A year ago, I wrote about how I was hoping to change some of my wasteful, Earth-harming ways. So I made some resolutions and promised to revisit them a year later. Here I am, a year wiser, but am I a year greener?
I put my teacher skills to use and gave myself some grades. Here’s my Traveling Green Report Card:
Resolution #1: I will tame my love affair with plastic bags. Grade: B+
I admit that I use too many Ziplock bags when I’m packing for a trip. It’s just that they are so good for organizing all the kid stuff I need to bring along. I bag my kid’s snack, and his toys, and his clothes, and…just about everything. There has to be a better way.
Well it turns out there is a better way. I bought packing cubes, bags, and pouches in many shapes, colors, and sizes. It was a bit more expensive than a box of Ziplock bags initially, but it is a good investment. Besides, these nifty packing cubes make it super easy to keep all of our clothes organized and I can cram more into our suitcases. More cramming, means less laundry. Love.
Resolution #2: I will bring along my own refillable water bottles. Grade: C
I also hate to admit I take along, or buy, cases of plastic water bottles when I’m on a trip. It’s hard to get away from the plastic bottles at most hotel rooms, but easy to refill my reusable bottles at restaurants when we’re out sightseeing.
I’m great with refillable bottles at home and work, but still not great while traveling. We have gotten better at using refillable bottles on road trips, but not while were out sightseeing. It’s just one more thing to schlep along, and I hate to shlep any more than I have to. I’ll keep working on ways to use less plastic for my hydrating needs.
Resolution #3: I will spend my travel dollars at places that have good environmental practices. Grade: C
In all my days of travel, I have only stayed at one “green” hotel. It was The Ambrose Hotel, in Santa Monica. I loved that I could recycle in my room, that they had a water-saving shower, and that they served all local, organic food. I stayed there, because of their sustainable practices. That, and the reviewers keep raving about their chocolate croissants at breakfast.
So I’ve only stayed in a couple of “green” hotels this year. Mostly, because there aren’t always many to choose from. When you’re traveling with kids you have to consider many things when choosing accommodations, and sometimes choosing a hotel with a kitchen, trumps choosing one that is LEED-certified. Traveling with a kid, doesn’t mean I need a bunch of goodie bags with junk that will eventually just end up in a landfill. I would like to recycle in my room, have local organic meals to choose from, and still enjoy the luxury of a suite room. Hey there hotel industry, are you listening?
I would have liked a better report card this year. But some progress is better than none. I will keep working on some of these resolutions, while making some new ones for this year. However I manage to improve my green travel practices, I’ll come back to share my progress.