Archives for February 2008

Environmentally Friendly Hotels

Recently I was stuck in Boston for three days in a snow storm and I stayed in a hotel that won numerous awards for its “green policy”. It’s great to see that environmentally conscious hotels and resorts are popping up across the globe. Some of them go all out like the ones included in the Forbes Traveler article 10 Best Luxury Eco-resorts but for the rest of us, here are some other good things to look out for.

An environmentally sound hotel may include:

  • The ever-polite request to hang your used towels on the towel rack if you intend to use them more than once. Plus, the request to use your bed linens for more than one night. This saves the amount of water the hotel needs to use to change the linens in every guest room, every day.
  • Shampoo and moisturizer dispensers in the rooms save the environment from the thousands of little plastic bottles that they used to be packaged in.
  • Individual recycle bins in guest rooms for bottles and plastics
  • Room lights that are activated by the room key so that they are shut-off when the room is unoccupied

Hotels are also more eco-friendly if they purchase products and foods locally and take into account the surrounding environment in their architecture and style. Check out these websites to see some hotel chains that are making a difference:

Drive on the right (or left) side of the road

Most travelers have experienced driving on the opposite side of the road – on purpose that is. At first it seems quite simple, you head out of the car lot and just start driving, that is until you have parked for a while and then hop back into the car and instinct takes over.

I was recently in Ireland and the rental car was equipped with ten different stickers posted in strategic places reminding me which side to drive on. If your car isn’t overloaded with such sticker reminders, here are few tips for keeping you on the right (or left) side of the road.

Find out beforehand! About a quarter of the world drives on the left, most at some point in history were British colonies, with the exception of Japan and a few others. Knowing which side of the road you’ll be driving on ahead of time will prepare you for the trip. Check out this handy chart: Table of Countries Showing Drive Direction

The Centre Line: Unless you are in an imported specialty car, the driver always sits on the side of the car that is nearest to the centre line. So if you look out your driver’s window and notice the sidewalk, you’re driving on the wrong side.

See some additional International Driving Tips from Durant Imboden’s Europe for Visitors