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In today’s business setting, environmental sustainability (going green) becomes more and more important.
Being environmentally friendly and going green is an increasing trend all over the world which affects drastically day-to-day life of each and everyone and though businesses and corporations. The hospitality industry has a large footprint on the ecology of surrounding areas using large amounts of water, cleaning chemicals and unlike restaurants keeping lights on through the night (Washington State University , 2011). The average stay can be a huge drain in the environment resulting from wasteful long showers and blasting air conditioning to the unnecessary luxury of a daily linen service (Hotel.info, 2012). For instance, a night at an average two or three-star hotel generates approximately 29,53 kg of carbon dioxide, likewise the same stay at an upscale hotel – four to five stars has an even bigger impact on the environment, accounting for 33,38 kg of carbon dioxide for an average stay (Salisbury, 2011). Hotels contribute to 60 million tones of carbon dioxide emissions annually due to uninformed guests and wasteful policies (Hotel.info, 2012).
Why should hotels think and go green?
As a result of tourism industry growth, the demand for resources from the hospitality sector will only grow. More money for the big hotels also equals more carbon emissions created by travellers. That is why, starting from the 90s, the concept of the “green hotel” began to spread through the lodging industry encouraging practices that saved energy and water, managed waste and educated guests about ways to help environment. Some hotels found greener building designs alone could cut 30-50% of their energy costs, a savings that for a full service hotel could equal to as much as $6,75 on the daily room rate (Washington State University , 2011). Environmental awareness combined with financial benefits and increased recognition of green hotels by guests is the moving force for the Eco-Tourism trend in hospitality.
What could be the solutions?
There are many green practices that hotels can implement as preventative measures to cut down on unnecessary costs (Graci, 2010). The major one is low water consumption, power savings and smart solid waste disposal.
Low water consumption
Water consumption is an important expense for hotels. Water-efficient practices through technologies and proper systems can deliver equal or better service while saving water. The examples of these may be: low-flow showerheads and automatic flushing toilets. Another very significant aspect of water preservation may be reducing water consumption in washing machines by establishing linen reuse programs. This means that in spite of using a new towel everyday guests are encouraged to act the way they do at home – use the towel from yesterday. This will shorten the utilization of water, detergent, energy and greenhouse gases (Englebert, 2012).
Power saving starts from common, easy steps like implementing energy-saving light bulbs and thermostat for air conditioning and may be extended to more global steps like building a green facility itself and replacing old industrial technologies with new ones, based on natural processes and materials (Lovings, Lovings, Hawken, 2000). By using right building materials, providing good insulation of the building and using modern windows, you will save your energy expenses for heating and cooling system at least for 50%. The idea is that proper insulation and windows will save heat inside building during cold times and preserve coolness when it is hot. The other things to take into consideration are installation of green roofs. (Graci, 2010)This may seem waste of space, but on the other hand this may turn to a special feature of the hotel. Just imagine tropical savanna in the city center: attractive and beneficial step. The benefit of fluorescent bulbs are obvious: They...
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