The Greening of the Lodging Industry

August 6, 1997

By Michael Jessen

If we are encouraged to practice waste reduction at home, at school, and in the workplace, shouldn't we also do the same while we're on vacation?

More and more Kootenay Country lodging owners and managers are responding yes. Visit any campground these days and you'll likely find recycling containers beside the garbage bins.

The interest by the lodging industry to provide recycling for their guests is tied to the economics of waste disposal. It now costs campground operators, motels and hotels a lot of money to dispose of their guests' waste.

At the request of some lodging industry operators , the Regional District of Central Kootenay has initiated a "Stay Green" program to help encourage area visitors to reduce waste, recycle, and save energy.

For the rest of the summer, Margaret Palmer, a communications graduate of the University of Ottawa will be distributing information and talking to tourists. Her message is simple -- we need tourists to be as waste conscious as locals.

For full-service hotels, the RDCK will also be promoting the Power Smart Green Hotel program, an initiative of the British Columbia and Yukon Hotels' Association and BC Hydro. Lodging owners wishing information on how to make their establishments more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly can call 1-800-663-0431.

Doing the right thing for the environment has never been more important -- for both the lodging industry and their overnight guests.

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