Many hotels are changing their ways and going green. They are trying to be environmentally safe and also to use less energy. This requires a balance between providing guests the experience they want and expect and incorporating ways to be green in hotel operations and practices. Hotels are not major polluters but they do consume a significant amount of resources. Although the LEED platform and certifications were designed for commercial and institutional projects and not for hotels, hotels are incorporating many green practices in their design, operational practices and housekeeping operations.
In design, hotels are focusing on several areas which can have a significant impact. Many hotels are using solar panels to heat their pools and the pools are cleaned with a saline salt solution instead of chlorine. This decreases energy consumption and chemical pollution. Many hotels, especially in Europe, are incorporating a master switch in all rooms. The master switch works by inserting your room key into a switch inside the room that turns on the electricity, heat and water. When you leave the room, you have to take that room key with you, thus turning off all the appliances. Other energy savings include keeping electricity to a minimum through natural light and the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow showers and dual-flush toilets. Some hotels have installed a new roofing material that reflects heat from the sun, so the hotel will not tax its air-conditioning system in the summer. Hotels that offer full-efficiency suites often have kitchens with Energy Star appliances, which use less energy than regular appliances. Water for cooking is filtered as it pours into the sink, and recycle bins are available. The shampoo and conditioner are in bulk dispensers, and in some cases, the art on the walls is crafted from recycled materials like aluminum, paper and car tires. Many hotels, especially in resort areas,...