Be green. 15 Tips on how to create a more sustainable inn.

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MarcZ's picture
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08/17/2012

Be green. Here's some great tips from wikiHow on how to make your inn more sustainable. Don't let the title fool you, these tips are applicable to B&Bs as well. "How To Create a Green Hotel"

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Green-Hotel

Eco-friendly lodging is not only great for the environment, but it is also a hot marketing point for your inn. What other green ideas do you have that you would add to this list?

 

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

1. Recycle your old beds and mattresses. I gave my “old” (almost new) mattress & box spring to the Mission. There are no places here that  I know of that recycle these. Many places will NOT take used mattresses.
2. Start a linen reuse program in all guest rooms. This is now commonplace in many hotels and is a cost-saving, water-saving and time-saving measure that works well. Guests are going to do this or not. I am not plastering my inn with do this signs.
3. Save water. There are several ways to reduce water usage in each guest room. Some include:
     o Switching to low-flow toilets or install toilet-tank fill diverters. To learn more about low-flow toilets, see Convert Any Toilet to a Low Flush Toilet. You cannot BUY a toilet that is not low-flow.
4. Save energy. Reducing energy usage reduces your fuel bills, so it makes common sense. Here are some ways you can achieve this: This one insults our intelligence – cannot remember how many years this has been a Mantra. Those of us who PAY heating/cooling bills have done this for years! Anyone with kids has been turning off lights forever..
5.  Monitor, record and post rates of energy and water use. Make repairs or replace equipment when rate changes indicate problems. Include filter changes, coil cleaning, thermostat calibration, and damper adjustments in your ongoing maintenance plan. As if we can do anything about the rates or how much the guests use.
6.  Buy in bulk. Whenever possible, buy food and guest amenities in bulk (i.e., use refillable hair and skin care dispensers). This saves extra journeys and packaging. But does NOT save money (more costs more) and where the heck can it be stored???
7.Recycle. Recycle your hotel's waste in the kitchen, guest rooms, dining room etc. There are several ways in which you can encourage guests and staff to recycle:
    o Provide guestroom recycling baskets for newspaper, white paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic.    Oh, that will look so sweet in a room we worked so hard to decorate pretty.  
   o Buy office and guest amenity products that contain recycled material. For company listings in North America, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory. Most of them look and feel CHEAP and flimsy – except for the toilet paper, that is like cardboard.
8. Buy organic, fair trade, cruelty-free guest amenity products whenever possible. Make it clear that you are supporting such products and try to obtain these products across a diverse range of products, such as: We have no way to actually KNOW these things are FT or anti-cruelty whatever. I can SAY anything I want if I am half a world away. AND these things cost more for those who are trying to cut costs.
9. Clean green. Use nontoxic or least-toxic cleaners, sanitizers, paints, pesticides, etc. throughout the hotel. Make sure all chemicals are stored safely in a well-ventilated area. Well DUH
10. Get the guests motivated to use green transportation options. Provide your guests with bicycles, walking maps, and information on public transportation. Works if you are in City. Most are in areas where you do not even have a taxi service.
 

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

(1) - new roof and a TON of loft insulation - green and saves money

(2) - all new A rated (this means as energy effieient as you can get) double glazed windows- never need painting which saves me $6000 every 3 years and saves heating bills

(3)-all glass jars go to a local primary school where the mums make jam and sell it to raise school funds

(4) all carrier bags go to local nursary school for transporting accidents or to local charity shop so they arn't waisting money on bags.

(5) all bubble wrap and jiffy bags go to my friends mum who is a mad ebayer - so are reused

(6) all bottle tops are saved and go to a local guides group who every time they get the weight of an electric wheelchair in bottletops a disabled child gets an electric wheelchair - we also co-ordinate more bottletop collection via all our friends, neighbours and family for this good cause.

(7)all old or damaged sheets go to local school who sell the fabric by weight to raise school funds

(Cool all newspapers become rabbit bedding

(9) all small boxes go to a local nursary school for box modeling as well as all middles of cardboard tubes

(10) all energy saving bulbs everywhere (cos they never ruddy turn them off)

(11) fair trade registered, we use rainforest alliance (virtually the same thing) yorkshire tea and coffee which if you also save the tokens - for every 4 tokens they plant a tree (so we have a mini forest)

(12) as a family have planted a mini forest in Ireland

(13) recycle ink cartridges which go to local cancer charity

(14)supermarket is round the corner probably only take the car for a big shop once every 2 weeks - which also saves petrol.

and these are just the ones I can think off off the top of my head - some save money ie we have to pay to have our rubbish taken to the tip or we have to take it ourselves where as the various mums come and collect which saves me tip runs in the car and petrol.

I find it very sad though that schools are in such dier straights that one is short 600 ($1200) for books this year and another had to chuck most of theirs out due to an asbestos scare and cannot afford to replace them.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

See that is the thing - we DO things that are money saving - GREEN is not the moving force. We do things to help others as we can. We do not need someone to tell us to do it.

When they came to do my assessment for the class, they were surprised to see all we were doing as a matter of course - we did not need them to tell us to do it.

I think what irritated me about this article is that it is the same thing we have been hearing for a decade - it is nothing new. And so much of it is beyond the control of an innkeeper, guests are the ones using the energy, the water, making us use more water and energy to wash everything they stink up with perfumes and cigarettes/cigars.......

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

We went through a year of Environmental Management Systems classes (in 2004 I think) with our WVDEP. I lost about $1000 in business because of going to classes. Our State that was a leader in EMS has gone on to TRAIN other States but the #$%^ have YET to come up with a logo to say we are green ("there needs to be substance behind the logo and we have not come up with that yet. Don't you want substance?" And I reply NO, people do not CARE about substance, they want to see a logo that says GREEN!").

I have had it posted on my web site AND our GREEN policy is also posted (that was a requirement from the classes), in our assessment by the DEP we were told we were already doing everything we possibly could. and to this day if I got 2 reservations because of GREEN I would be surprised!!!

GF, GREEN, Atkins, South Beach........ all in the same category (except the GF Celiac are real). People can take their fads elsewhere.

We really are green but the things I do to be green are to keep the green in my wallet and the things that make sense.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

we do a ton of green and socially friendly stuff (ie support local schools, shop local and so on) member of the considerate hoteliers group (only requirement is you do your best) - have never been asked about it and even though its on the web site - guests always seem surprised.

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10/07/2008

Bless your heart Marc. Your new threads are great and about 5 to 10 years later than when we have discussed this so often.  The whole "Fad" of being green for marketing. vs really being green.

Many of us are Green Lodging. We have jumps the hoops and are certified green lodging.

Unfortunately most of our guests are not. They would rather waste than reuse.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We have had a green lodging certificate for a number of years now. Does it bring me more guests? More eco-minded guests? No. No one has EVER commented that they booked here because we have the environmental logo and certification from the state.

Guests have their own preconceived ideas about what green is. What eco is. We get a fair number of guests who believe they were put on this earth to use up as much of it as they can before they die. And use they do.

We also get complaints that we don't supply guests with lots of throwaway items like shampoo and lotion and soda and bottled water.

So, we muddle along behind the scenes turning off all the lights/heat/AC that guests have left on because they paid for it. We sort and recycle all the recyclables that guests just throw in the trash.

Our motto: We live green so you don't have to.

And believe me, we live far from green.

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