You don’t have to trot the globe to be an eco-friendly traveler. While green travel usually is associated with visits to tropical retreats in places like Costa Rica or Belize, it’s possible to be a responsible guest much closer to home. 

When you’re booking your room, ask about the hotel’s general environmental practices. Do they do the basics like recycling and using energy efficient lighting? Try to stay with hotels that are making a real effort to stay green and you’re on your way to being a more eco-friendly traveler.

Here are 10 other ways that you can stay green on the road:

1. Re-use sheets and towels – A typical U.S. hotel uses 218 gallons of water per day per occupied room, and fresh linens account for a significant share. Many hotels now allow guests to simply place a card on the bed indicating they would like to use the same linens throughout their stay.

2. Keep showers short, and don’t run the water while you brush your teeth –
Good advice at home, and even better on the road.

3. Turn everything off – That includes the air conditioning, heat, lights, television and radio. Closing the drapes offers natural insulation against the weather.

4. Pack a small nightlight – That way, you won’t have to leave bathroom lights on overnight.

5. Bring your own toiletries – This leaves the prepackaged hotel toiletries unopened and helps to minimize waste.

6. Recycle the newspaper – Leave it at the front desk or hotel restaurant, or put it in a designated recycling bin.

7. Walk and/or use public transport at your destination – The hotel front desk staff can help with maps and info on nearby transit.

8. Dine in – Patronize eat-in and hotel dining rooms to decrease the number of disposable items associated with take-out meals and eating on the road.

9. Donate those hotel points to a green cause – For example, Radisson Hotels & Resorts offers members of its goldpoints plusSM program the option to minimize the impact of CO2 emissions by redeeming points with community-based CarbonNeutral projects.

10. Check out electronically – Many hotels offer this option on the room’s television. You can view your bill, approve it and reduce paperwork.

With more than 965 locations in 70 countries, including Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Hotels Worldwide is a leading authority in leisure and business travel.

Courtesy of Family Features