What does the ultimate green hotel look like? It looks something like the ultimate green home.
I read a great article in Travel & Leisure regarding the ultimate green hotel, one of the best ideas it mentions was a electricity activiation key that you "plug in" when entering and take out when exiting therefore conserving all that power when you are gone sightseeing! Perfection.
Here are some things hotels can do to and things you can look for when booking hotels. Don't forget, ASKING is the only way of knowing what programs your hotel participates in.
*motion sensored air conditioner, ventilation and heating which helps to reduce power usage in unoccupied hotel rooms
*water efficient toilets
*natural, organic and sustainable fabrics in all linens, towels and furniture
*low or no VOC paints on walls
*hotel uses natural cleaning products to reduce airborne chemicals
*recycling program in place
*food & drink served is organic, free-range, grass fed and all that good stuff
*leftover food is donated to shelters in the community
*LEED certified building
*energy star appliances
Those are just a few of the ways a green hotel would look. Seek out those hotels that participate in these environmentally responsible changes. Going on vacation shouldn't stress the environmentalist out, it's important to see other cultures and countries. Travel is such a passion and shouldn't be a ethical compromise. If you find yourself outta green luck and in a hotel that doesn't do any of the above, you can take steps on your own to reduce your hotel carbon footprint, here are a few:
*ask that your sheets and towels not be swapped out for clean ones, or choose not to have your room cleaned at all
*bring your own shampoo and conditioner instead of using all of those small bottles
*turn off the air conditioner or heater when out of the room (or ask at the front desk if the can)
*ask if your hotel recycles and how you can help
*think about what you're packing, less weight to transport is better on the environment so toss what you don't need.
Any more ideas? Leave a comment....