20 easy, yet effective, ways in which hotel managers or owners can make their business greener and more sustainable.
Today, many hotel guests look at more than just room price and user reviews when choosing a hotel to stay in. Hotel sustainability is quickly becoming a big factor and so the ‘greener’ you can make your hotel practices the more guests you will get through the door.
Below are 20 simple ways in which you can make your hotel a greener hotel. Some may not be appropriate for smaller businesses but many can be implemented without incurring a huge cost.
Reducing your Hotel Water Usage
• Fit water hippos to toilets – these are water displacement devices that reduce the amount of water used with each flush of the toilet.
• Check tap fittings – one leaking tap in a hotel can add up to £100 per year onto the water bill.
• Motion sensor urinal flushing – consider installing a motion sensor device in male public toilets so that the urinals only flush when required.
• Invest in water butts – if your hotel has gardens or indoor plants that require constant watering then outdoor water butts that harvest rain water are a great way of saving money.
• Staff awareness – educate your staff about the cost of water and suggest ways in which they can reduce the amount of water they use i.e. in kitchen wash up and in housekeeping.
Reducing your Hotel Energy Usage
• Fit low energy light bulbs – every time a standard light bulb dies in your hotel replace it with a low energy bulb. These bulbs do take longer to achieve full brightness though and so you may need to explain this to guests in some way.
• Motion sensor lighting – consider installing motion sensor lighting in areas of the hotel that are only used at specific times of the day e.g. kitchens, dry stores, laundry, function rooms etc.
• Implement a ‘switch off’ campaign – make sure all of your staff know to switch off appliances, lights and other equipment that are not in use. You may also want to put something in the bedrooms to remind hotel guests to switch off their lights when leaving the room.
• Check your draft proofing and loft insulation are as beneficial as they should be.
• Use laundry drying balls – this only applies if you have a hotel in-house laundry. These cheap balls speed up the drying process, so reducing energy consumption.
Reducing your Hotel Waste (to Landfill)
• Use refillable cleaning products – look for a ‘green’ cleaning product that comes in a concentrated form. You can then dilute the product into refillable containers for the housekeeping and kitchen staff to use.
• Replace the individual bathroom toiletries i.e. soap, shower gel, shampoo etc. with refillable all-in-one pump devices. You will need a pump bottle and holder for each guest bathroom but the huge reduction in waste far outweighs the small initial cost.
• Consider specialist recycling of printer cartridges, batteries and light bulbs.
• Purchase recycled paper, use both sides for non-important printing and change your printer settings to ‘draft’ in order to reduce the number of ink cartridges used.
• Invest in a compost bin – composting some of your kitchen waste and garden waste can quickly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Other Green Initiatives that are easy to Implement
• If you have gardens around your hotel you might consider installing bird boxes, hedgehog houses, ladybird houses and even frog houses. These can be made from recycled wood products if you have any lying around.
• Put together a guest file that contains information on ‘green’ activities in the area i.e. nature walks, cycle routes etc. You can also include public transport information for those guests who are happy to use their cars less.
• Suggest a staff car-share scheme or encourage staff who live locally to walk to work occasionally.
• Use local food producers rather than those who have to travel miles to reach you. A lot of small, independent producers offer top quality produce at lower than average prices.
• Replace one of your landfill skips with a recycling skip and make all staff aware of what can and can’t be recycled.
As you can see there are plenty of ways in which you can make your hotel ‘greener’ or more sustainable. These initiatives may take a while to implement but when potential guests are made aware of your efforts they will certainly look more favourably at your hotel than most…and that is what all hotel businesses want at the end of the day.