As a traveler, one of the greatest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is by traveling green and finding sustainable hotels that make a positive impact on mother nature. And even though they come at a slightly steeper price than the normal hotels, you can rest assured you will have a more fulfilling experience because you will know your money isn’t just “feeding the beast” but instead supporting a business involved in reducing the damage caused to the environment; hence uplifting the surrounding community.
That said, the rise of greenwashing has made it really difficult to separate hotels striving for the best sustainability services from those simply pretending to. So with that in mind, here are some tips to look out for and see if your hotel is committed to the sustainability cause or if it’s just chasing clout.
1. Works Closely with The Locals.
If you want to know a hotel is sustainable check for the local community around it because sustainable hotels empower the local community. So, you expect to see the staff in the hotel are locals, the hotel is getting its suppliers to form the locals and it is supporting sustainable community programs. Moreover, the hotel should encourage the preservation of cultural traditions of the community around.
2. Ensuring Guests Services Are Eco-Friendly
A sustainable hotel will inspire you to follow its lead because it will incorporate some interactive initiatives such as offering reusable bottles, incentives for guests who arrive by public transport, hosting environmental clean-ups events, and giving free or cheap bicycle rentals or a shared transport option. Additionally, the hotel should encourage you verbally to support their green movements to help keep the environment eco-friendly.
3. Decomposition Policy
Think of all the times you have been to a hotel and left food on your plate. It’s countless times, right? So, if a hotel is sustainable it will have a decomposition policy where all the food waste and paper products are collected and decomposed and in return, there’s some rich and productive soil for the locals. Besides, if the hotel is in a rural area the soil can be used in its edible green garden. Therefore, staying in a hotel with a decomposition policy not only supports eco-friendly efforts but also makes you less guilty of leaving some food on your plate.
4. Solar Panels
Being in a hotel that’s being powered by solar panels makes you feel relieved because solar panels utilize the renewable energy from the sun thus being the most basic way of ensuring eco-friendliness. Since you have been to a hotel you know how much electricity it can consume because it is needed to light the big spaces and many rooms. So having solar panels makes it environmentally friendly and cuts on the pricy electricity bills.
5. Eco-friendly Cleaning Supplies
A hotel should always be clean hence a lot of cleaning happens in a hotel every day. Therefore, using single-use plastic containers can cause harm to the environment and the guests. So, hotels should switch to biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning supplies thus creating a safer environment and good healthy customers.
6. Sustainability Policy
A hotel committed to sustainability will always have a policy on its website which spells out to you, whenever you go looking up for hotels on the internet, that it has been certified by a credible organization such as EarthCheck and show the specific sustainability initiatives it has implemented. Besides, if you can’t find a sustainability policy of a hotel online always contact it directly, and if it can provide specifics then you should be worried.
7. Water Wastage Policy
Sustainable hotels offer you the choice of having your linens cleaned every day but very few people need their sheets cleaned after every sleep. So, if you haven’t called room service about the cleaning of your linens you won’t have them knocking on your door asking if you want your sheets cleaned. Consequently, don’t try to be an eco-saint and sleep on dirty sheets as you use dirty towels, what am saying is, if it’s not necessary don’t request fresh ones.
Hotels can also expect to save a good deal of the environment by deciding to go green because moving towards sustainability means reducing water and energy consumption as well as looking out for things like guest services and maintenance.