While I’m not the most environmentally responsible person in the world, I try to do the simple things. You know; recycle, use those canvas shopping bags, buy locally grown produce – the sort of easy lifestyle changes that reduce my so-called carbon footprint. And while a “green” ecologically sound vacation is a great fit for some people, I like my air conditioning and flush toilets too much to stay in a tent when I travel. Most people who take week-long vacation are with me on this, as is seen by the relatively few yurts out there. The travel site boo.com has some tips for people like us, and put them together in a Green Getaway Guide.
Tips for Easy Green Vacations
Towels and Linens - Check if your hotel has a linen reuse service for guests staying more than one night.
Water Supply - Ask to see if the hotel or resort participates in a water conservation or recycling program.
In-room Recycling - Ask ahead of arrival if the hotel supplies in-room recycling bins, and if the hotel has an environmentally responsible waste management plan.
Lights out! - I know you’re on vacation, so there’s no need to make your own bed in the morning. However, you can turn off your hotel room’s lights before leaving for the day.
Transportation – Many hotels and resorts offer free shuttles to and from local points of interest; sharing use of the shuttle (instead of your rental car) is a great way to cut down on CO2 emissions.
Dining - Check to see if the hotel’s on-site restaurants serve food that is organic or locally grown. Some hotels – notably the Fairmont family of hotels and resorts – grow food in rooftop gardens. This ensures freshness and cuts down on transportation costs (financial and environmental) of getting the food from the ground to your plate.
Energy - Some eco-friendly hotels are beginning to use alternative energy sources, such as solar panels. Others offer deals to guests who pull up in hybrid cars.
Getting Around - Talking about cars, if it’s appropriate for your vacation destination, forgo the rental car altogether and use a bike, public transportation, or even a Segway to see local attractions.
These are my favorite of boo.com’s tips for making green(er) trips easy. We can travel in environmentally friendly ways, and still have the luxurious vacations we work so hard for. That way, the guilt we may associate with vacations can be confined to how much weight we’ve gained, or how much we’ve spoiled our children. That kind of guilt, we learn to live with!