How to Find Environmentally Friendly Hotels

Green hotels are becoming very trendy, which is of course a very good thing. If you are a regular traveler and wants to be able to stay in a very safe, clean and healthy place, then it is essential for you to know what being environmental-friendly really means.

Green and eco-friendly – these are two other meanings for environment-friendly. When it comes to hotels, a Green hotel should be one that recycles, uses energy-efficient lighting and equipment  and serves only organic foods. You have to be aware though that there might be some accommodations that advertise their places as eco-friendly establishments when in reality they are not.

Here are some guidelines on how to find real environment-friendly hotels:

·       Look for LEED certification or similar proof of approval. This certification is the gold standard for restaurants and hotels’ sustainability.  There are private associations all over the world that grants this kind of certification on approvals on hotels that deserve them. If you are searching online, the best way to find out about a hotel’s certification is by reading the reviews. Most of the times, hotel websites also include the seal of approval on their home pages.
·       Use of non-toxic cleaning materials is one sure way to find out if a hotel is being eco-friendly. During your initial inquiry, you should ask about this subject upfront. It is not a crime to inquire about what type of cleaners they use. Most Green hotels actually advertise this on their websites in order to attract guests.
·       Check out their menus. On sure way to know about a hotel’s sustainability endeavors is by checking out the in-house restaurant. If they serve local produce and organic foods then you are on the right track. Some hotels actually even have their own vegetables and fruit gardens that they also proudly advertise. If you are into organic foods, you can also inquire if the meat and dairy products they have on their menus came from organically raised animals.
·       Another thing you need to check out is if the hotel is not using disposable cutlery, cups and plates. It is essential to know that in case you order room service, your meal will not be served on Styrofoam plates. Paper plates are good, since these can be recycled, but they should only be available if you are ordering food for picnic take out.
·       Ask about the hotel’s housekeeping routines. Some hotels make it a policy to have sheets and towels replaced on a daily basis. This practice wastes a lot of water, not to mention detergents and fabric softeners. If the hotel’s policy on housekeeping include letting the guests decide on when to change sheets and replace towels, then they are practicing proper water management programs.
·       Check out their garbage disposals. If there are separate trash bins for bio-degradable and non-biodegradables, as well as toxic wastes, then the hotel recycles. Recycling does not happen with waste products alone, you should also inquire if the hotel has gray-water recycling and food scrap composting programs.
·       It is also a good idea to ask about the establishment’s use of natural light. See if the rooms have enough windows for daytime light to penetrate inside. Also ask if the hotel has energy-efficient lighting fixtures installed.
All the above mentioned tips are your ultimate guidelines in ensuring that you will be staying at a genuine Green Hotel. Once you have found all the qualifications in a hotel, then you can expect a highly healthy and enjoyable vacation.