Environmentally friendly hotels not only save money for the owner, but also resources for the world, while at the same time letting their guests continue doing good things for the environment. For some people, like us, this is super important.
In the lodging and hotel industry, green is the new black.
In hotel business, initiatives that are environment sustainable are becoming widespread. Environmentally-friendly initiatives help hotels to save money and resources without compromising on quality. In some cases these programs improve the stay.
Many guests will be attracted to the green hotel just because it is taking environmentally friendly steps. Whether it’s water or energy conservation, recycling, or reducing the consumption of natural resources through bulk amenities and newspaper programs, a positive impact can be made through simple steps.
Green hotels follow strict green guidelines to ensure that their guests are staying in a safe, non-toxic and energy-efficient accommodation according to local guidelines, customs and laws.
Below, the Princess Royale provides a list of actions properties of any size can take to stake their claim as an eco-friendly establishment. This is how they do it and what they advise managers to do:
- Monitor your hotel’s electric, gas, and water usage.
- Implement a towel and linen reuse program. (guests can tell housekeeping to leave these slightly used items to reduce water consumption)
- Start a newspaper-recycling program.
- Do staff training on implementing green practices.
- Provide information for guests on green practices.
- Install energy efficient interior light bulbs.
- Form an environmental committee to develop a green plan for energy/water/solid waste use.
- Install digital thermostats in guestrooms and throughout the hotel.
- Install 2.5-gallons per minute showerheads or less in all guestroom baths and any employee shower areas.
- Install 1.6-gallon toilets in all guestrooms.
- Start a recycling program for hazardous materials found in fluorescent bulbs, batteries, and lighting ballasts through licensed service providers.
- Purchase Energy Star labeled appliances and equipment.
- All office paper products should have 20% or more post-consumer recycled content.
- Housekeeping should use non-toxic cleaning agents and laundry detergent.
- Supply 100% organic cotton sheets, towels and mattresses.
- Make your hotel a non-smoking environment.
- Utilize renewable energy sources like solar or wind energy when available.
- Purchase bulk organic soap and amenities instead of individual packages to reduce waste. Explain to guests why their soaps look this way.
- Provide guest room and hotel lobby recycling bins.
- Provide on-site transportation with green vehicles.
- Serve organic and local-grown food.
- Use non-disposable dishes.
- Offer a fresh-air exchange system.
- Implement grey-water recycling, which is the reuse of kitchen, bath and laundry water for garden and landscaping.
So, how are hotels going green right now? One way is by prioritizing energy efficient awareness in their staff training programs. Housekeepers play a vital role in helping hotel businesses stay green because they have access to thermostats, lamps, and other electrical devices even before guests check in.
Opening curtains on sunny days during colder months helps heat rooms on the cheap. Even shutting off a light or dripping faucet really adds up over time. And those controversial thermostat temperatures that no one seems to agree on? Most hotels default to 68 degrees Fahrenheit as a comfortable temp for conservation-minded properties. Once training and education are provided it is amazing how hotels can creatively implement eco-friendly practices. Here are a few real life examples:
- Meeting and banquet facilities are using pourers for sugar, pitchers for cream and small serving dishes for butter and jellies.
- A Toronto hotel is recycling stained tablecloths into napkins, chef’s aprons and neckties.
- Bicycles are being loaned or rented to guests.
- Coins or chips are being used for car parking and coat checking instead of paper tickets.
- Hotels are making cloth laundry bags from retired sheets.
- Mowed landscaping is being replaced by ground cover. Lawnmowers are used less, so air pollution and noise are reduced.
- A Florida hotel bought a mulcher to chop up their garden clippings and create their own mulch. The mulcher paid for itself in three months.
- A Wisconsin B&B has installed beautiful blue floor tile made from recycled automobile windshields.
- Chief engineers have found that toilet tank fill diverters in older toilets save about ¾ of a gallon of water per flush.
- A Pennsylvania property has a 400’ garden and produces organically grown vegetables for its restaurant.
- Restaurants and bars in hotels are using daylight exclusively for as much of each day as possible.
- Solar energy is lighting signage and heating water for hotels in tropical areas.
Sometimes, making a difference can be as practical as providing environmental knowledge to staff, switching to greener energy measures, and considering small changes for large scale benefits. Hotels can succeed in ‘Driving business to its properties’ by being environmentally friendly and also offer healthy and sustainable options.
The most important factor why hotels are being environmentally friendly is the social responsibility that has reached a tipping point in the hospitality industry and is spreading awareness significantly.
Image of eco hotels from Shutterstock