There are many strategies to combat climate change. But I find some of the best ways to expedite change is through people engagement and to challenge understanding. On a recent trip to Kyiv, it occurred to me how little the country, let alone the government, contributes to combatting the effects of climate change.
Prior to my departure, a friend of mine who is currently campaigning for a representative position within the Rada (parliament) uploaded a video to Instagram, exhibiting how easy it is to recycle. Only, the organisation she was demonstrating it with is a local charity. Which means the recycling industry is yet to develop into what EU countries have come to novelise. Something she admits.
Hanging on the wall in my bathroom, a small hotel note reads – ‘Save our planet’, requesting guests to position towels on top of a rack. A signal to hotel staff that you’re happy to reuse the same item or to leave them on the floor to be washed. A novel idea I have seen employed in Japan and other countries. The problem with this is that most hotel staff will replenish them anyway.
A major problem across the hospitality industry is a lack of concern for recycling. Something I will now begin to campaign for through Trip Advisor and other online review platforms.
Demanding progressive change is not limited to your country of residence. Simple actions such as leaving negative reviews on sites can spur modifications of existing procedures that subsist for ease of use in the hotel chain. If you demand change and if enough people do, the hotel will need to advance its current methods past a lacklustre show of caring. There is every possibility a business genuinely seeks to care for the environment. But my capitalism meter goes haywire reading memorandums such as the one left on my en suite bathroom wall.
Real change in a hotel such as this requires an interpersonal drive to shock an establishment into action. Negative reviews can be so difficult for any business to comprehend that instant changes are made to a business that cares.
Ask for change at lower levels, and a reaction will escalate from local to national level. But the next difficulty will be fending off what I predict will be ‘green’ hotels that will ask of their customer’s extortionate fees to allocate or use pre-existing low-cost sustainable systems. Such as, throwing your towel on the floor, or a simple recycling bin.