Like to feel you’re making a contribution, but not quite sure how? There is actually a lot you can do – and still enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Hotels are built to ensure that you – the guest – enjoy a comfortable, relaxing stay. A lot of people think this is hard to combine with environmental awareness. But we don’t believe it.
We focus heavily on contributing to a cleaner, better world and are convinced that everyone can make a small contribution; and enjoy a clear conscience. Because every little bit helps …
Little measures can also be a little bit fun if you make a game of it. The whole thing can actually develop into your own, private moon landing. Here are eight tips for everyone who would like to play on the ‘green team’ when staying at a hotel.
1. Eat a little greener
Did you know that livestock farming accounts for 18 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases? This is actually more than the emissions from all means of transport combined. In addition, huge areas of rainforest are felled to make room for pasture, and 70 per cent of our arable land is used to grow animal feed. You don’t have to go full-on vegan, but by eating a little less meat a little more often, you can really help to make a difference.
2. Use good buffet sense
Eat your fill and treat yourself – but it’s better to go up to the buffet twice than to overload your plate with ‘a taste of everything’. Don’t forget that almost one-third of all the food produced ends up in the waste bin.
3. Save the sheets …
Wonderful bed linen and soft towels are all part of the hotel experience. But the cotton used to make them has an impact on both the environment and social conditions. There is thus every reason to make sure that the bedclothes and towels aren’t washed too often, to reduce wear and tear and make them last longer. In addition, less laundry means reduced consumption of energy, water and detergents. So if you will be spending several nights in the same room, it’s a good idea to think about doing what you do at home and use the towels and bedclothes more than once.
4. Sing in the shower
Treat yourself to a delightful shower, but give a little consideration to how long you leave the water running. Five minutes in an economy shower consumes about 50 litres of water and 1.75 kWh of energy. It’s also a good idea to turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth. It may sound a little bit pernickety, but if just one hotel guest in ten were to take an eco-friendly approach to tooth-brushing, it would cut water consumption by four million litres per year.
5. Pack lighter
This is a practical hint in every respect. A lot of people take much more with them than they need, and end up simply carting clothes out and back. If 100 passengers pack 1 kg less in their checked luggage, it would cut the total weight of the aircraft by 100 kg. This alone would result in the aircraft using 3 kg less fuel per hour. Multiplied by 3,500 hours of flight per year (the average), this translates into an impressive 10 tonnes less fuel per aircraft. And if you can pack everything in one bag or suitcase you can take with you into the cabin, you’ll save time as well.
6. Stretch your legs
Choose public transport, organise a bike, or walk instead of booking a taxi. A lot of hotels have bicycles that you can hire or borrow, and most big cities have ‘city bike’ schemes. As an added bonus, you get a sightseeing tour free of charge.
7. Contribute step by step
‘Take the stairs’ is the simplest hint of all. This pays off twice, because it gives you a free workout as well. And if you choose a room on one of the higher floors, it becomes a triple bonus, because you can enjoy the view while you dab off the sweat with a soft hotel towel.
8. Sort at source
Don’t throw old newspapers and bottles in the trash – put them next to the refuse container instead. The same applies to hazardous waste, batteries, etc. Don’t forget that hotels sort at source as well.
Are you ready?
It should be fun to stay at a hotel. And the hotel experience should include a wonderful, freshly made bed with soft bed linen, peace and quiet, excellent service, and meals you don’t have to make yourself. But there is no reason not to combine a bit of luxury with an eco-friendly approach to the details.
Have we drawn up this list simply to save money on our operating costs? Not at all; we’ve done it because it’s common sense and centres on things you’re almost certainly already doing at home. We hope you’ll join us and play on the green team.