Environmental concerns have exponentially become a point in discussion in hotel board meetings. With an increasing amount of issues related to non-sustainable practices, many hotels have taken action into a greener path. Eco-friendly measures have been taken particularly in the area of food and beverage related to food waste, water, energy, and overall hotel activity. But the main question that resides is how to make a property more sustainable without compromising comfort and service for guests. This ongoing debate has many times made boards hesitate in the implementation of certain practices, here are six practices that instead of hindering the guest experience it will actually boost it.
Bottled Water Alternatives
Complimentary water has been up for debate for a long time. While some hotels charge up to $6 for bottled water some hotels offer their guests free plastic water bottles. Most of which if consumed are replaced with new ones every day. To put it into perspective the average number of rooms in a hotel in the USA is 340. Two bottles of water are placed per room per day. On average both water bottles are consumed in the room per day, which means that 680 bottles of water are placed and disposed of every day, and that does not count the pool area, lobby, etc. That is an astonishing amount of plastic bottles. And although many hotels do recycle it is hard to keep track of where guests dispose of the plastic once empty.
To try to solve this issue hotels have started encouraging guests to reuse their plastic bottle for the entirety of their stay by placing many conveniently located water dispensers throughout the hotel, most floors having their own. Other alternatives are glass refillable bottles that are for in-room use only which are filled during housekeeping daily cleaning for the guests’ convenience.
A fun activity which is an excellent solution for guests to discover the surroundings. This eco-friendly transportation option is an incentive to leave the car for the holiday and bike around to explore new places and stay active while on vacation. It can also be convenient to navigate the resort instead of having to wait for the small shuttle or walk everywhere. This is a great way to implement a green initiative in your properties while providing a leisure activity for your guests.
Solar Panels for Electricity
Although a pricey installation this is a one-time expense that will have you saving a lot of money in the long run. To give a concrete example The Hampton Inn, Bakersfield panels installed produce over 13,000 kWh per month which lowers their energy bill by 40-45%. This means that they are saving around $8,000 a month just in electricity. They will fully recover their initial investment between 7-8 years. This is just one example but many other resorts and hotels around the world are finding ways to take care of the environment while also lowering costs and expenses for their properties.
Linenless Furniture for your Buffets
Tapestry and linens are a large part of the F&B budget and how nice would it be if your furniture didn’t need it at all. By completely dropping the linens you will be saving on electricity and water. A laundry load uses up to 30 gallons of water, imagine if now you only had to do towels and completely remove the tapestry from your buffet or restaurants. This would lower the number of loads needed by at least half. Tapestry used in the food department is constantly getting spilled on and some of those stains don’t get removed in the wash so that implies extra expenses in replacing them. So how about stop using them once and for all. A one-time investment in good linenless F&B furniture that exposes the natural material which adds a glow and uniqueness to your setups and has you saving bank.
Guest Involved Initiatives
A very simple yet very effective technique to save water and energy. Many hotels have incorporated a card system where if guests wish to have their sheets changed they leave a card on their bed that notifies the housekeeping staff that they need to be changed. Also, with towels near the sink, they leave a small pamphlet with their sustainable initiatives that instruct that if towels are hung they will not be changed while if found on the ground they will. Additionally, many hotel rooms require the hotel card to be inserted in order for the lights to be on and the second the card is removed the lights are turned off automatically. This has worked wonders since guests mention quite frequently that they go crazy trying to find their room key before exiting and now they know for a fact that it’s always going to be in the same spot. At the same time, this prevents room lights from being left on before exiting.
There you have it five practices that hotels have already started implementing and that in this 2020 we can expect to see more join them. It is time to take action into more sustainable hotel activities. Some practices involve more time and higher initial investment but others are just a matter of getting everyone on board. In the end, you will notice that your guests will appreciate your efforts towards reducing waste and become greener while finding more ways to enhance their experience at your property.