Travel Tips

6 Ways to Conserve Water While Traveling

Discover easy and effective ways to conserve water while traveling, making every business trip more eco-friendly without sacrificing convenience.
March 22, 2024
6 Ways to Conserve Water While Traveling

Imagine the last time you were on a business trip. The hotels, the meetings . . . and the endless bottles of water? 

It’s no secret that traveling can sometimes mean being less eco-friendly than we’d like to be—including when it comes to water conservation.

We often forget about our liquid footprint behind those hotel and convention center doors. But being a mindful business traveler encompasses more than just limiting our plastic debris; it equally involves minimizing the amount of water we squander.

Understanding the Importance of Water Conservation

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing we have an endless supply of drinkable water at our disposal. But sadly, we don’t. While about 71 percent of Earth’s surface is covered in water, only 3 percent of it is drinkable. This leaves us with very little fresh water to use for showering, cooking, cleaning, and other essential tasks. In fact, 2.2 billion people around the world lack access to safe water.

Practical Ways to Save Water While on a Business Trip

Travel opens both our professional and personal worlds to new opportunities and valuable experiences, but it can also open the tap more than necessary. Here are some easy ways to make every drop of water count when you're on the road.

1. Select eco-friendly hotels.

In the realm of corporate travel management, where saving time and money is paramount, there’s an equally important aspect that often gets overlooked: environmental sustainability. Christopherson Business Travel understands this balance and encourages corporate travelers to make responsible choices, including when it comes to water use. One effective strategy is choosing accommodations committed to water conservation.

Eco-friendly hotels are not just a trend—they’re part of a crucial movement toward sustainability. These establishments implement measures such as low-flow showers and toilets, linen reuse programs, and smart landscaping practices that significantly reduce their overall water consumption.

By opting for these accommodations, companies can contribute positively to conserving precious resources while still enjoying comfortable stays. Before your next business trip, consult with your travel advisor to find hotels that are Green Key or LEED certified.

2. Skip daily housekeeping.

In an effort to conserve water while traveling, one simple yet effective strategy is to keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door. This approach not only ensures your privacy but also significantly contributes to water conservation efforts. Hotels consume a substantial amount of water daily, primarily through guests’ bathroom use. By minimizing housekeeping services, you directly reduce the need for cleaning and laundering, thereby conserving both water and energy used in cleaning processes.

If you do choose to have your room cleaned, still consider participating in a towel reuse initiative. Many hotels now encourage guests to hang their towels if they’re willing to use them again instead of having them replaced daily. Participating in these programs significantly reduces water consumption.

Beyond benefiting our environment by saving thousands of gallons of water annually, these practices align perfectly with responsible corporate travel policies aimed at reducing carbon footprints while maintaining high standards of comfort and convenience for traveling employees.

Incorporating small changes like opting out of unnecessary laundering services doesn’t just contribute toward preserving natural resources—it reflects an organization's commitment to sustainable practices even when operating beyond its immediate premises.

3. Use less water when showering.

You know those long, soul-warming showers? In hotels, they’re a luxury that travelers often indulge in. But here’s a suggestion: cut it short. The average shower uses about two gallons per minute, so taking shorter showers conserves a significant amount of water. In addition, try implementing these simple habits into your routine both away and at home to help reduce water usage without compromising on comfort or convenience:

  • Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
  • Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • If you choose a bath over a short shower, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.

4. Handwash or spot clean laundry.

While laundry services are incredibly convenient, they account for up to 16 percent of a hotel’s daily water usage. Part of the reason is that most hotels wash each guest’s laundry separately. So, unless you have several items of clothing, opt for handwashing them in the sink. Be sure to bring a couple of travel packets of laundry detergent or, even better, a few eco-laundry sheets.

Dripped some sauce on your shirt? This is when spot cleaning comes in handy. Stain remover pens are small and lightweight, so they’re easy to include in your travel essentials.

5. Try some vegetarian or vegan meals.

One of the most impactful ways corporate travelers can conserve water and support sustainability efforts is by opting for vegetarian or vegan meals during their journeys. It’s well-documented that plant-based diets require significantly less water to produce than diets heavy in meat and dairy products. For instance, producing just one pound of beef can require upward of 1,800 gallons of water when factoring in the entirety of the production process. On the other hand, crops like soybeans only require about 216 gallons per pound.

Making this switch doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or nutrition—many destinations around the globe offer an array of delicious plant-based options that cater to every palate. From traditional Indian curries to innovative vegan sushi rolls, exploring local cuisines can be both a culinary adventure and a step toward more sustainable travel practices.

In fact, just one meatless meal saves about 133 gallons of water. And meals centered around vegetables and grains are often less expensive than those featuring meat—meaning eating green could also save some green!

To help make transitioning easier while on business trips, there ares everal websites that offer an extensive directory of plant-based restaurants and fast-food options anywhere you go.

6. Bring a reusable water bottle.

It’s shocking to learn that producing just one plastic bottle requires more than twice the amount of water than what the bottle actually holds. This fact alone should prompt us all, especially those who frequently travel for business, to reconsider our bottled water consumption.

Bottled water has a significant environmental footprint due to both its production and disposal issues. Reusable water bottles not only save water and reduce waste, but they also save money on unnecessary bottled water purchases.

Furthermore, a reusable water bottle is likely better for your health. Studies have shown that bottled water can contain microplastics.


Taking the steps discussed above doesn’t just contribute positively toward reducing waste and conserving precious resources; it also sets an example within the corporate world about valuing sustainability.

Moving forward with responsible choices helps ensure that we do our part in preserving natural resources while maintaining high standards in business efficiency. It's not about following trends or checking boxes. It’s about making each journey count for more than just miles traveled and clients won but also gallons saved.

► You’ll also like: 14 Business Travel Safety Tips for Travelers

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