Green Travel: Hotels Take Strides Toward Sustainability

By: Sam Marquit, an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value

I have worked with green building materials and have seen firsthand all that goes into becoming LEED certified. As a result, I feel that it’s incredible to see individuals recognized for their eco-consciousness concerning the facilities I actually work on as a commercial contractor. While LEED certification is nothing to scoff at, there seems to be a lot more going on when it comes to eco-consciousness that isn’t as well recognized; Many companies in Asia have converted to a greener living and major cities in the United States have become more conscious as well.

In Asia, for example, The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards recognizes community engagement and development, wildlife conservation and protection of natural areas, cultural preservation, and resource efficiency as categories in their responsible tourism award show. Basically, Wild Asia works to preserve nature by helping businesses create a greener, more sustainable business plan. Their work gains recognition for a wide variety of eco-conscious decisions, such as choosing to install overheads and faucets with automatic shut off valves for water conservation.

Las Vegas, Nevada is known as being one of the busiest cities in the United States, as it is one of the largest tourist destinations, but did you know that many hotels in Las Vegas are not only gambling, but participating in LEED certified building as well? The Las Vegas Palazzo Resort is an excellent example of this new age, eco-responsibility. It was recently named The Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America, and for good reason! The hotel has a multitude of self-sustaining features, which include recycling its own waste materials. Las Vegas is home to over 124,000 hotel rooms and plays host to over 40 million travelers each year. With numbers like those, sustainability is something that should be on every accommodators mind.

New York City is another great example of a major tourist destination that is making great strides toward eco-responsibility. Many New York hotels are making great strides toward creating self-sustainability, reduction of carbon footprints, and making accommodations for waste recycling. The ink48 Hotel, for example, implemented an Earthcare program whereby members can offer suggestions on how the hotel can make a more positive impact on the earth.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help make the our own city a better, greener place to live so it’s wonderful to see hotel accommodators taking responsibility and beginning to create ways to make their facilities more sustainable and operate more efficiently, effectively, and environmentally friendly. As a commercial contractor for entities taking these strides, it’s gratifying and uplifting to know I have had a hand in the progress.