+ + +
Reusing towels and sheets for one night can save 150 litres of water (plus electricity, natural gas and chemicals) per room. We like Starwood Hotels and Resorts Make a Green Choice program offers a $5 food or drink voucher or 500 Starpoints® for each night that you decline housekeeping services.
Millions of soap bars are discarded daily from hotel rooms, along with packaging from individually wrapped toiletries. We like Through its partner, the Global Soap Project, Hilton Worldwide has reprocessed hotel discards into more than 70,000 soap bars for distribution in developing countries.
Saying goodbye to disposable plastic bottles beside the bed, in-house filtration stations allow you to refill glass bottles as needed. We like The made-in-Quebec Ovopur purification system on every floor of Hôtel Le Germain Toronto is non-electric and saves nearly 73,000 plastic bottles a year.
Fit for Life
From chlorine-minimizing saltwater pools to ethically sourced body treatments, sports and spa facilities are letting nature shine. We like Fitness centres at Element Hotels use pedal power to charge up your body and your cellphone at the same time.
Occupancy-sensing thermostats revert to energy-saving levels when the guest room is unoccupied. We like The Fairmont Pittsburgh INNCOMM system uses motion detectors to return to the guest’s temperature preferences when they re-enter the room.
“Does the hotel have operable windows?” Busby asks. “Most hotels built in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s have a tight seal to maximize the effect of air conditioning and heating. I try to choose hotels where I can open the windows instead of blasting the AC in summer.” We like ALT Hotels are constructed with natural aeration in mind.
Look for organic, sustainable and regional choices on the menu – and on the drinks list too. We like The Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, an early adopter of local sourcing, pours selections from environmentally responsible vintners on its Wines That Care list.
“I like to stay downtown, close to all the services and to where I’ll have business meetings,” Busby says. “That way, I can walk everywhere or take public transit.” We like The HopStop app gives you real-time subway, bus and train options, as well as biking and walking directions, in more than 600 cities.
Shades of green
“Every hotel website makes some claim or other that the property is green,” Busby notes. “Test that fact: Ask if the property is LEED-certified. If it’s a new hotel, it should be at least LEED Gold; if it’s an existing building, it should be LEED EB, showing a marked improvement in the hotel’s performance.”