You know the basic rules of staying in a hotel, such as not stealing the bathrobes or keeping your neighbors up late at night. Right? Today, we are talking about basic rules for traveling green. Somewhere between leaving home and arriving in the hotel room, many travelers forget about being environmentally responsible. People, who wouldn’t consider opening a new bar of soap every time they wash their hands, don’t bat an eye at opening a new mini soap each day. Even self-appointed, tap water connoisseurs at home, grab the $5.00 individual of bottle sitting on the night stand while on the road.
Whether this is new information or simply a reminder, here are a few rules to travel by…
YOU SHOULD NOT
- Take the morning paper unless you intend to read it. Otherwise, tell the front desk to skip your room.
- Use the Keurig. In case you haven’t heard why not, read this.
- Order room service. Rarely are the mini, individual portioned condiments donated, reused or recycled.
- Leave your lights or HVAC on when away. Heat or cool your room when you return from your day’s activities without wasting energy all day long.
- Leave your discarded conference swag, donate it. A recent Cornell University study found 20% of hotel left behinds are from meetings.
- Recycle in your guest room. If bins aren’t available, ask housekeeping what to do with recyclables.
- Reuse linens and towels. Follow the hotels directions and if they are changed anyway…Complain!
- Check out using the paperless system. Most hotels offer this service which saves paper and time. Extra points to the hotels who email the receipt to you.
- Take mass transit or a shuttle back to the airport. Plan ahead to save money and the environment.
- Ask the concierge about walking to shops and restaurants instead of taking a cab or renting a car. Enjoy the local flavor and get some exercise.
After all, we are guests at their hotel as well as “guests” of this planet. Let’s remember our manners.
Note: Conference attendees may need to be reminded as well.