Hotels Encourage Guest to Stay "Green"

August 20, 1997

By Michael Jessen

There is an increasing trend in the highly-competitive motel/hotel industry to become more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Organizations and programs to assist motels and hotels in taking steps in the green direction are also multiplying.

The Power Smart Green Hotel program was produced by the cooperation of the BC and Yukon Hotels' Association and BC Hydro. To receive certification under the program, a hotel must promote such initiatives as recycling, energy-efficient lighting, efficient use of water, and the use of environmentally friendly products.

The Heritage Inn was the first Nelson hotel to receive the Power Smart Green Hotel certification and Inn the Garden Bed and Breakfast was the first B&B in British Columbia to receive this designation.

Guests staying at hotels belonging to the Green Hotels Association of Houston, Texas, are greeted with cards that invite them to let their towels and sheets be changed less frequently as a way to save water. Not exactly a luxury innovation, yet it is one example of the "front-of-the-house" changes under way in hotels trying to be more ecologically sensitive.

The environment program of Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts is literally paying off. As a direct result of recycling initiatives, the Royal York Hotel saved $260,000 in waste removal costs in one year. A $25,000 expenditure to replace leaky steam traps and fixing leaks brought steam consumption levels down and saved $200,000.

Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts across the country have installed blue boxes in every guest room, inviting guests to pitch in for the environment while they're on the road.

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