Reducing Your Impact

Reducing my Impact –
15 ways to feel great while traveling (and they aren’t all what you think!)

Usually I’m inclined to write about self-reflection and increasing your impact on others. Today, I’m inspired to write about reducing your impact…on the environment. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and a bit repulsed by the amount of garbage that is created when traveling. This observation has been amplified by my husband’s dedication and passion to finding ways to befriend, instead of exploit, our planet. Seriously, I don’t even throw a receipt in the garbage…because I know he will pluck it out. It’s recyclable! ☺

On planes, in hotels, at airports, and in training rooms, I have noticed simple ways that I can reduce my impact and I’m excited to share them with you. Please forward this to anyone you know who travels!

  1. Normally pack some snacks? Me too! Use a reusable fabric bag. (You can throw it in the laundry!)
  2. Need to put your carry on liquids in a bag? Use a reusable bag that is stronger than a Ziploc. I love mine and can throw it back and forth and it never rips!
  3. Going to get coffee when you arrive at the airport? Bring a re-usable mug.
  4. Going to need some water at the airport, on the plane, in your meeting? Bring a re-usable water bottle.
  5. But wait, do you sometimes want an orange juice, or a Bloody Mary on the plane? Bring a reusable, collapsible cup! (I have a stainless steel one.)
  6. Going to need a meal at the airport on the go? Bring a reusable bag to put the food in so you don’t have to use their plastic bag.
  7. Oh, and are you going to need utensils for that meal? Bring your own! Bamboo utensils are great to eat from. Bonus, it feels exotic.
  8. Washing your hands a lot? USE THAT hand dryer! Slow down, enjoy the comfort, it’s a mini spa for your hands!
  9. Do you like to drink tea at night or coffee in the morning in your hotel room? We know that many hotels give you paper or Styrofoam cups. At check-in, ask for a ceramic mug from the restaurant. It feels great to drink that morning coffee or evening tea from a real mug. (And if you forgot your water bottle, ask for a glass drinking glass so you don’t have to use those icky plastic ones.)
  10. Want some creamer but don’t need all the extras in the plastic package? Ask for little creamers from the restaurant (still garbage, I know), but at least I’m not wasting a bunch of things I’m not using and I got some better cream. I haven’t quite got brave enough to ask for a glass of half-and-half to put in the room fridge if there is one…but maybe next week.
  11. Stay at B&Bs instead of hotels if you can. They can be cheaper than hotels and create a lot less garbage! (Plus, it’s more fun.)
  12. Still using paper ticket? Ok, it took me a while to trust the flight ticket on the phone, versus paper…but it is one small way to reduce waste! Please sign up, if you haven’t yet.
  13. Feel you deserve those little toiletries in the bathroom you don’t use? I’m still guilty of this one, but what about just leaving those small shampoos, body lotion and conditioners if you aren’t using them?
  14. Do you need that napkin that you get with each item from the flight attendant? Just decline it. If you do take, save the napkins you don’t use and use them later. Please use it before you trash it!
  15. Want to save some water? Choose the “green” option at your hotel and reuse your towels. Save the water and you might get reward points!

Just think if 1% of frequent flyers did this???

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Ghandi

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