How to be a Responsible Guest

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Staying at a nice eco-lodge or hotel? If so, you're probably already doing your part to minimize your environmental impacts. But as a guest, there are other small considerations you can take that can have a positive impact. Rhiannon Batten, author of “Higher Ground: How to Travel Responsibly Without Roughing It” offers these tips on how to be a responsible guest:

  • Choose a locally owned hotel where possible.

  • Be a generous tipper.

  • Don’t eat all your meals – or do all your shopping – at the hotel. Spread your money around instead.

  • Conserve energy by switching off the TV, lights and any other electrical appliances when you leave your hotel room and by avoiding the use of air conditioning and heating where possible.

  • If you do use air-con or heating, don’t crank them up too high. Keep windows and doors closed and remember to turn them off when you leave the room.

  • Conserve water by keeping showers short, avoid baths and don’t do unnecessary laundry, especially in arid locations.

  • Avoid unnecessary waste by refilling water bottles and avoiding plastic bags when you shop.

  • Use recycling facilities if they are provided.

  • Ask your hotel if they have a responsible tourism policy. Is it committed to reducing waste and water use? Does it try to minimize damage to wildlife? Does it employ local staff and pay them a fair wage? Does it try to source local produce? Does it provide refillable soaps and use low-energy lighting? Does it use green cleaning products?