Climate change, pollution, deforestation, and sustainability are issues that are increasingly important and increasingly on the mind of consumers as they make purchases in their day to day lives. This issue is a serious one that is proving to be one of the major challenges of our time. It has added significant stress to our environment and ecosystems across the globe. Indeed, we are seeing a growing number of species go extinct, such as the white rhino (the last male northern white rhino of its kind died in Kenya on March 20th, 2018.) Climate change not only offers a serious threat to the survival of animals but the human species as well. Shifting weather patterns may threaten food production, increase flooding as well as increasing the overall global temperatures thus making the earth uninhabitable.
The work of ensuring sustainability of our ecosystems and fighting climate change should not be left entirely to bodies
like the United Nations or activists; we all have a stake and a duty to ensure that we take care of our planet. We are all stakeholders in this process, right from simple actions like limiting the use of plastics through recycling or by
planting trees, to major ones like drafting and implementing policies against pollution.
Furthermore, consumers making day to day choices are increasingly considering the sustainability of their decisions and voting with their wallets. You can see this in the explosion of organic produce, grass fed meat, eco-friendly cleaning products, organic cotton clothing, and even things like fair-trade labels. The building industry is also joining in, and you can see more and more use of rapidly renewable resources like bamboo and cork, recycled content materials, energy efficient techniques, the integration of solar panels, heat pumps, and other renewable energy systems, and even the adoption of ancient building techniques like Japanese burnt cedar as an upscale architectural touch.
While consumers can choose to use these products in the construction of their homes, a relatively new phenomenon is consumers choosing their hotel stay based in part on the construction methods of the hotel. As hoteliers we can ensure that the environment is conserved and that our materials are eco-friendly.
The use of sustainable flooring in hotels is one of the most noticeable changes. Bamboo flooring in particular is beautiful and also extremely durable and price competitive. Bamboo trees are known to grow very quickly and can be used as as wood-alternative instead of using hardwood trees that take many years to mature. Despite its lightweight nature, bamboo trees can make very quality floor material and it is also easy to clean. Using bamboo trees would mean conservation of the rarer and more indigenous types of trees and this would have an overall positive effect on the environment. A beautiful bamboo wood floor covered with a highly durable and renewable wool rug is a great look for a hotel room.
Many resort hotels are located in places where clean water is rare and precious. Hotels are using gutter
systems that collect rainwater in rainy seasons and this water could be used in watering landscaping plants. These whole-hotel greywater roof drainage systems are very cost effective and avoid the waste of clean drinkable water. The use of rainwater as a method of conserving the environment has been in use for many years and is one that the hotel industry.
Hotel lodges that are located in colder climates often have fireplaces or wood stoves in rooms and common areas. Burning wood give a fantastic ambiance and can really make a hotel feel very cozy and inviting, but they are also a major source of pollutants and reduce air quality in the vicinity. Replacing inefficient fireplaces and old wood stoves with modern, clean burning and efficient wood stoves can go a long way to reduce the pollution of the air and the deforestation of local woods.
All in all, the little things do matter in ensuring that the environment is conserved. From reducing time spent in
showering to urging clients to turn off the tap water after use, the hotel industry can do a lot to ensure the sustainability of our environment.