This week we’re finishing up our investigation into 3 major areas hotel owners can save money with earth-friendly practices. We’ve covered water and energy conservation in greater detail, and now we’ll discuss the category of material waste, which comprises many opportunities to save.
According to CalRecycle, hotels in California alone produce an estimated 600,000 tons (that’s 1.2 billion pounds!) of waste per year. Materials include:
- Paper and cardboard
- Fabrics and furnishings
- Chemical products
Every scrap adds up to billions of pounds in landfills and countless dollars wasted. Don’t want to sweat the small stuff? CalRecycle reports that the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena saved $45,000 in a year just by fine-tuning the quantity of detergent for laundering.
Reducing your hotel’s waste generation isn’t a one-time CSR initiative. Like water and energy conservation, it’s an organization-wide ongoing process to be taken one step at a time. Not only will you save money and help the environment–you’ll position your business wisely in an our eco-conscious world.
Check out the following tips to get started.
Optimize your inventory
Put a high-level employee or team to work investigating inventory needs and purchasing decisions. Too often this task is run on autopilot. Without keen and consistent analysis, hoteliers end up with stockrooms full of expired products and miss out on opportunities to get greener (and cheaper) products from vendors.
Implement a recycling program
Work with your local recycler to implement a program that allows your staff and guests to recycle plastic, cans, glass, paper (including newspaper and office paper), and even cooking oil, motor oil, and more. By placing recycling bins in guest rooms and throughout common and staff areas, you can reduce landfill waste and give your guests something great to talk about with their friends at home.
Make meetings and other events eco-friendly
Your hotel’s meeting spaces likely see a lot of waste. By offering recycled products for meetings and urging organizers and attendees to use use recycling bins and reduce the amount of paper and plastic items (which often simply go in the trash), you can reduce a lot of waste.
Compost kitchen scraps
Although food is biodegradable, in landfills it produces large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Determine what scraps are compostable and what can go in the trash. By composting you reduce landfill methane and produce top-quality soil for your hotel’s landscaping needs on site. You can also compost garden scraps like grass and leaves.
Another way to reduce landfill methane is to donate extra food to those who need it. Take it to the next level by participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.
See new building projects through a green-tinted lense. Contact a LEED-certified builder to ensure that new developments are created with construction waste diversion and sustainability as a priority.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. Contact HMG Hospitality to discuss how your hotel can start reducing waste.
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