When hotels go green…

lacountyfair exhibit                               The L.A. County Fair “Going Green” Exhibit (2008)

Remember when “going green” was just a trend? “Green” was a buzz word. Now it’s a lifestyle for both consumers and businesses. It is a way of thinking and living. “Implementing more green policies within properties will be a consistent trend for 2013 as it serves as a win-win situation,” says Armand Guillemot, director of MICE, Great Hotels of the World in his article on green policy trends.  Energy conservation lowers hotel expenses and helps out the environment at the same time.

Hotels and energy conservation

At first glance, hotels aren’t the best example of eco-friendly anything. The gallons and gallons of water used to clean towels, sheets, bed covers, linens — some of which are barely used — is nothing short of waste.  Sometimes, as is the case with hotels, energy loss comes with the territory. That doesn’t mean its pointless to try though. There are several strategies to consider when making an effort to “go green.”

Make it count 

strawberries mckinleys farm Go local:  Using locally sourced ingredients in catering and dining options provides guests with fresh meals and allows chefs to play around with the menu on a seasonal basis. The Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center uses McKinley’s Farm for most of its fruits, vegetables and herbs. Catering services use shade grown, organic and fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar. Don’t count out meats and fish either! Many restaurants (both hotels and independent businesses) use sustainable sources when choosing meats, fish and vegetarian meals.

Engage your guests: Let guests know of optional linen and towel change. As of this year hotel guests are more than happy to do their part towards energy conservation — more than 2/3 participate. Guests who don’t mind using the same towel for 2-3 showers can do their part in energy conservation by hanging their towels on hooks rather than discarding them on the floor for maids to take away on a daily basis.

Green housekeeping: One of the ways our hotel ensures a green environment is

Photo from http://news.getaroom.com/

through our green housekeeping program. Staff is trained to use green cleaning products, divert retired linens from landfill, use daylight while cleaning as often as possible, reduce water usage and utilize energy efficient set-up for guest room lighting and electronic appliances.

It’s the little things: Eliminating the use of Styrofoam, recycling bins in hotel rooms, turning off light and energy systems when not being used… you get the picture.

…and the big things: LEED-certified buildings–meaning the venue follows strict environmental policies and maintains green operations and solutions–takes the going green initiative to a whole extra level of effort.

Your turn:

What are some ways you see hotels and other businesses “go green?” Do you think it is a passing trend or something you have adapted into your lifestyle? Share in the comments section below.

P.S. Earth Day is almost here.

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