On our trip down south, my husband and I stayed in 2 completely different types of establishments. The first was a bed and breakfast. We arrived late so I did not begin to notice some of their environmentally friendly efforts until the next morning. The first thing was the card in the bathroom reminding me just how much energy and water it takes to wash the towels daily and did I want to opt for a more planet friendly approach. Now that is pretty standard today in hotels and inns so that was not what impressed me but it started me looking for other things that they were doing. First, although it was a Victorian home converted to a B&B, they were using compact fluorescents. Kudos to them. Then I noticed there were no Styrofoam cups or plates. China only. Again kudos to them. There was coffee offered all day long but it was kept hot in thermos containers. There was bottled water for the guests to take with them but they recycled all the bottles that were used on premise. Now these were only the things I noticed on first glance so then I began a conversation with the manager about any other things that they were doing. In our conversation, I planted some seeds of my own, asking about rain barrels for use in irrigation and composting. Something may come of it or maybe not. I probably will never know. But the conversation itself was fun and interesting and hopefully fruitful.
Then we went further south to a newly refurbished resort on the water. Again, the notice about the towels (seems pretty standard today). But in the shower were refillable containers for the shampoo, conditioner and bath gel. Pretty cool. Recycle bins in the room right next to the garbage cans. And not a sign of Styrofoam anywhere. I was not in a position to talk to the management there but I did take notice and told the concierge how impressed I was.
So here is what I am asking you to do. First of all whenever you are in a retail establishment, take a moment to look around you to see if they are doing anything at all that is green. If it’s a small place, start a conversation with the owner/manager. You might learn something that you can take home with you but the second part is “write a review”. I will be writing a review for trip advisor and one of the items I am going to stress is how green this B&B and this resort are. Hopefully when others read it, and they are like minded, then perhaps they will choose to stay there too. For a restaurant perhaps include a review in yelp of how green they are. Let’s reward others for their efforts and make green a part of our daily conversation.
Linda Milberg is a 60 something wife, mother and grandmother of 2 beautiful boys and a proud member of the Temple Sholom eco chavura.