Looking at my travels from a sustainability perspective, I am struck by how many times I should have just asked. It is not in my nature—and maybe not in yours?—to ask for things that aren’t already on offer. Maybe, like me, you were brought up with a sense that asking for too much (or too often) is impolite. Frankly, sometimes it is just uncomfortable to ask for what you need.
But when it comes to sustainability, I don’t think we have the luxury of time. So I have started asking questions. I have started asking for what I prefer. And I have started asking for more.
In your travels, consider asking:
for recyclable containers
for tap water instead of bottled water
where the recycling bins are
why there are no recycling bins
hotels for a real coffee cup to use in the room instead of a disposable one
for water on the plane in your own bottle rather than a plastic cup
restaurants for where they source their food
for real silverware instead of plastic
airport management about their recycling practices
airplane staff about their company’s recycling practices
airplane staff about their opinion of their company’s recycling practices
other passengers about their willingness and desire to make sustainable choices while traveling
This list is just a start. The power of asking is not in simply getting a result. The power is in the response, the willingness to listen and learn, the desire to trace causes and seek solutions, and the increased awareness of both parties, on both sides of the question.