Half-Ass Hotel Greening Efforts
Posted by Luke on July 27, 2010
It’s surprising that the hotel industry doesn’t put forth more effort to be sustainable. There are very few hotels that have sustainability as part of their core philosophy. The Boulder Outlook Hotel is an exception. They compost or recycle over 80% of their waste. I only wish Boulder Outlook’s existed across the country.
Today I’m in Indiana staying in a major national hotel chain. I walked into the lobby to check in and had an empty water bottle in my hand from the flight. It’s 90+ degrees and humid in Indy. I asked the front desk employee if he could recycle the bottle for me. He looked at me as if I had two heads and said, “No, but I can throw it away for you.” Here I am, in the heartland of middle-America, and they don’t recycle.
I get to my room and walk into the bathroom. There I find a typical water conservation sign.
Is this sign really necessary? Hotels like this aren’t trying to be green by conserving water. They’re trying to save money and reduce labor expenses. Let’s call it what it is and stop green washing guests.
I look around and see they have plastic-wrapped polystyrene cups. On one side of the sink they are asking me to save the planet by conserving water. On the other side they are offering non-recyclable polystyrene cups and refusing to recycle something as simple as a water bottle.
How hard would it be to put a blue bin in the room next to the trash can? It should be illegal to not offer recycling as I mentioned in a previous post. I’ve only found two hotels in my entire life that offer in-room recycling – the Boulder Outlook Hotel and the Sheraton Resort in Steamboat Springs, CO.
If anyone knows of a resource to locate green hotels and review them on their green efforts, please let me know.