Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diary of an American Shopper day 239 - or An Opening Blog for Go Green Vacation

Diary of an American Shopper day 239

Since I recently went on vacation, I thought it was the perfect time to put the What You Can Do motto into effect. I don't know about you, but when I go on vacation, my good habits seem to go right out the window. So what did that mean about all of my "Made in America" and "Buying Green" efforts? To be honest, I thought they would get the best of me.

HOWEVER - all of the hotels that we stayed at had little cards that invited us to hold off on washing our sheets or towels everyday. It's a tip that we discuss in one of our videos that is very easy to do. At home, I don't wash my sheets or towels everyday, so why should I do it on vacation? Think about this - according to Rachel Buchholz, managing editor of National Geographic Kids Magazine, "Doing one less load of laundry a week saves as much as 2,000 gallons of water a year, so think how much water a hotel would save by doing less laundry." Not to mention all the detergents! All I had to do was hang up my towels to dry (like I do at home), and they knew not to change them. Simple steps!

On vacation we drink a lot of water, and I mean a lot. Then again in my day to day life I drink a lot, so I guess it's not surprising. However, on vacation, we usually have to keep buying water because the airlines don't let us on the plane with a bottle and.....well...that's another blog. HOWEVER, our first stop on our vacation was Zion National Park in Utah. And we were pleasantly surprised by efforts that Zion has made to help our environment. They don't allow cars into the park, but rather run shuttle buses for the visitors. These eco-friendly buses run regularly so we never had to wait more than 5 minutes and they took us everywhere we wanted to go. The buses limit the ware and tear on the roads as well as lowers the pollution in the air. Imagine if all our National Parks had these restrictions. When I visited Yosemite, I was blown away by the way that people would park their cars anywhere because the lots were full. This meant they were parking on plants and tree roots. You can only imagine what that does to erosion. In addition to the buses, Zion doesn't sell bottled water in the park. Instead they sell large plastic bottles that you can fill up at any of the fountains throughout the park. It really was inspiring. What if more parks did this? How much plastic could we save?

And my "Made in America" motto was alive and well. I bought souvenirs from local artisans, a Navajo blanket and some beautiful pottery made in Colorado and Montana.

I mark day 239 a pleasant success!

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