How important is energy consumption and sustainability when you book a hotel? If you’ve never given it much thought before, perhaps now is the time to start.
Travel is inherently an energy-consuming activity, but we can take steps to try to minimize our ecological footprint. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program awards hotels that meet its strict energy guidelines with its Energy Star label. According to eponline.com, the hotels that earn this label are in “the top 25 percent of hotels nationwide, use at least 35 percent less energy and emit at least 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than their peers.”
In addition, they point out that a reduction in energy consumption by 10% would mean a savings of $750 million per year in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases by 6 million tons annually.
On top of booking with Energy Star labeled hotels, some of the EPA’s suggestions for cutting down on your energy use are:
- turn off the lights and TV when leaving the hotel room (I would further this by saying to turn the power of the TV off at the source and not just the remote control as stand-by also uses energy)
- adjust the thermostat to an energy-saving setting so it doesn’t heat or cool the room while empty
- unplug electronics such as cell phones chargers and laptops when not in use
- open curtains to take advantage of daylight when possible
- re-use linens to save both water and energy
[Image: tom.arthur / Flickr]