Many aspects of traveling are inherently wasteful. For those people wanting to reduce their environmental impact while still enjoying travel, there is a new program called The Green Lodging Project.
First, it is essential to consider the environmental impact of the lodging industry. While necessary to the travel and hospitality industries, hotels are one of the worst options for lodging in terms of sustainability. The average hotel purchases 100 times the amount of products in a single week than an average family buys in an entire year. The Green Lodging Project aims to make at least half of these products eco-friendly. Considering that the average hotel room produces 30 pounds of trash per day, the Project aims to recycle everything possible, resulting in an 80% savings of previously discarded items. In doing so, the Project seeks to use these hotels’ massive purchasing power on sustainable brands and focuses on diverting as much trash as possible away from landfills.
Another place where The Green Lodging Project is focusing its efforts is on reducing energy consumption. Hotels spend between 60 and 70% of their utility budget on electricity. By switching to energy-efficient lighting and appliances, hotels can reduce their energy consumption and their costs. In the same way, the Project is working to reduce water usage by installing water-efficient fixtures. This has the double benefit of reducing water waste in rooms that, unregulated, use over 200 gallons of water per day. This effort also has the resulting impact of reducing the hotel’s water and sewer bills.
The Green Lodging Project also recognizes the environmental impact of food production and waste. Hotels are notorious for food waste. In a typical year, 112,000 tonnes of food is thrown out from the nation’s hotels. One of the Project’s goals is to create a chain from usable leftover food to disadvantaged people who need it while also composting food scraps and unusable food.
The Green Lodging Project offers solutions that benefit the environment and the hotels’ bottom lines, but these changes can also help people’s peace of mind. Travelers, whether for business or pleasure, are free to stay in hotels, knowing that their stay will have a minimized impact on the environment.