Sustainable Travel Begins with Your Hotel Stay

Sustainable travel is gaining quite a lot of popularity. As some pop culture enthusiasts believe, green is the new “black,” after all. Despite its rising popularity and acceptance by mainstream channels of all kinds, sustainable travel still takes a bit of effort. That is, there are not yet equal numbers of conventional tour busses as their biodiesel fuel, compostable sustainable busses. While I would suggest holding your breath for such a proportion, I would suggest finding creative ways to make your conventional travel a more sustainable travel by greening your stay at a hotel. With a few minor alterations, you too can join in on the collaborative effort to conserve our environment while enjoying your travels.

One of the most shunned favorite pastimes of American tourists is to hoard the “free” bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in hotel bathrooms. Many ‘a talk show have featured self- proclaimed hotel freebie hoarders seeking professional help for their hoarding disorder. This disorder is actually just as problematic for the environment. Not only are most of those toiletries made up of chemicals known to be harmful to the environment, but having to replace them after scrupulous use increases the demand for these harmful products. Subsequently, more of these harmful products are produced, which causes an increase in their carbon footprint as well. So resist the urge to purge these hotel freebies. You’ll be saving your sanity as well as the environment.

Sustainable travel doesn’t have to be uncomfortable travel, but do monitor the thermostat in your hotel room. People in hot regions are used to the idea of conserving energy while forgoing personal comfort. While these spendthrifts are usually conserving energy to conserve spending, the same practice can be applied to environmental conservation. By turning the thermostat up during warmer months and down/ off during colder months, you can conserve the amount of energy spent to keep your room cool or warm. Since hotels are in the comfort business, they tend to keep rooms at temperatures to deliver extreme comfort. Energy researchers suggest 78 degrees as the optimal room temperature. While I would never suggest extreme discomfort for the sake of saving the planet, I do support the notion of simply monitoring the thermostat settings.

Let’s face it. Not everyone has the budget to afford fully sustainable lodging. After all, a hotel must increase the amount it charges visitors to compensate for the increased amount it costs to run a sustainable facility.  Until legislation creates more affordable avenues for companies to operate sustainably, an increase in price is almost inevitable. Even still, sustainable living is attainable to everyone. Do your part by adopting some of these sustainable practices and you too can be a part of the sustainable travel movement.

Photo Credit: irritational_cat