Building on my post “What can your next hotel do? (Part 1)” I discuss some more initiatives hotels can perform to have a more positive impact on guests, staff, environment and local community. This list is in no way exhaustive. I fully acknowledge that every item is not practical, or possible, for every establishment. The aim is to encourage you, the customer, to see the positive things that hotels are already doing, thank them, and encourage them to do #onemorething? What will you pick? You could even send them a link to this post, and the previous one 😉
These take a little bit of effort;
- Air conditioning / heating – does this automatically switch off, or reduce, when guests are not in the room, or the rooms are not in use?
- Air fresheners – these are all natural, e.g. essential oils. No Glade Plug in!
- Bar – local spirits, beer and wine options, where available.
- Breakfast / restaurant – uses local seasonal products where practical. Has good vegetarian / vegan options. Serves sustainable fish / seafood, for the area. Uses free range meat and eggs.
- Cleaning products – natural with no bleach.
- Food waste – how does the hotel keep food waste down, and what happens to left over food?
- Linen – has this been purchased with longevity in mind, and less chemicals needed in the washing process. White is not always the best option!
- Local staff – recruits locally as much as they can. If appropriate, the hotel has an apprenticeship scheme for local young people.
- Laundry – uses natural products to reduce the impact on the local water system.
- Napkins – washable material instead of paper.
- Mini bar contents – are these local / regional products?
- Staff pay – a living wage for the country / city?
- Water – is in-house filtered water (in glass) provided if the local tap water is not drinkable? Where bottled water is available for sale, this is as locally produced as possible and not owned by a multinational.
These show a highly committed environmental hotel;
- Arrival – guests arriving by public transport get a discount or special extra gift.
- Bins – those in the rooms are lined with old newspaper instead of plastic bags.
- Charity – the hotel has an annual (or permanent) charity partner who is the recipient of any fundraising activities for the year.
- Composting – any unavoidable food waste is composted for the hotel gardens.
- Contribution – the hotel has a culturally appropriate way for guests to give back to or be involved in the local community, if they so wish.
- Drinks – all soft drinks are from local small producers, or made in-house from fresh ingredients. No drinks companies with current major boycotts are used e.g. Pepsi Co, Coca Cola & Nestle.
- Gardens – only plants that can survive easily in the climate are used i.e. don’t need lots of extra water. Plants have been chosen to attract pollinators and birds.
- Growing – a herb / vegetable garden suitable for the climate and conditions. This supplies fresh products to the kitchen / bar. Any extra water is provided by grey water collection.
- Green waste – this is added to kitchen waste for the compost.
- Organic – the gardens and growing areas are maintained with organic, or biodynamic, principles. No artificial pesticides or fertilisers are used.
- Power – a green energy tariff is used, if available. Or some green energy is created on site e.g. solar power.
- Recycling – guests encouraged to separate waste, and the hotel also sorts waste, to ensure they recycle everything possible for the area.
- Staff travel – where practical staff are encouraged to travel to work by public transport, bicycle, or walking. Facilities exist for storing bikes, showering and changing.
- Straws – these are paper, reusable bamboo, or metal.
You have the power!
In the competitive world of hotels customer satisfaction, and feedback, is vitally important. This gives us all huge power to encourage all hotels to be more sustainable.
Who is your inspiration?
This post is inspired by a number of hotels trying to make a difference. In the UK my sustainable hotel hero is The Scarlet, North Cornwall. Other inspiration; Latitude 10, Finica Exotica, Essance D’Orient and Sapa Clay House, are establishments making huge efforts to be more sustainable than their competitors.
Update (June 2017)
It would seem some hotel groups, I don’t know which, are using their old soaps to make new bars. These are then sent to areas of the world where sanitation is limited. At least they are doing something useful with them. According to this short video, the world discards 5million (!!) bars per day. If you would like your next hotel to participate in this scheme then direct them to Clean the World project and they can sign up.