This morning I received an email from TravelGuard with tips for traveling green. While I can’t find where it is posted online, here are a few that I liked and have partially expanded on:
Fly non-stop. Not only is it more convenient, but airplanes burn the most fuel at take-off (see, there’s a more altruistic reason to pay a little extra for that direct flight! You’re welcome).
Stay in green accommodations. What a great idea! Though our condos are not specifically labelled ‘green’, we do, where possible, make an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Our condos are all equipped with LED light bulbs. When necessary, appliances and TVs are replaced with energy-star counterparts. We have tinted windows which helps reduce heat inside the condo. And all condos have recycling stations (though the Palms at Wailea station is limited). The recycling depot is just off the Piilani Hwy across from Hope Chapel.
Reduce your laundry by staying in a condo. Instead of providing you with daily housekeeping and linen switching which you would find at a hotel, our condos are equipped with washers and dryers, allowing you to do laundry as necessary (we do provide you with an extra set of linens in the closet). Not washing the linens on a daily basis saves energy and water but also saves our high quality linens and towels the extra wear and tear.
Save energy. We know it can be warm and sometimes a bit humid here on Maui, and so three of our condos are equipped with new energy-efficient A/Cs, and all of the condos with ceiling fans. However, 90% of Maui’s electricity is generated with diesel. Please turn the A/Cs and fans off when leaving the condo and pull the curtains to block the sun’s rays. It’s amazing how quickly the condo does cool off when you turn them back on upon your return.
On the energy note, our Sugar Beach and Kihei Surfside condos both have photo-voltaic panels on the roof, harnessing the sun’s energy and reducing our reliance on diesel. In low season, these PV panels generate up to 80% of the electricity used at Kihei Surfside’s 84 condos (in high season it’s more like 50% – these numbers depend on occupancy, the sun’s position in the sky, and also available roof space – we wish we could get to 100%!). As condo owners we are proud to be doing our part to reduce diesel consumption on Maui.
|in the forefront, Kihei Surfside with its photo-voltaic panels on the roof. What a great place to stay!|
Shop local. Visit local farmers’ markets or eat at restaurants that use local ingredients – you’ll reduce the carbon footprint AND support local farmers. You’d be surprised at the variety of food grown here on Maui! Also, buy souvenirs that have been made locally (rather than elsewhere such as Asia).
Volunteer. What a great way to give back to the community by making a difference in other peoples’ lives. Where can you volunteer on Maui? You can try the Pacific Whale Foundation, the Maui Humane Society, Haleakala National Park. Do you love kids? How about checking with one of the local schools (Kamalii Elementary School, Kihei Elementary School, Lokelani Middle School) if they need a volunteer to help struggling readers (the school would require a background check and TB clearance). Help feed some of Maui’s homeless at Halekaukau (at St Theresa’s Church in Kihei). Let me know if you hear of any good volunteer opportunities and I’ll post them here.
Most of all, enjoy yourself. You have worked hard throughout the year for this vacation!