Before I embarked on the journey of knowing more about Green Travel, the perception of a green hotel has always been ambiguous. This caused me to research more to search for the true meaning of a green hotel and blogged about it here. It was then when I gained the interest to know more about green hotels which are away from the mainstream; those which are located in the urbanized environment.
I thought to myself, isn’t it more difficult for these hoteliers to convince tourists that they are equally as environmental friendly as those accommodation providers which are located in the natural environment? After all, these urban hotels are expected to keep to the comfort and luxury levels as promised, which usually conflicts with what green travelling is believed to be like – minimal usage of resources.
However, many are unaware that many urban hoteliers have advanced and transformed to be operated in the most eco friendly way as possible. Recently, I have taken notice of such hotels with impressive efforts of being green. One of them is Alto Hotel, Australia.
According to the Green Globe Earth Check assessment, Alto Hotel has been able to achieve results with at least 60% above the best practices expected of the industry. All electricity is purchased from a green supplier which generates the electricity from carbon neutral sources. Movement sensors are installed in the air conditioning units so that they switches off by itself when no movement is detected. All toiletries are biodegradable.
The hotel itself is also constructed to conserve energy. 97% of the windows are double glazed and faced North and West to have a 10mm thick “green glass” pane. This is to allow lower heat penetration during summer and heat loss during the winter. A lot of background work is involved too. Recyclable rubbish is sorted and separated, with the provision of twin compartment bins that encourages guests to place their waste in the appropriate compartments. The hotel mainly supports suppliers that practises environmental sustainability and those located close to the hotel so that transportation is minimized.
If you noticed, the mentioned initiatives do not interfere with the hotel’s ability to provide excellent levels of service and comfort. In fact, it has received many compliments from guests in trying hard to beat this challenge of operating an urban hotel in an eco-friendly manner.
Bear in mind that there are many such hotels who operates responsibly in the urban area. In fact, this trend is getting increasingly popular among accommodation providers. One of the reasons could be that being green is now made easier with the assistance from various environmental organizations, some of which provide tool kits for hoteliers to get started on being green.
Nonetheless, these green hotels ought to be equally recognized and applauded for playing a part to conserve the environment despite the additional investments and changes required.
As travellers, let’s play our part to protect the environment by showing our support for these hoteliers too!
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Greenty.com (feel free to read more green travel updates here)