On the home front, you may already know how to reduce your carbon footprint: you use fewer natural resources, avoid chemicals, recycle, compost, eat organic food and buy local products whenever possible. Fortunately, you can practice these eco-friendly actions while on the road if you choose a green certified hotel. With their growing presence, these hotels benefit the growing population of eco-conscious travelers, the environment and even themselves.
Well-known organizations that offer green certifications for hotels include US Green Building Council LEED and Green Seal. Hotels that earn green certifications from institutions like these are committed to reducing their impact on the environment. Eco-friendly practices usually include a variety of ways all aimed to conserve water, minimize waste, conserve resources and use energy efficiently.
As such, these hotels work to help keep the earth on track and their guests happy without sacrificing comfort. For example, they may offer water-saving amenities such as low-flow shower heads and toilets that work better than conventional appliances, or energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that keep their guests completely comfortable in any type of weather. Hotels with green certifications are known for avoiding harmful chemicals and toxins, as well as providing their guests with healthy hotel experiences and choices.
Additionally, they are also recognized for supporting green vendors, products and services. The steps they take to help the environment oftentimes depend on guidelines and standards set by the organizations that certify them, coupled by their own specific green goals as well. The certification process can include detailed applications, self-evaluations, sustainability documentation, on-site audits, annual monitoring, assessments and verifications. The process can take anywhere from several months to several years to complete.
Although obtaining green certifications can be challenging, hotels usually find their eco-friendly practices worth the effort, since many discover that when they reduce their carbon footprint, they reduce their operating costs and, perhaps more importantly in the long run, earn the respect and loyalty of their guests.
According to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown, many people find that hotels with green certifications are even more comfortable and accommodating than conventionally run hotels. DoubleTree earned Green Seal’s Bronze and Silver Certificates several years ago when they combined substantiated earth-friendly practices, products and services with comfort, luxury and modern conveniences. As a result of these efforts, their guests now know they can always count on receiving a luxurious, healthy, comfortable place to stay whenever they visit.
Furthermore, DoubleTrees’ energy-efficient appliances, gray water sprinkler system, and recycling and composting programs have all made a significant difference to the environment by using less energy, fewer natural resources and creating less waste. Also, DoubleTree’s environmental focus has made a delicious difference to guests who dine at the hotel’s Bigelow Grille, since they can discover a delicious variety of organic, sustainably sourced meals, snacks and beverages.
It will most likely take very little effort to research your green lodging options before you hit the road. To safeguard our planet’s valuable resources, all you need to do is to find venues that possess a respected type of green certification. To locate a green certified hotel, you can either ask friends and business associates for recommendations, search the internet, or contact your hotel of interest and ask about their green practices and certifications.