If you’ve stayed in a hotel, inn, or resort in the past 20 years, you’ve likely received a flood of free travel-size toiletries and other items. You also may have encountered guests who leave the air conditioning blasting around the clock, even when they’re not in the room. Or hotels that change your sheets and towels every day, even if they’re not dirty. And let’s not even talk about hotel dumpsters filled with trash — some that just might be recyclable.
How many tiny bottles of shampoo and lotion does a person need? If this frustrates you, you’re not alone. Travelers across the globe are voicing their desire to stay in hotels that do more for the environment. According to a survey by Asian-based company Agoda, “58% of all travelers said they preferred hotels that claimed to be environmentally friendly.” This is good news, because more hotels are paying attention. Let’s take a closer look at the eco-friendly push by hotels in recent years.
Corporate Environmental Responsibility
The hotel industry isn’t alone in its push to be more environmentally conscious. Corporations and companies of all types are taking on more social responsibility as they begin to listen more intently to their customers. For example, a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study revealed the following statistics about consumers:
- 63 percent are hopeful that businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change
- 87 percent will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues
- 88 percent will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues
- 92 percent will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues
The majority of consumers expect companies to take responsibility for their environmental impact and hotels are no exception.
Reversing a Trend
The travel industry is in a unique position because it has historically been one of the biggest creators of waste. A green hotel stay, however, results in a lower carbon footprint, reduced waste, money savings, and a broader appeal to travelers. Here are just a few areas where hotels have an opportunity to provide more eco-friendly accommodations:
- Food and beverage: Hotels are guilty of using plastic straws, utensils, cups, and packaging for food and beverage service. But these can be replaced with reusable offerings instead.
- Water: You might think most of the water used by hotels is limited to the bathroom, but a large percentage of a hotel’s water use goes toward cleaning towels and linens. A hotel can address this by making cleaning optional (or less frequent) during a guest’s stay.
- Electricity: Are there any limits on air conditioning? What about room lights? Hotels can reduce their power usage by simply implementing more efficient HVAC settings and asking guests to turn off lights they’re not using.
- Single-use products: Hotels can stop using single-use, disposable containers for toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and mouthwash.
“Reducing single-use plastics at properties is a true expression of our purpose — to care for people so they can be their best — which extends to our communities and planet,” Marié Fukudome, director of environmental affairs for Hyatt, recently told USA TODAY.
Hotels Taking Action
While we’ve covered some general ways hotels can improve environmental responsibility, many across the globe are leading the way toward being more eco-friendly. Here are some recent examples of hotels taking action:
- Hyatt: Hyatt is reducing single-use plastics and switching to large-format bathroom amenities, such as soap, shampoo, and lotion. They’re also adding more water stations in public areas (to encourage guests to fill reusable water bottles).
- Inhabit: A new hotel in London, Inhabit Hotel features noise-free corners complete with LED bulbs that are 80 percent more efficient in the way they use energy.
- Discovery Village: In India, a mini chain of resorts has been designed for 100 percent water reuse, thanks to the help of a proprietary sewage treatment plant.
- Bio Hotels: Japanese hotels are also being more environmentally friendly, as Bio Hotels Japan illustrates with its organic food, cosmetics, bed linens, and more.
How You Can Help
If you’d like to see more eco-friendly hotels, you can make an impact. In addition to supporting hotels that are eco-friendly, you can let other hotels know that you prefer these eco-friendly habits. Thank hotels that are moving in the right direction and encourage those that aren’t. Do your part and this eco-friendly push by the hotel industry will grow to meet customer demand!
About the Author
Daniel Berry is an SEO strategist with more than 14 years of professional writing experience. Daniel regularly tries to think outside the box when it comes to SEO, copywriting, social media, lead generation, marketing automation, and other areas of digital marketing. He and his family make efforts to be eco-friendly as much as possible.
Feature image by ming dai from Pixabay. This article was originally published on December 2, 2019.