Traveling with the family can be a joyous experience and there is no reason to leave your recycling attitudes at home; you can do your part even when you’re far from the comforts of home.
When you’re staying in a hotel or B&B, let the management of the hotel know that you will be reusing your towels and there is no need to have the bed linens changed daily. With a family, towels can get mixed up and there is an easy way to prevent that; from home, get a couple of safety pins and some beads. Put beads on the safety pins, one design for each family member and when you get to the hotel, simply pin each towel with a beaded safety pin to identify the different ones. Just reusing your towels for a few days will greatly impact the time and money that goes into running the laundry every day.
Be sure to turn off all lights when you are leaving the hotel room and any TVs or radios that may be plugged in and running. It’s easy to be distracted in a space that is not your home and it would be just as easy to forget the ways you conserve energy at home when you’re not there. If you find you leave the room with a light on, leave yourself a note right by the door, reminding yourself to check the lights before you walk out the door. There are some hotels that even do this for you, where they have a magnet that they leave on the door, at eye level, reminding you if you’ve turned off the lights.
Bring your own soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and leave the little bottles to be reused by guests who do not remember to bring their own. Soap travels really well in a plastic sandwich bag with a zip-lock and besides, wouldn’t you want your own choice of soap smells?
Along the same lines as remembering to turn out the lights, remember to turn down the heat/AC that will be running when you’re not in the room. And a further way to keep the room temperatures comfortable is to remember to close the drapes when you’re out of the room, most hotels have heavy drapes that will keep a cool room cool longer if they’re closed.
Instead of leaving the light (and fan) on overnight, bring a little nightlight with you and you will save a lot by not running a room full light (and fan) on while you sleep. Have a permeant marker with you and assign one of the plastic cups to each person in your family when you arrive in the room. There is no reason to have dishwashing services when the plastic cups are sanitary and are perfectly capable of being reused. Avoid room service for the same reason, there is no need to have excess dishes to wash that would normally not be used. When you eat in the restaurant, they’re already doing the dishes there.
Remember that you can still have all the home values you practice at home when you’re on the road with your family. Keep recycling!