With more people traveling each year, and hotel energy costs rising, it’s time to put more thought into the types of hotels we choose when traveling.
Energy efficient hotels looking to make a positive impact on the environment are popular choices for travelers. In fact, a majority of travelers have indicated they look into environmental issues when making travel decisions. Combine that with government regulations that are becoming more stringent and it’s easy to see why more hotels and motels are making efficiency changes.
Let’s take a look at four hotels in the U.S. that are making positive and impactful energy changes.
1. Hilton San Diego Airport – Harbor Island
The Hilton on Harbor Island near the San Diego Airport is a member of the Port’s Green Business Network. As part of the alliance with the group, the Hilton hotel decided to look for ways to cut costs, while saving on energy. Hotel management did an energy audit with San Diego Gas and Electric and found that the most energy money was spent in the laundry area between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Laundry is now done during “off peak” hours, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., which saves the hotel more than $20,000 each year.
In addition to the laundry change, the Hilton San Diego Airport – Harbor Island has also made energy improvements by:
Performing and heating ventilation and air conditioning audit to improve energy usage.
Converting outdoor signage, including exit signs, to LED lights.
Installing sensors on all vending machines to power down when the machines aren’t being used.
2. Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa
Not only will you be pampered during your stay at this hotel in Palm Springs, California, but you can rest assured knowing the hotel is pulling a lot less power by complying with the local electric company’s Lodging Energy Efficiency Program. The hotel has reduced its energy consumption by 14.6%, equal to approximately 1.1 million kilowatt hours. That’s the equivalent of the carbon footprint 123 cars leave every year.
The hotel has reduced its energy consumption by replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Forty-five 300 watt pool lights were upgraded for 90-watt LEDs and the Ballroom chandelier LED bulbs cost only 60 cents per year and are estimated to last 27 years.
3. Marriott Hotels
If you’re looking for a “green” hotel, choose one in the Marriott chain. Marriott’s conservation efforts have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, awarding more than 275 Marriott hotels with the ENERGY STAR label. No other hotel company has reached that status. In 2004, Marriott earned the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award and was named the “Partner of the Year.”
Marriott is committed to conservation in their hotels. The company focuses on five key elements of environmental responsibility:
Energy, Water, Waste, and Carbon
Engaging Guests and Associations
The company also has goals to reduce energy and water consumption 20% by 2020 and hopes to educate and inspire associates and guests to conserve and preserve.
4. Kingston Plantation
The Kingston Plantation and Kingston Shores resorts in Myrtle Beach are not only beautiful, but are Earth-friendly as well. Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place to play a round of golf or to relax on the shores in the sunshine. The resort is part of the green hotel properties that have instituted programs designed to help save energy and water, while also reducing solid waste. The Green Hospitality Alliance made Kingston Plantation and Kingston Shores Green Certified. Some of the efforts the hotel is cited as utilizing to be environmentally friendly include:
Installing energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, as well as lighting
Recycling glass, oil, paper, plastic, antifreeze, metal, cardboard, and ink
Using renewable energy resources such as wind, geothermal power, and solar where possible
Purchasing locally grown food
Using non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products
Installing SmartTech® thermostats in all guest rooms
Making Changes at Home
If you are the type of traveler who enjoys conservation and energy efficiency while on vacation, then you should also make sure you’re doing what you can at home as well. Like some of the hotel chains are doing, you can also reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy costs by recycling and reducing driving. Some security providers, like Vivint, offer services that include a smart thermostat and energy efficient light bulbs to save energy around your home.
Make choices that will protect the environment now, while saving some of the beauty for future generations. What are you doing to conserve energy both at home and when you travel?
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more