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Sustainable ideas for hotels and accommodations

Sustainable ideas for hotels: 20 tips to make accommodations more eco-friendly

You are looking for sustainable ideas for hotels and want to know how to make accommodation more environmentally friendly? Then you've come to the right place! By being as ecological travel behavior vacationers can play a crucial role in protecting the planet, even during the most relaxing time of the year. But guesthouses, hotels, motels, hostels and private rooms rented out to holidaymakers can also be made more sustainable and make eco-friendly travel even easier - and in an honest, credible way, not just by saying things quickly. Greenwashing.

The market has been adapting to the change in demand here for some time. Around the typical services, there are actually very many possibilities to reduce the CO2 footprint or to use resources more sparingly and thus to actively contribute to the protection of the environment. Certificates can help you to ensure that sustainability criteria are actually adhered to and implemented.

In this article I would like to introduce you to authentic, green tips and ideas that hosts can easily implement in their accommodations. And if you are more of a guest than a host, after this article you will know what to look for in your accommodation. Search for sustainable accommodation you have to pay attention to. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Train employees to act sustainably
  2. Offer vegan and vegetarian alternatives
  3. Use electricity from renewable sources
  4. Replace disposable products with durable alternatives
  5. Avoid food waste
  6. Efficient heating, ventilation and cooling
  7. Buy food locally
  8. Generate regenerative energy
  9. Make it easier for guests to reuse towels
  10. Increase energy efficiency of the accommodation
  11. Promote environmentally friendly mobility
  12. Develop and implement an energy saving concept
  13. Maintain and service equipment regularly
  14. Focus on a sustainable facility
  15. Grow your own food
  16. Use ecological cleaning agents
  17. Recommend local service providers for vacation activities
  18. Create an animal and environmentally friendly hotel garden
  19. Initiate targeted water saving measures
  20. Communicate the measures and facilitate green action

1. train employees to act sustainably

As a hotelier in the most sustainable accommodation possible, you need your entire team to be convince of your philosophy! New employees should bring this "DNA" directly with them - and existing staff should act in a more environmentally conscious way through training, continuing education and simply by leading by example. Good incentives are provided, for example, by the Publication "Sustainable in everyday working life from Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

2. offer vegan and vegetarian alternatives

Offer vegan and vegetarian breakfast in hotels

Who the biggest Environmental problems of our time If you want to solve the problem of food waste with the help of a sustainable hotel business, you should definitely offer plant-based alternatives to animal-based food. Support the ecological behavior of your guests with vegan spreads, oat milk, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables - and with pleasure also with vegetable meat substitute. This way you can satisfy vegans and vegetarians and inspire meat eaters at the same time, Eat less meat.

Your wider range of food is thus also worthy of a green hotel chain and also much more family-friendly - after all, someone in almost every family now eats a meat-free diet.

3. use electricity from renewable sources

A hotel that operates in an environmentally friendly manner should run on renewable energy. A Switch to green electricitygenerated from solar, wind or hydropower, for example, is therefore unavoidable. In this way, you reduce the CO2 emissions for your business and - together with your guests - protect the environment and climate.

4. replace disposable products with durable alternatives

Short-lived disposable toothbrushes, paper plates, and plastic yogurt and drinking cups are out! Instead, make sure that your accommodation consciously avoids waste by, in the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle, single-use products are being replaced by reusable, reusable alternatives. How exactly? Washable porcelain dishes and glasses, yogurt in small canning jars. - and everyone brings their own toothbrush anyway. It's simple. Less waste not only protects the environment, but ultimately also saves you costs for disposal.

Tip: Garbage cannot be completely avoided. Accordingly, it is advisable to provide your guests with labeled containers for paper, aluminum, organic and plastic waste so that the correct waste separation and and subsequent recycling is much easier.

5. avoid food waste

As the operator of a guest house, it is also your duty to Reduce food waste. Especially in your kitchen - but also in cooperation with your visitors. If you have a sustainable mindset, you will understand when your Breakfast offer well-chosen and tasty, rather than lavish is. With good food management, you can ultimately ensure that (almost) no more food ends up in the garbage can.

6. efficient heating, ventilation and cooling

Acting sustainably means using natural Conserve resources. With intelligent room controls and thermostats with presence sensors the temperature of air conditioning and heating systems can be adjusted wonderfully and automatically. The investment in this technology pays off for you as a host within a very short time due to the energy and personnel costs saved. In this way, you also automatically reduce the CO2 emissions of your hotel business.

7. buy food locally

The products offered in your accommodation should be buy regionally. For example, if the selected Fruit and vegetables produced in the immediate vicinity you save long, climate-damaging transport routes as well as water- and energy-intensive cultivation methods in other areas of the world. Finally, you also reduce the operating costs of your guesthouse through these savings.

8. generate regenerative energy

Looking for sustainable ideas for hotels? Then I have another tip for you! Green electricity from the socket is great - however, you can use large parts or even the total amount of electricity you need. Generate energy even on the hotel property. Investing in a wind turbine, solar panels or a geothermal heat pump, for example, will pay off for you and the environment in the long run.

