10 ways hotels can reduce their impact on the environment
1. Invest in energy saving technology
All the appliances, lighting, heating and cooling systems in your hotel use an incredible amount of energy. If you can invest in greener alternatives, you'll not only benefit the environment but also save money in the long term. You don't have to do everything at once, just take small steps - switching to energy saving light bulbs is a great place to start and relatively inexpensive to do so.
2. Up your recycling game
Hotels produce a lot of waste, most of which ends up on landfill sites and is harmful to the environment. Try to recycle as much as possible - have a full range of recycling bins to hand which allow you to easily separate out glass, plastics, cans and paper. You could also consider placing recycling bins in the hotel lobby and in guests' rooms. Be sure to label them clearly to indicate exactly what types of waste go where so that your guests don't even have to think about where to put their trash.
Recycling doesn't have to be restricted to rubbish, either. Think about things that you might throw away when refurbishing your hotel. Tired, old crockery and glasses may not be suitable for guests any longer, but it could find a loving home when donated to a charity shop rather than being thrown in the bin. The same goes for old furniture, ornaments and fixtures and fittings - if it's in good working order consider donating it.
3. Choose a green hotel linen hire company
One of the most significant impacts hotels have on the environment is laundering their linen. It's astounding how much water and energy can be wasted in the laundry process, but this can be minimised by using hotel linen hire companies who take the environmental impact seriously. We don't like to toot our own horn, but we're extremely proud of our green policies and are investing £1.2 million every year to reduce our impact on the environment. We're replacing our machines with more energy efficient models, using state of the art water recycling technology, and working hard to reduce our washing temperatures. By handing over laundry duties to a green company like us, you can reduce your environmental impact without having to invest money and time into new machines, equipment and techniques.
4. Create some green space
If you've got some land to spare around your hotel, consider making a garden of it rather than simply paving it. Not only will your guests appreciate some lush, outdoor space to relax in, but the greenery will help to counteract the hotel's carbon footprint. You don't have to do anything wild - a few raised beds are easy to maintain and will make for a lovely experience for your guests.
Feeling a little more ambitious? If you've got the space and resources, you could even consider creating a few vegetable patches in your garden. The veggies could be used in your restaurant which would cut down on your carbon footprint. Plus, guests would love the experience of eating home grown vegetables directly from the hotel gardens.
5. Compost food and feed that garden!
Although every hotel should be making efforts to minimise food waste in order to save money, it's inevitable that waste still occurs. Rather than tipping it straight into the bin, consider composting it instead. You can then use it as an organic fertiliser for your gardens.
6. Use local businesses where possible
A great way to cut your carbon footprint is to buy produce from local suppliers - that way, less energy is used to transport it to you. Guests tend to love this because it gives them a more immersive experience where they feel like they're really getting to know the region in which they're staying. You could also partner up with other local environmentally-friendly businesses, such as cafes, restaurants and pubs, and come up with some cross-promotion tactics.
7. Share your green habits with your staff
If you're implementing new, green strategies such as composting and recycling into the day to day running of your hotel, be sure to give some clear explanations to your staff about why the changes are taking place. Your good habits are likely to pass off on them once they get into the routine of being greener in the workplace, and you may just influence them to become greener at home too.
8. Ask guests to be more environmentally conscious
A few friendly reminders around the hotel will let guests know that you're doing your bit to protect the environment, and help them to remember to be less wasteful. You could ask them to turn off lights before leaving their rooms, or request that they reuse their towels rather than having them washed each day. You could even provide them with a bicycle rental service, or give them information on walking routes or public transport to help them get around the local area without using their car.
9. Switch to environmentally friendly products
From recycled printer paper to eco-friendly cleaning products and non-toxic paint to organic fair-trade coffee, there are a huge variety of green products you could switch to. Some are made from recycled materials to cut down on waste, and others are manufactured without toxic chemicals and with more natural, sustainable ingredients. They may seem like small details, but added up they can significantly reduce your environmental impact.
10. Buy in bulk
Buying larger quantities usually means that less packaging is used, less energy is consumed, and less carbon is emitted per item transported to you. Plus, it often leads to bigger discounts, which is an added bonus. If you have the space to store extra stock, make the most of it by buying in bulk.
There you have it - 10 fantastic ways to become a greener hotel! If you need any more advice or want to talk to us a little more about our green practices we'd love to chat - get in touch with your enquiry.