Five ways to make your hotel operations more eco-friendly
As a hotel business, there are a number of ways in which you can adjust your operations to make them more eco-friendly.
The world's resources of oil and coal are not likely to run out in any of our lifetimes, but in three or four generations' time we'll be a lot closer to using up the last of these finite resources. Whilst there are a number of sustainable energy sources in use across the world, including solar and wind power, it will be a while before we can rely solely on eco-friendly energy. The use of oil and gas to power our world is also largely responsible for global warming and climate change; helping to halt the effects of global warming and reduce the depletion of oil and coal is the responsibility of both individuals and businesses.
As a hotel business, there are a number of ways in which you can adjust your operations to make them more eco-friendly...
1. Cut down on washing linen: Obviously most people will judge a hotel on the cleanliness of the sheets and towels in their room, so keeping them spotlessly clean is a must. However, your guests don't need fresh towels and bed linen every day. Instead, adopt a policy where towels are only replaced after three or four nights stay, and encourage guests to reuse their towels for the full stay by providing suitable space and equipment for them to air-dry their used towels. You could even charge for towels to encourage guests to bring their own with them.
2. Change your linen washing operations: As well as working towards reducing the frequency that you wash your towels and bed sheets, it's also a good idea to look into eco-friendly methods of washing it. The chemicals in detergents may get your linen clean, but they can be harmful to the environment, so try to opt for bio detergents instead of bleach-based ones. Hot air dryers are convenient, but they also use a lot of energy. By air-drying your laundry before it goes into the dryer you will use less electricity, saving the environment as well as saving you money.
3. Switch to key cards that control the lighting: Your guests may be a little more lax with the lighting than they would be at home, since they aren't paying the energy bill. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your guests don't leave the lights and air conditioning on in their rooms when they go out for the day is to introduce a key card system. Not only does the key card allow your guest to enter their room, but it also requires that they place it in a control slot to operate the lighting and air conditioning in the room. This means that they must take the key card with them when they leave the room; hence they can't leave the lights on by mistake.
4. Switch to LED light bulbs: For health and safety reasons hotels need to keep the corridors and stairwells lit at all times. With incandescent or fluorescent bulbs this can become expensive; not only do they use a lot of electricity, they also need replacing more often. Switching to LED lighting can save you money as they are much more energy-efficient and longer lasting, so you won't need to replace them as often.
5. Install a grey water recycling system: Grey water refers to any waste water generated in households or business premises from streams that don't contain faecal matter; i.e. sinks, showers, baths, washing machines, dish washers, but not toilets. This waste water can be collected and treated to make it suitable for on-site toilet flushing. Hotels use a great deal of water, so they have a duty of care to the environment, and a grey water recycling system can help your hotel business to be as eco-friendly as possible.
The good news is that an increasing number of people are becoming more aware of their own carbon footprint and are looking for ways in which they can minimise their own personal impact on the planet. If your hotel offers them a greener way of travelling then they are more likely to choose to stay with you, and will recommend you to others, which means more business for you in the long term. There really isn't any excuse for choosing greener, more environmentally-friendly ways of running your hotel business!