Green December Day 31 - Following Through

I’ve stopped… Not following through on my commitment to live a greener lifestyle even on vacation.

Living a more eco-conscious lifestyle can be easily something you carry on wherever you go, whenever you go. I recently ended 2018 on a trip to Mexico at the Catalonia Resort and managed to stick to my commitments. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re staying on top of this initiative on vacation:

  • Use as many paperless options as possible, especially at the airport. Luckily nowadays, airports will give you the option to use an E-boarding pass and a lot of the checking in and border documentation is done electronically now, but some place still require you to opt into these.

  • Bring your own beach tumbler or insulated mug to not only keep your drinks colder, but to reduce the amount of plastic being used and disposed of. It just so happened that the resort I was staying at had a fairly strong set of environmental initiatives set out and one of those initiatives included reusable plastic cups for drinks.

  • Bring your reef safe sunscreen as per Day 14’s Green December Tip, this is the time to make sure you use sunscreen that won’t harm the precious coral and ocean life. One thing that I wanted to note was that the spf 30 Australian Gold sunscreen that I had previously promoted did not withstand the Mexican sun and we did get sunburnt despite using this suncreen. In the past, I used the spf 50 version and it worked great, however, it was very thick and left a white cast on everything so if anyone else has a better recommendation for a reef safe sunscreen brand, please leave a comment!

  • Don’t leave your towels to be washed every day. Realistically, you don’t need to wash your towels everyday so decide how long you’re willing to go and even just letting it go for one extra day will help reduce the water and chemical use put into daily hotel or resort laundry. Most hotels or resorts will get the idea if your towels are hung up.

One thing that I realized while on vacation was that committing to an eco-conscious lifestyle takes total intention. The way our societies have shifted into a largely convenience based lifestyle makes it harder to live greener but all it takes is a little bit of intention and effort. For example, I had to make sure that my phone was charged and able to last all the way through the airport in order to use my E-boarding pass and I made sure to have my charger with me just incase, I had to run back to the room multiple times to grab my special reef safe sunscreen instead of borrowing someone else’s regular one or to grab my reusable tumbler.

If everyone spent an extra few seconds on a task to assess whether or not it is worth adding an extra item into landfill or polluting the habitats that sustain so much wildlife, we would certainly have a cleaner planet but it takes a collective effort from each person to make notable changes.

Carmen Szeto