Gone are those days when being eco-friendly was just a fad. Nowadays, people are becoming aware that it is the need of the hour. If we don’t do it today, we might have to do it tomorrow. However, the later we switch to an eco-friendly way of living, the worse it is for both us and the environment. There is a misconception among people that by making sustainable choices we are only leaving a better planet for our children. This might have been true for the generation before use, but now it isn’t. Now we are seeing the direct impact of our choices. Therefore, sustainability is one of the trends that would surely dominate our future. Hospitality section usually also has a large carbon footprint and the milinneals are expecting it to be eco-friendly. So, here are the latest eco-friendly trends in the hospitality segment.
Latest eco friendly trends in the hospitality segment
Sustainable eco-friendly practices are on the rise in the hospitality sector. Though the hospitality sector has been slow to evolve in incorporating green solutions, it has now picked up steam due to the evolving demands of eco-friendly travelers, who, according to studies are willing to pay more for green lodging. This has led to many well-known brands creating meaningful, sustainable hotel experiences. This trend has been observed worldwide, as hotels compete to integrate the latest green trends in hospitality. Due to the rising concern over global warming and climate change, many hotels are choosing to reduce their energy, water consumption, and waste. Some green lodging trends are:
1. Green building design
One of the major components of green lodging trends is green methods of construction which incorporate many sustainable features, such as cork flooring, occupancy sensors, low energy lighting, highly efficient cooling, and heating methods and plumbing which is low flow. Countertops and other accessories which are used are made from recyclable materials such as glass, bamboo etc.
2. Tracking energy consumption
Keeping in mind the rising energy prices, it is important that these hotels look for measures to curb this cost. Properties without an energy saver in their guestrooms are missing an easy opportunity for significant savings. To counter this, eco-friendly hotels track their energy consumption and make an effort to conserve energy by using energy efficient chillers, boilers, lighting etc. Nowadays, more and more hotels are looking to reduce their costs.
3. Water Conservation
Conserving water is an important part of sustainability. Plumbing which uses less water like low flow fixtures such as showerheads, faucets, and toilets can conserve a huge amount of water. Recycled water can be used for laundry and to water the plants in the garden or in the building.
4. Installing low energy lighting
Green trends in hospitality have seen lighting as one of the major areas which most hotels globally have tried to modify, to conserve electricity and save on energy bills. According to a recent study 2,161 hotels in 44 countries, 70% have replaced fluorescent and incandescent lights with LEDs. Very few hotels, however, have incorporated recovery of waste heat systems and only 8% of hotels used solar panels.
5. Reusing linens
Hotels are now encouraging people to reuse their linens and only change them on request or change them after three days of use. This saves a lot of water and electricity, as laundry is reduced to a great extent.
6. Waste management
Small changes in waste management which hotels are trying to implement, can benefit the environment in a major way. Hotels are now installing refillable shampoo and soap dispensers, which can help by reducing the use of plastic, and not delivering the morning paper to each room saves a lot of paper. Simple measures like these can help in the reduction of plastic pollution and thus help in protecting the environment.
7. Boutique travel experiences
One of the green lodging trends is to invest in creating customized green and meaningful hotel stays. Many well-known brands have created sub-brands which cater to the evolving needs of an eco-friendly customer base, which is not exclusive for the rich, but is meant also for the green savvy customer.
8. Fitness/ wellness programs
According to studies, younger tourists seek out hotels which have sufficient supply of the latest fitness equipment. Moreover, having more gyms or workout centers and which have environmentally friendly practices is also a rising trend. They are keen to continue their fitness and health routines even on vacation. In fact, hotels nowadays are investing in and focusing on fitness types of equipment, and healthy foods. More than ever, they are focusing on eco-friendly methods of running the hotel to attract customers of this age group.
When youngsters are on vacation, some of them seek out food choices that are healthy and tasty. Hotels are now catering to such demands by offering sustainable and organic food and drinks. This is also a way that hotels are doing their bit when it comes to taking care of the environment. It also shows the initiatives taken to ensure that visitors and guests have healthy and nutritious food.
9. Eco-friendly tourism
Eco-friendly hotels are promoting the trend of ecotourism by providing information about sustainability to their customers, and displaying the ways in which the environment can be helped/protected by eco-friendly travel and lodging, as it reduces their carbon footprint.
Many hotels have ‘green teams’, which measure, monitor and help in the execution of sustainable practices. The hospitality segment is now implementing eco-friendly measures for the benefit of the environment, as well to attract the growing number of eco-friendly travelers.
10. Natural Retreats
Summer times are ideal to get out of the cities and enjoy the countrysides or similar green getaways. In our bid to go beyond ecotourism to find retreats that are committed to the environment and greening of the hospitality industry, here is one idle location to hit this weekend. Natural Retreats offer a chance to explore beautiful national parks, bask in luxury, and feel confident that your holiday has a low environmental impact. These eco-getaways can be found within any national parks as of yet. Going Green has never been more fashionable and moreover, you can leave smaller footprints.
The green building technology and sustainable design practices included in the residences are extensive. The lodges all incorporate sustainably-harvested timber, recycled glass insulation, green roofs, raised platform foundations and organic paints. Mechanical systems boost energy efficiency through energy saving bulbs, super efficient, dual rate gas boilers and solar glazing. All electricity needs to from 100% renewable sources through Good Energy. Moreover, the companies make sure that the landscaping has minimal impact on surrounding ecosystems by use of native species. Recycling and composting stations are conveniently located within each residence to encourage earth-friendly behavior from guests.
