Since our new baby is going to be born in the next few weeks, my husband and I decided that we'd better take advantage of my parent's offer to let our son have a sleep-over at their place. This way we could have a night to relax, go out to dinner alone, maybe even see a movie and stay overnight at a nearby hotel. A little "stay-cation" to use the newly coined term for taking a vacation without really leaving your general area.
We decided to stay at a Springhill Suites hotel in Schaumburg, and I made our reservations online tonight. What I didn't expect was to see an option to "Green your hotel stay. Offset your carbon footprint and help preserve the Amazon Rainforest". Hmm, I thought, I wonder how expensive that will be. But being into the whole "eco" thing like I am, I clicked on the link to "Learn more and Donate now!". Turns out it's cheap! Marriott's family of hotels (of which SpringHill Suites is a part of) did a carbon footprint study that revealed $1 will offset one room's occupancy for one night. There is a $10 min for this tax-deductible contribution, so I figured I'll also be offsetting 9 other rooms that night, or we can look at it as that we've offset the last 9 nights of hotel stays, or even the next 9 going forward! Any way you look at it, it's a win-win. We get to help the environment (more specifically, the Amazon Rainforests and reduce our carbon footprint), feel like do-gooders, and take a small tax deduction. And all for less money than the tax we are paying on the hotel stay!
So the next time you make a reservation at a hotel, see if you can donate to make your stay carbon-neutral! Or you could go one more step and make options like this factor into your decision regarding where to stay in the first place...or even better, plan your destination around a stay at a "green" hotel! Here are some to check out: Washington Hotel, Hotel Metro, or check out the "Green Hotels" members in many states across the US. Happy vacationing, and here's to our planet!