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Criteria that makes a hotel an eco-hotel?

Posted by on in Introduction to Ecotourism
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How can one tell the difference between a true green or eco-hotel and a hotel that employs greenwashing practices? The good news is that there are some reputable green hotel certification programs, including the Green Key Eco-Rating, EarthCheck, and LEED® Building programs, which allow for an occasional inspection of a hotel's sustainable operations in over 20 different areas.

The unpleasant news is that presently some of these certification programs are self-administered assessments with intermittent on-site inspections.  Nevertheless, the tourism industry and hoteliers in particular are beginning to recognize the business value in investing in defined resource conservation business practices with respect to energy and water use, waste disposal, and environmental protection.

Finca Rosa Blanca in Costa Rica is a certified eco hotel

Finca Rosa Blanca, a Sustainable Hotel in Costa Rica

Typically, a proposed eco-hotel or green hotel is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. stemming of allergens
  2. use of alternative or renewable energy sources
  3. conservation of energy
  4. maintenance of appliances
  5. application of newspaper programs
  6. management of composting programs
  7. provision of bulk soap items and amenities
  8. supply of organic cotton towels and sheets
  9. employment of guest towel and sheet re-use programs
  10. donation of furniture or other over-used property materials to charity
  11. use of non-disposable and durable service items
  12. offer of organically-grown, locally harvested food
  13. education of guests about the hotel's green practices and green membership programs
  14. education of hotel staff about the importance of green business practices
  15. use of gentle cleaning and laundry supplies
  16. supplying of fresh air to guests
  17. use of gray water recycling programs
  18. provision of guestroom recycling bins
  19. employment of non-smoking policies
  20. provision of alternative guest transportation programs
  21. use of xeric gardening methods

To search for an eco-hotel for your next green travel vacation, check out the following directory listings:

Check out our eco-certified lodge vacations in Alaska, Costa Rica, Belize, Chile, Kenya, Peru, Botswana and Australia.

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Irene is the founder & president of Greenloons. She is a dual EU citizen who has lived in 5 countries and visited 32 more in Asia, Oceania, Latin America and Europe. Drawing upon her professional and personal experiences to address authentic ecotourism from community, ecological and financial points of view, Irene is a frequent conference speaker, Huffington Post blogger and radio talk show guest. 

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