It is absolutely lovely to be away from home for a few days and allow yourself to be pampered in a hotel. It might be comfortable, relaxing and fun, but in order to be a responsible person you should think about the sustainability efforts of the hotel. Your choices in life reflect your level of responsibility. What can a hotel do to become more eco-friendly hotel?
Sustainability efforts of hotels
Traditionally, hotels tend to be reluctant on environmental issues. Everyone thinks that luxury and comfort go against eco-friendly guidelines. Several hotels have proven this is not the case at all. In this blog I will elaborate on a number of basic issues that can be carried out by hotels in order to be more eco-friendly. When booking a hotel, check to what extent the hotel follows some basic environmental issues.
Every year, hotels consume a lot of energy for lightning. Lights in communal areas tend to be on 24/7. By changing to energy-efficient lightning, a hotel can certainly contribute to a more eco-friendly business.
Options are to use LED-lights instead of other forms of lightning. By using timers on the lights that switch on when movements are detected, a lot of energy can be saved as well. This prevents the lights being on all the time, but allow lights to be burning only when necessary.
A sustainable hotel starts during the design phase. A hotel can choose environmental friendly furniture in the rooms and the communal areas, preferably furniture that has been designed and produced locally.
In hotels, but also hostels, free toiletries offered by the hotel are more-and-more expected by guests. These form an extra amenity offered by the hotel. The hotel can therefor influence the level of service and luxury they provide by choosing luxury, eco-friendly toiletries.
These are valued by guest as they are more friendly for the skin. It is a great gesture of the hotel when plant based and hypoallergenic toiletries are offered to the hotel guests. It is an extra luxury without extra costs.
Another eco-friendly solution is to use refillable soap and shampoo dispensers. These can be refilled to prevent to use of those little plastic hotel bottles that guests like to take home as a memory.
Use towels more than one day
Many hotels still change the towels of rooms on a daily basis. If guests stay more nights, it is absolutely not necessary to change the towels every day. Since a few years, many hotels do clearly state to guests that towels don’t need to be change daily, but can be used in a more sustainable way. Towels are only replaced by clean towels when left on the floor. This saves an enormous amount of laundry, detergents, water and energy, but also expands the lifetime of towels.
Save toilet paper
In some hotels, it is seen as appropriate to always change the toilet paper rolls with a new one, regardless whether the roll is finished or not. A more eco-friendly way is to leave rolls when not finished completely, as half rolls of toilet paper can still be used without decreasing the level of hygiene.
A better solution is to fold the end of the toilet paper roll into a triangle. This gives a good impression that the hygiene has been taken into account, without throwing away half a roll of toilet paper. It is a small adjustment to limit the annual waste of useable toilet paper and therefor also limit the costs of hotels.
Cleaning the hotel eco-friendly
A hotel is cleaned daily by the housekeeping staff. Just like at home, eco-friendly cleaning products can have the same cleaning power as chemical products. The advantage of eco-friendly cleaning products is that it is way better for the health of housekeeping staff, guests, animals and the environment.
One should realise that the chloride used for cleaning the toilet always damages nature eventually and/or returns as supposedly drinking water. By using chloride and other chemical cleaning products, we are damaging nature and our own body without a doubt.
And really: eco-friendly alternatives clean just as well.
Transport towards the airport or train station could be done eco-friendly, by using an electric car. It is a great way to present yourself as an eco-friendly hotel.
The efforts of the hotel towards an eco-friendly hotel can be used to build a better image. It can for example be mentioned on the website of the hotel, not only as self-marketing, but also to inspire guests to pursue a more environmental-friendly lifestyle.
Several hotels have a Green-Key label. Green-Key is an international organization that strives for environmental conscious en sustainable hotels. A hotel can only join when strict rules have been followed. This Green-Key label is the least a hotel should do, seriously.
A better heating and cooling system in the hotel room
Many hotels still have systems in which the temperature in the room can be individually regulated. When done sustainably, the temperature in the room does not have to be arranged 24/7, as guests usually mainly sleep in the room and don’t spend the entire day at the hotel room.
Systems are available to better arrange the temperature in the hotel by using heating and cold storages and arranging heating by having large windows, or arranging cooling by allowing a window to open.
Automatically turn of lights and energy outlets
Many hotels arrange the energy in the hotel room by a system, in which a key card needs to be inserted in order for lights and devices to work. When a guest leaves the room, all devices and lights are automatically turned off. This is a more eco-friendly way that doesn’t influence the experience of the guests.
Breakfast buffet or not?
Breakfast at hotels is usually arranged with a buffet. Research has shown that buffets stimulate people to overeat, caused by the larger amount of food that is being offered and by guests that load their plates too full. Also, a lot of food is being thrown away when using buffets.
An alternative is to provide the amount of food that the guest prefers, for example by using an a la carte breakfast. Another solution is to offer a buffet that only displays a limited amount of food to decrease waste.
Limit the consumption of water
Staying at a hotel usually implies that people tend to use more water by taking baths and longer showers. Convince people to act as the do at home.
Recycle waste as much as possible
Hotels tend to produce a lot of waste. A great eco-friendly solution is to treat waste more wisely. For example, by limiting the use of plastic, printed paper (we live in the digital age nowadays) and glass.
Another solution is to recycle waste. Food that is perfectly good, but does not meet the standards of the hotel can be donated to organizations that serve this food to less fortunate citizens. Other food waste can be recycled.
The way that a hotel deals with waste might be the best way to determine the eco-friendly principles of the hotel.