Are you looking for ways to attract more customers while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint?
As a hotel owner, the shift to a more sustainable, green hotel doesn’t need to be a hard one. That’s why we’ve developed this checklist of steps that your hotel business can take to become more eco-friendly.
The idea behind becoming more sustainable is the awareness of every resource and item that you use, and analyzing the amount of waste that is produced in the making of that item and in the way you use it. You always want to make the choice that requires the least amount of waste of a resource or supply.
For example, when you wash the same linens every day despite the same guest staying for an entire week, you are wasting water on linens that might not actually need cleaning. Therefore a solution would be to start a program in your hotel to make guests aware that you will only change out the linens during their stay if they request so, as opposed to automatically swapping out linens everyday.
There’s also the factor to consider of what carbon emissions occur from the use of certain resources. This is something we’ll talk about in more detail below.
See where your creativity will take you, but here are some steps that you can get started with now:
Optimize Energy Use with Renewable Sources
One thing that you may not think about is where the energy that keeps your hotel alive comes from. Electricity comes from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. One of the reasons this is not the best source of energy is because of the toxins that are released in the air as a result of burning fossil fuels. These include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can pollute the air, harm our health, and lead to negative environmental impacts such as sea level rise, acid rain, and more. Not to mention that fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy, meaning that over time we are depleting this resource and eventually there won’t be any left.
The solution, though, isn’t to simply rid your hotel of energy sources. You do need energy, after all, to keep your services running smoothly! But what you can do is change where you get your energy from and how much of it you use. A popular method is switching (at least partially) over to solar power and solar heating. You can also be more aware of the products you are purchasing, such as light bulbs. Make sure that you are only purchasing Energy Star-approved bulbs for your hotel lighting.
Save Water by Motivating Your Green Hotel Guests to Reuse Towels and Linens
Piggybacking off of what we discussed regarding a linen and towel reuse program, it’s essential to establish how you will make this program successful. This system relies on the wording of your signs to most effectively encourage your guests, and also a clear understanding with your staff of when to change out towels and linens.
An example of how JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts organized their system to alert staff is that a towel that is hanging up will be reused, and that if a towel is on the floor, then staff should swap them out. **It is important to note that this is solely in regards to guests who are staying in a hotel room for more than one night. We do not mean to reuse linens across guests! Please don’t do that.
Encourage Employees with Incentive Programs
Transforming into a green hotel isn’t solely referring to your hotel rooms, it’s also referring to your general business practices. Simple practices such as encouraging your employees to recycle, bring in their own reusable water bottles, avoid printing as opposed to working digitally, etc. are easy changes your business can make to reduce your footprint. But how can you get your employees on board since environmental awareness isn’t quite part of their job description?
Incentive programs, of course! Whether it’s something as simple as just getting your employees involved and asking for their feedback on how to make your hotel more eco-friendly, or something as exciting to your workers as providing a bonus or gift card to the “most eco-friendly employee,” do what is most realistic to get your employees on board.
Install Eco-Friendly Add-Ons in Your Bathrooms
There’s no doubt that there is plenty of water waste in the bathroom. But this doesn’t mean you need to tear out all of your current faucets, showers and toilets to install new, more efficient versions. Instead, you can apply add-ons to all of these integral bathroom features, such as water-saving shower heads, faucet aerators and low-flow devices.
What all of these devices have in common is their ability to limit water waste by reducing how much water flows out of the shower, sink or toilet. These changes are simple but can make a world of a difference in how many gallons of water your hotel wastes on a daily basis.
Limit Waste by Making Recycling Bins Accessible
One clear source of waste is anything that goes into the trash bin, aka the “waste basket.” But do you know how severe the impacts of trash are? These include everything from killing wildlife, leaching chemicals into the air, and hurting tourism, ultimately impacting animals, the environment, human quality of life and the economy. While finding ways to reduce your use of products and finding ways to reuse what you already have is an essential concept in sustainability, there is the undeniable fact that your guests and your employees are inevitably going to throw things out. But of the materials they are throwing out, how many of those can be broken down into new materials?
Here, we’re talking about plastics, cardboard, paper, cans, etc. (aka recyclables). By creating the simple addition of a recycling bin that sits next to all of your business’ trash cans, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste headed toward the area’s dump. According to the EPA, “Recycling just 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours.”
Avoid Buying as Opposed to Renting
When you purchase your hotel’s linens and proceed to launder them yourself, you are doing a disservice to both your hotel and the environment. This is because unless you are a linen expert, you don’t have any guarantee that you are getting the high-quality linens that your hotel needs, and then when you proceed to launder them yourself you are running the risk of damaging them and then needing to have brand new linens shipped to you.
What this equates to is many miles traveled to get brand new linens to you, wastefulness of the linens that were poorly laundered, and chances are, your laundering practices aren’t as sustainable as they could be. When you work with a hotel linen and towel rental company, you get supplies that meet the quality that you need in your industry that are laundered with the environment in mind.
That’s where we at Braun Linen come in. We care about our community, and that means both your hotel and the environment. To help in our community, we provide high-quality linen rental services to hotels just like yours.
Being eco-friendly or a green hotel doesn’t need to be complicated. Contact us at Braun at 800-272-8657.