Whether you are going on a business trip, family vacation or romantic honeymoon, you can commit to being a greenminded guest before you even leave. Here are some tips:
- Decant shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, and so on, into small containers so that you are only travelling with as much as you need during your stay. Buying the mini versions in the shops is both wasteful (of the costly packaging) and usually quite expensive. This also saves the hotel from having to replace their free samples.
- Pack your own bags so that you are assured of only the essentials being included.
- Make bookings online and print only the necessary information. Do not print the reams of Terms and Conditions that accompany the tickets as this will waste paper and ink.
- If you must print documentation for your trip, always opt for “grayscale” in your print settings and shrink the pages so that more can fit onto a piece of A4 paper.
- When hiring a vehicle, do your research and choose one that boasts good fuel consumption. It is tempting to hire a car that is bigger than what you require, but this usually only leads to a waste of petrol.
- At your hotel, decline the packet in which your hotel key may come, accepting only the key. This will reduce your plastic consumption and may even raise the accommodation provider’s awareness regarding greenminded practices.
- Always return your key so that another one does not have to be cut after your departure.
- Try not to accept any maps to your room or other unnecessary paperwork, as this only increases your printing and paper needs.
- Do not request that room service washes your linen, towels or clothing every day as this uses an enormous amount of water and electricity. Once a week should suffice (bearing in mind how often you wash these items at home).
- Take the stairs whenever possible. You will reduce the energy use of the establishment and will stay fitter and slimmer for longer if you make this a habit.
- If you are not going to consume a welcome fruit basket, chocolate or sherry, decline it ahead of time so that it does not go to waste.
- Purchase a small water filter and take it along with you so that you can consume water from the taps, instead of buying plastic water bottles.
- When at a foreign destination, try to buy locally-sourced and -manufactured products as often as possible to reduce the destination’s import needs.
- Walk to nearby restaurants and attractions rather than opting for busses or taxis. This will also allow you to see more of the destination.
- Trains are more greenminded than road vehicles and often provide fabulous views. Take a train to neighbouring towns or neighbourhoods instead of using public transport or a hired vehicle.
- Reuse any disposable items that you happen to purchase.
- Ask your hotel or guest house about their recycling initiatives, and be sure to save your paper, plastic and glass for their bins, if they have these measures implemented. If they do not, ask where a nearby recycling drop-off is and suggest that they offer their own for the guests.
- Become aware of projects like Pack for a Purpose and ascertain whether there are areas in which you can assist needy communities without much effort or inconvenience.
Photo Credit: Destination360