The hotel industry continues its efforts in becoming as sustainable as possible. This year as we commemorate National Water Day it is important to do some retrospective analysis in the amount of water, electricity and resources that on a daily basis your hotel or institution utilizes. To put some perspective, on average in a single hotel room occupied by two people 200 gallons of freshwater are used. That comes up to 73,000 gallons per year per room. Now multiply that by all your rooms in your hotel and that’s not counting the water utilized in your facilities such as washing machines, gardening and the pool. In conclusion the amount of water being used and many times wasted is astonishing and if you can slowly transition into more sustainable practices not only will your guests appreciate it but the environment will too!
Empowering a Sustainable Philosophy
Water is an indispensable resource that is crucial for any living creature but it is also crucial to the well being and comfort of your hotels, resorts, private clubs etc. Imagine what a sudden water cut can do to a facility, even if it’s just for a few minutes it can cause a lot of angry guests. So managing to always have water access but at the same time implement sustainable efforts in order to waste as little as possible is crucial to the planets’ well being and surely also to your wallets’. And this does not only apply to water usage but the amount of resources that on a daily basis are being misused and thrown away.
In the constant efforts to be more sustainable and saving water you will also save energy. Therefore, reducing the amount of fossil fuels and chemicals in the process which will lead to a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions. But enough with the science lesson, let’s get to what you can do to truly put this in practice.
You can start with buying furniture that is made out of sustainable materials and at the same time highly durable. In the long run by investing in durable furniture you will save money and help the environment. For example a very durable yet sustainable material is bamboo. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing but it is a relatively light material. Therefore it is highly mobile and since its easily processed less energy goes into its production. Also, the way bamboo is planted and cultivated is highly sustainable and its roots leach onto metals which makes the soil a lot healthier for plants and animals.
Finding the ideal furniture is a challenge but owning some that can be bought separately and only replace the parts that need to instead of buying the whole configuration can be a huge step towards becoming greener. Buffet tables are composed of many parts and it’s a big advantage when the stations can be treated like leggo by only replacing the parts that need to be updated. Therefore, you create less waste and are able to reuse parts that are in perfect condition.
How About Linenless Furniture
Tapestry and linens are a large part of the F&B budget and how nice would be if your furniture didn’t need it at all. By completely dropping the linens and exposing the real material of your station you will not only save a lot of money but it will give your display a natural and unique look. Tablecloths are repeatedly getting dirty and it involves constant washing machine loads that use an incredible amount of water. In one load with the newer and more efficient washing machines you use up to 30 gallons! That’s a lot!!!
Expose your furniture including your round buffet tables and service carts which are items that due to their use are constantly getting dirty. By avoiding the linens your staff will be more efficient since they will use most of their time serving your clients and guests instead of worrying that the tops are constantly clean and spill free.
Initiatives to reduce your water footprint
Some hotels have already started intensive initiatives to try to reduce the amount of water used and wasted at their properties. For example The Ritz-Carlton Beijing has done multiple changes to become more water efficient. Implementing changes does imply incurring costs and therefore you might be hesitant on implementing them. And yes, it is understandable. But in the long run due to water savings the ROI will be greater plus morally due to becoming greener will put you way ahead of the curve!.
Here are some of the changes they implemented:
- Changing the boiler room equipment to a more efficient system
- Changing the sea sand filters of the pool and fitness center to white quartz
- Conducting regular checks of their facilities where they have found and fixed leaks and other water wastage.
- Placing notes reminding guests to turn off the lights and water before leaving the room
- Discouraging using running water to unfreeze foods in the kitchen
- Implementing a grey water treatment room that is located in the basement where they recycle water from guest rooms, employee bathrooms and rain water to flush toilets.
At the end of the day It is about making small changes and respecting the environment. Water is a precious resource and even though a lot of the eco-friendly changes might have an initial expensive cost such as changing water filters, acquiring new linenless furniture and completely transform your irrigation systems in the long run it will definitely pay off. You can start by implementing small changes and then taking on bigger challenges!
*Source: Global Times