A Challenge to Travelers: Go Green Part 2

Book your stays with hotels that show a clear interest in protecting our environment, and let management know that’s why you’ve chosen their hotel.

What can hotels do? I suggest all hotels should be encouraged to implement water-saving measures, execute energy-saving techniques and reduce solid waste. And, they should be very public in doing so, so that they can get guests involved in the process. Environmentally conscious hotels offer towel and sheet-changing options, soap and shampoo dispensers, guestroom recycling baskets and reduced food-related waste. Environmentally conscious guests let their accommodation providers know that it is not necessary to change sheets and towels every day, and they turn off lights, television, heat, and air conditioners before leaving the room.

By showing a willingness to help protect our favorite destinations, green hotels make travel and tourism a much more sustainable industry.

What else can you do? Use public transportation when visiting a city. Choose airlines that recycle waste created when serving food and beverages to passengers. Two good examples are British Airways and Southwest Airlines, both of whom recycle cabin waste, and offer electronic ticketing.

Before you leave on your vacation, take a couple of simple steps to green up your travel: turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater, stop your daily newspaper delivery, and make sure the heat or air conditioning is off. Also, did you know that electric appliances such as TVs and microwave ovens can draw or “leak” as much as 40 watts of electricity every hour, even when they’re off. So don’t just turn them off; unplug them.

So to simplify it, here are a couple of key suggestions:

– Enjoy walking tours rather than bus tours

– take advantage of public transportation when available

– use the hotel van instead of renting a car, or share taxis. This results in less pollution, and you leave the driving to others

– If you are driving, turn your motor off when idling

– don’t litter

Hundreds of millions of people travel to destinations across the globe every single year. If each of us takes a little extra time to help the environment while we travel, the world will be a healthier and greener place for generations to come.