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Sleeping sustainably

What your guests are looking for when choosing hotels

In response to an ever-changing consumer sentiment, today there is ever-more scrutiny being placed on hotels and accommodation providers by their ever-growing numbers of environment aware guests.

More and more people are choosing to look for and stay in sustainable accommodation which has an impact on both the environment and also the local community.

From the big hotel guns with hot and cold running resources right down to the ‘ma and pa’ motel operations, camp sites and backpacker hostels, all businesses these days need to ensure that what is being advertised is in fact being delivered. and in the process helping to make the planet more environmentally friendly and more sustainable than ever.

According to the Founder of the Clean + Conscious Awards, Emily Fletcher, it is important these days for consumers to make sure they are not simply being ‘greenwashed’ and falling for smoke and mirrors.

And to ensure they are staying where they can be supporting a business which shares their values and vision for a better world, she suggests people pick up the phone, call the hotel and ask the following five questions to answers they can’t find in website FAQ sections.

Do you use local staff and products? Sourcing staff, local produce and products can really help support a local community and is definitely something to look for.

What kind of energy do you use? Look for hotels using renewable energy and LED lighting to ensure their immense electrical use is as sustainable as possible.

Do you have a water recycling system or water waste reducing initiatives? Sustainable hotels don’t just encourage you to re-use your towels, they also collect rainwater for their gardens to ensure they aren’t draining local water supplies.

Do you have a waste recycling system? Does the hotel have a proper recycling system and use bulk amenities in rooms, to save thousands of those little shampoo bottles going to landfill?

Do you invest in and support your surrounding local community? This is where your consumer dollar can support many wonderful initiatives if you choose to support a conscious hotel. Does the hotel manage and help to protect the natural habitat surrounding it? Hotels can do this through replanting native plants or supporting conservation. They can also fund health, education and clean water projects to benefit locals and also to provide work opportunities.

“Once you start thinking about how to have a planet positive effect when you travel, the sky is the limit,” Ms Fletcher said.

“Through educated conscious choices, it is possible that our travels can support many incredible initiatives along the way.

“To quote Anna Lappe, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.””

Emily Fletcher is the founder of the Australian Clean + Conscious Awards, a social enterprise dedicated to celebrating exceptional products that work in harmony with our bodies, the  environment and  society. 

 

 

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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