9. make it easier for guests to reuse towels

You can make it easier for your guests to go green with effective towel change signs (with translations!). For example, phrase it like this:

  • We want to conserve natural resources together and we need your help too. Towels on the floor or in the basket mean "Please replace."
  • Towels on the holder mean "I keep using it."

Even if most guests know it by now from other accommodations, you should communicate your intention again explicitly with an appropriate sign.

10. increase energy efficiency of the accommodation

Professional building insulation and modern window systems can make a significant contribution to keeping the thermal energy produced in the hotel and reducing heating costs, as well as helping to keep the summer heat out and minimizing the need for air conditioning. Accordingly, depending on the current state, you can also benefit in the medium or long term from the Advantages of energy renovation of the hotel building will benefit.

11. promote environmentally friendly mobility

Ecological hoteliers should promote green mobility

As an environmentally friendly hotelier, you should ensure that the Arrival by train or bus is as simple as possible. For example, by informing your guests who are staying at your hotel for the first time in advance. Particularly family and hospitable is also the offer of a free E-Shuttlesif your accommodation is a little further away from the nearest train station. It could also be a nice, sustainable idea, E-bikes and e-scooters to your guests.

12. develop and implement an energy saving concept

Keep the sun away from the hotel walls and windows by using trees or awnings. In this way, you reduce the energy consumption for air conditioning tremendously. If you Save energy in your hotel business, you should also Energy saving lamps Use lighting that automatically turns on only when needed. Develop a meaningful concept and invite your visitors to support the energy-saving measures.

13. maintain and service equipment regularly

Through the constant control and maintenance of the technical equipment in your accommodation, you extend their lifetime and discover energy guzzlers as well as energy saving potentials. In this way, you can prevent unexpected failures, malfunctions and costs - and at the same time spare natural resources.

14. focus on a sustainable facility

Joining the sustainable ideas for hotels is the suggestion to choose eco-friendly furnishings. You can for example restore old but unique furniture or upcycle furniture from other items. Textiles, such as bed sheets or towels, should be made from organically produced natural fibers - and in the bathroom, a traceable soap dispenser with natural, certified soap is recommended.

15. grow your own food

We had already talked about regional food sourcing. Nothing is more regional than food from your own Fruit- vegetable or herb garden to serve. For example, how about freshly harvested tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, apples or cherries from your own raised bed for breakfast?

16. use ecological cleaning agents

Another tip for green hotels is to use natural and biodegradable cleaners, instead of the chemical club. These can even be made wonderfully yourself - for example, odor remover from soda or Washing up liquid from ivy.

You can even use the complete Make room cleaning removable - for example, with an app or a classic door tag. Because more and more often guests do not even wantthat their room is cleaned daily, so you can save costs and resources.

17. recommend local service providers for vacation activities

From experience, guests ask for recommendations in the vicinity of your accommodation. Whether they are looking for a good Restaurant, an organized Mountain tour or a recommendable Souvenir store suggest small, regional suppliers instead of large corporate groups and traditional Mass tourism before. This will ultimately strengthen your region and attract additional guests.

18. create an animal and environmentally friendly hotel garden

Most vacationers book rooms in hotels and guest houses to relax and enjoy the To switch off brain times so correctly. Where better to do that than in a hotel garden with Chirping birds, croaking frogs and rustling trees? Try to find the best Create sustainable garden. For example, with treated rainwater, compost heap, dead wood and wildflower meadow.

Tip: Find out how to attract a particularly large number of birds with the Tips for a bird friendly garden.

19. initiate targeted water saving measures

Save water in a sustainable hotel

With the help of intelligent irrigation systems and rainwater treatment, you can reduce water consumption even in the hotel's own garden. But through Toilets with low flow, efficient washing machines, water friendly shower heads or Perlators on washbasins can be water-saving measures also implement quite specifically in the accommodation.

Tip: While this may increase water consumption somewhat, both installing a water dispenser and offering reusable water bottles are extremely advisable if you want to be a sustainable host or hostess.

20. communicate the measures and facilitate green action

Some of the sustainable ideas for hotels work automatically - others only contribute to environmental protection with the help of your guests. Accordingly, it is advisable to communicate your philosophy already in the application and not least also in the hotel with signs or in personal conversation. How everyone pulls together and have all the more fun with the sustainable attitude.

Tip: You should also facilitate communication among the guests - for example, by providing a seating and get-to-know-you corner near the reception. This way, carpools for certain day trips can form - and ideally even friendships.

Implement sustainable ideas for hotels one by one

No accommodation has to be perfect - but you can at least manage it in such a way that it becomes more sustainable step by step. This not only benefits the environment, but also your hotel business. If you want to make your hotel more sustainable, you must never forget to involve your guests. They will appreciate, support and pass on your commitment, I'm sure of it!

I hope that I could help you with this post. Do you have questions, tips or more ideas for eco-friendly accommodations? Then just write me a comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Regardless of whether you are a tour operator, a host or a visitor - everyone can report the damage they have caused. Offset CO2 emissions. You can find out how this works now in the linked blog article.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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