for a future guest to use.
Eliminate the need for plastic water bottles altogether by bringing a reusable one. Bring your own toiletries instead of using the pre-packaged ones. There are lots of little things you can do decrease the amount of waste you produce, and to make sure that the waste that you do produce is discarded efficiently.
Take shorter showers. Turn the lights off before you leave the room. Hotels usually have thermostats in each room—by turning the temperature up a few degrees during the summer and a few degrees down during the winter can save approximately 6% of the energy needed to adjust your room temperature. Treat your hotel room like you would your house, like you were the one paying for the electricity, and you’ll immediately become more conscious of just how much energy you are using.