We've all heard about climate change, and it's a scary prospect. However, hotels account for approximately 1% of carbon emissions worldwide. And it's worth mentioning 1% is a big number in comparison to other industries out there. (For example, agriculture accounts for 9% of greenhouse gas emissions.) Therefore, we're going to explore various options for becoming a sustainable property.
What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel stands for traveling in a way in which the traveler doesn't harm the natural and/or cultural environment. Therefore, sustainable travel is all about dampening the negative impacts of travel.
The travel & tourism industry contributed over 8.9 trillion dollars to the world's GDP in 2019. In the same year, 1.5 billion international travelers were recorded globally. However, the numbers only show how vast the tourism industry is. For an industry as huge as the travel industry, playing a role in nature conservation would be a game-changer.
However, there is countless amount of warnings and shocking statistics about the negative impacts of traveling too. Air pollution, water consumption, land degradation are all negative impacts of tourism that damage nature.
Who is Responsible for The Damage?
It's too early to point fingers. The sad news is, you can't control most of the damage you do to the environment. It's just our lifestyle nowadays, and we're going to need to stick with it. For example, even if you've just checked into a hotel, there's a water footprint left by yourself, and you don't even know about it!
Anyhow, travelers and properties could both be held responsible for the impacts of traveling on the environment. Not only the negative impacts but also the positive ones.
1. The Travelers
Over 53% of people want to travel more sustainably in the future, and statistically, two-thirds of travelers seek to support more sustainable options in their travels. So the statistics show promise. We really do care about the environment, after all!
As a property owner or staff, you should definitely see this as an opportunity. Travelers are looking for more sustainable options around the globe. Present your ideas and your strategies. Let them know you are a sustainable property. Not only will you attract more travelers to your property, but also you'll help rejuvenate the planet. Two birds with one stone!
2. The Properties
Hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, and all other types of hospitality properties are also responsible for the impacts on the environment. You can already name a few things you could do better to lessen your hotel waste. Composting, recycling, and reusing are all ways for properties to help save nature.
So, we gathered a list of ideas and tips to become a sustainable property. Keep in mind; we can't just go green and stop producing waste. We can only make things better, and it's the first step to conserve nature as a travel industry representative!
Tips to Become a Sustainable Property
As a property owner or staff, all you want to do is make sure your property's negative environmental impact is as low as possible. And to do that, you can either reduce your property's resource consumption or advise your guests to travel more responsibly.
Certain strategies and ideas come in handy in both cases, all designed to make sure your environmental impact is as low as possible - as a developing sustainable property.
1. Ask Yourself: Are Your Equipment Eco-friendly?
A single LED bulb saves you 1,000$ annually, is 80% more energy-efficient in comparison to a traditional light bulb, and lasts 25 times longer. The point here is - a single instrument of lighting could be that important to the efficiency of your property.
What about the rest of the equipment you use on a daily basis? Replacing old inefficient equipment might be expensive - we've all been there! - but it'll be worth it in the long term by the same token.
2. Waste Management
Recycling steel and tin cans save 60 to 74 percent, recycling glass and plastic saves 33% energy compared to making the same products of virgin unprocessed materials. And separating your property's waste plays a big part in the recycling process.
Also, using washable cloths and dishware instead of disposable ones, using water filters instead of bottled water, and using refillable dispensers for shampoos and soap are excellent ways of cutting plastic usage.
3. Keep Eco-friendly Activities & Programs in Mind
Guest engagement is significant for each and every property. You can tie your guest engagement with going eco-friendly. Just schedule eco-friendly activities and ask your guests to join!
Go for a hike, plant trees, host a zero-waste pizza-making contest, plan environment cleanup activities, and many more. Get creative. It'll be great to both guest engagement and sustainability in one go!
4. Encourage Your Guests to Visit "Green Destinations"
There are many landmarks out there that solely focus on attracting visitors. After a period of time, if left unchecked and overwhelmed, these tourist attractions will ultimately fail. Dirty beaches, unwelcoming local communities, and extinct species are examples of what could happen to these landmarks.
The opposite of above, however, "Green Destinations" are places that are taken care of by the authorities or local landlords to stay the way they are. Nature conservationists around the globe have labeled these specific attractions as "Green Destinations."
You can search around and do a little research and get to know your area's green destinations, and advise your guests to pay them a visit! These places are less likely to be deteriorated by tourists.
5. Help Your Guests Use Public Transportation
Public transportation can dramatically reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. In addition, using public transportation produces less pollution in comparison with private transportation.
As a property manager, you can help the guests understand the public transportation system of your city better and use it for the duration of their stay. Let the guests know the best ways to go around the city!
6. Paperwork is Unnecessary
The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, and 45% of the paper is trashed on the same day. Fortunately, for hotels and hostels, most of the job could be done online and paperless-ly! For example, you can set up a reservation system online. Set up your own property management system and much more!
You can even go fully contact-less. Your guests can finally skip reception and go directly to their rooms. The dream we've all dreamt! SmartLock is the technology you're looking for if you're looking to go contact-less!