Go Green Sustainable Eco Hotel / Hostel / Accommodation Criteria
Whether you are a hotel, hostel, apartment rental, or camping site, there are many easy ways to start saving the environment and go green with a sustainable and eco-friendly policy for your accommodation.
We have created a simple list of criteria which you can use to create a sustainable green policy that doesn’t require a difficult and time-consuming setup. Just choose the criteria that fit your accommodation and start implementing your plan.
An ecotourism policy for your accommodation offers many great benefits including:
- Many tourists search out accommodations that are eco-friendly and actively trying to save the environment.
- A good green policy for your accommodation can actually save money on energy costs.
- You can feel good knowing you are helping save the planet.
Management & Planning
- Start with a goal – What do you want to achieve with your sustainable green accommodation policy.
- Training – All staff should receive relevant training regarding your green eco policy so they know their tasks and how they will help improve the environment and local culture as a result.
- Keep it realistic – Don’t overpromise on key criteria that your accommodation can’t deliver on.
Building and Design Considerations
- Ensure the design doesn’t ruin the surrounding scenic view
- Utilize recycled materials for construction and repairs
- Source local building materials for construction and repairs
- Utilize paints and sealants that are low emission
- Make use of solar coatings on windows to regulate the temperatures
Water – Reducing your water consumption not only saves the environment but also saves money on your water bills.
- Utilize grey-water recycling – Reuse water from the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry for landscaping and gardens.
- Use water timers that notify guests of their water consumption
- Make sure the maximum water flow in guest bathrooms is not more than 10 liters per minute
- Install low-flow shower heads which usually create a payback period in 5 months for a typical 100 room hotel
- Install faucet aerators that reduce the flow of water to less than 6 liters per minute and achieve a payback period in about 2 months (typical 100 room hotel)
- Install flow restrictors in shower heads, faucets, or at the base of a water pipe to reduce water consumption
- Utilize low-flow toilets that use about 6 liters per flush and receive a payback period in 12 to 18 months as you can save up to 80,000 liters of water per year
- Check for leaking toilets as studies found that ¼ of tourist toilets leak and produce up to ½ of your water usage
- Clearly encourage guests to reuse towels and linens to reduce water consumption. Make it easy for guests to notify housekeeping when linens and towels are ready to be washed. Housekeeping should choose either a 2 or 3 day linen schedule or the “top to bottom” change method.
- Laundry (both washing and drying) should be done with full loads only while separating and pre-treating dirty clothes in advance to avoid rewashing.
- Wash and dry linens and towels separately as they have different weights.
- Ensure the pool is maintained according to manufacturer instructions.
Energy – Save the environment along with your energy bill by reducing your energy consumption wherever possible
- Install renewable energy sources including wind and solar
- Utilize ceiling fans and put a limit on the air conditioning temperature
- Make use of natural light wherever possible to reduce electricity
- Utilize energy-efficient lighting which can reduce energy consumption by up to 75%. This is important because lighting can account for up to 25% of your electricity bill.
- Install motion sensors, timers, and reduce decorative lighting to reduce energy consumption.
- Instruct housekeeping to turn off all electrical appliances such as the TV, allow natural light when possible, and adjust air conditioning to reasonable temperatures.
Waste – The theme here is reduce, reuse, and recycle
- Offer guests organic soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that you purchase in bulk and distribute in portioned dispensers.
- Make use of cloth bags for towels, linens, and guest laundry.
- Source beverage suppliers that offer refillable bottles and kegs
- Source suppliers that offer returnable packaging
- Minimize staff printing and reuse paper whenever possible
- Recycle newspapers, cardboard, magazines, and paper used for printing
- Recycle plastics, glass, and cooking oil
- Distribute recycling bins in guest rooms, lobby, and common areas
- Utilize composting for gardens and kitchen. In the kitchen you can compost:
- All fruits and vegetable including pulp, rinds, or cores
- Anything from flour including bread cookies, noodles, etc.\
- Rice, barley, or any other grains
- Tea (including bags) and coffee (including filters)
- Old spices and food boxes
- Crushed egg shells
- Corn including cobs and husks
- Make use of non-toxic detergents and cleaning agents such as vinegar
- Utilize bed sheets, towels, and mattresses that are 100% organic cotton
- Create a non-smoking environment for the guests that reduces odor-control costs and improves air quality
- Utilize and recommend the use of green vehicles such as bicycles and public transportation to reduce carbon emissions
- Create a fresh-air exchange system
- Pest control can be done with organic or natural chemicals
- Use biodegradable toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, and facial tissues
- Purchase and serve local-grown and organic food when possible
- Utilize non-disposable dishes where applicable
- Create an organic garden that can sustain the restaurant or cafe at the accommodation
- Water can be offer upon request at the accommodation restaurant or cafe
- Fill your accommodation mini-bars with natural and organic snacks that include recyclable materials.
Local Cultural and Environmental Considerations
- The building and surroundings can take into account the local and cultural heritage.
- Serve local recipes that showcase the local culture through cuisine
- Showcase local art, architecture, or cultural artifacts in your accommodation
- Ensure local wildlife is protected and cared for humanely
- Avoid introducing invasive species into the local environment
- Support conservation efforts that protect the local environment
- Protect endangered species and ensure their habitats are not destroyed
- Protect cultural heritage and religious sites