Earlier this month, I spent a weekend in beautiful Clearwater Beach, FL. I stayed at a particular hotel that called themselves a ‘green hotel.' Not knowing what this meant, I didn't really pay any mind for the first day or so. Then I began to notice things.
What? You guys expect me to use this towel … again?
Why wasn't my room pre-cooled before I checked in? Don't you guys know it's hot in Florida?
I admit it, I am a spoiled brat. I chalked up all of these problems to poor service, swore I was never staying at said establishment again, and proceeded to huff and puff. Then it happened; I spotted the card on the shelf that read “You are Staying in a Green Hotel.” It then began to list the numerous things that they did differently from some other establishments. The first two were my first, and biggest, gripes: skimping on the air conditioning and not automatically picking up ‘dirty' towels.
After I put some thought into it, it didn't bother me quite as much. It was nice to think about how I put my own little two cents into saving the environment. Because I was so confused about this whole green hotel thing I thought I would enlighten my readers and share some of the things that I learned about green establishments.
Why Would a Company Want to Go Green?
There are a whole bunch of reasons why a hotel, or any company for that matter, would want to go green. Some business owners really do care about the environment. Some hotels are looking to cater to the type of clientele that cares about such things. There are also other benefits like lower operating costs and positive public recognition.
How do Hotels Go Green?
There are so many things that a hotel can do to be more eco-friendly. For one, closing drapes can keep the room cooler and eliminate the need for so much air conditioning. Also, washing towels and linens every other day rather than every single day cuts down on electric use by fifty percent, not to mention water. At the same time, it saves an establishment a whole chunk of change on laundry detergent, as well.
Energy Star appliances are another way they can start to be more eco-friendly. These are appliances that are specially rated for their low energy use. Energy Star appliances can include anything from refrigerators, microwave ovens, computers, television sets, washing and drying machines-you name it. You might even have some Energy Star rated appliances in your home right now.
Energy efficient lighting fixtures and compact fluorescent bulbs also prove useful, and a pretty cheap way for hotels to go green.
There are also certain cleaning supplies out there that lower harmful emissions and make air cleaner and fresher (truly fresher, not just smell that way).
Consider staying at a green hotel the next time you book a trip. It may seem like a pain in the rear, and you don't have to play along if you don't want to. You might just be able to cut some costs and feel like you are taking your own personal step toward being a bit more eco-friendly. I know I did.