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Welcome to the era of going green, where the green hotel is the newest frontier. In an increasingly green world people are looking to “go green” in every facet of life. One area that has been traditionally anything but green is the travel industry. But today, green hotels have become a reality, proving environmentally conscious travelers with an entirely new option to consider when spending time away from home.
What is a Green Hotel?
A green hotel is one that strives to be environmentally friendly. Specifically, these eco-friendly inns make efforts in construction, renovation and daily maintenance that decrease the businesses use of water and energy, and which reduce solid waste.
Some of these changes can be as simple as outfitting each room with the “towel change cards” that we have all seen in our travels over the past ten years. These cards encourage guests to go green by reusing their towels which saves water and reduces the amounts of detergent that is sent to water processing facilities and potentially into lakes or rivers. For the green hotel owner, this simple sign can save tens of thousands of dollars a year in lowered electricity, water, detergent and manual labor costs. By becoming a green hotel you can impress your customers, save money and help protect our environment.
The Advantages of a Green Hotel
Becoming a green hotel is a great way to open up an entirely new customer base. Every savvy marketer knows that today going green in your operations translates directly to more green money in your bank deposit every week; turning a regular hotel into a green hotel is almost guaranteed to increase profits.
Increasing profits by becoming green happens through two avenues. The first way that green accommodations can increase profits is by bringing in additional revenue through attracting customers who care about the environment. There is little about being a green hotel that will turn off the few customers who do not care about being environmentally friendly, but much that will attract customers who do specifically care about eco issues. In short, you increase your customer base by appealing to an individualized crowd, without impacting your mass appeal to travelers as a whole.
The second way that a green hotel increases profits is by minimizing operational costs, an implicit part of being a green inn. Many of these efforts are small and require almost no initial cost output. Towel change cards are one example of big financial impact with almost no financial output. For hotels with restaurants, serving water upon request only is a cost-free change that can add up to big savings. Of course, larger changes such as installing energy efficient HVAC systems can save a bundle, but you do not have to spend a lot to benefit from green operations.
Choosing a Green Hotel
For travelers wishing to stay at a green hotel there are a number of ways to find and verify that a hotel is green. Over the coming years it will become even easier as the green hotel initiative takes off, helping more and more hotels to go green.
One way to find a green hotel is to simply check the website or pamphlet of your chosen hotel for a green certification tag. The Green Business Bureau (GBB) certifies green hotels, among other businesses, so you can be confident that you have truly chosen a business who strives to use sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
You can also search through the GBB database at www.gbb.org to find hotels, and other businesses, that are certified green. While other green hotel certifications do exist and can be useful in your efforts to choose green, the GBB maintains a comprehensive database of green hotels, providing detailed information about each hotel including location, mapping and web address details. By choosing green accommodations you can help offset your carbon footprint and feel better about your vacation choices.
How to Become a Green Hotel
Becoming a green hotel requires that you first obtain information, then make environmentally sustainable changes to your business processes and equipment. You will want to follow this up by obtaining a certification that advertises your commitment to eco-friendly practices. These changes can be simple and inexpensive. Simply installing low-flow shower heads, putting “towel change cards” in the rooms, and working towards recycling will put you on the path towards becoming green.
For Earth loving hotel owners who want to get in on the green action, visiting www.gbb.org is a great place to start. Our staff can work with you on your green initiative, showing you how you can bring in more money and pay out less money, all while helping improve our planet. We will share with you ways you can grow your business by going green. Once you have a become a green hotel, you can be certified green by the GBB, adding our certification tag to your website and print materials, letting all your potential customers know that you have made a commitment to them and to the environment.Be a Green Organization
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This is our latest addition to the best in class Green Business Bureau platform. GBB Eco-Industries features initiatives and information to help you gain an edge in YOUR industry. The Green Business Bureau is a nationwide third-party green business certification program. Our cutting edge web platform is designed to guide concerned business owners through clear, easy steps to become green!Enroll now
Customers want to buy from eco-friendly companies, so gain a competitive advantage by displaying the GBB seal.
Businesses that earn green business certification also save on energy and material costs.