Traveling Greener as We Celebrate Earth Day
Sea Turtle - Marco Island
Little things really make a difference.
That's why on vacation, just like at home, we should all do our part to protect the environment. It's as simple as turning off the lights and AC when you leave a hotel room or using fewer paper napkins.
"If every American used one less paper napkin a day, it would prevent the use of more than a billion pounds of napkins ending up in landfills -- enough to fill the Empire State Building!" says
HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS:
-- Walk instead of drive, or use public transportation. (Kids up to age 12 travel for half price on
-- Re-use those hotel towels and let the staff know you don't need the sheets changed daily. "Doing one less load of laundry a week saves as much as 2,000 gallons of water a year, so think how much water a hotel would save by doing less laundry," Buchholz suggests.
-- Tote reusable water bottles (slap stickers on them and they become instant souvenirs) and bags.
-- Visit a farmer's market. Eat locally grown food wherever you are going. Carting food across the country, or oceans, wastes fuel. A growing number of restaurants now have their own gardens -- even at hotel restaurants like Primo, which I visited recently at the
-- Take shorter showers instead of baths. (Aim for five minutes, suggests National Geographic Kids in its "30 Ways You can Help the Earth.")
-- Look for hotels that are environmentally responsible.
Do your homework before you book -- get the kids involved, suggests Buchholz. Do they use compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow toilets, showers and faucets and paperless checkout? Are there recycling baskets in the rooms? Known for their shells and wildlife refuges,
You can also be green and have every amenity possible -- to the tune of
Individual hotels are doing their part, too, like
Take a green tour at an
This month, resorts are offering a variety of eco programs and deals. Opt for
I just wish hotels would offer these programs all summer, not just for
Don't forget your water bottle.
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(c) 2010 Eileen Ogintz
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