After many years of human exploitation, our planet is suffering and we can clearly see the consequences. Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale (United Nations).
With the aim to stop and reverse the current status, a huge part of humankind is adopting a greener, consciously and ethically lifestyle.
This trend is also carried out when traveling. More and more tourists prefer to eat in a local restaurant to give support to local production, and they travel by train or bus in order to reduce the carbon footprint.
According to UNWTO, tourism is responsible for 5% of the global CO2 emissions and 20% belongs to hotels .
In light of this, hoteliers are incrementing their sustainable measures. The creation of Eco-friendly Hotels has been a massive progress in increasing the sustainability of the services that hotels offer. But, what differentiates them from the others?
An Eco-friendly Hotel is an establishment that tries to reduce to the minimum the consumption of natural resources, the expense of energy and their environmental impact to be as low as possible. Sustainable hotels also try to help the community by consuming local products and services.
By adopting this easy 5 initiatives, hotels would be more greener and improve their environmentally-friendly practices:
1. Create a “Green Team”
First of all, a hotel can’t be sustainable if the people who work on it aren’t.
Educate the hotel’s staff providing training on green practices (Go Green Hotels), such as;
- Reporting opportunities to reduce resource consumption.
- Turning off lights and turn down heating/air conditioning in unoccupied rooms or employee-only areas.
- Continually checking for and power down unused hotel equipment that have been left running.
Moreover, creating an incentive program can be a good idea in order to encourage the team.
2. Room Keys
Many hotel companies are shifting to card options that are better for the environment, made from paper, wood, and bioplastic.
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louise use biodegradable cards and it has been able to reduce the cost of hotel key cards by $5,000, said Luke Sinak, purchasing manager of at Four Seasons St. Louis.
3. Bath Amenities
Many hotel chains have changed the plastic amenities for all-natural, custom-formulated product made without preservatives and artificial ingredients, packaged in recyclable containers.
Buying organic, biodegradable, fair trade, cruelty-free, locally-produced guest amenity products will improve the reduction of single-use plastics products.
4. Restaurant Waste
If your hotel has a restaurant, consider buying organic, locally-grown food to provide fresh produce for your guests. Also could be a great idea to create an organic food garden, which will provide fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits.
Adding reusable items such as glass cups, cloth napkins, silver wear, ceramic dishes…with all food and beverage services will empty the waste of toxins and plastics.
5. Energy Reduction
One of the best options is installing a renewable energy system, which will allow the hotel to maximize the proportion of clean power generated on-site at the least cost (Energy Star).
An easy way of reducing energy is switching to LED regular and tube lights in guests rooms, lobbies, and corridors.
Another important waste is maintenance, including filter changes and a thermostat calibration will help limit the energy consumption.
Such initiatives help to develop, conserve and protect natural ecosystems.
In 2021, more than ever, hoteliers should be able to recognise the economic and ecological benefits of creating a green business. Afterwards, it will be easier for them to design sustainable accommodations and improve their eco-credentials.
If you like this post, you may also want to read “The 5 Keys of Inclusive Experience”