According to leading hotel industry tracker STR Global, there are over 13.4 million hotel rooms worldwide (as of 2012). Not all hotels are eco friendly or have adapted green practices. There is no doubt that staying in a hotel uses a lot of resources and puts pressure on the environment. Yet business and leisure travelers can take simple steps on an individual level to offset some of this impact.

  1. Just as you won’t at home, you really don’t need to change your linens and towels in your hotel everyday.
  2. Conserve water by not taking long drawn baths or showers, or allowing the faucet to run while brushing.
  3. Take the left over used bar soaps, shampoos and lotions with you. They will be thrown out anyway.
  4. Turn off electrical equipment, AC/Heat, lights, TV and radio before leaving the room.
  5. Carry your own aluminum water bottle and refill at the hotel’s restaurant or water fountain, rather than using plastic water bottles.
  6. Recycle all your trash. If there are no recycle bins in your room, ask the front desk to dispose off appropriately.
  7. If you don’t plan to read the complimentary newspaper, let the reception know not to deliver one in your room.
  8. When using hotel facilities, make sure to turn off exercise equipment, sauna, whirlpool, Jacuzzi or tennis court lights when you’re done.
  9. Ask the concierge about sustainable local restaurants, stores and tour operators in the area.
  10. Choose paper free billing and receive payment receipt by email or text upon checkout.