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Green Hotels

Green Hotels

October 11, 2007 —

Walk into a room in almost any major hotel chain, and odds are you will see a card asking guests to reuse towels and sheets in order to save water and energy. It is unclear how many guests choose this option, but this initial step is an indication that the hotel industry is more aware of environmental issues than in the past. In fact, the card can be seen as representative of a larger trend within the industry: the rise of ‘Green’ Hotels.

There is no universal definition of a 'green' hotel, but many hotels are more committed to environmentalism than simply asking guests to re-use sheets and towels. Some of the most notable 'green’ hotels have taken the following steps (among others): shower wall-mounted body washes that have replaced tiny, individual soap bars, as well as disposable shampoo and conditioner bottles. Room lights are often energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, and some establishments have installed sensors so that lights go on and off automatically when guests enter or leave their rooms. Still others are providing cloth laundry bags made from retired sheets, and installing “low flush” toilets to save water.

A number of organizations are encouraging the growth of the Green Hotel movement:

  • CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies), an environmental organization, has established the Green Hotel Initiative (GHI), which is designed to increase and demonstrate market demand for environmentally responsible hotel services. CERES has lists for guests to use to determine a hotel’s environmental commitment and performance.
  • The Green Hotel Association (GHA) is a trade group of hundreds of member establishments committed to sustainable business practices.
  • Green Seal, a nonprofit organization, works with the lodging industry and its hotel certification program helps guests identify environmentally responsible lodging options.

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