11. Green construction
One of the global green hospitality trends is to construct new buildings in a sustainable manner, and renovating existing buildings to make them eco friendly. These buildings use consume less energy and contribute to the community where they are located by sourcing locally available materials and decreasing pollution by better waste management policies.
Green hotels are constructed using organic and sustainable materials – for example, using mud to construct sod roofs. Different ways to minimize and reuse waste runoff are incorporated and energy consumption is reduced by designing hotels in a way to make the most of ambient and natural lighting. It has been seen that there is a 40% reduction in energy costs due to the use of ambient and natural light.
There is a huge amount of waste generated in terms of drywall, carpeting, metal etc during construction. While constructing green hotels, care is taken to recycle these materials so that waste is reduced and money is saved. Air conditioners and other appliances are selected on the basis of their energy efficiency as well as having the least impact on the environment.
12. Catering to vegans, vegetarians and lovacores
Many travelers look for vegetarian and vegan food as these are eco friendly food options and have become the choice of many people worldwide. Meat, poultry and fish are carbon intensive, and many environment friendly people prefer vegetarian / vegan food.
Lovacores are those who like to eat food, which is sourced locally. One of the global green hospitality trends is to cater to ‘lovacore’ travelers by sourcing their food from local farms and using meats, fish and cheese that are local in origin.
13. Amenities are sourced locally
Not only food, but green hotels are also sourcing amenities locally from local manufacturers and artisans. Linens, toiletries etc, which are locally sourced. This also provide a unique experience to the traveler who can experience a little local atmosphere, adding to his/her hotel experience.
14. Say No to plastic concept in hotels
Hotels adopting green practices in 2017, are introducing refillable dispensers for lotions, shampoos and shower gels, in order to reduce the use of plastic. This will lead to less plastic taking up landfill space and a reduction in plastic pollution.
15. On-site vegetable gardens
Many eco friendly hotels have started growing vegetables, fruits and herbs on-site, either in roof gardens or in backyards. Beehives providing fresh honey and fruit trees are a source of fresh fruits, which taste better and save on fuel consumption, as they do not have to be transported long distances. Experts say that this trend will be taken further and we will soon see hotels set in the midst of farms or vineyards or fruit orchards.
16. Installing various kinds of sensors across the premises
Instead of relying on housekeeping or guests to switch off lights or adjust thermostats in empty rooms, hotels are investing in new technology, which can sense occupancy and can switch lights/ thermostats on or off, thus saving electricity.
17. Charging stations for electric vehicles
Eco friendly hotels are incorporating charging stations for electric vehicles, which can be plugged in by guests to charge their vehicles. Many eco friendly hotels have plans to shift their hotel transport to electric vehicles in 2017.
18. Green laundry initiatives
Hotels plan to install ozone laundry systems to reduce environmental impact. Many hotels are also considering outsourcing laundry, as commercial laundries use less gas, water and electricity.
A number of travel websites are including ‘sustainability’ as a search option for travelers while checking for hotels. Thus, green hotels are stepping up their marketing of their environment friendly endeavors to attract ‘green’ travelers. Water conservation, less electricity consumption, locally sourced food and products and training their staff in sustainability are ways in which green hotels are reducing their impact on the environment.
Other Sustainable practices every hotel must employ
Sustainable hotel practices can reduce pollution and help in conserving a considerable amount of natural resources, and help the local economy. A few ways in which hotels can go green are:
1. Involving the guests
Most travelers are conscious about the environment and hotels can involve their guests in their eco friendly practices. Hotels can have rewards programs such as restaurant vouchers and discounts for guests who use less towels, donate used / old clothes, leave amenities which they have not used for other guests.
Hotels can buy in bulk, and have the ability to influence suppliers to provide eco friendly products. Sustainable hotel practices can include buying eco friendly products that are locally sourced, to help both the environment and local people. Buying locally cuts down on the food miles which can reduce the carbon footprint of the hotel. Hotels can purchase biodegradable cleaning materials which reduce chemicals getting into the waterways.
Some countries like Finland and Austria have made it mandatory for suppliers to take back packaging waste and recycle or reuse it.The local tourism industry gets a boost when hotels use locally produced products, and tourists can also get to experience the local tradition and culture through such products. In this manner, hotels can help local culture and traditions to survive and be passed down to the future generation.
3. Green conference options
Most corporate have their annual meetings and seminars and conferences in hotels. They are also interested in contributing to green efforts and hotels can offer corporates which have environmentally friendly goals green meeting options. These include using china and linen napkins instead of disposables, offering locally sourced cuisine, etc.
4. Engaging employees
Employees should be motivated to participate in eco friendly methods for the success of energy efficiency, conservation and waste reduction methods of hotels. Educating employees about sustainable methods, site visits, newsletters, competitions and workshops help in involving employees in becoming involved in the hotel’s eco friendly processes.
5. Social responsibility
Many hotels take it on them to be involved in local community issues such as child development, boosting local tourism industry, fighting social evils such as child labor and child abuse and so on.
Hotels can help to conserve natural habitats within and outside their complex. According to studies, by the year 2025, as many as one-fifth of the Earth’s species can be lost. Many hotels are now actively participating in conservation efforts of the species around them. Conservation of species, energy, water and effective waste management practices are a few ways in which hotels can help the environment.
In addition to being green, the residences are stylish and contemporary. In fact, they have solid wood floors, extensive glass wall frontages, and simple design. Moreover, the inviting spaces are light, open and uncluttered providing the perfect eco-friendly shelter to complement the beauty of the surrounding nature. So here’s your chance to enjoy nature at its most amazing in environmentally friendly luxury!