We know being sustainable and “going green” is on many people’s minds these days, but sometimes it can be hard to act on your desire to help our Mother Earth. Need some fresh ideas to get you started? Look no further.
Sustainability on Vacation
While on vacation there are ways to engage in earth friendly practices.
1. Consider choosing a vacation spot that engages in sustainable practices. Just by choosing a resort or hotel that is “green” you are making an impact. At Madden’s sustainability is a big priority. Our friends in Naples, FL also practice what they call “Good Earthkeeping”
2. Keep up your habits of recycling while vacationing. At Madden’s we provide friendly reminders to recycle as well as many recycling receptacles around the resort.
3. Consider walking or biking rather than driving. A brisk walk or bike ride isn’t just good for the environment, its good for YOU! Madden’s offers bicycle rentals for moving around the resort and for using local trails. Stop by the front desk or the Tennis and Croquet Club for trail maps.
4. Flip the switch. While on vacation we sometimes forget about the lights or air conditioning because we’re distracted with some many fun things to do. Just flipping the switch before leaving the room can make a big difference. Plus by shutting off the air at night and cracking open the windows, you can often take in the local sights and sounds–our favorite at Madden’s are the loon calls at night.
5. Reuse your towels and sheets. Consider using your towels and sheets for more than one day. If you choose to reuse your towels let your housekeeper know by hanging them rather than leaving them on the floor. For sheets, look for a note card or sign in your guest room to place on the bed.
6. Take home your in room amenities. You can reduce waste by taking home opened bottles of shampoo, lotion, etc. Use them at home to feel like you’re still on vacation. Then recycle the bottles when you’re finished with them for a doubled helping of sustainability.
Sustainability at Home
1. Saving fuel helps both the environment and your pocket book. Here are some tips to improving your fuel mileage:
- Avoid “jack rabbit”starts and aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal not only wastes gas, it leads to drastically higher pollution rates. One second of high-powered driving can produce nearly the same volume of carbon monoxide emissions as a half hour of normal driving.
- Think ahead. Try to anticipate stops and let your vehicle coast down as much as possible. Avoid the increased pollution, wasted gas, and wear on your vehicle created by accelerating hard and braking hard.
- Follow the speed limit! Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel economy by about 10 percent, and can dramatically increase tail pipe pollution in man vehicles.
- Plan your trips to avoid rush hour. Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants.
- Combine trips. Warmed-up engines and catalysts generate much less air pollution, so combining several short trips into one can make a big difference.
- Take a load off. Carrying around an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent. Take a few moments to unload your cargo area.
- If your vehicle has it, use overdrive gear at cruising speeds. When driving a manual transmission, shift up as soon as possible. Running in a higher gear decreases your rpms and will decrease fuel use and engine wear.
- Try using the vents and opening windows to cool off before you turn on the air conditioner. Air conditioner use increases fuel consumption, increases noxious emissions in some vehicles, and involves environmentally damaging fluids. Note: At higher speeds, using the air conditioner can actually increase mileage compared to leaving windows open. So in town open windows and on the freeway go with the AC.
- Carpool. Riding with others both keeps you in good company and saves multiple cars from being on the road.
2. Reuse plastic grocery bags. If you haven’t yet converted to canvas or other types of reusable grocery bags, try using unique ways to reuse your plastic ones. Here are a few ideas to get you started
- Small garbage bags
- Doggie Do Bags
- Homemade bubble wrap for packing or storing
- Travel bag for wet swimsuits and towels
- Cover smaller stored items in the garage or attic to protect them from dust
- Wrap around paint brushes to keep the brush from drying out while you take a break
- Ball up bags and put them inside purses to help them keep their shape when not in use
- Line litter boxes with them
- Did your favorite antique vase break? Line the bottom with a plastic bag to keep it from leaking so you can keep using it
For more super fun and creative ways to reuse plastic bags, visit http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2007/08/plastic_bag_crafts.html
**What do you do to help out Mother Earth? We’d love to hear your tips! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org**
Your green friends, Madden’s Green Team