5 Eco-friendly Moves Hotels Can Take
- Increase Recycling
- Upgrade to Energy-efficient Fixtures
- Reduce Laundry
- Install a Garden
- Compost Food Waste
Hotels need to maintain an air of comfort and elegance while also providing comfort to guests. As consumers increasingly become aware of environmental issues and how their everyday lives impact the planet, hotels can play a leading role in encouraging environmentally-friendly behavior. Consider these five ways in which hotels can help save the environment and lower their operating expenses.
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1. Increase Recycling
Increasing recycling is an easy way to minimize the environmental impact of operating a hotel. Buy commonly used items in large quantities. Hotels that operate as a chain could even negotiate with manufacturers and ask them to ensure that products are minimally packaged. The packaging that is on the products should be recyclable. Hotels could also offer emailed receipts instead of printed ones.
2. Upgrade to Energy-efficient Fixtures
Switching every room lamp and light fixture from incandescent to LED light bulbs could shave a lot of money off of electricity bills. Over the course of a year, a hotel could save thousands of dollars this way. When refrigerators, microwaves, water heaters, and other appliances need to be replaced, hotel managers should choose the most energy-efficient product available. Hotel managers could inform guests of these “green” upgrades to the facility.
3. Reduce Laundry
According to the non-profit organization Boston Green Tourism, hotels can post signs explaining that guests could keep the same sheets each day. This would reduce laundry. The hotel’s maids would change the sheets between guests. Guests could also be encouraged to use the same bath rug and towel each day whenever feasible. In the hotel restaurant, cloth napkins could replace paper ones. While this would create a slight increase in laundry, it would decrease waste.
4. Install a Garden
Rather than paving around the hotel or putting up concrete planters or brick patios, a hotel could install a garden. A kitchen garden would be ideal for growing herbs such as mint. These herbs could be used in the hotel’s food. The chefs could note this information on the menus. A rain garden would be an ideal addition to a hotel property in places that get a lot of rain. Choose plants that are native to the area. Guests may enjoy sitting on benches in the garden and watching the butterflies and bumblebees visit the blossoms. Select plants that will flower at different times during the growing season. Native wildflowers or a bee garden could be a delightful choice.
5. Compost Food Waste
Hotels generate a lot of food waste. A lot of it could be composted. Even if a hotel does not do on-site composting, the facility could join a city composting or private composting service. Almost all food waste can be composted. The only wasted foods that should not be composted are meat and dairy products. Eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable peels, starches, and grains can all be composted. Leftover cooking oil should be kept separate, but it can also be composted or turned into biofuel. Paper napkins, coffee filters, and biodegradable drinking straws could also be composted. These items are turned into fertilizer for flower gardens and landscaping in the community.
Each of these five tips offers a clear pathway for hotels to save money and the environment. These steps could also reduce the workload on employees. Guest comfort will not be impacted by any of these tips.