It’s no secret that inns and hotels can be bastions of wastefulness, with the average guest discarding about two pounds of paper, plastic, cardboard and cans each day. Pat Maher, the green consultant for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, states “Right now, half a million of those little bath product bottles end up in landfills every day.” Most are only 1/4 to 1/2 used, which sends a shocking amount of unused chemicals into our groundwater supply.
Another item that contributes to the amount of waste generated by the lodging industry is bottled water. “Each year, people are drinking 30 billion throwaway bottles of water,” said the Sierra Club’s Ruth Caplan. “If you put them end to end, it would go around the world more than 150 times.” Four out of five plastic water bottles end up in landfills, but even before they get there, they’ve taken a toll on the environment.
In an effort to be more green and waste less, the Inn at English Meadows is implementing some new eco-friendly practices – water carafes have been added to each room, which cuts down on the number of plastic water bottles needing to be recycled.
To reduce the number of individually sized bath products that would contribute to the waste stream, the Inn is now using full-size pump bottles of (MALIN+GOETZ) rum hand (+ body) wash and neroli hand+body lotion. When guests leave, the pump bottles are refilled so nothing is thrown out. It is a wonderful marriage of offering luxury bath products while keeping an eye towards being good stewards of the environment.
Another green practice in which English Meadows participates is the soap recycling program managed by Partners In Development, Inc. Each year, a staggering number of children die from hygiene and sanitation related illnesses. Partners in Development works to prevent those deaths and improve community health, by recycling used hotel soap and turning it into new bars that are distributed to vulnerable populations in Haiti. With 4.6-million hotel/motel rooms in theUnited States, an estimated 2.6-million soap bars are discarded every day. By participating in the recycling program, tons of waste are diverted from the landfill. We feel that small steps can have a large impact.