NATIONAL REPORT—Sustainability in hospitality is good for business. In Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report, 73 percent of global travelers indicated their intentions to stay at least once in a green accommodation within the coming year. Booking.com’s report also revealed that over half (55 percent) of travelers are more set on making sustainable travel choices this year and adopt sustainable travel habits, indicating the increasing call for the bed and breakfast owners to get on board. In response, the company has rolled out its sustainability program and reaffirmed its commitment to help properties make sustainable changes. For the bed and breakfast properties listed and those that are not, now is the time to capitalize on the shift to sustainability in hospitality. It not only increases your appeal to consumers but can also save money on operating costs and improves your lodging’s brand reputation in the eyes of travelers. Best of all, making your bed and breakfast greener can start with small, inexpensive changes—with big, rewarding results.
Swap Your Plastic Decor for Nature
The buildup of plastic not only poses a growing pollution problem for the world but also contributes to climate change. Throwaway plastics accounts for up to 40 percent of all plastics and a stunning 91 percent ends up in landfills. The hotel industry is also well known for its use of single-use plastics and plastic flowers or nature decor. The good news is that there is now a growing range of plant decor made from recycled plastic.
As a bed and breakfast owner, you can also choose to swap out your plastic decor for the actual thing. Plants and bringing nature indoors have been trending for the last few years. As a bonus, having plants indoors can help you brand your B&B as an eco-friendly space and make it more appealing to sustainably minded consumers. Decorating your hotel with houseplants can add some much-needed greenery and interest to your reception area or guestrooms. Tip: group plants in odd numbers if you want a more casual ambiance.
Schedule & Upgrade Your Water Fixtures in Each Room
Did you know 10 gallons of water is lost to leaks every day? According to the EPA, household leaks can waste almost 1 trillion gallons of water every year. For a bed and breakfast, the water loss can be even more, making it even more important to conduct inspections for leaky pipes and upgrade your fixtures regularly. When upgrading the fixtures in your bed and breakfast, think of swapping them for a low-flow toilet and showerheads. A low-flow showerhead can save up to 40 percent of your B&B’s water usage when compared to a traditional showerhead. Also, if you want your property to use less power, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you reduce your water heater, you can save 3 to 5 percent on energy costs.
Offer an Eco-Friendly Sleep Experience
For any lodging accommodation, the bed is a focal point of a guest experience. Ensuring your guests get a comfortable and good night’s sleep should be a top priority. Thanks to progress in the industry, you can now do that using sustainable beds, bedding, and sleep aids. If you want to swap your bedding for a sustainable option, look for brands that support cruelty-free manufacturing and organic/biodegradable materials. Certifications like the Cradle to Cradle and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX are also good indicators to look for when choosing sustainable bedding. If you want to go a step further, you can replace your guest beds with eco-friendly beds or mattresses. Panda’s The Cloud Bamboo Duvet comes highly recommended while Milam Mattresses offers organic cotton bed linen and pillows.
Lastly, get the green conversation going from the book-in step. Encourage your customers to ditch single-use plastics in their luggage. Provide refill stations at breakfast for water bottles and move away from single-use mini toiletries. Great alternatives include eco-friendly cosmetic brands and the newer eco-pods from Hotel Emporium.