What is a Green Hotel
Increasingly, consumer attitudes are favoring environmentally responsible
businesses, and consumers are
considering environmental issues when making travel plans and purchases.
Environmental tourism has grown
exponentially over the past 10 years. The lodging industry has responded
to this trend with the development of
strategies and practices for making a hotel or motel more environmentally
friendly, or "green."
Green Hotels are properties managed according to business practices that
environmental performance of the facilities.
Whether a guest stays in a small bed and breakfast or a
luxury resort, a lodging property is in fact a small
community that purchases goods and services, creates and disposes of waste,
uses electricity and water,
and, just like any individual, leaves a distinct environmental footprint.
In addition, the lodging industry is one
of the most dynamic in terms of new construction and renovation. From
carpets to paints, from heating and
cooling units to televisions, the lodging industry is a large consumer.
Operating in a more environmentally
responsible fashion, hotels and motels can demonstrate leadership in ecological
enhancing competitiveness through cost-effective procedural and facility
The benefits of starting or expanding a green hotel program
• lower operating costs
• increased customer and employee satisfaction
• reduced environmental impact and
• enhanced marketability as an environmentally friendly business
Opportunities for improving the environmental performance of hotels
and motels exist through water
conservation, energy efficiency, environmentally preferable purchasing,
material substitutions and process
improvements. By using the information and contacts on this site, you
can tailor a green program to meet the
unique circumstances of your facility. Many hotels and motels across the
country — and here in Pennsylvania —
already have implemented programs that are saving money and conserving
How To Green Your Hotel?
• The average hotel purchases more products in one week than 100
families will typically purchase in one year.
• About 50 percent of a typical hotel's waste stream is recyclable,not
including food wastes. Instituting a recycling
program is a cost-effective way to reduce waste and save money.
• For an environmentally friendly alternative to floor wax, try
using 1 cup of white vinegar mixed with 2 gallons
of water to mop linoleum or no-wax floors.
• Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times as long as incandescent
bulbs and use 75 percent less energy
— meaning that one bulb can save you $25 over the lifetime of the
• You can save 13.5 gallons of fresh water by choosing not to replace
bath towels and linen daily.
Follow these steps to learn how you can "green" your hotel
Tips include guestroom, lobbies and public areas, dining and laundry areas,
hotel operations and office.
• Greening the Guestroom
- Give the guest an option to have the towels and linens changed every
other day or longer, rather than every day.
Surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of guests like the option.
- Encourage staff to close drapes and turn off lights and air conditioning
when rooms are unoccupied.
- Install water-efficient fixtures, such as showerheads, aerators and
low-flow toilets in each room.
- Use refillable soap and shampoo dispensers.
- Encourage guests to recycle by providing clearly marked recycling bins
for cans, bottles and newspapers.
- Install energy-efficient lighting fixtures in each room. Compact fluorescent
fixtures can be screwed into many
existing lamps and ceiling fixtures. To prevent theft, many hotels are
installing new fixtures with the compact
fluorescent lamps hard-wired into the fixture.
- Consider purchasing Energy Star®-labeled TVs and other energy-efficient
- Clean rooms with environmental cleaners to improve indoor air quality
and reduce emissions of volatile
- Use placards in the room to inform your guests about your "green"
Greening Lobbies and Public Areas
- Install energy-efficient light bulbs in hallway, lobby and bathroom
- Reduce or eliminate the number or wattage of bulbs and lamps in vending
machines and lighted signs.
Replace all exit signs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs. High-efficiency
exit signs can save
$15-$20 in electricity costs when compared with the typical, incandescent
- Monitor the performance of all heating and cooling systems and perform
maintenance as needed. Install
high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment.
- Use water-efficient devices like low-flow toilets and faucet aerators
in public bathrooms. Install cloth roll towels
or hand dryers.
Greening Dining & Laundry Areas
- Set the temperature for your hot water at the lowest practical setting
for dish and clothes washing. Only operate
these appliances with full loads. Buy your food and cleaning supplies
in bulk and eliminate as much packaging
from these purchases as possible.
- Reduce dining room waste by eliminating the source. For example, serve
cream from a pitcher, sugar from a
sugar holder and condiments from reusable containers. Serve soft drinks
from a dispenser rather than
individual cans. Use cloth napkins and reusable flatware.
- Mulch your food scraps and donate the mulch to local farmers or garden
- Serve meals on one large plate rather than using several smaller ones.
Donate retired dishware, utensils and
glasses to charities.
- Substitute biodegradable and less toxic cleaning products for hazardous
cleaning chemicals. Minimize the
use of bleaches, chemical pesticides and other detergents and chemicals.
Train your staff in the proper storage,
use and safe disposal of these hazardous substances to avoid risks to
both staff and the environment.
Greening Your Hotel Operations
- Use glazing on windows throughout the hotel to prevent heat from building
up, while still allowing light through.
Consider purchasing energy-efficient windows if you need to upgrade.
- Use plants that require little water or maintenance when landscaping
- Donate used furniture, linens and equipment to local nonprofit or charitable
organizations. Use old towels
and linens as rags for cleaning.
Greening Your Hotel Operations
- Buy reusable cups, mugs, dishes and silverware for employee use. Consider
including your company logo
and employee names on the mugs.
- Establish strict maintenance schedules for heating, cooling and appliances
throughout your facility.
- Educate staff on your "green" programs and encourage their
participation. Provide incentives for employee
Greening Your Hotel Office
- Reduce paper usage by making discarded paper into scratch pads and using
- Install recycling bins for office paper, cans, bottles, newspapers and
other wastes appropriate for your office.
Also, recycle fax machine and copier cartridges.
- Upgrade your lighting by installing energy-efficient T8 lamps with electronic
ballasts. Use motion sensor light
switches or switches on a timer.
- Purchase energy-efficient computers, copiers and other equipment for
- Purchase products that are recyclable and contain recycled content.