The series Places & Spaces could inspire even the most dedicated couch potato to pack a bag and hop a plane. The destinations featured are sustainable, but what about your average hotel claiming green sensitivity? The term is increasingly overused, so it’s important to ask questions. A well-informed traveler is a more conscious one, so ask the following before you commit your hard earned cash:
1. Do they use organic linens and bedding?
2. Can guests opt-out of daily maid service?
3. Do they use refillable hair and skincare dispensers (versus tiny plastic bottles)? And are the products organic?
4. Do they use recycled paper products, in-room and elsewhere?
5. Do they use energy efficient appliances and low-flow toilets?
6. Do they use non-toxic cleaners, paints and pesticides?
7. Are vegetarian and/or organic food choices available?
8. Do they compost food waste?
9. What are their recycle programs? Are they easily accessible to guests?
10. How do they contribute to the local community? Do they employ local people or work with local charities?
[2 more questions below]
While you may not get a “yes” to every question, you’ll be able to make an informed choice and plan ahead. For example, if a hotel can’t meet one of your green criteria (i.e. eco-friendly tissues and toilet paper), maybe there’s a quick fix (bring your own or ask the concierge to provide it).
You can also do your part by taking shorter showers and turning off the television and heat or air conditioning before you leave your room.
Lastly, try to remember that any vacation, near or far from home, is a luxury. Slow down and make it meaningful; pay attention and be respectful. Leave your destination cleaner than you found it, and help our beautiful planet stay that way.
Two more questions that the eco-conscious traveller should ask are:
- Do they make use of renewable energy sources such as solar energy (solar panels and solar water heaters)
- Do they harvest rainwater and/or have grey water recycling or greywater irrigation
Hotels are notorious for their huge water and energy consumption; the hospitality business has realized that there is a growing number of discerning, green travellers. Many hotels and lodges are now seeking environmentally friendly certification. Two major aspects that environmental inspectors assess are the hotel’s water conservation measures and energy-saving endeavours.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems and Yes Solar Mpumalanga offer eco-friendly rainwater collection systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms and high quality Solsquare solar water geysers.
Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water heater, rainwater harvesting system (see rainwater FAQ), gray water recycling system or water tank (we are authorized South African JoJo Water Tanks dealers and supply the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands). Our water tank prices are hard to beat in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo Lowveld.
Water conservation and renewable energy such as solar energy are two issues that affect the global community; make a difference and start conserving water and switch to renewable energy today.