Five Green Changes in the Travel Industry

green-energy-house

With green energy development expanding at a startling rate, experts project that it will take natural gas’ place as the second most common source of energy by the year 2016. These factors mean that renewable energy is the world’s most rapidly growing sector of the energy industry, and it’s expected that it will continue to grow by around 40 percent in the next half-decade. In fact, the US Department of Energy states that approximately 12 percent of the country’s power generation was produced by renewable sources. In the face of such impressive data, more industries are adopting sources of sustainable energy, especially the travel sector.

Wind Energy

The Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle, Washington’s only LEED-certified hotel, has done a lot to help realize the city’s effort to increase green energy by placing wind turbines atop its roof. Exhaust from the first-floor organic restaurant, called Urbane, powers these turbines to produce energy. The hotel believes that its current setup will eventually generate nearly 9,000kW on an annual basis, which is enough energy to power a small house for a whole year. According to the Director of Marketing and Sales for the hotel, the Hyatt at Olive 8 is expected to use one-third less energy than another hotel of similar size.

Solar Power

Moonrise Hotel mounted a total of 107 solar panels on top of its roof. This massive array, which was constructed by Microgrid Solar, is part of the Moonrise’s huge new event room, which is aptly named the New Moon Room. What’s more astonishing is that the solar array will actually make up the ceiling of the room, plus produce around 33,000kWh of energy annually.

Biofuel

Around 22 branches of Fairmont Hotels across the globe want to reduce waste disposal fees and conserve the environment by turning their old frying grease into energy. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission collects approximately 150 gallons of used oil every four months to be turned into tallow and animal feed. The branch in Scottsdale recently called in a firm to transform their used oils into biofuel to power the diesel-run equipment in vineyards. Another branch in Singapore is recycling their textiles and has repurposed nearly 7 tons of used grease within four months of starting.

Geothermal Heating

In 2011, the Romantik Hotel in Switzerland received the much sought-after Swiss Solar, Milestone Tourism and PlusEnergieBau awards. The Romantik performed upgrades to the building and subsequently reduced their energy use from 436,000kWh yearly to less than 158,000kWh. Their adoption of geothermal energy was partly to thank for this success. The 16 loops supply heat while 100 percent of their electricity is created by a 741-foot solar array.

Reuse

Greece’s Grecotel hotel chain is an example of how waste can be reduced in catering. Between 1993 and 1997, the decreased their use of individual packages of condiments by a startling 90 percent. Furthermore, by switching to recyclable glass bottles, they’ve virtually eliminated plastic waste.

Seeing so many businesses work towards an eco-friendly future for the planet is encouraging. No matter if the hotel is on the Vegas strip in the desert of in the mountains in Europe, facilities are getting creative in the ways to go green. These hotels provide a great “green blueprint” for others to follow.

Guest post by Sam

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