Rooftop beehives? Guest-generated electricity?
These are just two of the cutting-edge green initiatives being implemented by today’s most eco-friendly hotels.
While not all eco-friendly hotels are going to these extremes, hoteliers recognize that travelers are becoming more sophisticated and aware when it comes to green efforts. To meet consumers’ expectations, many hotels are making substantial changes to protect our planet.
Looking for a few new ideas to make your hotel a little greener? Try implementing some of these suggestions from globalstewards.org:
- Start a linen reuse program. Place placards in guest room with information about the environmental benefits of reusing towels and sheets, and ask guests to consider using linens more than once.
- Go low-flow. Install eco-friendly shower heads, sink aerators, low-flow toilets and/or tank fill diverters.
- Make lighting more energy efficient. Switch to LED light bulbs in guest rooms, lobbies and hallways. Use sensors and/or timers for areas that are infrequently used.
- Educate your staff. Train employees to turn off lights, adjust thermostats when rooms are unoccupied and close drapes to moderate room temperatures. Add reminders to housekeeping and managerial checklists to ensure these actions become habits.
- Recycle. To increase participation, make recycling as easy and convenient as possible for both guests and staff. Provide recycling bins in both guestrooms and public areas (e.g., lobby, pool, fitness room). Place additional bins in the kitchen and back office, too.
- Buy smarter. Purchase food and guest amenities in bulk; buy office supplies and guest amenity products that contain recycled material; buy organic, fair trade and cruelty-free guest amenity products whenever possible; choose non-toxic (or least toxic) cleaners, sanitizers and paints for your hotel.
- Invest in “Energy Star” appliances. As you replace appliances throughout your hotel, select energy- and water-saving models.
- Donate. Send leftover food to a local nonprofit organization and/or use a compost bin; donate used soap and shampoo to people in need through www.cleantheworld.org; donate leftover guest amenities, old furniture and appliances to local charities.
- Reward employees for participation. Create an incentive program that encourages staff to participate and improve upon your environmentally-friendly practices.
- Promote and publicize your efforts. If you devote the time and resources to make your hotel greener, turn your efforts into a PR opportunity! Send out a release detailing your initiatives; add the information to your website; promote your green efforts on your social media; create collateral pieces to give guests upon arrival, outlining the steps they can take to help make your new green initiatives a success.
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