Green Hotels and Resorts – Need of the Hour
The issue of global warming and its impact on our lives and the lives of our grand children is a serious one, with unbelievable consequences for our planet earth, the universe and all those who breathe on it. While man had started playing with nature for centuries, it took an ugly turn since the so-called industrial revolution. We started emitting huge quantities of carbon and other harmful gases in the atmosphere, dumping solid industrial waste in our lovely and pure rivers and created a web of daily comfort materials and gadgets with polluting raw materials. All this started having negative impact on the ecological balance system. Today, it is obligatory on every one of us to act and do things to reverse this cycle, if not completely, at least to an agreed and acceptable level. Immediately.
Hotel industry has a big responsibility in helping the cause of global warming and has responded by promoting the green hotel concept, which is fast gaining popularity with the travelling public. In most countries, the town planning authorities approve a hotel building plan for a new hotel, only if it complies with eco friendly design standards. This will ensure that the hotels and resorts of the future will comply with prescribed environmental standards; the challenge is to ensure that the old hotel buildings adapt measures that will reduce their carbon footprint. The exercise is not only physical that one changes plants, machinery and equipments with more energy efficient ones, but it also means that people working in the hotels become an integral part of this process for its success.
Hotel and resort architects, interior decorators, systems consultants and others who form the core team for hotel development also have to have a thorough knowledge of the green concept. The building design and layout has to be energy efficient. Only sustainable materials to be specified to the extent possible and available which would allow emissions within permissible levels. Above all the team has to have a total commitment and faith in what they are doing fully realising their responsibility towards the well-being of the environment.
The main areas where the hotels and resorts have to concentrate is efficient use of all forms of energy, be it electricity, water, gas, coal or wood. Plugging all sources of energy waste like keeping lights on when not needed, flowing taps, overflowing tanks and cisterns, excessive pressure in gas burners, waste of recyclable heat and the list goes on. Another area is to tackle temperatures in the air-conditioning system, hot water temperature monitoring, laundry a source of maximum water and steam consumption, kitchen where the potential could be in three areas, water, gas and steam. External illumination is yet another area where saving potential exists.
Hotels and resorts must look at savings in energy and materials through the hotel guests. There are hotels that have successfully made hotel guests as their partners in conservation programmes. Example is lighting, linen change, material use to name a few. These measures, while aiding in hotels commitment to the environment conservation also add their share to the bottom line.
Hotel as an enterprise and an hotelier as a responsible member of the society have no option but to go green. Luckily, we are in an industry where we have educated, intelligent and understanding clients who if not more, are at least equally responsible members of the society. The task therefore becomes a joint venture. In this struggle to save and preserve our planet earth, there are no geographic boundaries, no religion and no colour, the planet belongs equally to all of us.