Earth day is a celebration around the globe which demonstrates support for environmental protection. As an aspiring eco friendly hotel, we wanted to take the opportunity to share with the world our thoughts and our best practices for contributing toward a sustainable future.
Every year, enough plastic is thrown away to circle the earth four times, 50 percent of that which we only use one time.  In addition, hotels use approximately 15% of the total water available in the US annually , which equates to roughly 17.5 trillion gallons.  That is a lot of water! What is even more scary, however, is that by the year 2030, the anticipated global demand of water is projected to exceed supply by approximately 40 percent.  Taking all of these statistics into consideration, our eco friendly hotel in Evergreen, Colorado has taken strides to reduce our footprint in order to preserve our planet and nature around us, and we want to share them with you all. After all, isn’t it in all of our best interests to conserve this stunning nature?
What is Our Eco Friendly Hotel Doing?
Starting in September of 2019, it has become one of our most important focuses to reduce our environmental impact as hotels put a serious strain on the earth’s resources. Since we have embarked on this mission, our eco friendly hotel has done all of the following:
- Exchanged all of our incandescent lights to high efficiency LED’s, saving approximately 75% more energy for lighting purposes.
- Replaced all of our water fixtures (faucet, toilet, and shower head) to high efficiency models, reducing our water usage by roughly 33,000 gallons per year.
- Eliminated ALL use of disposable soap products. This includes individually wrapped soap bars, shampoo, and conditioner bottles. We have replaced each with a refillable soap dispenser, a more eco friendly hotel option. By doing so, we will save approximately 10 pounds of plastic each year, which will significantly reduce our plastic waste as an eco friendly hotel and over the long term will have a tremendously positive effect in keeping our earth cleaner. Furthermore, the soaps that we use for our guests are phosphate free.
- Replaced all toxic, chemical cleaners with all natural, biodegradable cleaners. The use of many cheap chemical cleaners can lead to health problems and some release harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to humans.  Furthermore, the drainage and evaporation of these chemicals can damage septic systems, contaminate the air, and pollute rivers and streams. In addition to our cleaners, our eco friendly hotel has eliminated the use of harmful detergent and also switched to a biodegradable option that is also phosphate free to protect our sewage system and rivers.
- Instituted a recycling program whereby all of our guests at our eco friendly hotel are encouraged to separate trash from recycles.
- Older existing hot water heaters being replaced with new, more energy efficient water heaters that will reduce emissions.
- Eliminated all use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers for all landscaping needs at our eco friendly hotel in order to prevent harmful runoff and nutrient pollution of phosphorous and nitrogen to Bear Creek in Evergreen, CO.
- Eliminated the use of sprinklers and hoses for our landscaping needs. Our eco friendly hotel relies solely on rainfall to water our flowers, grass, and trees.
- Encouraged our housekeeping staff and our guests to re-use plastic shopping bags for trash bags and dog waste removal bags as opposed to simply disposing of them.
- Reuse all left-behind barbeque supplies and provide them to guests so as to reduce their spending and the use of plastic and paper packaging. This includes barbeque lighter fluid and charcoal that our eco friendly hotel reuses.
- Encourage our guests to reuse all of their linens at our eco friendly hotel to reduce water usage.
As previously stated, our team working at our eco friendly hotel is deeply concerned for the environment, and we plan to continue making improvements to reduce our ecological footprint.
To demonstrate our passion for this area, we have been working on pursuing recognition by the state through their Environmental Leadership Program, which is a network of small and medium businesses that go above and beyond what is necessary in order to conserve our precious resources. In addition, our eco friendly hotel follows guidelines from the EPA, the Green Hotelier, and other publications that guide businesses to become more sustainable.
We are passionate about sharing our environmentally friendly practices and we encourage all business to analyze what they can do to help save our planet. ?
- D’Alessandro, N. (2019, October 8). 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It). Retrieved from https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html
- Hardcastle, J. L. (2016, December 6). Hotel Water Use: Are You Flushing Money Down the Drain? Retrieved from https://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/07/hotel-water-use-are-you-flushing-money-down-the-drain/
- Survey, U. S. G. (2015). Total Water Use in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/total-water-use-united-states?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
- Tuppen, H. (2013, March 22). Water Management and Responsibility in Hotels. Retrieved from https://www.greenhotelier.org/know-how-guides/water-management-and-responsibility-in-hotels/
- Agency, E. P. (2018, November 28). Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal Purchasers. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/greening-your-purchase-cleaning-products-guide-federal-purchasers
Additional Resources Used
- Association, A. L. (2020, February 12). Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem
- Cleaning Supplies and Your Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health/
- Povich, E. S. (2019, November 19). Ban on Hotel Shampoo Bottles Is Latest Effort to Curb Plastic Waste. Retrieved from https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2019/11/19/ban-on-hotel-shampoo-bottles-is-latest-effort-to-curb-plastic-waste
Links to some helpful websites on sustainability
- The Green Hotelier: https://www.greenhotelier.org/
- U.S. Geological Survey: https://www.usgs.gov/
- Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/