by Amy Hornsby for letsg.ooo.
If you’re an eco-conscious traveller, you may be a little wary about lodging in hotels, especially if it’s just for one or two nights. From the gallons of water it takes to clean the sheets and towels, to the single-serving toiletries, there’s a lot of waste that goes on. Finding an independent, green hotel is probably your best option, but if all you have to choose from are big chains, here are some that are changing their ways.
Take a look on Hyatt’s ‘Our Planet’ page and you’ll see a wealth of ways in which the hotel is tackling their environmental challenges. They’re working on reducing water and energy usage by upto 25% by 2020, and are at around 20% right now, and at one Connecticut branch they have an impressive 40% reduction in carbon emissions. They work with organisation Clean the World to donate soaps and shampoos and companies such as WWF to reduce or donate food waste. Working with WWF, they also make sure seafood used in their restaurants is sustainably sourced.
Kimpton is on a more boutique level than the others, but is still a major player in the hotel business. While they practise water and energy conservation as well as using only recycled paper products, their main focus is on social responsibility, diversifying their staff and supporting the LGBTQ community, as well as locally sourcing food and drink used in their catering. They are certified by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and regularly win awards for their environmental practices.
A huge player in the game, Marriott holds many hotels under its names, like Starwood, W, Westin, and Sheraton. They claim to be the first “major hotel chain to calculate [their] carbon footprint” and take steps to do something about it. So far this has included changes like reducing their water consumption by 10% since 2007, and committing to a 20% reduction by 2020 with more water-efficient toilets, showers, sinks, and washing machines. They have reduced their energy consumption and carbon emissions by an impressive 13.2% since 2007, but most of all, have contributed more than $2 million to the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to help protect the rainforest of Brazil.
Fairmont, like many other hotels, makes its commitment to water and energy consumption, but also focus on locally sourced products but focus, in particular, on bees. Their ‘Bee Sustainable’ programme not only takes care of their local population of bees, but means they can source their very own honey right from their rooftop! Fairmont started building these bee hotels in 2014 and now have over 40 bee apiaries and hotels at over 20 of their branches. They have joined with Pollinator Partnership to help conserve wild bees’ homes and help them thrive.