Traveling increases your carbon footprint; there’s no way around it. From flights to hotel stays to dining out, almost every aspect of traveling has a corresponding impact on the environment. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways you can minimize that impact and make your travels more eco-friendly, starting with your hotel stays.
Staying in a hotel is one of the most enjoyable parts of travel, but it can be wasteful of Earth’s precious resources. To keep your hotel stay as eco-friendly as possible, here are some things you should note:
Choose eco-friendly accommodation
Choosing the right hotel is one of the best ways to keep your carbon contribution low. Popular booking sites may not be much help when looking for eco-friendly stays since they have no filter category for such hotels, but you can try searching for stays like ‘earth house’ or ‘barn’ or ‘cabin’, which are likely to be more sustainable than chain hotels and regular apartments.
If you want a rustic feel for your hotel, searching for a barn-type stay is an excellent idea. Places that boast barnwood ceiling beams or posts, beautiful hardwood floors, and barn-type doors truly make for the rustic environment that you’re looking for.
Put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door
Every time housekeeping comes to tidy your hotel room, they use up a significant amount of resources to wash the linens, vacuum the carpet, and clean the bathroom. Unless you really need to get your towel changed or your floors cleaned, hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door so that housekeeping skips your room.
Better yet, ask the housekeeping staff to only do the tasks that need to be done, such as changing the sheets or making the bed. After all, you don’t change your sheets every night or use a new towel every day, you don’t have to start doing that just because you’re in a hotel.
Don’t use the toiletries
You probably won’t enjoy the hotel toiletries as much as you do your own bath products anyway. Avoid the needless waste of these amenities by using your own toiletries. If you do use some of the toiletries that the hotel provides, take them with you. Otherwise, they’ll just get thrown out, which is incredibly wasteful if they are not used up completely.
To ensure that the toiletries don’t get thrown out even if they are unused, give them back to the housekeeping staff when they make their rounds.
Turn off electronics when not in use
Whenever you stay in a hotel room, act as if you pay the electricity bill. Turn off lights when you’re not using them. The same goes for the AC and heater. If possible, unplug appliances when you leave the room, like the TV, coffee maker, and microwave. Moreover, if the room is at a comfortable enough temperature, avoid turning the temperature higher or lower than it needs to be.
Don’t use the TV for background noise
It’s common for hotel guests to turn on the TV to use for background noise and make the environment less unfamiliar. If you’re not going to watch TV, refrain from doing this. Instead, use your phone to play music or podcasts to make the room more comforting.
If you are also the type of person that uses the TV to get to sleep in a new place, bring a night light instead of leaving the TV on all night.
Few things are better than taking a long shower after a tiring day of traveling. Although you might be tempted to stay under the hot spray for longer than usual, try not to overdo it. Aside from wasting water, you may also dry out your skin if you stay in the shower for too long.
Keep these tips in mind when traveling to your next destination. Every little thing is a significant effort in helping out the environment.