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Mexico Guru

Ecological Travel

Itís pretty easy to recycle and think green when youíre at home and in your own routine; itís a bit more challenging when youíre on the road and preoccupied with other things. Here are a few things you can easily do to remain ecologically correct while traveling.

Take public transportation whenever possible. Mexico has excellent buses between major destinations and minor ones, too. Once in your destination you can easily use public transportation or rent a bike. (See our Buses in Mexico article for more information.)

If you must drive, there are several ways to improve your carís performance and use less gas. Before taking a road trip, fill your tires to recommended PSI levels. This reduces friction: youíll get better gas mileage.

Change your carís air filter. A dirty air filter restricts air flow into the engineís combustion chamber, which translates to reduced performance.

Feather the gas---no jackrabbit starts. Decelerate and coast in anticipation of stopping rather than driving fast and then slamming on the brakes.

Keep plastic bags from grocery or convenience stores to use for trash, dirty laundry, or other purposes. Use a large canvas, plastic, or other reusable bag for grocery shopping.

Bring a gallon- or five-liter jug of water with you in the car instead of purchasing lots of small plastic bottles. You can bring the water jug in your hotel room, saving money at those resort hotels that charge big bucks for bottled drinking water.

At the hotel, ask housekeeping staff to launder the sheets every third day or as often as you wash them at home. Washing sheets that arenít even dirty wastes water; detergent pollutes the environment.

Hang up and reuse your towels, too, asking the housekeeper to replace only those you leave on the floor or in the tub.

Frequent those hotels with eco-friendly policies.

Use only one of the many trash receptacles in your hotel room, instead of putting a little trash in each one. That way the maid will need to change only one plastic trash liner instead of several.

Even if your hotel or condo doesnít have a formal recycling program, you can separate aluminum cans from the rest of the trash. Someone on the staff will probably take and recycle them.