Green hotels, in addition to being eco-friendly havens, can also be showcases for the design innovations that can be achieved with sustainable materials. When it comes to environmentally friendly design, it’s the materials that matter, from energy efficient chandeliers to sustainably sourced flooring.
The world’s most eco-friendly hospitality properties, both new and refurbished, are leading the way in conserving energy and resources without sacrificing style. Clever reuse of existing materials and well-made new products are making it easier than ever to be green.
If your property is looking for ways to increase its commitment to the environment and its ability to delight guests with unique ambiance, here are 10 design tips from green hotels.
Up with Upcycling
The idea behind upcycling is to literally turn trash into treasure, or at least something better than the original. Designers, artists and makers of all stripes are becoming ever more creative in turning scrap metal into stools, glass into tiles and newspaper into wallpaper.
Look for upcycled goods, furniture and materials for a unique flair with eco-friendly design cred.
Garbage Cans with Room for Recycling
Guests are much more likely to recycle their paper, cans and plastic if you make it easy for them. In guest rooms, invest in compact trash receptacles with side-by-side garbage cans and blue recycling bins.
Tree’s the Charm
Reclaimed, recycled and salvaged timber provides an excellent opportunity to bring the outdoors in and give new life to old wood. Trees that have been felled by storms or sickness can provide a beautiful backbone for everything from as structural elements to lamps. Post-industrial wood pulp can also be recycled into particleboard.
Incorporate LEDs into Your Overall Lighting Concept
It’s one thing to use energy efficient LED lights in your existing fixtures, and another to build custom fixtures around the lights to highlight their beauty and versatility. Use LED-specific works of lighting art to decorate lobby and bar areas and to set the right mood in your lounge.
Environmentally friendly paints aim for a decreased environmental impact and increased indoor air quality. Look for paints that are non-toxic, zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) and that contain natural ingredients such as natural minerals and vegetable dyes.
Natural or Recycled Fabrics
When it comes to the fabrics for bedding, towels and tablecloths, there are plenty of sustainable and sophisticated choices available. Opt for natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, linen or wool, or textiles that have been recycled.
Recycled carpet has been a popular choice for green hospitality properties, and there are a range of other eco-friendly options, including: cork, linoleum and wood from sustainable sources; natural slate and stone; and rubber flooring made from rubber trees – not the synthetic kind.
Curtains that Conserve Energy
Blackout curtains, shades or blinds made of sustainably sourced or recycled materials are a common and effective way to stop heat from escaping guest rooms on cold days and from blazing in on warm ones.
Be sure to get staff and guests in on the act by asking them to cover the windows of unoccupied rooms.
Locally sourced rocks and stones can be both decorative and functional: stock them in guest rooms as the signal that guests use to alert housekeeping that they don’t need their bedding changed for the day.
Stone on the bed means: no new linens; stone on the nightstand means refresh please.
The sleek bathroom fixtures found in green hotels aren’t just stylish, they save water. Dual-flush toilets, water-saving showerheads and greywater systems are some of the eco-friendly options for bathrooms.
Green hotels are doing their part to help the environment and to raise the bar for hospitality design. With even small steps, you can incorporate eco-friendly design elements into your property for stylish sustainability.