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Putting the onus on guests to be green.

by Rajul on February 23, 2010

As more hotels become green, will we as hotel guests also change our behaviour?

It’s becoming more and more trendy to look for “green hotels” and it’s clear that our expectations are getting higher.  But what if the question is flipped round: how green are you as a hotel guest?

Since I love to feature “green hotels” on this blog, I’m sometimes approached by hotels wanting to publicise their own green credentials.

Rather than take their claims at face value, I like to check for independent awards like the Visit Britain Green Tourism Business Scheme.  This led me to feature the Cavendish and Base2stay as two of London’s greenest hotels and more recently the Lancaster London (which puts beehives on its roof!).

Check the best rate for the Cavendish Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Check the best rate for the Lancaster London from 30+ hotel booking sites

I also try where possible to personally visit the hotel and ask for internal documentation.  This helps verify that their worthy-sounding public philosophy genuinely filters down to the nitty-gritty of actual execution.

And it was by going through this process with “budget luxury” Base2stay that their “Responsible Guest Charter” caught my eye.

After reading it, I was struck by how hotel guests are equally responsible for the huge waste created in a typical stay.  I like Base2stay’s gutsy way of informing guests on how they can act more eco-consciously.

Here is the full “Visitor’s Charter” from Base2stay:

Conserve Energy – reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating or air conditioning is on.  The Energy Saving Trust provides information on what you can do at home.

Eat Local, Buy Local and See Local – support local producers and services and experience the true flavour of what England has to offer.  We have secured discounts for guests in many local restaurants, bars and cafes.  Additional information can be sourced from our reception.

Give Cars and Cabs a Rest – avoid cars, if only for the day.  Many of London’s attractions are within a short walk of Base2stay.  Do ask our reception team for directions.

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Base2stay provides crystal-clear guidelines to help guests to be as green as the hotel

Be Water Wise – please use water wisely.  Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and adhere to towel policies or other initiatives.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – assist us by avoiding over packaged goods.  Base2stay currently recycles over 80% of its waste.  For more information on the hotel’s recycling, please ask one of our team members.

Support green businesses – there are hundreds of businesses in London trying to reduce their carbon footprints through the Green Tourism for London Business Scheme.

It’s all common-sense stuff and I think it’s great that the hotel realises that being green involves a partnership between the hotel and its guests.

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We also need to ask ourselves: are we prepared to sacrifice wasteful little luxuries during our hotel stays in the interests of the environment?

This echoes the approach taken by the new Hotel Rafayel which is aspiring to measure the energy use of each guest during a stay.

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The Zetter is another green hotel that deserves credit – among various initiatives, it has even bored its own well to source its water needs!

Check the best rate for the Zetter Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Could a guest-centric environmental approach represent the “next frontier” in eco-friendly hospitality?

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Photo credits: Base2stay.

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