Simple, green tips for your next trip

I've been up all night packing for my trip to Las Vegas to attend BlogWorld Expo with my friend, Amber Karnes! I'm really looking forward to some professional development and hope to come back loaded with ideas to make this blog even better.

Naturally, I got to thinking about taking my rules of simple and green living with me on the road. How can I make even a trip to Las Vegas a little less sinful? Well, I came up with a few ideas. Here are some simple, kind and green travel tips to consider for your next trip.

  • Keep up the conservation. Just because you're staying in a hotel doesn't make it a free for all. Continue to live like you do at home, shutting of lights when you leave the room and keeping the thermostat at a reasonable level. Keep your showers short and opt to reuse your towels each day, rather than have them washed. 
  • Refuse or reuse the tiny toiletries. Those little bottles of shampoo and lotion can be quite cute and tempting. But unless they are products you just love, opt to use your own products and avoid the unnecessary plastic bottles. If they are products you really like, use them and then take the bottles home to refill and reuse.
  • Ditch the cab. If you're traveling to a city, chances are you can walk just about anywhere. When I was in New York earlier this year, I figured out I walked about 7 miles per day. Not only is this saving fuel and reducing your carbon footprint, it keeps you from gaining weight while vacationing! It's also a money saver, and you get the added benefit of more people watching and sight-seeing.
  • Take home recyclables. If your hotel is not forward thinking enough to provide recycle bins, bring your paper and plastic recyclables home to be disposed of responsibly. Be sure to leave a comment card at the hotel to encourage them to adopt a recycling program.
  • Don't go crazy with tacky souvenirs. Do you really need that keychain, coffee mug, fanny pack, snowglobe or frame to prove you were there? You're just wasting money on cheap products that will never last. Resist buying anything you are just going to throw out later. If you want to buy a gift, consider products that support the local economy. My friend recently went to Maine and brought me back some local, organic maple syrup. That's the kind of thing that will actually be used and enjoyed.
  • Reduce takeout waste. It's hard to avoid takeout at some point during your trip, whether it's a quick meal at the airport or a coffee in the morning. Remember, when you reach for paper napkins, disposable utensils and condiment packets to only take what you need. It's so easy to take a wad of napkins and straws, but consider all the deforestation that takes place for that simple convenience we take for granted.
  • Be kind to everyone you meet. I'm definitely NOT saying you should talk the passenger beside you on the plane to death. Oh no, for some of us introverts, that's the worst. But when you're traveling, you run across all kinds of strangers. Take the opportunity to just smile and be courteous and helpful to everyone you meet.

Got anymore travel tips? If so, leave them in the comments. I'd appreciate some ideas and inspiration for my trip tomorrow.