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    Paste This Into Your Next Review To Encourage Sustainable Practices

    April 21, 2020 2 Comments
    *This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.*

    Whether they realize it or not, consumers yield the mighty power of the pen (or rather, keyboard). Product reviews on Amazon, business reviews on Yelp and accommodation reviews on Airbnb have strengthened the power of reviewers. Your voice gets to be heard by the public and business owners! And I think it’s the perfect place to respectfully encourage sustainable practices that would make you happier as a customer.

    encourage sustainable practices_Writing From Nowhere_Kayla Ihrig

    Two guidelines for encouraging sustainable practices within your reviews:

    1. Don’t let lack thereof sustainable practice affect the number of stars you give. A hostel doesn’t deserve to lose stars for bad environmental practices if it didn’t advertise as an eco-destination. The purpose of this practice is to encourage sustainable practices, not to smear businesses.

    It’s like my mother says about religion – you’re supposed to hand someone a Bible, not beat them over the head with it.

    The exception to this is GREENWASHING – if a business misleads you or specifically gives a false impression of being an eco-destination and then doesn’t practice what they preach

    I used to live in Seattle, and it opened my eyes to how much businesses can reasonably do to reduce waste when there’s consumer demand and subsequent government regulations. Seattle, Washington USA 2015

    2. To encourage sustainable practices, you must be encouraging! Which means celebrating the positive practices that you see.

    It’s not very incentivising for business owners and companies to make changes if their current efforts are ignored. It’s also worth remembering that not everyone thinks about waste reduction.

    encouraging-sustainable-practices-reviews_Amersfoort_Writing-From-Nowhere_Kayla-Ihrig-1

    The anatomy of a review that’s encouraging sustainable practices

    Paragraph 1: Your normal review. Say what you have to say about the restaurant, Airbnb or product.

    Paragraph 2, Part A: Praise what you see. I provide list of potential accolades for different businesses below.

    Paragraph 2, Part B: Offer suggestions.


    Copy/Paste This In Your Next Review To Encourage Sustainable Practices

    1. Encouraging sustainable practices from a hostel, hotel or Airbnb

    Look around! What efforts do you see being made? What waste has already been reduced or avoided? Here are some potential accolades to help get your wheels turning.

    encouraging sustainable practices reviews_Writing From Nowhere_Kayla Ihrig
    Original review posted on Tripadvisor

    Potential Accolades

    Energy/Waser Usage:

    • motion activated lights
    • blankets/fans available to reduce heating/air conditioning usage
    • reduced flow toilet, shower head and tap
    • compost toilet
    • solar panels
    • new towels provided only upon request
    How charming is this little Airbnb I stayed at in Canada?! It had free bikes AND a compost toilet. Color me happy. Elora, Canada 2019

    You may also like: Sustainable Travel Packing List

    Landfill Contribution:

    • no single-use toiletries
    • potable water
    • no single use products in the mini bar
    • compost/recycle/landfill sorting
    • paperless kitchen
    In Paris, I stayed at a little hotel that provided breakfast freshly made. On top of being delicious and more healthy than processed breakfast foods, it also meant less packaging was involved. Paris, 2019

    Interaction With Local Community:

    • reusable bottles, coffee cups and shopping bags available for take-away use
    • bicycles available
    • information on public transit provided
    • charging station for electric cars
    Biking is a fantastic way to explore your latest stop. It’s carbon neutral, saves you money and allows you to interact with your destination is a unique way. Plus, it’s so fun! Amersfoort, Netherlands 2019

    You may also like: The Just-In-Case Things You Should Take On Every Trip


    Copy/paste the following text to help encourage sustainable practices at hostels, hotels and Airbnbs:

    A. General review of the accommodation.

    B. I appreciate the steps the hotel/hostel/Airbnb took towards being more environmentally conscious, such as: [ list accolades ].

    C. It would be fantastic if management would take further steps, such as [ suggestion ].

    Are we singing the same tune?

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      2. Restaurant, cafe or bar

      encouraging sustainable practices reviews_Writing From Nowhere_Kayla Ihrig
      Original review posted on Yelp

      Potential Accolades

      Energy/Waser Usage:

      • motion sensored lights
      • hand blowers in bathroom
      • reduce flow tap and toilets
      • LEED certified (plaque on the wall)
      My favorite meal of ALL TIME in my favorite city of all time: The Radical Reuben from The Chicago Diner. Every single item on the menu is vegetarian with the option to be made vegan, and the building is LEED certified. Chicago, 2017

      Local Community:

      • plant-based menu options
      • locally sourced food (“farm-to-table”)
      • sustainable meat sourcing (indicated on menu)
      • charging station for electric cars
      • not sustainability related, but bonus points for establishments with gender neutral bathrooms
      Every meal tastes better with a side of community support! This restaurant stall was in a market in the city center and shared spaces with dozens of other sellers. Christmas dinner in Cusco, Peru 2017

      You may also like: What’s In My Bag To Help Reduce Waste?

      Landfill Contribution:

      • no single-use plates, cutlery, cups or napkins
      • straws available upon request but provided with every drink
      • compost/recycling/landfill waste system
      • compostable take-go containers or charging for containers
      encouraging-sustainable-practices-reviews_Portugal_Writing-From-Nowhere_Kayla-Ihrig
      How precious is this little sugar jar that I found in a cafe in Lisbon?! Such a cute and clever way to avoid disposable sugar packets. Lisbon, Portugal 2019

      You may also like: How To Make Your Bag Less Likely To Be Stolen While Traveling


      Copy/paste the following text to help encourage sustainable practices at restaurants, bars and cafes:

      A. General review of the restaurant.

      B. I appreciate the steps the restaurant took towards being more environmentally conscious, such as: [ list accolades ].

      C. It would be fantastic if management would take further steps, such as [ suggestion ].


      3. Companies and product manufacturers

      encouraging sustainable practices reviews_Writing From Nowhere_Kayla Ihrig
      Original review posted on Amazon

      Potential accolades:

      • plastic free packaging
      • recyclable paper packaging
      • compostable/biodegradable packaging
      • minimalist package design

      Copy/paste the following text to help encourage sustainable practices from businesses and retailers:

      A. General review of the product.

      B. I appreciate the steps the manufacturer took towards being more environmentally conscious, such as: [ list accolades ].

      C. It would be fantastic if the manufacturer would take further steps, such as [ suggestion ].


      Encouraging sustainable practices summary

      I hope this blog post encourages you to feel empowered and show consumer demand for sustainable business practices. Have you ever written a business to encourage sustainable practices from them?

      2 Comments

    • Rosie (@greenrosielife) April 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Last summer we did a rare hotel stay and I did exactly this with my review. It was not a hotel that sold itself to be eco-friendly but they had implements some good points – so I complimented them on this in my review and made another suggestion. I go some nice feedback, too, from the manager. But is I ever get greenwashed BEWARE – I will let everyone know about your shady practices in my review of you!!

      • Kayla April 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm

        Amazing that the manager actually responded!! That’s the dream, for it to reach to people who make the decisions.

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      Hello, friend! Welcome to Writing From Nowhere. The place for wasting less, saving money + traveling better. Please make yourself comfortable and look around. Read More

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