by Jade Piper
The hospitality industry is a significant contributor to environmental pollution. In fact, hotels are responsible for about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The EPA's Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks estimates that the hospitality sector emitted 634.0 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2021. This represents about 10% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
However, there are many things that hotels can do to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable starting with their housekeeping practices. Here are 5 eco-friendly housekeeping hacks that you will want to try.
First of all, it’s essential to get your entire leadership
and workforce onboard and make them passionate about environmental
sustainability. Staff should be trained on how to use eco-friendly cleaning
products and how to minimize water and waste. In addition, guests can also play
a role in helping hotels go green. For example, your hotel can make towels and
other linens available upon request only to help cut down on water consumption
required in laundering them. The management can release useful educational
material online or in visible areas around the property about the initiative to
help guests understand.
Water is a precious and limited resource that is vulnerable to all kinds of pollution and climate change. Hotels can help to conserve water by using water-saving appliances and fixtures in housekeeping operations. For example, install low-flow showerheads and faucets, and use waterless cleaning methods for some tasks, such as dusting and sweeping.
Is it possible for hotels to go plastic-free? Absolutely. One way to do it is by handing out reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags whenever possible, (which works as free advertising also if you print it with your hotel name or logo). Stop using toiletries and other products that have plastic or non-biodegradable packaging. In addition, minimize waste by using reusable cleaning supplies, such as microfiber cloths and sponges that can be washed and disinfected after each use, instead of disposable paper towels. There should also be a strong program on recycling paper, plastic, and metal waste, and composting food waste.
Instead of using industrial-grade commercial cleaning products laden with harmful chemicals, switch to wholesome and eco-friendly cleaning alternatives like baking soda that are kinder for the planet, better for your guests and staff’s health, and can save you money in the long run. They also offer other incredible advantages including:
In summary, going green is not only good for the environment but also for business, because more and more guests are becoming more intentional in pursuing sustainable travel. Their choice of hotel accommodation plays a crucial role in that advocacy. By making small but impactful changes to your housekeeping practices, your hotel can attract more guests and improve your bottom line.