Your bags are packed, you've got your plane tickets in hand, and you're ready for a new adventure. No matter where the wind takes you, your sustainable practices don't have to take a vacation while you're on yours. Luckily for you, hotel chains are making strides in sustainability.
From cutting back on water usage to recycling materials, hotels have a plethora of opportunities to shrink their eco-footprint. Strengthen your personal earth-efforts by choosing a green hotel.
Here's what top hotels are doing to make a positive impact on the environment.
Saying Bon Voyage to Plastic Straws
Marriott International has followed in the footsteps of coffee-powerhouse, Starbucks. The company announced that they'll be getting rid of plastic straws at their hotels worldwide.
According to Marriott International, the company will "remove disposable plastic straws and plastic stirrers from its more than 6,500 properties across 30 brands around the world. Once fully implemented in one year, the company could eliminate the use of more than 1 billion plastic straws per year and about a quarter billion stirrers."
EcoCycle reports that "Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day." If Marriott International hotels shed their use of small plastics - like straws and stirrers - the amount of plastic that ends up in oceans and landfills will substantially decrease. Bon voyage, litter!
Making Strides in Water-Conscious Efforts
To make sure each guest has a fresh set of sheets to greet them during their stay, hotels use a whole lot of energy and water to do laundry.
Some hotels request that if your sheets and towels are gently used, you indicate that you're OK with reusing them the next day. In doing so, you'll help the hotel conserve energy and reduce the amount of water used in the hotel's laundromat.
Some hotels are also stretching their efforts further. According to The Ritz Carlton, "We have implemented innovative systems that lessen the environmental impact and cost of our laundry operations by reducing the temperature and amount of water required in our laundry operations, also reducing CO2e emissions by reducing the energy requirement for laundry operations by 20%."
Now those are some relaxing figures.
Putting Recycling at the Top of the Pyramid
Whether you're a gambler or you enjoy a trapeze show on the Vegas strip, your sin-city hotel options are endless. But if you want to stay at a green hotel that practices sustainability, you might want to consider staying at Luxor Las Vegas.
According to Luxor Las Vegas, "To increase recycling and minimize the need for virgin resources, Luxor maintains a robust recycling program for handling cardboard, metals, plastics, glass, paper, and kitchen grease. The result of these efforts in 2009 prevented nearly 1,000 tons of materials from entering the landfill."
You might recognize the Luxor hotel by its unique architecture, as it's the only pyramid-shaped hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel even prioritizes recycling at the ground level by partnering with local recyclers to recover steel, concrete, and drywall during construction and building remodels.
Sustainable Practices Pay Off, Literally
If a green hotel is non-negotiable in your life, you're not alone. Vacationers just like you are even willing to pay more to stay at a hotel that makes the environment a priority.
According to a 2012 TripAdvisor survey, "The green travel trend is gaining momentum among TripAdvisor members, as 71 percent said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months compared to 65 percent that did so in the past 12 months."
The survey results also showed that "half of the travelers surveyed would spend more money to stay at an eco-friendly accommodation."
If sustainable practices make a giant, positive impact on the environment and they bring in more revenue for hotels, is going green even a question?
Let's keep the sustainability discussion going. Where do you like to stay when you're on vacation? Has your favorite hotel gone green? Let us know in the comments below!