Let’s face it, as much as we love camping, hostels, and eco-lodges, sometimes a hotel is the most reasonable option. Luckily, even when you aren’t staying at an eco-friendly hotel, you have a lot of control over your environmental impact. Here are 11 of our favorite tips and tricks for greening your hotel visit. You don’t have to wait until Earth Day to do something eco-conscious. Get started with these tips for your next hotel stay.
Greening Your Hotel is Easy to Do
Here are some things you can do to make your hotel stay greener.
Eco-Friendly Hotel ~ Finding an LEED Hotel or Green Hotel
How to Find Green Accommodations and Green Hotels
What is a Green Hotel
- Unplug, unplug, unplug. The first thing you should do when you walk into a hotel room is unplug. 5 lamps? Unplug 4. Mini-fridge? Unless you’ve brought a turkey and mayo sandwich, unplug. Coffee maker? Unplug. Hair dryer? Unplug. Appliances drain energy even when they’re not on. If you just spend 2 minutes unplugging items you will already have made a difference.
photo credit: trekkyandy
- Hang your towel. In my experience housekeeping is haphazard in their pledge to “save the environment one towel at a time.” Most times I hang the towel and come back later to find they’ve replaced it anyway; but about 50% of the time they leave it for me.
- Move the soap. An easy trick to reduce your waste is to bring the bar of soap with you to the shower when you shower and leave it by the sink the rest of the time. When was the last time you used two full bars of soap at a hotel? (Or even one full bar?) When you go out for the day, you may need to put the soap away so the cleaning crew doesn’t throw it away, and replace it with a new one.
- Stick the “Do not Disturb” on your door. Or just call housekeeping, and tell them you won’t need their services during your stay. To prevent the hotel from wasting water by changing your sheets and towels, wasting electricity by vacuuming, and spraying harsh chemicals all over, just ask them to refrain from cleaning your room during your stay if it is just for a few days.
- Adjust the thermostat. By lowering the temperature by 2 degrees in the winter or raising it by 2 in the summer, you will save a lot of energy. You most likely won’t notice the difference.
- When you leave the room turn everything off:
- Thermostat (if the weather is mild)
- Flush less frequently. If you are traveling alone, no need to flush every time. It may sound gross, but even if you can do it once or twice, practice the “if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow” rule. It will make a big difference in water usage.
- Bring your own toiletries. I personally know the pains of the 3 oz of liquids on planes rule. But think of all of the plastics that are used to create tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner. And all of the extra packaging in luxury hotel items. Plus, by bringing your own shampoo you can prevent a bad hair day from bad shampoo.
- Take shorter showers. Sometimes a long, hot shower feels incredible. But do you need that every day? The average US shower head spits out about 2.5 gallons per minute, which means in a 15 minute shower you use nearly 40 gallons of water. Yikes!
- Leave the pen (and other freebies) behind. I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for free pens. Even the crappy ones that explode in my purse on the airplane ride home. Do the earth a favor and leave these items behind.
- Recycle. Find out if the hotel recycles. If they do, ask if they separate it out from waste-bins. If they don’t, take your free USA Today and empty cans and bottles and toss them in an extra pocket in your suitcase to recycle later. They weigh almost nothing.
What ideas do you have to make your hotel stay more green? By doing even a few of these suggestions for greening your hotel, every time you travel, you will be making a big difference.
11 Tips and Tricks for Greening your Hotel Stay is the sixteenth post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index.
Green Travel Series
- 31 Reasons to Travel Green: In Pictures
- Defining Green Travel
- Ultimate Directory of Top Green Travel Destinations
- 11 Best Tips for Packing Light
- 6 Pieces of Travel Gear You Should Buy New
- How to Find Green Accommodations
- Drinking Green Anywhere in the World
- Tips for Healthy Water Abroad
- Volunteering Abroad – 10 Things to Know
- 21 Resources for Volunteering Abroad & Why You Should Do It
- 6 Tips for a Green Return Home