Recently, the global hotel industry has made remarkable strides toward creating sustainable accommodation. Nonetheless, much work remains to be done to foster a greener future.
Travelers are increasingly seeking a more meaningful and environmentally responsible travel experience. They want to connect with local people and communities, restore the environment, and support the economies of local cultures.
The Evolution of Green Travel
Eco-friendly travel is all about minimizing our impact and damage on the local environment and community. This can be achieved in various ways, such as cutting waste and offsetting carbon emissions, choosing accommodation that does more good than harm, shopping locally and supporting local communities.
Green travelers may look for ways to conserve electricity when traveling, particularly if they’re staying in shared accommodations or couch surfing. These alternatives use less energy than hotel rooms since they share lights, heat and air conditioning with their guests.
These accommodations have taken action to reduce water usage by installing water efficiency systems, encouraging shorter showers and collecting rainwater for cleaning purposes. Furthermore, they provide soap and shampoo in reusable bottles while emphasizing their commitment to separating and recycling waste.
Hotels and other tourism businesses are increasingly adopting sustainable practices as a way to appeal to a broader range of customers who care about the environment. But some businesses may just be dressing up their operations in an attempt to take advantage of this trend; so make sure the accommodations you select actually demonstrate commitment towards sustainability.
Net-Zero Emissions Hotels
Hotels are increasingly striving for net-zero energy goals and adopting whole-of-life sustainability strategies, from construction to operations. This means they’re actively reducing their carbon footprint through building-scale renewable energy solutions and green electricity purchases.
One of the most influential ways hotels are practicing sustainable practices is by minimizing their carbon footprint by repurposing and revitalizing existing structures. Many property developers are looking at retrofitting or revitalizing old industrial buildings, warehouses and office buildings into hospitality projects to reduce their ecological impact and lower operating expenses.
Hoteliers should strive to reduce their environmental impact while taking a long-term iterative approach when it comes to sustainability. This includes implementing an extensive emissions monitoring strategy that allows them to identify and prioritize areas in the building that are over-consumption or wasteful of energy, like unused guestrooms.
The hotel industry is uniquely placed to contribute to the circular economy and reduce its negative effects on climate change, making it essential for hotels to begin making the switch towards greener operations as soon as possible. By focusing on areas critical to their operations like energy consumption and waste generation, hotels can take advantage of this trend in the market while offering guests an experience they will value.
Circular Economy in Hospitality
Smart hotel technologies offer hospitality providers numerous benefits that can reduce expenses and minimize their carbon footprint. These include solar energy usage, sensors to detect waste, and intelligent lighting.
Hoteliers can utilize AI and big data to better comprehend their guests’ needs. Doing so allows them to customize their offerings and reduce food waste.
Another trend in the hospitality industry is a shift towards more sustainable materials for items like towels and bedsheets. These can be made from paper, wood or bioplastic, making them much more durable than traditional textiles.
However, it’s essential to remember that while these technologies can contribute towards increased sustainability, they won’t do so unless they’re utilized correctly. This means implementing policies and practices which promote circular economies like more recirculation strategies, resource efficiency initiatives, technical innovation, policy formulation and stakeholder support.
Smart Hotel Technologies
Utilizing new technology in hotels to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions is an effective way to go green. Hotels can invest in energy-saving appliances and install automated energy management systems that automatically adjust heating/air conditioning based on occupancy, room temperature and humidity levels.
Hoteliers and guests alike can benefit from these changes, which not only save them money but also create a more inviting, eco-friendly environment for visitors to stay in. Furthermore, these measures reduce waste production while creating a more comfortable and sustainable atmosphere for everyone involved.
Hotels often take steps towards sustainability in the lighting department. By replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which consume less energy and last longer, hotels can make significant environmental improvements.
Smart thermostats, which automate climate control based on occupancy and environmental conditions such as air quality/refresh, outside temperatures/solar gain and humidity can also be installed to save energy. Not only do these technologies reduce operational cost and generate savings but they help hoteliers track their HVAC performance more easily.
