Want to be a green hotel? 5 easy ways to reduce waste

Waste free hotel breakfast

Zero waste hotel breakfast

There are plenty of hotels touting their green credentials out there but be careful – there’s plenty of greenwash when it comes to eco accommodation.  Traveler surveys show that guests are looking for a more environmentally friendly experience and anyone who has ever stayed at a hotel will know the waste-generating machines they are. Going green is so much more that asking guests to reuse their towels, and we have 5 easy things you can do today to reduce your waste.

Reducing waste really is the low hanging fruit of sustainability and it’s the change that guests will notice and thank you for the most:

  1. Make sure there are recycling bins in convenient locations – Australians are good recyclers and look for the right bins to sort their waste.
  2. Do an audit of all your single use and single serve items and talk to your staff about replacing them with waste free alternatives.  Single use soaps can be replaced with dispensers. Tiny packets of butter, jam, milk and sugar as well as individually wrapped tea and coffee can be replaced with zero waste alternatives.  Coffee pods now come in refillable or biodegradable options.
  3. Go electronic with all your communications – most guests prefer information sent to their phone so they have a record.
  4. Remove outdated paper flyers at reception and load them on to your website and give your guests a QR code to access them. It will clean up your reception area and get rid of stands of paper menus, flyers for local attractions and paper maps. Remember to tell the providers (restaurants, attractions etc) that you no longer want paper flyers and ask them to email you any electronic updates.
  5. Compost your food waste.  Compost bins are a great asset and if you have gardens you will get free compost from your own kitchen waste.  If you have too much food waste or not enough space, contact your local Council and see if they have FOGO – Food and Organics and Garden Organics kerbside collection. You can also contact your local community garden to see if they could take your kitchen scraps. If you are out in a regional area try to contact a farmer – pigs and chickens will love your food scraps and are super efficient in turning them into eggs, meat, and fertilizer!

Most importantly, when you do these things LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW!  You’ll stand out from other hotels and guests will love that you make that extra effort to help reduce waste.