What are some of the ways that you can reduce your energy footprint as a budget traveler in Asia? Many of us when we go out on the road we try to the best of out ability to try to leave as small a foot print as possible. You can avoid some Asia flights and take either trains or buses, but for the most part some Asian air travel is unavoidable.
So the next biggest part of your energy footprint when you are traveling is your hotel room. Besides turning the air-con down or even off and using the fan, if the hotels provide one. Other things that you can do is if you have the air con on and the room is not well closed up, you can stick a towel on the floor in front of the door to prevent the cold air from getting out, this will allow the room to hold the cold air longer, and reduce the amount of energy that the room uses to stay cool. With some older hotel rooms the towel will make it so that it actually gets comfortable enough for you. I have seen some rooms that are so leaky and the air-con so old that it needs this just to cool the cheap hotel room down.
If you have a fan look at it does it have a lot of dust on the blades? If you can easily get the guard off, a two minute cleaning will give you a much more robust blow from the fan and the fan will use less energy. Some fans have where you can easily take the blade on and off, and take it in the shower and get it sparkly clean! The cool thing with this is the next guests in that room will benefit as well, and the fan will be saving energy long after you leave.
In Bali I like to stay in fan rooms only and one of the things that I do there is clean the window screens. You will be amazed at how much of a difference this will make to the comfort of some rooms. If you can easily get the screens off, again take them into the shower and wash them. If not take a dry cloth and rub it on both sides of the screen if you can. The cool thing with this is the next guests in that room will benefit as well, and the hotel, guesthouse, budget accommodation will save some on their energy usage.
Bottled water if I know that I am going to be staying in a budget accommodation for more than 3 days I will always go out and buy a 6 liter bottle of water and refill the small water bottles, this saves me money on the water and the big water bottles always are a better target for the recyclers.
In Asia, and most the world, instead of throwing aluminum can in the garbage bag place it next to the garbage, so that the recyclers can grab it easy.
- turn the air-con to a higher temperature or use a fan
- place a towel on the floor to decrease air loss under the door
- Clean the fan blades and guard
- Clean window screens
- Place aluminum and glass next to the garbage not in to help recycling
- Buy a large bottle of water and refill and reuse the little bottles
These measures alone are not going to turn global warming around but every little bit helps and the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Have fun traveling!