Going Green Best Practices

Before You Leave Home

1. Turn water heater to "vacation" or lowest setting.

2. Turn off AC/heat or adjust the thermostat to protect plants, etc.

3. Turn water off at outside connection. When you return, turn water on slowly and check for potential problems. 

4. Unplug appliances (TV, cable converter boxes). They can draw or "leak" as much as 40 watts per hour even when they are turned off.

5. Turn off ice-maker (lift wire) to prevent flooding should it break while you are away.

6. Stop newspaper delivery.

While Traveling

1. Purchase electronic-tickets for airline travel whenever possible. 

2. Enjoy walking tours. Walk where sensible.

3. Use public transportation, when available.

4. Use local transit systems and share taxis. 

5. Turn motors off when idling.

6. Do not throw any debris or trash out of windows.

During Hotel Stay

1. Participate in hotel linen reuse programs or let the hotel know it is not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.

2. Pack safety pins and small colored beads. Attach a pin and bead to each towel and designate a color for each family member.

3. Shorten shower or bath times to reduce water consumption.

4. Turn off AC/heat, lights, TV and radio when leaving the hotel room. Close drapes.

5. Participate in hotel recycling programs by placing recyclables in appropriate bins.

6. Keep bar soap wrappers and take home used bar of soap.

7. Pack a night light and use instead of leaving the bathroom light on all night.

8. Leave your newspaper in the lobby for another guest to read.

9. Turn off exercise equipment when finished.

10. Review in-hotel television programming for hotel green activity.

Food and Restaurants

1. Carry a bottle of water with you and refill as needed.

2. Reduce fast food waste, whenever possible.

3. Bring along a few plastic bags. They are great for packing half-eaten treats, used hotel soap bars, keeping salt and pepper packets dry and many other uses.

4. Avoid styrofoam. Carry your own cup.

5. Take only the amount of individual packages of condiments that you will use.

6. If you anticipate bringing home left-overs, take along a piece of foil or a container. This will result in less styrofoam entering the waste stream.

Eco-Tourism

1. Take only the brochures or maps necessary and return unwanted materials to the brochure stand.

2. Do not buy endangered species products.

3. Take only photographs. Do not take "souvenirs" from natural areas, historical areas or hotels.

4. Leave only your footprints. Take everything that you brought with you. 

5. Support conservation programs.

6. Pick-up at least one piece of litter every day especially at national tourist locations which are vulnerable to large numbers of visitors.

Other

1. Take photos with a digital camera. 

2. Buy rolls of film with 36 exposures. This reduces package waste and saves money. 

3. Use zippable plastic bags for cosmetics and toiletries and reuse on your next trip.

4. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing all that you can to help protect the beautiful destinations we all love to visit and Mother Earth!