Green or eco-friendly practices in the travel industry are growing around the world, because of the conscious customers that demand them. Travelers are more concerned than ever with their environmental footprint and will gladly choose a hotel that strives for sustainability. Nowadays, going green is no longer a simple matter of consciousness, it is a business opportunity.
A new National Geographic survey of 3,500 adults in the U.S. reveals strong support for sustainability. According to the survey, while 42% of U.S. travelers would be willing to prioritize sustainable travel in the future, only 15% of these travelers are sufficiently familiar with what sustainable travel actually means. “The travel industry is more dependent than most industries on the health of local communities, environments, and cultures,” says Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners.
Green hotels favor sustainable living techniques without sacrificing the comforts of a luxury modern lifestyle. Many hotels are taking steps to make their practices more sustainable. Here are some easy green practices that will impress your guests.
Switching to clean energy techniques is very important to reduce the hotel’s footprint. This is achieved by adopting appropriate technologies and measures that aim towards minimizing the negative environmental impact.
Some clean energy practices that your hotel can adopt are:
- Use key-cards as a way of making sure that guests are not leaving the lights on when they leave the rooms.
- Use solar panels, they are a great source of renewable energy.
- Reduce the hours spent on housekeeping practices such as doing laundry and vacuuming.
- Replace traditional lights in corridors and common areas with motion-detecting long-lasting led lights.
It is important to provide the hotel´s employees with the knowledge and tools they need to bring sustainability to their everyday practices. Creating a green team is crucial to establish an environmentally healthy business practice. To motivate them and strengthen the local economic system, hotels should provide their employees with competitive salaries and benefits, like sustainable education.
Organic Food Options
To provide guests a unique experience each time they visit, think about offering locally produced, sourced, and seasonal items on the restaurant menu. It not only keeps things fresh each time but the restaurant area is also a great place to show that your ingredients are locally and organically produced. If you end up working with a local company or have an organic farm, the best way to impress your guests is to let them know where the food is coming from.
Recycling and Reducing Initiatives
Offering recycling options for materials like paper, aluminum, plastics, and more is a big step towards having your guests opt-in your sustainable practices. Hotels can go green by banning single-use plastic products and changing plastic straws for bamboo ones. For example, think about filtered water dispensers, complimentary refillable bottles, and other options that reduce the usage of plastic bottles. If your guests have convenient alternatives to water in plastic bottles, they’ll appreciate the focus you’re putting on saving the environment.
While it’s true that some sustainable technologies are more of an upfront investment, being eco-friendly will help to improve efficiency and lower costs in the long run. Many sustainable hotel practices will pay for themselves in the short-term, for example reducing energy and water bills.
Going green isn’t just a trend, it’s something a lot of travelers put an emphasis on nowadays. Guests are always the hotel´s number one priority and that’s exactly why sustainable practices are so important. Today’s customers support companies that share their values. Travelers are increasingly seeking out eco-friendly travel options, and some are even willing to pay extra to support a hotel’s sustainability program.
THIS IS SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL | A NEW KIND OF TRAVEL