Saving the environment is a growing initiative around the world, and the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida is doing its part by organizing beach cleanups each fall so that visitors and residents can play an active role in keeping this area beautiful. While you certainly won't be expected to plant a tree every time you come to the Gulf Coast on vacation, you can still make small changes in your daily routine to become a little more environmentally conscious.

Use only what you need

Keep the Gulf Coast beautiful with green habitsYour vacation rentals are outfitted with everything you need to feel at home the moment you arrive. Each condo and beach house has its own full kitchen, along with enough bathrooms to ensure there's no line in the morning. To be a little kinder to the environment, try to turn the lights off in rooms you aren't using. Watching a movie in the living room? There's no need to have the kitchen and bathroom light on, too.

In the same vein, ask your family to take brief showers, which will not only save water, but also reduce the amount of energy needed to heat it up.

Go organic

Using organic products is another great way to keep the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast beaches pristine. Plant-based sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide instead of harmful petroleum-based chemicals are less dangerous for the environment and actually provide better coverage than most other commercial products. Consider using organic soaps and shampoos when freshening up, therefore preventing contaminants from entering the gulf waters.

Of course, you can always find out when the next beach cleanup will take place near your condo or beach house so you can spend a morning saving the planet!