Luxurious AND Sustainable? It’s Possible!

Hotel reception bell

Luxury hotels are embracing their responsibility to be green hotels and in so doing are setting targets to reduce their impact on the environment, as well as the carbon footprint of the guests that stay with them. Based on my travelling experience around the globe, and my interest in sustainable living I prepared this small list of micro-policies I’ve seen being implemented by hotels in their quest to subscribe and engage with people such as myself

Green hotels focus on strategies that reduce resource consumption and waste generation. These strategies do not compromise the luxury expected, and may enhance the quality of the stay. These practices usually save the hotel money which increases profits, so eco hotels actually make good business sense.

Some of the environmental policies that luxury environment hotels adopt are:

  1. - The option for guests to reuse a towel for more than one day
  2. - A shampoo dispenser on the bathtub wall rather than individual plastic shampoo containers
  3. - A framed mission statement in the room that states ways guests can follow the hotel’s environmental policies. These include turning off lights and TV when leaving the room, turning off the running water when shaving or brushing teeth, turning down the heater or air conditioner when not in the room.
  4. - Environmentally friendly soap and other products indicated by a logo on the wrapper.
  5. - A container in the room where guests can put recyclable waste
  6. - Discontinue the use of Styrofoam and plastic wrapping on cups
  7. - Bottled water in the room and an indication of how the tap water is filtered.

Eco hotels must maintain green standards without distracting from the luxury feel of the hotel. Green hotels invite guests to live responsibly, which may extend to their homes or workplaces. Aquariums with colorful fish and lots of plants and flowers in the lobby and other public places add to the green ambience. Nature oriented original artwork adds to the green feeling and promotes local artists and community.

Fodor's Green Travel: The World's Best Eco-Lodges & Earth-Friendly Hotels

Fodor’s Green Travel: The World’s Best Eco-Lodges & Earth-Friendly Hotels

Luxury green hotels should also give high quality complimentary accessories to the guests. These can easily be environmentally friendly items such as fresh local fruit and reusable shampoo bottles.

Enviromnent hotels should always use cloth napkins, real dishes and flatware instead of plastic, paper or disposable. Leftover food could be kept for later and even reheated by the hotel and taken to the guest’s room.

The best environmental policies in the luxury hotel industry include:

  • - Sensible use of water and electricity
  • - Improve waste management by recycling and reduce the volume of waste
  • - Purchase supplies from local sellers
  • - A staff who is aware of the environmental policies of the hotel
  • - Improving the hotel’s internal environment

This represents a small sample of some of the environmental policies I’ve seen being used by hotels across the globe. The next time you stay in a hotel that is putting this list in practice, go out of your way to commend the hotel on their policy and that it is important to you. Equally if you find a hotel where one of these policies could be implemented, don’t hesitate to leave it on your comments form!


Featured image license: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://depositphotos.com/12338052/stock-photo-Hotel-reception-bell.html?sqc=2&sqm=26491&sq=15trox

Marjorie Sanders blogs about sustainability and green living, and is based in London. Her interests include cooking and home crafts like soap making and weaving.