Thank you to Sam Marquit for guest blogging this week. The article is a bit of a departure from what it usually post, but the writer cover two topics I’m very interested in: travel and a better world through eco-friendly solutions. You can thank Sam Marquit for the article. He is an Entrepreneur, home improvement specialist/enthusiast and part-time blogger living in East Hampton, New York. Follow Sam on Twitter @FMarquitV.
In today’s world, there are many ways to live green. You can recycle, change your light bulbs, and choose solar energy and tons of green, organic materials for your home. As a commercial contractor, I’ve worked on buildings that chose self-sustaining facilities. Whether it’s water reuse, waste recycling or solar energy, there are a lot of ways in which businesses benefit from green materials and building.
The travel industry has become a big supporter with many hotels offering eco-friendly places to stay. These are just a few of the initiatives and examples of businesses making the change to green practices.
In Asia, businesses and organizations are working to spread a culture of conservation with the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. These awards span a variety of categories that cover everything from community engagement to cultural preservation to resource efficiency. Responsible tourism affects businesses and communities. It is important to note that the awards cover all types of categories and the awards are as much about social welfare as they are about environmental protection.
There are a number of hotels doing something more productive with their eco-friendly mission and practices. Some hotels are choosing to incorporate organic food, self-sustainable facilities and even bees! The Ritz-Carlton in North Carolina created a rooftop garden in addition to many other eco-friendly practices, such as installing low-flowing toilets and shower heads. The rooftop garden is home to two beehives and over 60,000 bees, which help to pollinate the area. It also provides fresh honey to the hotel’s kitchen. It’s inspirational to see how much a company and business can do to support green and environmental protection issues.
Las Vegas is known as one of the largest playground cities in the world. With a lot of gambling, bright lights and entertainment in the heart of the desert, it’s hard to believe that this city actually has some incredible eco-friendly hotels. While the Ritz-Carlton is a great eco-friendly hotel, there is one that seems to stand out: the Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel and Resort is that one such hotel and was recently named “The Most Eco-Friendly in America.” This hotel incorporates a variety of policies and practices for a greener environment. The Palazzo has a self-sustaining facility with water recycling, waste reuse and solar energy for heating.
There are a lot of other initiatives and organizations working hard to keep the Earth a greener place. This includes Eco-Innovative Europe, Go Green Initiative, The Marriott and ink48 Hotel’s “Earthcare” program in one of the world’s most populated cities, New York City. These are all just a few of the businesses that are changing the future of our planet.
I’m so inspired as a contractor to be working in this field at this time. I can only hope that more businesses and organizations catch on. It is important for the environment and future generations.
If you’re traveling this holiday season and hopping from house to house, city to city, packing and unpacking can be a concern.
Here’s a simple way to keep your clothing organized within your suitcase: travel packing cubes.
Simply pack the cubes with pants, shirts, and socks/undies in another.
Zip the cubes and load them into your suitcase.
When you reach each destination, you can easily remove the cubes, unzip each—without having to rifle through the entire case—then take out what you need.
The cubes come in a variety of fun colors.
They also make a great gift for the traveler in your life!
You spend lots of money on a good bra, then pack up for a getaway or business trip only to find that your bras have been crushed in transit. Well, not anymore! Last week, I received a sample of a CupCase, a durable, protective travel and storage case that will keep your bras from being crushed and creased. The best part is, the case is ADORABLE and not only can you pack you bras, but you can also include your jewelry, panties and hair ties or headbands. What a fantastic gift item for a bride to her bridesmaids with special underwear set for the big day. And a bride could use the CupCase to pack special items for her honeymoon. The purse-like case is durable, fun and functional. The price is just $19.95. Click here to check out CupCase.Read More
One of the reasons I love to travel is the opportunity to meet people who I would never run into otherwise. Recently, I completed a 10-city media tour that had me bouncing in and out of different airports and time zones. I always find travel exhilarating, but there are those times when exhaustion and a bit of loneliness creep in. During this tour, I met several interesting and memorable people who helped me remember why I make the effort.
