HOW GREEN ARE YOUR TRAVELS?
Help Protect Your Favorite Travel Destination
"Green" Hotels Association® is encouraging all travelers to green up their travel. The U. S. Travel Data Center estimates that 43 million US travelers are "ecologically concerned." These travelers will be especially interested, but all travelers can take part in this important mission (the greening of the travel industry-whether away for business or pleasure.
Managers of all businesses react and respond to requests of guests, customers and clients who voice their concerns. So, when you write a note or speak directly to management regarding our environment, you are casting a vote. You can write a note to the general manager of the hotel, to the captain of the airplane and to the manager of a tour company or cruise line with compliments or comments regarding their green program. Thank them for their green program if they have one. Or, ask why they don't have a green program. As a paying customer, it is important that you let them know that you want them to lower water and energy usage and reduce solid waste-and that you want to participate.
"Encourage businesses to think as you do by choosing where to spend your travel dollars. Spend your dollars with travel businesses that are interested in protecting the beautiful destinations we all love to visit", suggests President Patricia Griffin.
Hotels and airlines which have an environmental agenda deserve your patronization. Book your guestrooms and meeting rooms with hotels that are clearly interested in protecting our environment, and let management know that's why you've chosen their hotel. "Green" Hotels Association® member hotels are encouraged to implement water-saving measures, execute energy-saving techniques and reduce solid waste. Rather than putting all these measures into effect "behind the doors", GHA encourages all lodging accommodations to get guests and clients involved. Hotels can offer towel and sheet-changing options, soap and shampoo dispensers, guestroom recycling baskets and reduced food-related waste. Almost all guests realize that we need to help protect our favorite destinations. Those guests are more than willing to participate in a hotel's green program. Choose "green" hotels by calling or faxing "Green" Hotels Association® for a list of members. Or, check out GHA's Internet site-www.greenhotels.com.
"Further ideas for greener individual travel", says Patricia Griffin, "include: during your hotel stay, let management know that it is not necessary to change your towels and sheets every day. When you leave the room, turn off the AC/heat, lights and TV. Carry your own bar soap and shampoo. Leave the little bottles of shampoo if you don't use them. Avoid room service."
Book flights with airlines that recycle the waste created when serving food and beverages to passengers. British Airways, for instance, has a very strong environmental agenda. Southwest Airlines recycles all cabin waste, and was the first to offer electronic ticketing systemwide.
Use the hotel van instead of renting a car. Use public transportation in your destination city.
Before you leave home, you can take the first steps to green up your travel by turning down the thermostat on your hot water heater, adjusting your AC/heat thermostat and stopping your newspaper.
You can help protect the beautiful business and pleasure destinations we all love to visit. You can help protect Mother Earth. You can help protect our environment for future generations. For a free list of "green" ideas for travelers or a free list of member hotels, contact "Green" Hotels Association® by writing to P. O. Box 420212, Houston, TX 77242-0212, faxing 713/789-9786 or calling 713/789-8889.