NATIONAL REPORT—Environmentalism has spread through every industry it can touch, and hospitality is one of them. Guests have always wanted enjoyable, high-class hotel experiences, but they’re increasingly requesting sustainable practices along with this. They want to know they’re spending their money on morally conscious, socially responsible businesses. Environmental issues are too significant to ignore for many people, and part of being eco-conscious means aligning their spending with their values.
If your hotel isn’t already a master in sustainability, you can quickly reach that level by applying some green practices. Staying on top of consumer trends and preferences enables you to cater more closely to their desires. Your revenue will see a sure increase in turn. Here are seven factors to consider when going green.
1. Less Water Waste
Install low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets to reduce the amount of water you use. Hotels are large establishments, and it’s no surprise they produce tons of waste in their daily functions. From kitchen duties to housekeeping, water makes up a significant portion of your operations and your bills. Low-flow faucets decrease water waste by diminishing the speed of the stream without affecting the pressure.
Try combining low-flow appliances with a greywater recycling system. All water flowing within this system undergoes treatment instead of going down the drain. Common uses for greywater in hotels include doing laundry, washing dishes and watering the landscape.
2. Reduced Energy Usage
Energy conservation is one of the best green initiatives hoteliers can participate in. It costs less money and it decreases your reliance on the electrical grid. Add more natural lighting options like skylights and large windows to reduce the need for electric lights. Use LED bulbs in areas where natural light isn’t feasible. Install energy-efficient HVAC systems and connect them to smart technology programs to control heating and cooling.
The Courtyard by Marriott Lancaster relies 100 percent on solar energy, which it receives from panels that create 1,239,000 kWh of power. Right now, it’s the only Marriott hotel in the United States to be entirely solar-powered.
3. Eco-Friendly Flooring
Flooring trends in 2019 have emphasized natural aesthetics and sustainable materials. People admire hotels with organic designs, and flooring is no different. Hardwood flooring is an attractive option that fits well with eco-conscious efforts. Many manufacturers make hardwood floors out of reclaimed or recycled wood. When they can’t procure reused lumber, they use sustainably sourced new wood instead.
This sustainable flooring trend couldn’t have come at a better time—carpeting is fading in popularity and people want sleeker options. Amaze your guests with a sparkling hardwood floor right as they walk in. They’ll admire your style and your environmental knowledge.
4. Green Building Materials
Green building materials go together with sustainable flooring. Bamboo, glass tiles and reclaimed hardwood all make excellent flooring materials, but you can also implement them in other components. Recycled glass gives a fresh look to any bathroom, while bamboo provides strong structural framing.
Materials like hemp and recycled metal pop up in hotel chains as alternatives to more energy-intensive building products. Green materials possess a lower energy footprint compared to other types of matter. From the beginning to the end of their lifespans, they require fewer resources to create and use.
5. Healthy Dining Options
Many hotel-goers enjoy healthy meals and stick to their diets even when on vacation. Others appreciate diversity in food choices. Serve ethically sourced and organic food by obtaining ingredients from your local area. You’ll have a clear idea of where the food comes from and how it’s grown, and there’s no need to transport goods over long distances, meaning lower fossil fuel emissions.
The Atrium Hotel Mainz in Germany upholds green food handling practices in numerous ways. They have a green chef onsite who emphasizes proper handling of food waste and procures ingredients from local sources. The hotel keeps a colony of Dark Bees, allowing them to make and use honey without the need for outsourcing. They’ve received the DEHOGA Environmental Check for their efforts.
6. Recycling Programs
Establish a recycling program to reuse waste instead of diverting it to landfills. Dispose of hazardous materials properly instead of pouring or flushing them. Pinpoint your most significant waste areas, like the kitchen or bar, and train your employees on disposing of bottles and food in the proper bins. Keep recycling bins in spots like lounges, eating areas and fitness rooms. Set recycling containers in every room to encourage guests to recycle discarded items like miniature soap bottles and shampoos.
Instead of throwing leftover food scraps into the dumpster, compost them for later use in your hotel’s gardens. Try onsite composting by building piles of food waste and yard clippings like grass and leaves. Ensure you have enough dry material like paper products or cardboard—without it, the food will rot instead of turn into compost.
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and the Bahia Resort—including many others—compost their food waste instead of tossing it. Sheraton has saved 40 percent a month on trash services, while the Bahia diverts 79 percent of the waste it produces.
Sustainability Makes Waves in Hospitality
Be the next hotel to earn a green certification by trying these suggestions. Show that you care about the planet as much as your guests do, and they’ll become loyal patrons. You’ll rest easy knowing your establishment does its part to preserve the environment.