Green hotel practices aren’t just good for the environment, they’re good for guests’ well-being, according to a recent survey.
In a survey by Booking.com released on Earth Day, 33 percent of travelers said their reason for choosing an an eco-friendly hotel or resort was “wanting to feel good about an accommodation choice.” Don’t we all?
For properties looking to boost their eco-friendly cred as well as the positive feels, here are 5 green hotel practices guests will feel good about.
Find an Alternative to Plastic Straws
Driven by consumer demand, some of the largest hotel chains in the world have already committed to banning plastic straws from their properties by a certain date and finding alternatives made of paper or other materials.
Cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Miami Beach also have or are planning bans, as well as companies such as Starbucks. Environmental activists behind the ban acknowledge that straws are just the beginning and say they hope reducing their use will be a gateway to raising awareness about the drawbacks of all single-use plastic.
Banning plastic straws and stirrers at your property and replacing them with durable, eco-friendly alternatives will signal to guests that you’re part of the solution.
Install Soap and Shampoo Dispensers
Speaking of single-use plastic, we’re looking at you miniature soaps, shampoos and conditioners. Consider replacing those small bottles with refillable product dispensers mounted near sinks and in showers.
In addition to reducing the use of plastic, you’re allowing guests to use just what they need during their stay, no more and no less.
Go with the (Low) Flow
If you’ve experimented with low-flow shower heads in the past and found them to be of low quality that left guests feeling just plain low, it’s time to take another look.
Technology has advanced in recent years, bringing high guest satisfaction even with low flow. Shower heads are available that combine air so the water pressure still feels strong, use twin jets for a spa-like feel, and are resistant to mineral depositing.
And consider this: Experts say low-flow shower heads can cut water usage by 25 gallons in a 10-minute shower. That adds up, given that taps, toilets and showers make up about 30 to 40 percent of a typical hotel property’s water usage.
Turn Your Supply Chain Green
Green hotel practices include both what you do at your property and what you ask your vendors and suppliers to do as well. In addition to steps such as sourcing local produce, you can set sustainability requirements for the companies you work with.
If you work with a commercial laundry service, they’re a great place to start. Ideally, they already follow a number green practices such as using the most high-tech, energy efficient commercial laundry machines. When you talk to your rep or take a tour of their facility, ask for details about their green initiative.
You can also give preference to vendors and suppliers who:
- Follow their own sustainability program
- Have a robust recycling program
- Eliminate or minimize the use of toxic chemicals
Get Loud About Getting Greener
If your property already has green hotel practices in place or uses vendors who do, don’t be shy about it.
Invest in newsletters, hotel TV screens, room placards, lobby signage and internal communications with staff to spread the word about your environmental policies and initiatives.
It’s a win-win: You’ll be educating staff and guests who may not be in the know about eco-friendly approaches and giving good feels to guests who chose you because of your commitment to Mother Nature.
Feel-Good Guest Experiences
In addition to feeling good about their hotel or resort, travelers in the Booking.com survey said they made an eco-friendly choice because they want to reduce their environmental impact (40 percent) or have a locally relevant experience (34 percent).
With the right green hotel practices, your property can check all of those boxes and do your part for the environment.