Sustainable tourism: here are the 10 rules that the ideal eco-sustainable hotel should follow. From organic and 0 km cooking, to recycling to energy saving
Thanks to the growing attention in recent years towards ecology and environmental sustainability, tourism is also making great strides in this sense. In fact, it has been recorded that, both in Italy and in the rest of the world, the sustainable tourism sector is gradually growing and more and more hotels are embracing this new trend. There is still a long way to go but, between real renovations, progressive changes and small adjustments regarding consumption and services offered, it is expected that theecotourism become an increasingly consolidated reality in the future. It is also hoped that more and more accommodation facilities will be built following eco-sustainable criteria and measures and that the incentives concerning this sector will also increase, as well as the demand from travelers. But which ones requirements must own a hotel to be considered ecofriendly?
1) Sustainable structure and use of energy from renewable sources
Let's start with some indications regarding the building, which ideally should have been built according to the criteria of the green building and of bioarchitecture. In practice, the structure to be "green" should have been built with non-polluting and easy to dispose of materials. In terms of electricity savings, it should have both integrated natural thermal insulators and 100% renewable sources of energy (such as photovoltaic panels) and thermal energy (such as solar panels). There are also many small additional precautions that the hotelier can put into practice: from the use of lighting systems to low consumption light bulbs to the presence detectors in the rooms to regulate and minimize the consumption of electricity.
2) Water saving
Fighting water waste is one of the key commitments in the management of an eco hotel. For example, customers can be informed and made responsible with notices regarding, for example, the change of linen and sheets; doing so not only significantly reduces water consumption, but also that of detergents and electricity. For the water saving It is also possible to install mixers on taps and showers to reduce the flow of water, as well as purchase models of dishwashers and washing machines capable of regulating the amount of water required.
3) Eco-friendly and low environmental impact furniture
L'eco-furniture consists in the use of furniture and furnishings made with natural materials, such as untreated wood and pressed cardboard, which are not only recycled, but also recyclable. For extra safety, you can buy FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified furniture, furnishings and even floors.
4) Reduction of waste and pollutants
To be 100% eco-sustainable, a hotel must first of all be plastic-free; this means, for example, replacing single-dose containers of soaps with dispensers or using food dispensers for juices and breakfast cereals. It is also important to buy only ecological cleaning products and use recycled paper (from toilet paper to informative paper material).
5) Separate collection
There waste separation it must not only be present in areas of the hotel reserved for staff or common areas such as halls and gardens, but also inside the rooms, with special bins. In addition to separate collection, the environmental impact can be reduced by choosing non-polluting and "disposable" materials.
6) Fight against food waste
Even the catering within the hotel must comply with rules for the protection of the environment. For example, it is important that the portions are not too large, so da do not produce too many food scraps. You can also consider collaborating with associations and initiatives that deal with food donations. Finally, you can select vegetarian or vegan ingredients that have a lower environmental impact than others.
7) Organic menu and possibly zero km
The choice of fresh, natural, seasonal, organic and zero km food is critical. Preferring this type of food is an ecological choice, but also a way to enhance and make the territory known and to promote the well-being of customers.
8) Presence of plants and gardens
There presence of trees and plants inside not only the hotel purifies the air and absorbs CO2, but transmits ecological values to guests and makes them feel in close contact with nature. Whenever possible, it is also possible to make available to customers external usable spaces such as thematic or tropical gardens, nature trails, natural relaxation areas with swings and hammocks or even tree houses.
9) Promote and favor sustainable mobility
THE means of transport to reach the hotel can have a significant impact on the environmental impact. It is therefore the responsibility of the hotel to indicate to visitors which public transport is available, any taxi and car sharing services in the area and, if necessary, offer a free transfer service. Once at their destination, guests can make their stay as pleasant and ecological as possible by offering a bicycle rental service.
10) Excursions and ecological recreational activities
The latter, more than a rule, is a recommendation. Being a sustainable hotel also means having theopportunity to raise awareness and entertain guests at the same time with activities that have to do with nature and the environment. Local ecotourism excursions could therefore be organized or advertised, but also courses, initiatives and events that have to do with the environment, such as creative recycling or natural cuisine, could be proposed.
Let us remember that, in addition to the eco-friendly offer of hotels, travelers must also have an active role of participation and responsibility, thus making a significant contribution to the sustainable tourism sector.
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