why should hotels be green?

Haven't you heard? Being green goes directly to your bottom line. Being green goes directly to a higher long-term value of your property. Being green goes directly to your front doors which open wide to bring guests back again and again. Being green goes directly to keeping staff long-term because management clearly cares for their health and well-being.

How does being green translate to your bottom line? When energy-saving measures are introduced, such as energy management systems, fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for public rest rooms, meeting rooms, exercise rooms, etc., energy bills are much reduced.

When water-saving equipment and techniques are introduced, such as low-flow showerheads, 1.5 gpm aerators, serving water on request only in restaurants, 1.6 gpm dishwashing valves, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, toilet tank fill diverters in older toilets and linen cards, water bills are reduced dramatically. A California GM received an award for reducing water usage at his property by two million gallons in one year. How? He fired the chef! The chef was well known for having water running in 4 or 5 sinks at a time defrosting food.

Waste hauling is a huge expense for a hotel which can be lowered drastically through recycling and avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Hoteliers can ask vendors to deliver products in minimal wrapping. Vendors can be asked to deliver products one day, and pick up the packaging materials the next day. The New Orleans Intercontinental started a recycling program and hired staff to separate the materials. Management was absolutely astonished to find that these employees were pulling $1,000 a MONTH of hotel property out of the waste stream—napkins, towels, spoons, etc.—all of which had clearly been discarded prior to recycling. A Chicago Hyatt reduced their waste hauling by 80%! They had the same experience as the New Orleans hotel, except their staff was pulling $3,000 to $10,000 a month of hotel property out of the waste stream.

Being green means guests, staff and management are healthier. There's just no doubt that when odors, fumes, soot, droplets and residues of toxic, poisonous chemicals are not in the air, on our food or on anything we touch, we are not absorbing or breathing them. Sooner or later all properties will be sold, and any green property will demand a higher price because it's value is much enhanced by lower utility bills per square foot, its healthier aspects and owner care.

None of us can be really green without the smart, innovative vendors who provide green products and services. Being green means supporting green vendors, listening to their sales staff, purchasing their products and services and cheering them on.

Get help with greening by calling city, county, state and Federal entities that will be helpful to you. Seek out rebates, subsidies and tax credits. BECOME A PROUD MEMBER OF OUR ELITE CORPS OF GREEN HOTELIERS TODAY! See www.greenhotels.com/memship.php to learn more.

What Are Green Hotels?

Green Hotels are environmentally-friendly properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste—while saving money—to help PROTECT OUR ONE AND ONLY EARTH!

WHO WE ARE: Green Hotels Association®'s purpose is to bring together hotels interested in environmental issues.

From adding "Drinking water served on request only" to the menu to installing new HVAC systems, and with every measure in between, Green Hotels Association® encourages, promotes and supports the greening of the lodging industry.

HOW WE HELP: General managers, chief engineers and executive housekeepers do not have the time to search out all the environmentally-friendly water saving, energy saving and solid waste reducing ideas that apply to the hospitality industry. So, Green Hotels Association® has dedicated itself to that purpose. On joining, members receive the very comprehensive 161-page Guidelines and Ideas packed with great ideas options and techniques revealing how to reduce bills as well as the hotel's impact on your beautiful destination.

For over twenty-threes years Green Hotels Association® has been offering TOWEL RACK HANGERs and SHEET CHANGING CARDs which ask guests to consider using their linens more than once. These gentle reminders, now found in thousands of hotel guest bathrooms, can save 5% on utilities* alone. At least 70% of guests can be expected to participate*.

From B&Bs to Submarines: Chains from Adam's Mark to Wyndham are purchasing. B&Bs, inns, motels, hotels, city parks, state parks, military locations, elegant hotels, resorts, business hotels, condos, apartments and even a submarine company have all purchased. Some hotel companies choose to make the cards mandatory. The linen cards get guests involved in your environmental program, and guests love helping protect the beautiful destinations we all love to visit.

The GREEN CATALOG: Green Hotels Association® researched environmentally-friendly energy and water-saving products, and chose the best of the choices for hotels for our CATALOG OF ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS FOR THE LODGING INDUSTRY. The catalog contains such water-saving devices as a toilet-tank fill diverter, which saves about 3/4 gallon of water per flush, is invisible to the guest, does not affect the flush in any way, and costs little more than $1! Hair and skin care dispensers save money and offer guests shampoo and soap at the push of a button. The guestroom recycler basket is a beautiful, sturdy open-diamond pattern, and is designed for long service.

MEMBERSHIP: We urge all hoteliers interested in our environment to take advantage of GREEN HOTELS ASSOCIATION® MEMBERSHIP immediately. Members receive the very comprehensive 161-page Guidelines and Ideas packed with great ideas, options and techniques revealing how to reduce bills as well as reduce the hotel's impact on your destination. Other benefits include our bi-monthly Greening Newsletter packed with smart, practical ideas, heavy media attention, an Internet listing and public identification as a Green Hotel via pole and front desk flags. Hotels can join for as little as $200 + $1 for each guestroom! The fee includes your logo or photo posted with your web listing. We welcome worldwide membership. For further information contact us TODAY!

PHONE 713/789-8889, FAX 713/789-9786, e-mail: green@greenhotels.com


GHA's Goals

Green Hotels Association®'s first goal is to give our members all the information we can gather on ways to conserve and save. We feel sure that by using the ideas, techniques and information we provide, all properties can easily save more than the membership costs. The information is provided in our cornucopia of ideas, GHA's 161-page Membership Conservation Guidelines & Ideas, and six issues a year of our smart, information-filled 8-page Greening Newsletter. Our second goal is to bring new business to your doors. We do that through press releases we send out which attract media attention. We also accomplish that through our website which will certainly bring new guests, clients and business to your green doors!

