Contact: Patricia Griffin, 713/789-8889
Help Protect Your Favorite
May 26, 1998, Houston, Texas - "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
"Further ideas for greener individual travel",
says P tricia 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. 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
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
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.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME:
Turn water heater to "Vacation" or lowest
Turn off AC/heat or adjust the thermostat to protect
Turn water off at outside connection (to prevent flooding
should a pipe break while you're gone). When you return, turn on
the water slowly and check for problems.
Appliances, such as TVs and cable converter boxes,
should be unplugged because they can draw or "leak" as
much as 40 watts per hour even when they're off.
Turn icemaker off (lift wire) to prevent flooding
should it break while you're away.
Lower the temperature of waterbed heaters at least
Stop your newspaper. You may be able to donate it
to a school.
Purchase electronic-tickets for airline travel whenever
possible. Less waste. If paper tickets are lost, they may cost $75-100
to have replaced.
Enjoy walking tours. Walk where sensible.
Use public transportation when available.
Use the hotel van instead of renting a car. Use the
bus or local transit system. Share taxis. Less pollution, and you
can leave the driving to others.
If you're driving, turn your motor off when idling.
Encourage tour/bus drivers to turn the motor off when idling.
Don't allow anything to be thrown out of your car
Participate in hotel linen programs, or let the hotel
know that it's not necessary to change your sheets and towels every
To keep track of which towel belongs to whi h family
member, pack a handful of safety pins and small colored beads. Attach
a pin and bead to each towel, using a designated color for each
family member. Remove the pins before checkout.
Reduce the amount of water used for bathing or showering.
When you leave your hotel room, turn off the AC/heat,
lights, TV and radio. Close the drapes.
Participate in hotel recycling programs by placing
recyclables in appropriate bins.
Carry a dry cleaning or grocery bag with you in which
to carry dirty laundry home.
Leave little bottles of amenities in the guestroom
Pack a permanent marker and write each person's name
on the cups in the hotel bathroom. It's also handy for writing names
on water bottles and lots of other things.
Keep bar soap wrappers so you can take used bars soap
Let hotel management know, by speaking directly to
management or writing them a note, that you want them to conserve
and that you want to participate.
Patronize hotels, airlines, tour operators who support
"greening" programs. (contact "Green" Hotels
Association® at 713/789-8889 or go to their web site for a current
listing of hotel members (www.greenhotels.com/members.php).
Instead of leaving bathroom lights (and fans) on all
night, it's wise to pack night lights for hotel stays.
If the hotel provides complimentary newspapers, pass
yours on to someone else, or leave it in the lobby for another reader.
Ask the hotel to see that it's recycled.
Be sure to turn off exercise equipment, sauna, whirlpool,
Jacuzzi or tennis court lights when you're through.
Check out of the hotel via the hotel's electronic
program available on the TV in some hotels. You can view your bill,
approve it, and help reduce paperwork.
Environmental programs or events may be listed on
"things to do in the area" portion of the in-house TV
Carry bottled water with you. Refill as needed.
Reduce fast food waste whenever possible.
Pack a few plastic bags. They come in handy for saving
half-eaten treats, used hotel bar soaps, keeping salt and pepper
packets dry in the cooler, and many other uses.
Avoid styrofoam. Carry your own cup.
Avoid room service and carryout.
When offered individual packages of condiments, take
only what you'll use.
If you commonly take home leftovers from restaurant
meals, carry a container, a square of aluminum foil or waxpaper
with you. You'll be responsible for putting less styrofoam into
the waste stream.
Take only the brochures or maps necessary. Return
others to the brochure stand.
Don't buy endangered species products such as tortoise
shell, ivory, animal skins or feathers. Don't purchase star fish
or turtle-shell related souvenirs or any creature that may have
been put to death for the sake of a gift shop sale. These animals
may have been killed specifically for tourist trade. Sea shells
are questionable. The U. S. Customs office offers a list of items
which cannot be imported or brought into the country.
Make a pledge to yourself not to maim or kill any
living creature other than enemy or pest insects. Educate yourself
as to which are "beneficials" and which are truly "pests."
Use binoculars and cameras to "hunt" animals.
Take only photographs. Do not take "souvenirs"
from natural areas, historical areas or hotels.
Leave only footprints. Take everything out that you
brought with you. No graffiti, no litter.
Support conservation programs.
Pick up at least one piece of litter every day-especially
at national tourist locations which are vulnerable to huge tourist
Take photos with a regular camera. Disposable cameras
are very wasteful and expensive.
Buy rolls of film with 36 shots rather than 12 or
24. Packaging waste is reduced, and you'll save about 40%*.
Write legibly on your film package. Kodak discards
400,000 rolls of film annually because the return address is illegible.*
Expensive cosmetic bags are unnecessary and often
do not prevent or control spills. Use zippable plastic bags for
cosmetics. Separate bath needs and makeup needs.
Rather than buying small size toothpaste tubes, squeeze
some toothpaste into a clean contact lens case or contact lens cleaning
capsule. These are also handy for carrying salves or pills. Be sure
to mark appropriately.
Give yourself a pat on the back for doing all you
can to help protect the beautiful destinations we all love to visit
and Mother Earth!
* ULS Report, Use Less Stuff, P. O. Box 130116, Ann
Arbor, MI 48113
(c) 2003 "Green" Hotels Association®