One evening, after a long day of travel, I decided to be among people and dined at the hotel bar instead of ordering room service and watching tv. As I sat enjoying some sliders, I couldn’t help but overhear and listen to three guys who were sitting within ear shot. They were part of a large group that had attended a networking event in the hotel earlier and they were attempting to impress a young woman with their wit, all the while talking about bands and life way before her time. She seemed most concerned with her wine, so I guess they served a purpose for one another–and me because I was thoroughly entertained.
On one flight, I was fidgety and hung out at the back of the plane listening to the flight attendants reminisce about the good ‘ol days when flying wasn’t equivalent to mass transit–more like what we’ll see in the upcoming drama series Pan Am. I was fortunate to have flown on British Airways many years ago when my grandparents returned to England after living in the states for more than 30 years. Everyone received a blanket, pillow and a hot meal during the flight–even those in “economy” class. Headsets were free and flight attendants somehow managed to maintain a pleasant demeanor during a long overseas flight.
During a layover in Dallas, as I searched for an outlet to recharge my cell phone, I wound up sharing a wall socket with an Army soldier who was headed home on a 2-week leave after being in Afghanistan for six months. We chatted briefly, enough time for me to find out that after his 2-week leave, he was headed back for another six months then he’s done with that tour. Once the flight landed in Sacramento, it was heartwarming to witness the reunion with his wife and four small children.
On one leg, I sat next to Larue, a retired teacher from Waco, Texas who was headed to the west coast to visit her brother. Larue said he had been sick so she needed to see him. Larue is 79 and it from what she said, she’s obviously in a reflective stage of her life. She was anxious about the flight, in total amazement about all that has happened in her lifetime including how all these people managed to get on a plane and go up in the air. At one point, the conversation turned to the movie The Help, which I watched recently (an instant classic, for sure!). She shared with me that making memories was the most important thing when it comes to family and how when she was a child, her parents would get permission to use part of a white person’s field so the family could have a picnic and make a memory. Larue also attempted to spread the word of Jesus and convert me, on the spot, but that’s another story entirely. As we landed, she instructed me to write down her contact information. I think I’ll send her a postcard!
Then there was Signa, a mom and a grandma, originally from new York, but living in Salt Lake City for the past 30 years. I was completely surprised when she revealed she was around 70! And even more surprised when I discovered her daughter lives less than a mile from me, two time zones from her mother. That evening when I arrived at my hotel, I already received an email from her daughter who I expect I’ll meet very soon.
It truly is a small world in many ways. We are somehow connected and you never know who you’ll meet if you’re open to it.Read More
Airline travel ain’t what it used to be! First, there’s basically no more “free” food, unless you want to consider a tiny bag of peanuts a sufficient snack. And now that most airlines are charging for checked bags, lightening your load is a good idea. There is a way to get around these little annoyances, however, and it starts with something my mom has always told me:
Once you’ve ‘finished’ packing, bring half of what’s in your suitcase and take twice as much money!
Of course, in the winter months, packing lighter is almost impossible because you tend to have bulkier items, but here are few tips that can help you pack lighter and not have to check a bag:
One thing I can say, is that the regulations of having to put all liquids in 3 oz. or less bottles has been a blessing in disguise for people who would pack 8 oz. or larger containers of lotions and shampoos, which for four to five days, is completely unnecessary. And, if you’re not all that particular about what type of shampoo you use and you’re staying at a hotel, don’t bother packing it at all because it’ll be there waiting for you!
We all love the comforts of home, but to minimize back pain from carrying too much stuff and paying for each suitcase checked (and having to wait for it at baggage claim and the possibility of it getting “lost”), try lightening your load and living without ALL the creature comforts. Change is good and travelling can give you a new perspective on what you really need…and what you can do without.
Happy trails!Read More