Media attention has always been almost ecstatic, which brings special attention to all of our members. Each property must market their greenness, first with an environmental webpage touting your green activities and plans while letting guests and clients know what is offered greenwise at your property. Further environmental web pages addressing separate client segments (weddings, reunions, business meetings, conventions, etc.) are suggested. These special webpages will inform clients of what you offer their particular group regarding greening as well as suggestions on green activities pre- and post-event which guests and clients can implement to further green their event. At least one press release should be distributed each year by every member to all media contacts within 300 miles of the property regarding the member's green achievements and plans.


GHA does not certify, nor do we recommend certification. Certification is very expensive and very time consuming. The certifying entity will want you to recertify every year or at least every other year—again spending thousands of dollars and many long hours.

First of all, there are over 800 different green certifications offered around the world so far. If a guest doesn't understand what a particular certification logo means, what's the point? That logo or piece of paper posted in the lobby can't possibly make any difference to the guest.

We believe a much better choice is to use the money you would spend on certification to improve the quality of the stay with amenities such as organic cotton bed and bath linens, all natural amenities, etc. Instead of hanging an expensive piece of paper on the wall that is quickly outdated, encourage your guests' and clients' wonderful memories by enhancing their stay.

If you were certifying paint that you would be selling for 15 or 30 years, certification would make sense. However, a hotel is a living, breathing entity that is changing daily, and may have high staff turnover. Rather than have someone come in and tell you what to do (and you still have to do it), a much better choice is to work with and educate management and staff so they learn to recognize what needs to be done greenwise. Changes and/or corrections can occur immediately to move your organization more quickly toward green improvements and lower costs. Certification is also something like having someone come into your kitchen once a year and tell you what to do, when management and staff should be informed and be made aware of other green choices all year long.

Often, there are government or utility entities that will provide free surveys, audits and certifications. GHA certainly suggests that hoteliers take advantage of all city, county, state, Federal and other free offerings to enhance and market your green property.

What People Are Saying . . .

. . . about using guestroom towel-rack hangers and sheet-changing cards which encourage guests to consider using towels more than once and not having sheets changed every day:

"People have written in with lots of positive comments, saying they appreciate us trying to make a difference. The efforts have afforded the property a 5 percent drop in utility costs alone."

Ron Berger, General Manager of the Sheraton Rancho Cordova, Rancho Cordova, California. As reported in Lodging Magazine.

"I went into this with the belief that if one customer said they didn't like it I would stop it, because we're very sensitive about perceptions of cleanliness. To my amazement, I haven't had one complaint in more than four months. Some days, housekeeping staffers, who usually clean 15 rooms a day, don't change a single bed." He hasn't done a formal study of cost savings, but estimated "with confidence, that 70 percent of people staying more than one night participate in the program."

Greg Parsons, General Manager for Radisson Hotel Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, Minnesota. As reported in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

"Hotels are finding that guests like to know hotels are doing their part to conserve and cut down."

Roger Ellis, spokesman for Steigenberger Reservation Service which handles luxury hotels, as reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"I've never had any one single thing change my life the way your Towel Hanger has. I've always spent all day Saturday gathering up towels, washing, drying, folding and putting them back in guest rooms. Now my Saturdays are MINE. Now, with the Towel Hanger, only one in every 30 or 40 guests will want fresh towels on Saturday."

Larry Miller, Owner, River Run B&B, Fleischmans, NY.

"We have probably reduced our towel laundry for stayovers by something like 2/3rds by simply putting up the Green Hotels sign in the bathrooms. We should have done this a decade ago."

Bob & Stephanie Melvin, Innkeepers at Westchester House B&B, PARTNER MEMBER, Saratoga Springs, NY via e-mail.

. . . And Here's Who's Saying It!

From B&Bs to military installations in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Hundreds of thousands of towel-rack hangers and sheet-changing cards have been purchased. Chains from Adams Mark to Xanterra are purchasing from Green Hotels Association®.

Chains buying from Green Hotels Association®:

  • AmericInns
  • Adam's Mark
  • AmeriSuites
  • Amhsa Hotels
  • Aston
  • Best Inn & Suites
  • Best Western
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Choice Hotels
  • Clarion Inn
  • Comfort Inn
  • Country Inn & Suites
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Days Inn
  • Doubletree
  • Dunphy Hotels
  • Econo Lodge
  • Embassy Suites
  • Fairfield Inn
  • Family Inns
  • Forever Resorts
  • Forte Hotels
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Guest Quarters
  • Hampton Inn
  • Hawthorn Inn
  • Hilton
  • Holiday Inn
  • Homewood Suites
  • Hospitality Inns
  • Howard Johnson
  • Hyatt
  • Inter-Continental
  • Kimpton Group
  • Lexington Suites
  • Loews
  • Marriott
  • Hoteles Marta
  • Microtel Inn & Suites
  • Omni Hotel
  • PAHIO Resorts
  • Park Inn Intl.
  • Presidente
  • Quality Hotels
  • Radisson
  • Ramada
  • Red Lion
  • Red Roof Inns
  • Regal Hotels
  • Renaissance
  • Rodeway Inn
  • Sheraton
  • Shoney's Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Hotel Sofitel
  • Sonesta Resorts
  • Stouffer Hotels
  • SuperClubs
  • Super 8 Lodge
  • Susse Chalet
  • ThriftLodge
  • TraveLodge
  • Vagabond Inns
  • Wellesley Inns
  • Westin Hotels
  • WestCoast
  • Wyndham
  • Xanterra Resorts
  • and the list goes on!