Green Travel - How to Maintain a Green Lifestyle When on a Family Vacation

Traveling with the family should be fun, a time to visit new places and make memories. If you are committed to a green living at home, you do not need to abandon that green lifestyle when on vacation. And particularly when it comes to recycling, there is no reason to leave your recycling habits at home. It is easy to do your part even when you are traveling.
Many hotels and motels now offer the option to reuse your towels rather than have them removed and laundered every day. Since you don't launder your towels very day when at home, you don't need to have them laundered daily when traveling. Either hang the towels back on the rack if you are reusing them, or leave them in the bathtub or shower if they need to be changed. If the hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast where you are staying does not automatically offer the option of reusing towels, notify the housekeeping department that you will be reusing your towels. Similarly, there is typically no need to have the bed linens changed daily. Just reusing your towels and bed linens for a few days will greatly impact the energy and water usage that goes into running the laundry everyday, consistent with your green lifestyle.
Be sure to turn off all lights when you are leaving the hotel room. In addition, turn off any TVs or radios that may be running. It is easy to treat a hotel less carefully that you would your own space at home, forgetting the ways you conserve energy at home when you are not there. Just do the same things in the hotel or motel that you do at home. There are some hotels that even do this for you, with key cards that automatically turn off the lights when removed from a slot as you leave the room.
Along the same lines as remembering to turn out the lights, remember to turn down the heat/AC that will be running when you're not in the room. And a further way to keep the room temperatures comfortable is to remember to close the drapes when you're out of the room. Most hotels and motels have heavy drapes or window shades that will keep a cool room cool longer if they are kept closed.
Conserve water as well when traveling. Don't leave the water running when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Try to limit your showers to about five minutes. I love the feeling of hot water running over me as much as anyone else, but limiting showers to the time it takes to get clean will conserve water. You will also save energy by requiring less water to be heated.
If you are taking bottled water with you during the day, refill the bottles at the hotel rather than continually buying new ones. All those plastic bottles are made from petroleum-derived raw materials and cost a lot in terms of resources. If discarded in the trash, many will also likely end up in landfills. The fewer you use, the better. You can even conserve cups by using a permanent marker to assign one cup to each person in your family when you arrive at the room.
With a little planning and forethought, you can maintain the green lifestyle that you practice at home even when you are on the road with your family.

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