For green hotels, and hotels looking to become more green, the eco-friendly options are seemingly endless. From rooftop gardens, to edible landscaping and everything in between, there is no shortage of innovative ideas for reducing the industry’s environmental impact.
(pictured: PARKROYAL Hotel in Singapore. Named Hotel of the Year by World Architecture News in the annual WAN Awards in 2013 for it’s unique hotel-in-a-garden).
And, of course, to meet the ever-growing demands of today’s sustainability-savvy traveler, who thinks your hard-won linen reuse program is so last year. As we kick off another year and busy tourism season, here are the top 12 trends for green hotels in 2017:
Catering to Locavores on the Go
A locavore is defined as someone “whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.” That goes for travel, too. As they take their eating habits on the road, one way to set your hotel or restaurant apart is to entice them with local produce, meats or cheeses that from area or regional farms, and fresh-caught fish.
Locally Sourced Amenities
The trend toward local products doesn’t stop at the kitchen. Hotels will continue to source everything from toiletries to eco-friendly linens from local makers and artisans. It’s not only better for the environment, it gives your guests a one-of-a-kind experience they won’t be able to get anywhere else.
Refillable Toiletry Dispensers
Say goodbye to tiny plastic bottles and hello to chic refillable containers for toiletries. What better way to showcase your regionally produced lotions and shower gels?
‘Edible’ Resorts: Turning Hoteliers into Farmers
This trend takes “locavore” a step further – or a step closer to home, rather – with fruits, vegetables and herbs grown onsite at hospitality properties. Think rooftop gardens and beehives, and fruit trees overhanging guest balconies.
‘Edible’ Resorts: Turning Farmers into Hoteliers
Travel experts are also predicting a continued rise in the number of hotel properties placed within vineyards, olive groves or working farms.
Occupancy Sensors for Lights and/or HVAC
Rather than relying on guests or housekeeping staff to remember to turn off lights or adjust the thermostat for empty rooms, properties are increasingly turning to technology. Sensors in guest rooms determine when they’re empty and adjust the lighting and/or temperature accordingly.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Those prime spots at the front of parking lots will increasingly be reserved for electric cars that need to be plugged in during guest stays. Look for more hotels shifting their fleet vehicles to electric cars, too.
Increased Marketing for Green Endeavors
As more travel booking websites allow travelers to sort by sustainability, more properties will step up their reporting of their eco-friendly efforts. Even internal initiatives, such as recycling training for staff, will become a factor that guests can consider.
Eco-friendly Design Overhauls
As properties renovate and refresh to meet — and anticipate– travelers’ changing needs, green design touches will continue to play a star role. Hotels will step up their use of low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and products, install energy efficient appliances, fixtures and lighting, and use eco-friendly linens.
The majority of respondents in the Green Lodging Trends Report 2016 reported having a “green team” or sustainability committee at the property level to lead eco-friendly initiatives and champion green choices.
Ozone Laundry Systems
In the same report, almost 8 percent of respondents said they plan to install an ozone laundry system in the next 12 months to reduce their environmental impact.
It’s hard to top the eco-friendly advantages of commercial laundry services, which are equipped with the most energy efficient appliances to use less water, gas and electricity than traditional laundry machines. When it comes to going green, outsourcing is in.
In 2017, green hotels will continue to set the standard for sustainability efforts across the hospitality industry. And as one expert firm predicts, someday, the term “green hotel” will become redundant as every property embraces environmentally friendly practices. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on the current trends and more.