How To Choose An Eco-Friendly Hotel

How To Choose An Eco-Friendly Hotel
Eco Hotel

Eco Hotel

Traveling doesn’t have to mean saying good-bye to your eco-friendly ways. In fact, a lot of what we do every day can continue on vacation: it’s easy to shut off taps, turn off the lights, and set your thermostat low no matter where you are. But while we can all strive to make our vacations eco-friendly by carrying our good habits with us, next time you’re planning a trip why not take the extra step and pick a hotel that supports your green ways. Eco-tourism and green vacations are a booming business, and hotels are among the many businesses that are looking to do good (and attract customers) by making becoming environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, though, there is little regulation of green claims, which can make it hard to find hotels that live up to their eco-friendly marketing. To help you know what to look for when you’re planning your next vacation, we’ve put together a list of the things every green hotel should have.

What to Look For
  • Energy efficiency

The same efficiency measures you use at home or in the office will also work wonders in a hotel. Look for places that use compact fluorescent bulbs, motion sensor lights, and Energy Star rated appliances, or, even better, choose a hotel that relies on solar energy.

  • Green waste management

Between paper products, breakfast buffets, and, of course, all those tiny bottles of shampoo, hotels generate a lot of waste. So when you’re trying to find the perfect green place to stay, look for hotels that recycle and compost instead of just dumping all that waste in the trash.

  • Non-toxic cleaning supplies

Hotels room go through daily rounds of washing and scrubbing, so it’s no surprise that most hotels rely on cheap, dangerous bleaches, laundry detergents, and air fresheners to get the job done. In your search for green hotels, look for ones that have made the switch to non-toxic cleaners that are free of chemicals like VOCs and environmental pollutants like phosphates. It’s good for you, good for the environment, and good for the staff of the hotel who have to use those products every day.

  • Community involvement
Ecotourism

Ecotourism

Try to find hotels that engage with the local area through charity, buying locally, or by hiring local tour guides. It will help the community and give you a better vacation experience.

What to Avoid

Using false marketing to attract environmentally-minded consumers – a process known as greenwashing – is an unfortunate side-effect of the rise in green businesses, so keep an eye out for hotels that make claims to eco-friendliness that they can’t back up.

  • Linen cards

Those cards asking you to forgo laundry service for your sheets and towels might seem like a good idea (and we can always get behind saving water and energy), but that one little laminated card does not a green hotel make. It’s more gesture than substance, so look for places that advertise the real, substantive measures listed above.

  • Carbon offsets

Carbon offsets programs, which allow companies to contribute money to environmental causes as a way to offset carbon use, can be a great way to green your vacation, but beware of hotels that outsource their green responsibilities. You’re better off with a hotel that puts in the time and money to improve their own building and grounds.

Many hotels advertise themselves as being green without backing up those claims, so look for places that list the specifics of their eco-friendly policies, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Until there’s more regulation of green marketing it’s up to us as consumers to find and support truly green hotels.

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  1. […] you plan to stay at a hotel or resort, make sure that the location you choose is eco-friendly. Does it advertise that it is eco-friendly? Does it encourage guests to reuse towels? Does it use […]



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