Green & Sustainable Hotels
Tourism industry is one of the leading industries around the world. It has been proved that this industry generates billions of money and it also helps people around the world to travel and increase their knowledge about other cultures and languages. But unfortunately, after thousands of years we have found out that the tourism industry has a negative impact on the environment.
Green and sustainable hotels have become the most important topic of concern of the past several years and continue to gain attraction. The hotel industry is one of the large business sectors, which implies that the hotels can play a major role in changing the culture of environmental degradation practices that are being followed in order to achieve sustainable growth. Sustainability is a dynamic process which enables all people to realize their potential and to improve their quality of life and protect the Earth’s life support systems simultaneously.
Sustainability Initiatives Embraced by Hotels
1. Towel/Linen Reuse Program
Guests may not always recognize how many resources it takes to have housekeeping launder all of their towels and linens every day of their stay, and a small awareness campaign on your part can bring this to their knowledge and they can get engaged in your efforts.
Place a small printed card in each bathroom informing your guests of your commitment to the environment and letting them know how they can be involved: towels placed on hooks will be left behind so they can use them again and those left anywhere else will be taken away.
In the bedroom, another card can alert guests that your property launders linens every two to three days and request guests to save water, gas and electricity. Guests of some large hotel chains can even become accustomed to receiving extra loyalty points for each day when they opt not to have housekeeping services altogether.
Near the fitness center, pool, sauna and spa, encourage guests to take only the number of towels they need to reduce their environmental impact.
2. Adjustable Temperature Controls in Guest Rooms
Allowing guests to control the temperature in their rooms not only ensures their comfort, it can ensure that you aren’t paying to heat or cool empty spaces. The same card with your linen laundry policy can remind guests to adjust the thermostat accordingly when they leave the room for the day and at night. You can also remind them to close the blinds in their rooms on sunny days to help your AC system from having to work so hard.
3. Local and Organic Food
Your lobby markets, bars and restaurants are also great places to showcase another shade of green with offerings that are locally or organically produced. And don’t feel like you need to make an eco-friendly overhaul – you can still offer conventional products alongside organic fruits, salads and packaged products.
Offering locally produced, seasonal items on your menus will give guests a unique experience every time they visit your property. Consider partnering with a farm or group of farmers in your region to supply fresh produce, meat or dairy products and be sure to let guests know where the food is coming from. In the bar, you can offer locally produced microbrews or liquors.
4. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Environmentally-minded guests who have invested in one of the electric vehicles on the market will appreciate your attention to their recharging needs, and some may even choose your property over competitors who don’t have a place for them to recharge.
As electric vehicles become increasingly popular, charging stations may become a must-have for green hotels, and depending on the availability in your area, your property may still be able to get ahead of the curve.
5. Robust Recycling Program
Guests – especially those from big cities – will be used to sorting their waste into trash and recycling bins. Offering recycling for some of the most common materials, including paper, aluminum and plastic containers, is another way to let guests opt in to your green program. Place recycling receptacles next to trash containers both in guest rooms and in high-traffic common areas such as the lobby, fitness center, pool and lounge.
With just a few proven green hotel practices, you can impress guests, reduce your property's environmental impact and save time, money and staff resources.