Allergies: Chemical sensitivities and allergies to airborne particles that can reside in carpets, drapes, and bedding. EFH looks at approaches that hotels take to care for people with these issues.
Renewable energy sources, such as biomass, small hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy and photovoltaic conversion systems. This term excludes fossil fuels.
Bonus: This indicates the property took environmental steps in addition to the ones on the list. These steps are described in the Comment field.
Bulk Soap and Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion provided in guestrooms come from a bulk dispenser rather than individual packages. This approach saves time and money for the hotel and conserves natural resources while reducing the amount of packaging going into the landfill.
Comments: This field includes additional information about the property, including environmental steps the hotel has taken beyond the ones on EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotel’s checklist.
Compostable Disposables: Sometimes the use of disposable service items can't be avoided. In those cases we want to give credit to hotels that choose disposable items--like paper napkins and corn-based plastic--that are biodegradable.
Composting: A biological decomposition of solid organic materials by bacteria, fungi, and other organisms into a soil-like product that can be used to enrich garden soils. This enrichment not only nourishes the soil but also helps increase moisture retention and thus decrease the need for additional watering.
Conference Center: This data is included so that conference planners can find green hotels with meeting capacity. We suggest that conference planners also stress a green approach to the conference facility so it's not just the guestrooms that are approached with environmental sensitivity.
Cotton Towels and Linens: Cotton products don't add VOCs to the air, thus helping air quality in guestrooms where they are used. Towels and linens that are a blend of cotton and synthetic fabrics aren't sustainable because of their reliance on petrochemicals. Organic cotton is even better because of its avoidance of petrochemicals.
Donating to Charity: One often overlooked aspect of recycling is what to do with sheets, towels, table linens, furniture, carpeting, window coverings, appliances, bedspreads, etc. that aren't useable or useful to the property any longer. Selling or donating them to others is a great way to have the goods reused and keep the items out of the landfill. Food scraps can be donated to farmers while buffet leftovers can be given to shelters or farmers. What can't be given away can be composted.
Durable Service Items: Dishes, cups, glasses, mugs, tableware, and serving pieces that are long lasting, not disposable.
Eco-friendly Food Served:
Offering food that's been grown in a manner sensitive to its natural habitat for preserving wildlife and other plants, organically grown and raised, or local and thus freshly "harvested".
Educate Guests About "Green":
Informing people looking at the hotel’s website or staying at the property about the green actions the hotel takes and why those actions are important, as well as encouraging others to take their own green actions.
Educate Staff About "Green":
Teaching people working at their property about the green actions the property takes, why those actions are important, why the staff needs to support the program, and encouraging staff to take their own green actions.
Reducing the amount of energy used, for example, through the use of energy efficient lighting and appliances, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and using insulation and weather stripping. This may also be referred to as energy efficiency. It is possible to dramatically reduce energy consumption for powering our homes and buildings (and cars) without major sacrifices. This lessens our dependency on non-renewable resources and reduces the costs connected with excessive energy use.
Environmental Cleaning: Eliminating harsh or harmful chemicals or cleaning approaches in housekeeping and laundry. This includes avoiding perfumed or scented laundry supplies, carpet cleaners, cleaning supplies, or air fresheners.
Fitness Club: A room with cardio and/or resistance machines or free weights for guests to use to maintain their health and fitness regime.
Fresh Air: Guestrooms that either have windows that open or are part of a fresh-air exchange system within the hotel. Fresh air, even in cities, is healthier than the musty, stale air of closed-up rooms.
Gray Water Recycling: Gray water is wastewater composed of wash water from the kitchen, bathrooms sinks and showers/tubs, laundry sinks and tubs, and washing machines (clothes and dish) where only non-polluting, biodegradable soaps are used. This water is recycled to water gardens and landscaping, and as it filters through the soil on its way to ground and subterranean water sources it is cleaned. The use of gray water to irrigate gardens and landscaping reduces the amount of fresh water used.
Guestroom Recycle Bins:
Special containers placed in guestrooms so they can put their recyclable items there, rather than in the trash.
Hotel Recycle Bins:
Special containers placed around the property so guests can put their recyclable items there, rather than in the trash.
Internet: High speed internet access in the guestrooms. A hotel may have high speed internet access in the business center, common areas, or conference rooms without having it in the guestrooms. We are only acknowledging high speed internet access in the guestrooms.
Maintenance for Conservation: An important addition to a hotel’s green program may be to replace old, wasteful fixtures (light bulbs, old toilets that use lots of water, old shower heads and faucets that use more than two gallons/minute) and appliances (like refrigerator and freezers, ice machines, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners, furnaces/heaters, and computers) as they break or wear out, with new efficient fixtures and appliances.
Newspaper Program: We feel that newspapers shouldn't be delivered to every guest in the hotel because it is such a waste of paper. Instead, newspapers should be made available to those who want them, thus saving resources.
Guestrooms guaranteed to be safe from the pollution of smoking. Some hotels have either entire floors that are non-smoking or are completely non-smoking. Once a room has been smoked in, it's very difficult to clean it enough to get rid of the contaminants that so many people are sensitive to.
Organic Food Served: Organic food has been grown without the application of pesticides or fertilizers. Plant nourishment comes from the use of compost. Pest protection comes from growing healthy plants, companion planting, and natural pest controls like beneficial insects.
Participate in Green Programs:
Properties that either are involved in a certification program or have a membership in a green program get acknowledged here.
Promote "green" in Their PR: Properties that at least mention their green focus are acknowledged here. We have found it sad to see the number of properties that don't share their green actions via their website and hope to see that change with time.
Recyclable Disposables: Foam products--cups, bowls, plates, and clam-shell boxes -- not only consume petrochemicals in their production but also aren't recyclable, and they fill landfills with materials that will be around for hundreds of years. We encourage the use of recyclable disposable products instead.
Review: As featured hotels are visited and reviews submitted, they'll be posted here.
Sheet Re-use Program: Different hotels have different names for this, but it's a way of reducing the water and energy consumption involved in washing sheets daily. Sometimes the hotel states they wash sheets at a specific interval, unless more frequent changes are requested, and sometimes the hotel lets the guests request a less frequent than daily sheet change. Either way, when housekeeping complies with the "rule" it saves on resources, time, and wear and tear on the sheets.
Towel Re-use Program: Different hotels have different names for this, but it's a way of reducing the water and energy consumption involved in washing towels daily. Sometimes the hotel states they wash towels at a specific interval, unless more frequent changes are requested, and sometimes the hotel lets the guests request a less frequent than daily towel change. Either way, when housekeeping complies with the "rule" it saves on resources, time, and wear and tear on the towels.
Transportation: Some properties offer free transportation within its grounds, between the property and town, or around town. It's a service that can reduce air pollution and fuel consumption by increasing the efficiency of transporting guests. Conservation is even greater when the property uses a vehicle that runs on alternative fuels.
Water Conservation: The practice of reducing water usage. Water conservation methods include using low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets; washing sheets and towels less frequently; planting xeric gardens, which use native plants that require little or no irrigation; and the use of gray water recycling systems.
Xeric Gardens: Xeriscape is a coined word derived from the Greek 'Xeros', meaning dry. It is used to describe landscaping with water conservation as a major objective. It often is accomplished by using plants native to the region. A xeric garden is an attractive, sustainable landscape that conserves water and is based on sound horticultural practices.