How to be a More Sustainable Traveler
Increasingly, travelers are looking for ways to be more kind to the environment.
According to a travel report conducted by Booking.com, more than 85 percent of people questioned said they would like to travel more sustainably.
The travel industry has responded accordingly.
Airlines like Jet Blue and United have made steps to reduce carbon emissions. In June 2019, United launched Eco-Skies, a holistic approach to sustainability include a carbon-neutral flight using sustainable biofuel. Jet Blue has made steps towards moving away from diesel and petrol for ground based equipment.
The hotel brand Home2 Suites by Hilton considers sustainability among its chief tenants, utilizing recycled products in their building materials, CFL light bulbs in lighting fixtures, and dual flush toilets to promote water conservation.
IHG instituted the Green Engage tracking system, which gives each of their hotels the ability to measure and manage their impact on the environment. By meeting certain standards each property can work up to a Level 4, meaning they have reached the pinnacle of sustainability.
But you don’t have to be a hotel chain or airline to take steps to be more sustainable. There are small steps you can take now to get closer to being an eco-friendly traveler.
Travel with Re-usability in mind
Bring a reusable water bottle – the hotel gyms always have a water cooler that has cool water and usually in the lobby they will have an ice water dispenser.
Another idea is to save a few towels instead of dumping all your used towels on the floor for housekeeping. This practice promotes water conservation and cuts down on electricity used for laundry.
To cut down on plastics, bring re-usable toiletry containers filled with your favorite lotions, face cleansers, and shower gel. It eliminates the need to use the hotel provided toiletries, which cuts down on plastic use.
Support Local Business or Economy
Use popular apps like TripAdvisor and Yelp to find the best mom and pop restaurants in the area. Need souvenirs to take back? Why not shop at a local boutique instead of a big box store.
In addition to supporting local businesses, you can also take time to donate un-used toiletry items to the local shelter. Have some time on your hands? Spend a day volunteering at a local charity.
Opt in for the Hotel’s Green Policies
Hilton brand hotels have the industry’s largest soap recycling program. Since its inception, the program has been recycled into more than 9.6 million new soap bars distributed to people in need all over the globe.
At Marriott, you can opt out of housekeeping services during your stay, which saves on water and cleaning materials, for rewards points.
Skip the Car
Walking, biking, and trekking or exploring one place in-depth is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. At urban destinations, walk or take public transit whenever possible. You’ll see more and avoid getting stuck in rush-hour traffic!