DO IT LIKE AT HOME: 10 questions for travelers who really love the world
Temperatures are rising, icebergs are melting, new islands made out of plastic are showing up in our oceans. The world is badly ill and in front of these big events we feel like we cannot do anything to handle it. WRONG.
There are a lot of things we could do for it. Really small things with greater impact on our planet.
One of the aim of this blog is promoting the simple ways we could help saving the environment, and, if you still need to be more motivated, they also benefit your wallet.
The actions we could take are countless. Today I’m gonna share some of them inspired from what we normally do at home and usually don’t apply when traveling.
Indeed, most of the things we would pay at home (like electricity or water) are free or included services in hotels: we don’t pay much attention to the waste, and sometimes we even feel encourage to do it. Moreover, traveling means always looking for the fast and the comfortable. It’s easier to buy a bottle of water in the supermarket than carry a reusable one from home.
But I’m here to weigh on your conscience 😛
Do it like at home: 10 eco-friendly tips for travelers as you would do at home
1: How often do you change your towels or bed linen at home?
I guess you’re not washing them everyday, right? Well, next time you enter your hotel room, remind it to yourself. Sometimes you find towels and bedlinen instructions on a sign behind the door, or somewhere in the room. However even when nothing is specified, there’s a common rule worldwide: if you leave your towel on the floor, it needs to be changed, if you leave it on the hanger you can reuse it.
By the same logic, if you know that the rooms are deep cleaned and bed linen changed everyday, just put the “Do not disturb” signal on the door, when cleaning is not necessary, you’ll save water and detergents.
I’m not telling you to dry yourself off through dirty towels or to live in messy rooms, but just use common sense.
2. Do you ever think about your next electricity bill?
What kind of question am I asking? I know it, but I also know that there are people that don’t really care about it. However, if you belong to the majority of people who don’t leave home without turning off the lights, TV and air-conditioning, stop and reflect a little bit. When you leave your hotel room or Airbnb apartment for a walk in the city, leaving the lights on won’t affect the final cost of your accomodation.
But we are talking about our planet and even if you don’t have any cost in the moment, you could pay a bigger price later.
3. And about water bill?
Same way of thinking as electricity above: take showers instead of baths, pause the water flow while putting shampoo or brushing your teeth, don’t spend hours thinking or singing while having a shower.
Water is life.
4. Do you buy items you don’t need?
Let’s make an everyday life scenario. At home you have a decent provision of shampoo, or detergents or soda. Do you buy more every time you go to the shop? Usually, when something has a cost, we think about it twice before “taking” (buying) a product.
Different is when things are for free. Why shouldn’t I take all the courtesy kit from the hotel, even if I’m not using it? Of course they are useful for the next trip, the one with only hand luggage. But if I have a box full of them at home maybe I should reconsider it. Or why shouldn’t I use the headphones provided on my flight, even though I have my personal ones?
It sounds a little bit too much right? But let’s think about it a little bit. The more the demand, the more the offer. If hotels, airlines or whoever, buys more of those items, the more are produced. And even when the producing companies are respecting environmental laws, the product it self will still become waste.
If at home we don’t take things we don’t need, why doing it when free?
5. And do you throw away half-used products?
Let’s go back to your shampoo provisions at home. You are in the shower and you look at the bottle. Half empty. Do you throw it away? I guess you use all the content untill it’s over.
When possible, try to make an effort and do the same when you’re traveling. You go eat some food and on the tray, the waiter put several paper napkins. Than you finish eating and you’re ready and full of energy to explore the city! But before leaving take a look at the table. Is there any clean paper napkin on your tray? If yes, take it with you: you will avoid waiters throwing them away in vain, and most of all, they will turn useful at a certain moment of your trip!
And, just to make another example, I know I told you to avoid takinf freebies when not necessary. But if you used a bit of the shampoo of the courtesy kit, but you leave the hotel without consuming the whole bottle. Take it with you and use it at home. The less you can waste, the better 🙂
6. Do you use plastic cups everyday at home?
I know, some lazy ones out there would shameless say yes (and please, feel at list a little bit guilty). However, usually we use glasses or cercamic cups. Or whichever reusable materials.
But of course, when we go to Starbucks for a coffee to go, we walk around holding a disposable cup in our hands. Why don’t use a reusable one instead? Especially if you are a take-away coffee addict. You can choose the one you prefer, most of them are able to both keep cold and warm drinks, and when you go to the cash to order, you just give them your cup and they will fill it. Sounds weird? A lot of people actually already take part to this revolution.
You can also have a reusable bottle for water. in many places tap water is totally drinkable and also the one from public fountains. And if you really want to be sure, you can buy a bottle with filters, so you can drink from (almost) every source of water in the world.
7. Do you cook more food than you can eat?
There are few things that can make everyone going crazy. One of them is this word: buffet.
You can have buffet in every kind of situation in life, but there’s one that applies the most to travelers: the continental breakfast in the hotels.
Well, feel free to eat how much you want, but just follow this simple rule. Instead of filling your plate once and fully, take smaller amounts of food and visit the buffet more than once.
In this way, you’ll avoid leftovers because you’ll take more food only if you want it. Moreover, you’ll help to keep your figure! If you eat the same amount of food all at once, you’ll have the feeling of eating less if the same food was from divided into two courses 😉
8. Do you throw your garbage on the floor at home?
Pretty easy one: use garbage bins everytime. If you don’t find any, use your pocket or bag if the garbage is clean (like the envelop of a candy), or be sure to have always a trash bag with you, especially if you’re in a place in the nature, far from urban areas. Clean after yourself.
To all the smokers: there’s also a portable ashtray. You can find different kinds on internet.
9. How many clothes do you need to press start on the washing machine?
Do you usually wash just a t-shitrt, or wait to gather more and then wash them all together? If you’re among the ones who care about their electricity and water bill (and the planet of course 😛 ), you probably go for the second alternative.
Well, hotels don’t. If you use the laundry service, for obvious sanitary reasons, they wash all the clients clothes separately. Just bearing this in mind, you can wait and collect more stuff for them to wash, or you can have a small bottle of detergent with you and wash your t-shirts or socks in the sink.
10. Did you know that you can plant trees while sitting on your couch and surfing the net?
Ok, the last one is not really a DO IT LIKE AT HOME tip, but it’s for sure something that you can DO AT HOME TOO.
I’m talking about Ecosia. It is a search engine that plants trees. How it is possible? When we are searching something on the web, we generate ads, that generate income for the hosting service. In this case, Ecosia uses this income to plant trees especially in disadvantaged areas.
If you install the extension on your browser, you will have the search bar with the logo and on the right the count of the trees planted thanks to your searchings. And yes, works as good as google. Just give it a try!
You can find all the information here.
Tell me what do you think about this tips? Are they too extreme? Will you try one and/or do you have more DO IT LIKE AT HOME to share?
[The service above mentioned is really and freely used and tested by the author of the blog who decided to promote it just as a personal advice. Ecosia.org in any way sponsored this article.]
From Puglia (a Southern Italy wonderful region), born in 1991, 1.63 meters…short! Master in International Relations, I care about human rights and our wonderful planet. I love cooking, volleyball, the sea, winning board games. I hate talking about money, being interrupted when speaking, winter, a badly made Margarita, losing board games.