Are hotels going green?

Author's Note

In 2007, I had the immense pleasure of staying in an eco-campground on Water Island, in the U.S. Virgin Islands near Saint Thomas. Showerheads and sinks had spring-loaded on/off mechanisms, which forced water conservation. There was a composting toilet and a pavilion where guests could store food stuffs in a communal, solar-powered refrigerator. There was even an old-fashioned, wall-mounted can crusher to ensure that our recycling was compacted for easy hauling. The entire experience felt somehow purifying (and not just because the cottages were un-air-conditioned and we sweated a lot!)

Though a stay in a green luxury hotel with first-class amenities is hardly the same thing, I imagine that a soak in a hotel spa or a night in a soft, feathery king-size bed would be all the more delicious if I knew that the tub was heated with solar power and the linens were woven from organic, sustainable plant materials. Like practicing random acts of kindness or throwing open the windows in spring, there's something about going green that just feels good. Since staying in a hotel also feels good, it makes total sense that staying in a green hotel might feel even better.

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  • Bender, Andrew. "How Green Is Your Hotel." Forbes. Aug. 5, 2011. (April 11, 2012)
  • Bohdanowicz, Paulina. "A Study of Environmental Impacts, Environmental Awareness and Pro-Ecological Initiatives in the Hotel Industry." KTH Energy Technology, Sustainable Building Systems Group. October 2003. (April 11, 2012)
  • Hattam, Jennifer. "'Green Star' for Eco-Friendly Istanbul Hotel." Jan. 2, 2010. (April 11, 2012)
  • Millar, Michelle and Seyhmus Baloglu. "Hotel Guests' Preferences for Green Guest Room Attributes." The Center for Hospitality Research. (April 11, 2012)
  • Nicholson, Christie. "Hotel Guests Throw in the Towel on the Environment." Scientific American. Aug. 25, 2008. (April 11, 2012)
  • Science Daily. Chain Hotels Lead the Way in Going Green, Analysis Finds." Oct. 25, 2011. (April 11, 2012)
  • Shahan, Zachary. "Ride a Bike, Help Power the Hotel and Get a Free Meal in Copenhagen." Scientific American. April 26, 2010. (April 11, 2012)
  • Stafford, Leon. "Hotels Seek an Edge with LEED Label." Atlanta Journal Constitution. July 1, 2010. (April 11, 2012)
  • U.S. Green Building Council. "LEED and the Hospitality Industry." (April 11, 2012)
  • Woodrow W. Clark II and Grant Cooke. "Global Energy Innovation: Why America Must Lead."ABC-CLIO, LLC. Nov. 30, 2011. (April 11, 2012)

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