Eco-Friendly Features to Look for In Your Next Hotel Booking
What to Look for in Hotels that Claim to be “Green”-
Hotels can make considerable savings when implementing small, eco-friendly changes in the way they do business. Budget and discount hotels, in particular, should be investing in modern techniques and methods to care for our environment. The next time you are arranging paid accommodation, ask them what are they doing to care for the environment. This article looks at some of those technologies and methods that should be employed. Resorts and other paid accommodation are often leading the way in examples of modern design and technologies that are good for our environment. There have been some great examples of this around the world in the last year. The technology that goes into these hotels often filters down into regular home use within a few years. Being carbon-neutral is a very strong marketing point for hotels and accommodation, in a business that traditionally wasted a lot of energy. Here are some examples of some of the new technologies and simple strategies we have seen introduced in some hotels in the last 2 years.
- Solar Blinds. These blinds look much like an ordinary Venetian blind, but are actually capturing sunlight to help power the hotel. They have been introduced in some of the biggest buildings in Shanghai. When you think about all that glass and direct sunlight, you can see how much power they generate.
- Cleaning Agents. Some of the smallest changes can make a huge difference. It is not always technology and design that bring those huge results. Sometimes we need to take a step back from technology to make the right move forward. Some of the more conscious hotels are using old fashioned and chemical free cleaning agents, resulting in lower costs and being a whole lot better for the environment.
- Automation. There are many aspects of power and temperature management, when monitored and adjusted, can mean considerable savings and less power use. If you think about the fact that any single day will have a range of temperatures, energy management software, to utilize resources and energy, is the way to go. Even some smaller boutique hotels are employing this technology to make the most out of their power management and use. Automation and other motion sensors will detect when areas are in use. There is no way a hotel room heater can be left on – or anything, for that matter.
- Organic Materials. Organic sheets, towels and pillows make sense. They also only make sense if they are sourced locally. This is a particular issue to be aware of. If your hotel has organic materials, and they are not bought locally, then considerable energy has been used to transport them.
- Water Recycling and Low Use. Water used for laundry can be used more than once. Some hotels are using systems that use laundry water up to 3 times before discarding. Low flow shower-heads save a huge amount of water. There are also new toilet technologies that allow men’s urinals to stay clean without water that save thousands of liters of water each year.
- Paperless. The need for paper is becoming less important. Do you really need a printout and envelope when you check out? There are technologies to handle signatures digitally, and you can keep your receipts electronically online. If there is paper, it just has to be recycled.
Ask the hotel about their carbon footprint. This is a definitive way to know where they stand on this issue. If they have no idea, then you know they are not serious about the environment. The hotels that are making these changes are adjusting to the market. This is an industry highly sensitive to individual demands because it is so people-orientated. Help change the industry further by asking about these issues and more.