Hoteliers can also implement other regenerative practices to reduce energy usage. For instance, they could reuse guest linens and replace single-use toiletries with reusable alternatives – an efficient way to save money, energy, and water.
Regenerative Tourism Practices
Tourism is one of the primary drivers of climate change, so regenerative travel practices have gained in popularity. They involve leaving a place better than when you arrived.
This concept can be traced back to regenerative design and architecture, including LEED-certified buildings. It strives to close the loop on resource flows, sequester carbon, restore soil health and reduce waste generation.
Regenerative travel options range from upcycled accommodations to purpose-led organizations that benefit local communities and wildlife through responsible tourism. For instance, The Shinta Mani Foundation works with Cambodian communities by providing healthcare facilities, education programs and small business loans.
Regenerative tourism practices, such as upcycled hotels, can help reduce the environmental impact of accommodation and boost community sustainability worldwide. However, it’s essential to remember that sustainability only touches on part of the system.
Innovative Eco-Wellness Retreats
Eco-wellness retreats are an excellent choice for travelers wanting to do their part in protecting the planet. From hiking and camping in remote places to staying in luxurious hotels, these getaways allow you to reconnect with nature, renew yourself, and make a positive impact on the environment.
Guests can select from a selection of wellness packages that include yoga and meditation classes, intuitive movement classes, and other activities designed to improve their health and well-being. A selection of treatments are also available such as mud and mineral baths.
This eco-friendly resort was constructed on land once known as “the resting place of mature souls.” Here you can escape to an eco-conscious haven away from big hotels, where you can disconnect, reconnect with nature and awaken your eco-soul.
Its commitment to the natural world is evident in every aspect of its architecture, design and programming. The spa boasts a 2,000 square foot green roof garden terrace as well as six hundred tons of local stone used in construction.
BodyHoliday Cares, a charitable foundation run by BodyHoliday Ltd, funds education and skills development programs for local community members as well as vision health and mental wellness resources for children. Furthermore, it partners with conservation groups to promote sustainability on the island.
Carbon Offsetting & Sequestration
Carbon offsets and sequestration both help to reduce carbon emissions through climate-smart practices. Furthermore, they offer other advantages like alleviating poverty and improving health within local communities.
For instance, a project can boost biocapacity in a forest area by restoring or planting trees and thus storing carbon. This is often accomplished through certified forestry projects that meet stringent standards.
A project can also reduce and sequester methane through the capture and burning of this greenhouse gas, which has the potential for 30x greater warming than CO2 over a 100-year period.
Carbon offsets are traded on the voluntary market, where companies purchase credits to make up for their own emissions. They can be used to fund conservation and sustainable development projects as well as energy efficiency initiatives.
Locally Sourced Building Materials
Many people are unaware of the environmental damage caused by building materials. When these components come from far away, they must be transported over long distances which increases greenhouse gas emissions and adds to a building’s carbon footprint.
Locally sourced building materials help reduce transport emissions since they are produced close to where they will be used. This is an excellent way to help the environment and promote sustainability.
In addition to reducing a construction project’s carbon footprint, locally sourced building materials also contribute to the local economy. They can stimulate local businesses and create jobs – an effective way for you to have a positive impact on the community.
The emergence of sustainable accommodations is a reflection of the growing awareness and concern for the environment we inhabit. As individuals and businesses alike take steps to reduce their impact on the planet, it’s clear that the global hotel industry has recognized the need for eco-friendly travel options. This trend towards sustainability is a welcome development in the travel industry, as it provides travelers with a chance to make a positive impact on the environment while exploring new destinations.
However, this is just the beginning. As we continue to learn more about the impact of tourism on the environment, it’s clear that there is still much work to be done. By supporting sustainable accommodations and travel practices, we can help to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for generations to come. Let us embrace these emerging trends and work towards a brighter, more sustainable future for all.