Hospitality Industry Becomes More Gracious to the Planet


Contractors get a chance to see various green building methods and materials. They also get to see what we need to do to get a structure LEED certification. While this is all very interesting, the people who choose to make these eco-friendly decisions have really been capturing some attention lately. It looks like they deserve a little appreciation.

Some areas are going beyond the standard certification and are actually honoring businesses and individuals who make a difference in their business. An example of such is “The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards,” which focuses on people and companies that demonstrate caring for wildlife, resource conservation and the like. They can do anything from installing automatic shutoff valves on their faucets to buying ingredients locally. In the U.S., something similar is happening with the “People & Planet Awards.”

Examples of the types companies that deserve our attention are rampant in the hotel business, which, in all fairness, does use quite a few resources. Las Vegas, one of the busiest tourist destinations on the planet with nearly 125,000 hotel rooms and tens of millions of visitors per year, has the “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America.” Many hotels in Las Vegas are going green; none however, like the Palazzo. The Palazzo Hotel reuses its resources and thus lessens its impact on the planet. Many buildings in New York City are doing similar things.

Another way that hotels can make a difference is by taking initiatives in product purchasing and active idea generation. The Marriott did the former with a huge purchase of green key cards. These replace traditional plastic keycards, are biodegradable and recyclable. The ink48 Hotel is doing something they call Earthcare. This already eco-friendly hotel is generating even more ideas with this innovative way to get people discussing Earth conscious initiatives.

Hotels are not the only ones taking initiatives. Some schools are planting gardens that help low-income neighborhoods and help kids become more conscious of the environment. In this department, hotels are still taking the attention, however. The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte has thousands of bees on its roof that pollinate their garden and make honey for guests.

No matter who is doing it or where it is being done, it always feels good to see greener practices becoming the standard. With some many travelers around the world, the hospitality industry is a good place to start.

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