Oct 15, 2008

Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels

Sustainable Solutions for Green Hotels

This page lists sustainable practices that hotels can implement. Hotels can keep up to date on green lodging news at greenlodgingnews.com. If you would like to encourage hotels you stay at to implement these ideas, consider printing this information and dropping it off at the front desk or mailing it in with the hotel's comment card.

  1. Start a linen (both towels and sheets) reuse program in all guest rooms. One company that sells guest information signs is www.projectplanetcorp.com.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators.
  3. Switch to low-flow toilets or install toilet-tank fill diverters. To learn more about low-flow toilets, go to www.plmg.com/crtoilet.htm.
  4. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs in guestrooms, lobbies, and hallways. Use sensors and/or timers for areas that are infrequently used.
  5. Whenever possible, buy food and guest amenities in bulk (i.e., use refillable hair and skin care dispensers).
  6. Educate your staff to turn off lights and turn down heating/air conditioning when rooms are unoccupied. Also, during summer months, to close the drapes.
  7. Install window film to lower heating and cooling loads and reduce glare in guestrooms.
  8. Provide guestroom recycler baskets for newspaper, white paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic.
  9. Provide recycling bins both in public areas (i.e., poolside), in the kitchen, and in the back office (including one at each desk) to make recycling as easy as possible.
  10. Buy office and guest amenity products that contain recycled material. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  11. Buy organic, fair trade, cruelty-free guest amenity products whenever possible:
  12. Use recycled paper products (with high post-consumer recycled content) that are either unbleached or bleached using a chlorine-free process. Minimize the amount of paper used for each guest (i.e., reduce paper size of invoices, etc.). Print with soy-based inks.
  13. Use nontoxic or least toxic cleaners, sanitizers, paints, pesticides, etc. throughout the hotel. Make sure all chemicals are stored safely in a well-ventilated area.
  14. Purchase "Energy Star" appliances wherever possible (Energy Star for Hospitality (www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=hospitality.bus_hospitality) provides detailed information about energy saving appliances and monitoring systems). Replace old washing machines with both water and energy conserving models.
  15. If the hotel has a pool and/or hot tub, install a solar water heating system and use pool and hot tub covers when the pool area is closed.
  16. Provide your guests with bicycles, walking maps, and information on public transportation.
  17. Provide reusable items such as cloth napkins, glass cups, ceramic dishes, etc. with all food and beverage services.
  18. Provide glass cups and ceramic mugs (instead of plastic) for in-room beverages. Place cups and mugs upside down on paper doilies (instead of covering opening with a plastic wrapping).
  19. Use daylight exclusively in your lobby, bar, and restaurant for as much of the day as possible. Consider installing skylights if needed.
  20. Donate leftover food to a local nonprofit organization and/or use a compost bin.
  21. If your hotel has a restaurant, consider transitioning it into a Certified Green Restaurant (www.dinegreen.com). Buy organic, locally-grown food and/or plant an organic garden to provide fresh produce for your guests.
  22. Switch to drought resistant native plants in garden areas. Replace mowed landscaping with native ground cover.
  23. Replace exit signs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs.
  24. Include filter changes, coil cleaning, thermostat calibration, and damper adjustments in your ongoing maintenance plan.
  25. Monitor, record and post rates of energy and water use. Make repairs or replace equipment when rate changes indicate problems.
  26. Use an energy management system (EMS) to tie in air handling units, HVAC, and lighting to prevent conditioning space when it is not necessary.
  27. Create an incentive program to encourage your staff to participate in and improve upon environmentally-friendly practices.
  28. Use proper insulation and reflective roof coverings.
  29. When doing construction or remodeling projects, contact the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) to learn about the nationally accepted standards for green buildings (called LEED). Buy previously used or recycled-content products whenever possible. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  30. Consult outside sources to evaluate the total system when replacing major mechanical equipment (such as chiller, water tower, etc). Often, this can lead to downsizing and other opportunities to reduce both the initial investment and operating costs.
  31. Replace electric package terminal air conditioner (PTAC) units with more efficient heat pumps or other geothermal technologies.
  32. Donate leftover guest amenities, old furniture and appliances to charities.
  33. If available, schedule an energy audit through your local energy provider.
  34. If your hotel has a gift shop, consider purchasing fair trade products. A list of wholesalers can be found at: www.fairtradefederation.org/memwhl.html.
  35. Offer discounted rates to sustainable living/environmental organizations who would like stay at and/or hold meetings at your hotel.


Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels


Unknown said...

Recession and inflation are two factors that have taken the whole world by storm. The slump in the economies has led to a major downfall in the travel and tourism sector also. Cost cutting and rightsizing, as they call it have hit most of the countries of the world. Under such circumstances it is only natural that the travel industry has seen a steep fall in the graph. Tourism has also declined in the countries like India that is one of the favorite destinations for the leisure traveler. Thankfully, since the country is now a growing lucrative market with a bulk of foreign investment, the number of business travelers has not witnessed a cut down. The business hotels situated in the major cities of India also have the facilities and ambience of luxury hotels, as these hotels most of the time cater to the overseas business travelers. The business hotels in Hyderabad and the hotels in Hyderabad along with the four metros can be counted in this group. Earlier amongst the metros, Delhi and Mumbai enjoyed the highest number of business travelers. However, times have changed now and Chennai and Kolkata are also fast becoming business hubs. The rising number of business hotels in Chennai and Kolkata is testimonial of this fact.