5 ways to be green at a bed & breakfast

Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration released a study of 571 travellers’ view on staying in “green” hotels.  The number one criteria that influenced their decision-making was a recognized green certification.  They also liked the idea of refillable shampoo dispensers, energy-efficient light bulbs, and towel and linen reuse policies. There was support for the idea of a key card that would control all energy use in the room…however; few agreed that they would pay more to stay in a “green” room.

Focusing on the following areas when running a bed and breakfast will not only benefit the environment, but also your bottom line!

1.  Energy efficiency can provide the best return on the dollar:

  • Purchase energy efficient appliances and maintain older ones for optimum performance
  • Ensure adequate and appropriate insulation in walls, ceilings, and windows
  • Consider using alternate renewable energy sources, such as clothes lines to dry laundry
  • Purchase compact fluorescent bulbs for lights
  • Put lights in public areas on timers or motion sensors
  • Encourage guests to use ceiling fans to move the air around in the rooms, rather than turning on the heat or air-conditioner

2.  Water Conservation in a b and b can have monetary rewards (especially during peak season):

  • Ensure you are washing only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Install efficient shower heads, faucet aerators in sinks, and low-flow toilets
  • Monitor and maintain leaky faucets, toilets, shower heads, and pipes
  • Encourage guests to reuse linens and towels after using once

3.  Take into consideration “responsible transportation”:

  • Use local foods, produce and products whenever possible
  • Plan your trips in your car, and walk if possible
  • Help guests minimize the use of cars by providing information on local events and public transportation schedules, maps and general information that could help them plan their trips

4.  Reduce, Recycle, Reuse:

  • Participate in your community recycling programs
  • Create a compost bin for organic waste
  • Choose the products you buy wisely – from the standpoint of amount of packaging used, and materials used in the making of both the product and packaging
  • Place recycling bins for guest use

5.  Create environmental awareness:

  • Minimize the amount of paper you use
  • Educate your guests about protected natural habitats and native species
  • Tell your guests how you are working to be a green B&B and how they can help – on your web site and while they are on the premises.

Do you have any tips to add to this list?  I’d love you to add them in the comments below!

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