Within the last decade, the hotel industry has seen an increased interest in pursuing green practices. By implementing programs designed to recycle and reduce waste, hotels are not only saving money, water, and energy, they are making a significant impact on the environment as well.
Recycling and reusing is an example of how an eco-friendly hotel strives to protect the environment. By donating or recycling outdated furniture, reusing linens, providing recycling baskets in public areas, and donating leftover food, soaps and shampoos to pantries, waste disposal is dramatically reduced. In addition, rather than disposing common items such as paper napkins and cups, hotels pursuing green practices simply provide cloth napkins and glass or ceramic cups to reduce waste. Because disposing waste is costly, hotels not only save money by recycling and reusing, but also avoid hauling unnecessary waste to landfills.
To conserve water, hotels striving to be green may introduce a variety of simple water saving techniques and low-cost equipment. For example, routine inspections and timely maintenance of leaky faucets or toilets not only saves hotels money, but helps prevent unnecessary water waste as well. To further conserve water usage, sink aerators or low-flow showerheads and toilets may be installed throughout the hotel. In addition, guests may be encouraged to reuse linens, or hotel restaurants may provide drinking water only upon request. Finally, green hotels may consider installing landscape irrigation controllers or collecting and reusing rainwater to control water usage. By implementing these simple water saving techniques and low-cost equipment, eco-friendly hotels are not only conserving water, but saving time and money as well.
Efforts to reduce energy usage are additional ways hotels are seeking to be more green. For example, switching lighting to LED reduces the use of electricity, lasts longer, and is safer than bulbs containing mercury. Additionally, by simply encouraging employees and guests to turn off lights, turn down thermostats, and close drapes, significantly less energy’s wasted. Moreover, hotels may use sensors and timers to reduce electricity usage, especially in areas used less frequently like halls or public restrooms. Skylights, properly insulating, solar energy, and geothermal heating also contribute to reducing energy used, as well as replacing old appliances with “Energy Star” appliances to conserve both energy and water.
In conclusion, by implementing eco-friendly programs that are simple to follow and cost little, hotels are not only saving money, but more importantly, they are saving our environment.