Day 320 – A Green Hotel is one that has taken steps to be more sustainable. Maybe they were built using sustainable materials. Or perhaps they have installed water saving plumbing fixtures. Some even donate to organizations that are helping protect the environment. There are numerous ways to be “green”, but it’s not always easy to know which hotels are being truthful about their efforts or if it’s just greenwashing.
GreenHotels.com states that certifications are expensive and not necessary when giving a hotel the title of Green Hotel. However, Earth911 shared some certifications that hotels can hold to help better identify them as a company that cares about the planet.
- Green Globe – The certification program has specific criteria for various types of tourism-related businesses, including golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, attractions, and resorts. Companies can have three different statuses: Certified, Gold, and Platinum. Companies can achieve the Platinum standards if they have been certified for 10 consecutive years. In addition, Green Globe has received Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognition, helping to increase trust in this certification.
- Green Key Global – Green Key uses a grading system with five keys being the highest and provides guidance on improving a rating. The assessment examines multiple areas of operation, including waste, energy, water, community outreach, and indoor air quality. Like Green Globe, Green Key is GSTC-recognized.
- Travelife – This international certification program is available for tour operators and accommodations in over 50 countries. Its program includes 163 criteria related to human rights, community engagement, and environmental impact.
A few major hotel chains that have shown a concerted effort to green their operations include Hilton, Marriot, Hyatt, and Starwood Hotels.
Whether you’re staying in a Green Hotel or not, there are things you can do to help the planet.
- Avoid drinking bottled water (unless it’s the only safe water to drink).
- Let housekeeping know you do not need clean sheets and towels on a daily basis.
- Turn down heat or air conditioning when not in your room.
- Turn off the lights and TV when not in the room.
- When booking a hotel, choose one that is in walking distance of where you want to visit.
- Bring your own toiletries instead of using the hotel’s supply.
- If your hotel does not recycle, consider funding somewhere that does.
If you’re out enjoying a much needed vacation or working hard on a business trip, it’s always important to keep the planet in mind and your impact on it. Try to choose GREEN!
Tomorrow, green restaurants and what they do.