We live in a world where we more and more have to consider the environment. These days everywhere you go you get it! It’s loud and clear: we need to consider the environment. Celebrities, like the Parlotones, are starting up organisations to raise funds for this specific cause – it’s in our face every where you go!
At first, I did not get why people have this sudden care for the environment. I ignored it for a long time. However, it was not until I attended a lecture on economics, that I realised we need to be more environmentally friendly people. I realised that this frantic “phase” that the world is going through, is not just a “phase” but something that I simply CANNOT ignore. It is then, that I made the decision that I am going to become an environmentally friendly person. Knowing that it is not something that happens over night, I do feel this is something that each and everyone needs to take very serious and make it personal.
I have this dream to one day start my own hotel. This dream is still very much still a dream, but I know that it’s not going to stay a dream. I already started planning on what type of hotel it will be, what it till look like, and so forth. Since I started becoming environmentally friendly, I decided that my hotel will be an Eco-Friendly hotel. I started my research and decided to write this post. My hope is, that this post will spur an excitement and a passion within you to start to take our environment into consideration. The post will mostly be aimed at what an Eco-Friendly hotel is and what you can look out for to recognise an Eco-Friendly hotel and to start to support these hotels.
Why should hotels and accommodations be green?
Green goes much further than just considering the environment. It opens your doors to welcome guests back again. You’ll have to have happy staff because you care for their well-being and health. Lastly, it adds much higher value to your property, which in turn, means a happy you!
When energy-saving measures are put into place, such as fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for public rest rooms, meeting rooms, exercise rooms, energy bills are reduced. If water-saving equipment is introduced, such as low-flow shower heads, serving water on request only in restaurants, 1.6gmp dishwashing valves, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals and the unnecessary run of water are reduced and therefore water bills are reduced dramatically.
Waste hauling is one of the biggest expense for any big hotel and this can be reduced by recycling and avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Vendors of products can be requested to deliver products in minimal wrapping.
By going green, it does not only result in happy staff and regular guests, BUT as we proved in our paragraphs above, it also SAVES so, so much. So, in stead of pushing all of that “wasted” money into electricity and water bills and waste control, you can put that extra money you spend, in your pocket as profit!
One must also remember that no one can go “green” without the help and support of the vendors that provide these green products and services. By going green, you not only helping the environment, BUT you are also supporting these vendors. That way we can work together to build a greener environment and eventually a green world!
What it means to be a green hotel and accommodation:
Criteria for an eco-friendly hotel/accommodation:
- Dependence on the natural environment
- Ecological sustainability
- Proven contribution to conservation
- Provision for environmental training programs.
- Incorporation of cultural considerations
- Provision of an economic return to the local community
Characteristics of an eco-friendly hotel accommodation:
- Housekeeping uses non-toxic cleaning agents and laundry detergents.
- 100% organic cotton sheets, towels and mattresses.
- Non-smoking environment.
- Renewable energy sources like solar or wind energy.
- Bulk organic soap and amenities in stead of individual packaging to reduce waste.
- Guest rooms and hotel lobby recycling bins.
- Towel & Sheet re-use. Guests and tell housekeeping to leave these slightly used items to reduce water consumption.
- Energy-efficient lighting.
- On-site transportation with green vehicles.
- Serve organic and local grown food.
- Non-disposable dishes.
- Offers a fresh-air exchange system.
- Gray water recycling, which is the re-use of kitchen, bath and laundry water for garden and landscaping.
- Newspaper recycling program.
The building structure is build from sustainable resources like tropical hardwoods and local stone, designed to better blend with their environment. In addition, these hotels and accommodation establishments are being run on eco-friendly principals, such as serving organic or locally-grown food, using natural cooling as supposed to air-conditioning.
South Africa is a slightly behind the rest of the world when it comes to eco-friendly hotels. However, Hotel Verde situated at the Cape Town International Airport is officially crowned as Africa’s Greenest Hotel. The hotel is build completely from sustainable recourses. Green facilities you can expect on your visit, varies from an eco pool, wetland jogging trail, herb garden, indoor and outdoor gym – indoor gym is fitted with power-generated gym equipment – to green conferences. Check out this video for more information:
Top 10 eco-friendly hotels globally:
- Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort in Hopkins, Belize
- Hotel Terra Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyomong
- La Cusinga Eco Lodge in Uvita, Costa Rica
- Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Eco Lodge in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
- The Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica, California
- Hix Island House in Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
- Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge in Homer, Alaska
- Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn in Santa Barbara, Costa Rica
- Concordia Eco-Tents in Virgin Islands National Park, St John
- Hotel Monaco Seattle in Seattle, Washington
If you find yourself in one of these destinations, then do yourself a favour and book your stay at any of these hotels. I am sure tempted!!
In conclusion. I hope this post has given you a better understanding of what a green hotel is and why it is important that we give them our support. I hope that it inspired you to go green in your personal capacity. Let’s stand together to make our environment not only a pleasure to live in, but at the end, to save our planet!
If you have any feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to leave your comment or question in the box below. I would love to hear from you!
Hope you have enjoyed this article. Feel free to leave a comment or check out some of my other articles regarding accommodation in south africa.