Whether it be for business or leisure, time spent in a hotel can be a welcome break from the everyday grind at home, with no need to wash up or clean up after yourself or others. Why not make this pleasurable experience completely guilt-free by doing a bit of research before you book to find yourself green accommodation and then stay as a green guest.
More and more people are environmentally aware and make a lot of effort in their lives at home to ensure that their lifestyle is environmentally friendly. Ranging from government endorsed home improvements to make their property more energy efficient, recycling waste, buying green products, to opting for electric cars. When going to such an effort at home to be green it goes against the belief of many people to then spend money on a hotel that does not match up to their green ethics. The era of treating time spent in a hotel as an excuse for overindulgence and forgetting that the real world exists is coming to an end as people become more aware of the impacts that they have on the planet, and the power that their choice of lifestyle can have on the hotel market. Staying in a green hotel shows support for the actions of that hotel and your contributions will help them to further develop their green initiatives. The more support that the truly green hotels receive the more likely it is that other hotels will follow suite, and ‘green up’ their acts. The louder we demand green action from hotels, the more they will be forced to respond.
Look for the green evidence
Many hotels and B&Bs claim to be green, but unfortunately some have just jumped on the green bandwagon and have no serious intentions of making a difference environmentally. Whereas others go to great lengths to ensure that their impact on the environment is kept to an absolute minimum. How do you tell whether the accommodation is truly green or whether they have just veiled their true actions with a thin green cape?
When selecting which hotel to book the best source of information are the hotels’ websites. Take an in-depth look at the websites and read up on their environmental policies. Do the policies seem in depth and genuine or are they just light-weight and purely for show? Search for any information on whether the hotel has been accredited green certification or eco labels. Even the newest hotels are likely to have been awarded some form of accreditation if their green policies are genuine. Longer standing hotels that are truly green should also show evidence of environmental awards or recognition from tour operators and consumers. Once you have trawled through the hotels’ websites, take a look at consumer and green hotel websites for their feedback on their green practices. If you are new to the green hotel scene speak to a friend or colleague who has visited green hotels and pick their brains on what you should be looking for. Lastly, you can use social media websites to ask for the advice of others. Let them know where you will be visiting and ask for recommendations of green hotels in the area.
Be a green guest
The simplest way to be a green guest at a hotel is to just follow their existing environmental initiatives. However, if you feel they could do more then take the time to give your feedback. If their customers don’t tell them that they need to improve they may think they are doing enough already. The key areas to be aware of are energy, water, waste and housekeeping.
In order to be green yourself when using the hotel amenities, such as the pool and beach, try to do the following:
- Re-use towels whenever possible
- Use water-soluble sun lotions in the pool
- Avoid mosquito repellent that contains DEET or other dangerous chemicals that can contaminate either the pool or seawater
- If you are going to snorkel near coral reefs then try to wear long sleeved clothes to protect yourself from the sun instead of sun lotion as the chemicals in the sunscreen can damage the marine ecosystem
- Avoid motorized water sports as they cause noise and fuel pollution and disturb the wildlife
Environmentally conscious traveler
By doing a bit of research before you book your hotel as well as making a few well thought out decisions while enjoying your holiday or business trip you can help to make a real difference to the impact that hotels are having on the environment. The impact of one hotel is minimal, but the hotel industry as a whole has a huge environmental influence on the planet. Do your bit to help it become a greener industry.
Travelling Green in PA
We recently travelled to Milford, PA for my birthday and to Gettysburg, PA as a last hurrah before our new baby arrived. We travelled to each place in our electric Tesla Model S so we had to make sure we had charging available in advance. Gettysburg was no trouble at all as there were Nissan and Chevy dealerships as well as Wilson college, just to name a few, who greeted us with open arms with complementary level II charging. Even though the Ragged Edge Inn did not yet have more than 110 V charging available (which they graciously offered to us) they had no trouble shuttling us back and forth to the conveniently located Fitzgerald Nissan for our overnight charging.
Milford was a bit more of a problem, with no public charging stations readily available within about an hour of the city at this time. However, we stayed at the Hotel Fauchere, where after hearing we needed charging, they assured us they would take care of it for us. When we arrived, they had installed a 220V, 50A NEMA 14-50 charging facility! Both the Ragged Edge Inn and the Hotel Fauchere now offer their charging to their guests and encourage EV vacationers to take advantage of driving green and both plan to move to standardized J1772 in the near future.
Both hotels also offer many green amenities and environmentally friendly practices and are just all around outstanding places to stay. If time permits, we may go into some detail in a future post. For now, some photos follow.
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, PA (Installed NEMA 14-50 - considering J17-72 install)
The Inn at Ragged Edge (Chambersburg, PA) is a boutique bed and breakfast, located in minutes from Gettysburg. It is the perfect setting for relaxation, romance, and rejuvenation.
Fitzgeral Nissan - Level II charging available and a stock of new 2013 Leafs