With growing concern over climate change, the environment is high on everyone’s agendas. But how can we encourage our hotel guests to be more sustainable? From plastic to pollution to cutting our carbon footprint, there are many ways to have a positive impact on the environment.
To celebrate World Environment Day, Imago Venues - Loughborough University’s conference and events arm - has put together tips about how to be a more sustainable hotel guest.
Turn your car engine off while in the hotel car park waiting for someone
Leaving the car running while you’re waiting for someone might seem like the easiest thing to do, but it has an impact on the environment. The Royal College of Physicians estimate 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are linked to air pollution, with engine idling (leaving car engines running) contributing to this.
Re-use your towels rather than getting new ones every day
If your room is serviced daily and towels are readily available, it might seem easier to use a fresh towel every day. But this isn’t something you would do at home, because it’s not practical and your water and electricity bills would significantly increase. Every 10kg towel washed consumes at least 50 litres of water. By re-using a towel, you can save both water and energy.
Re-fill reusable water bottles at water stations to reduce plastic waste
Keep a reusable water bottle in your bag when travelling rather than buying a new drink each time you need one. Not only could this help to reduce plastic waste, it could also save you a bit of money. The UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles every year and only 7.5 billion of these are recycled - the rest go to landfill.
Know where the recycling bins are in the hotel
Make use of the recycling bins that are dotted around most hotels. It’s easy not to really think about which bin you’re throwing your rubbish in when you’re away but recycle as you would if you were at home. Every year, 18 million tonnes of waste is sent to a UK landfill site.
Eat local produce
Eating locally sourced food can be healthier for you and it can help to reduce your carbon footprint. You are also supporting the local economy and it’s likely there is an interesting story behind each product. Eating more local food reduces CO2 emissions by reducing the distance food travels from farm to consumer.
Turn off the lights when you leave bedrooms/bathrooms
Key cards have made guests lives easier as they don’t have to worry about turning off the lights and the TV when they leave the hotel room. However not all hotels have key cards. Make sure you take a few seconds to check everything is switched off. Turning off the lights reduces your carbon footprint, saves money and energy.
If you are off to a conference or going away with a group of people, consider car sharing options. It can save you money, take the hassle out of parking and more importantly it is much better for the environment. If half of all UK motorists received a lift just one day a week, congestion and pollution would be reduced by 10%.
Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Imago Venues, Loughborough University, said: “We all have an impact on the environment every day. We know we can make a difference but, for Imago, it's about what kind of difference we want to make. Our guests are at the heart of what we do and that’s why we already encourage them to help us and now we want to help others.
“We are fully committed to our journey and are very proud to have our Green Tourism Gold award. As part of our on-going commitment to becoming more sustainable, we have set up an environment champions working group. This is where members of staff meet as a group to discuss and implement ways of how we can do our bit for the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.”