Green Etiquette: How to Be a Polite Houseguest

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Houseguests are expected to use proper etiquette, and this etiquette is well established by columns like Miss Manners and websites like Wise Bread. When staying in someone else’s home you need to be conscious of their rules and expectations and you must be respectful of these wishes.

Navigating this sort of situation may seem even more complex when you live a green lifestyle. You might have dietary restrictions or other rules you live by that may be compromised while staying with a friend or family member. Luckily, Earth911 has compiled a list of tips for the green houseguest to help you manage your stay without too much trouble for you or your host.

1. Divulge Your Diet Up Front

refrigerator, produce, food, diet
Photo: Shutterstock
refrigerator, produce, food, diet
muffins, baked goods, present
towels, sheets
curbside recycling, bins, trash
water, conserve
light switch, power
thank you card, gift
suitcase, houseguest

If you have any dietary restrictions – you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you try to only eat organic – let your hosts know before your arrival. If your hosts aren’t familiar with the parameters of your eating habits, it might be a good idea to send along a few recipes or offer to go shopping with him or her when you arrive. Just as it can be stressful for you to worry that you won’t be able to eat what your host makes, it is also stressful for your hosts when they accidentally make something that doesn’t work for you. Plus, food might get wasted.

If you’re up for it, you could offer to cook a meal for your hosts, which would allow you to showcase how your diet can be enjoyable. Not everyone is a culinary expert, though, so if going out to eat is more up your alley, look up some restaurants ahead of time where you might take your hosts out to eat.

It is also a good idea to bring anything you absolutely have to have with you, suggests vegan website A Vegan Diet. If you need a certain brand of soy milk or granola bar, bring your own. (If you’re traveling by plane, see if you can make a quick trip to a nearby grocery store.)

Get Some Cooking Ideas: Vegetarian Recipes from Around the Globe

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