Eco-friendly is a bit of a buzzword in the travel industry right now. But how green is your hotel? Read our checklist to find out if it’s truly naturally savvy or merely talking the talk:
1. Does it use renewable energy?
Find out if your hotel uses alternative or renewable power, such as solar panels. These are cost-effective to install and can be utilized for heating water or produce electricity.
2. Does it source food locally?
A lot of energy is wasted by importing food from abroad. Your hotel should be sourcing food locally from nearby farmers, serving seasonal fruit and veg (root vegetables and hearty greens in winter, fruits, and salads in summer) and avoiding pesticides and insecticides.
3. Is furniture upcycled or made from reclaimed wood?
Check if your hotel sources furniture made from reclaimed wood or upcycles old pieces. It’s easy to find trendy old secondhand tables, chairs and desks, which look cool and save cutting down any more trees.
4. Are the hotel’s appliances energy-efficient?
Modern dishwashers, washing machines, and microwaves all consume far less energy than older models, so make sure your hotel has up-to-date equipment. Linen should also be washed on colder, more economic cycles.
5. Does it support an environmental charity?
Supporting a local environmental charity can be good publicity as well as offsetting a hotel’s carbon footprint. London hotel the Savoy helps charity Thames21 by keeping a stretch of the Thames clean flowing directly in front of the hotel.
6. Does your hotel have a proper recycling policy?
It should provide facilities for guests to recycle their trash. It’s also a good sign if the hotel does something with its food waste, like turning it into compost or having it collected by a company that can convert it into electricity.
7. Does it harvest its rainwater?
It’s easy for hotels to collect their rainwater in plastic buckets or specially installed guttering leading to a water butt. This run-off can be used for watering plants or flowers around the hotel.
8. Does it offer eco-friendly transportation?
Your hotel has no excuse for not implementing energy efficient vehicles that burn fewer fossil fuels, such as hybrid cars. These can be used for transporting guests to and from the airport. Also, bike hire should be available so that guests don’t have to hire a car or take a taxi.
9. Does your hotel use energy-saving light bulbs?
Replacing traditional light bulbs with halogen or LED ones (both of which consume far less power) is just one of many energy-saving tactics that hotels can employ around the building. Timers and motion sensors in bedrooms and corridors are also an excellent way to reduce energy use.
10. Are all members of staff clued up on green procedures?
Find out what your hotel is doing to educate its staff on ‘reduce-recycle-reuse’ policies. All employees should be aware of exactly what they’re doing to help the environment and why. This will encourage them to come up with new ideas and be even greener in the future!
You may also want to check out the Green Tourism Business Scheme for finding green hotels here in the UK, as this is our main certification program. Hope these tips have given you an idea of what to look for your next hotel, let me know if you have any other suggestions!