Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vacation: can it be eco-friendly?

Last week, my husband and I finally went on a vacation without kids after 8 years since our last one.  We went to the Bahamas and had a very relaxing time.  However, being the obsessed, eco-conscious person that I am, I couldn't help but notice a few things that could use some improving.

The Sandals resort we went to was on an island that wasn't very populated (about 3500 people) and tourism is the main economy these people rely on.  So I understand that some things aren't easy to incorporate in the way they conduct business, but there are simple things they could do to make things a little more eco-friendly.

As most hotels do, this resort had a card from housekeeping that said if you want to reuse your towel to just hang it up and it won't be washed.  I hung it up but it was still taken to be washed.  Strike 1.
There was no recycling on the facility, anywhere.  Strike 2.
Fortunately, there was no Strike 3 so I will just kindly suggest that some of these things be changed for our next trip out there.

They used little golf carts to get around everywhere.
They didn't keep their lights on all night in places that weren't in use.
Their water sports weren't gas-powered.  Only kayaks, sailboats, and beach bikes.
The AC wouldn't come on unless the patio door was completely shut, which prevented wasting energy.  I LOVED this.
The seafood was local, fresh, and delicious.

The highlight of my trip, environmentally speaking anyway, was on our flight back home.  The flight attendants were actually collecting the trash and recycling separately.  I thanked them probably too enthusiastically, to my husband's embarrassment, but I was beaming all the way home.  So to American Airlines, I say THANK YOU!!

The Sandals website says that they recycle and have a green initiative, but I didn't see it in practice. I hope to say that on my next vacation there will be some changes made in their recycling and towel reuse program, or maybe I'll just have to get a job there and make the changes myself.  Wouldn't that be nice? :)

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