When you plan your vacation getaways, you’re probably scouring the web, checking out Yelp, Trip Advisor, and hotel websites to compare accommodations, activities, spa services, location, and prices. It’s doubtful that you’re looking into a hotel’s environmental initiatives. Nevertheless, behind the scenes the travel industry is getting serious about going green.
True, most hotel companies are not going as far as Leonardo DiCaprio, who recently bought Blackadore, Caye — 104 acres of unpopulated, wild land off the coast of Belize with the intent to restore the island, regenerate “the entire ecosystem to bring it back to its original form,” and create an eco-conscious resort. But they are taking significant steps that go far beyond the greener housekeeping we’ve all come to know: The little card from management left on the hotel bed or bathroom sink advising us what to do if we want our sheets and towels changed.
Here, some examples of what’s happening on the hotel green scene:
Hyatt has set aggressive goals to increase energy efficiency, reduce water use and waste, and find sustainable alternatives. At the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (shown above) the 4,000-square-foot hydroponic garden produces 120 pounds of lettuce each week — a great way to reduce water, pesticide use, and carbon dioxide emissions. Green waste is all composted, bulbs are LED, cooking oil is processed into bio-diesel fuel, and solar panels provide renewable solar power. Comfy guest robes are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and filtered water dispensers are located near all ice machines to encourage the refilling of water bottles.