Green, greener, green hotels. Lately a special type of hotels has appeared in searches more and more often, but a lot of people don’t really know what this eco-friendly holiday option is all about. What is special about a green hotel, what is the difference compared to other hotels? And how can my own hotel "become green"?
What are green hotels?
In general, a green hotel is an accommodation which uses environmentally conscious and sustainable methods or technologies that avoid unnecessary pollution and protect the environment. Nowadays, a number of eco-friendly methods are being employed which cover and focus on different areas of sustainability and ways of putting them in place. They start with the simple separation of garbage, the use of organic soaps, the use of renewable energies all the way to a hotel’s own recycling program.
Less is more
Another trend among Eco-hotels is called “green housekeeping“. The main idea of this trend is to avoid waste and switch to reusable devices such as refillable shampoo dispensers or water-saving toilet flushes. Using glass instead of plastic containers can also be the first step towards an ecological and successful tourism future.
An interesting fact about green hotels that might surprise some of you, is what they call social sustainability. Being green does not only oblige accommodations to fulfil certain criteria in terms of the environment. The architecture of the building and the social integration of the surroundings also play a major role in the process of becoming part of the Green Family. The main goal of social sustainability is to strengthen the local communities in the long term. That can be achieved by supporting the local infrastructure and by participating in social projects and fundraising campaigns. Communication between hotel guests and locals (e.g. by recommending local restaurants, shops, cultural facilities, etc.) is another way to improve social sustainability.
Eco-friendly tourism pays off
Eco-friendly tourism pays off
The awareness of sustainable tourism is growing, that’s why more and more organisations dealing with the issue are being founded. In Europe alone there are 9 sustainability labels that can be awarded to a hotel. Moreover, there are platforms like "Green Pearls", which hotels can join if they fulfil enough of the platform’s own criteria. These criteria relate to the following main areas: architecture, environment, water consumption, energy, waste management, housekeeping, food, guidelines, employees, social projects, cultural commitments and communication.
Just like the other organisations that care about our environment, Secretplaces is constantly looking for new sustainable hotels to add to our eco-friendly collection. For us it is not only about following a new trend, but also to make tourism and traveling more ecological and eco-friendlier in the long term.
To give you an impression of lovely eco-accommodations, we will present you some of our green hotels today. For a complete overview, just take a look at our collection of eco-friendly hotels and decide individually which hotel you think deserves a visit.
1. La Pievuccia
The Portuguese property Casa do Valle is a Green Key facility, which means that it has demonstrated its commitment to environmental protection and has been awarded a prize for this. Among others, it supports the São Pedro shelter and the NGO Montanha de Afectos. Half-empty individual body lotions left by guests are replenished and donated to the homeless community in Lisbon. Some of the staff also volunteer to maintain the many hiking trails in Sintra.
3.Dare Lisbon House
Dare Lisbon House pays particular attention to energy sustainability, which shows in the carefully selected materials and highly efficient equipment. The hotel also focuses on social sustainability. By cooperating with local suppliers and artists, Dare Lisbon promotes communication between guests and locals, thus giving back positive energy to its surroundings. Furthermore, traditional and local woodworkers, carpenters, painters and sculptors have put all their Portuguese passion into the renovation of this historic building.
4.Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm
The houses of Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm are located on a farm whose philosophy is based on biodynamic agri- and permaculture. The accommodation only uses eco-friendly materials and eco-technology, making it the most ecological and eco-friendly farm in Greece. The owners recycle, compost and use geothermal and solar water heating systems. They also produce their own olive oil and wine, grow their own vegetables and herbs and rely on their farm animals for eggs, milk and cheese. The farm cooperates with a Greek NGO, whose business it is to find places like the farm where rare breeds of animals can be raised. Thanks to this, Eumelia has already helped to save some endangered species.
5.i Pini Biotique Agrivilla
The Italian i Pini Biotique Agrivilla welcomes its guests with a unique combination of organic and sustainable living. It is located in an endless green landscape and is enveloped by the typical charm of Tuscany. Lovingly renovated a few years ago and equipped with sustainable resources, now it provides the perfect place for all vegans who put great importance to their nutrition. Let us spoil you with an exclusive half board that offers only dishes made with organic and vegan products. The ingredients are homemade and come directly and fresh from the farm to your table. The i Pini Biotique Agrivilla is the secret place for a sustainable and relaxing holiday in the middle of the unique Tuscan countryside.
6.Loch Ness Lodge
The lovely Scottish Loch Ness Lodge is extremely proud of its cultural heritage and the highlands that surround it. The lodge supports local charities such as Trees for Life, which is committed to preserve the natural beauty of the area and habitats for native wildlife. Guests who would like to be part of this impressive movement can plant a tree themselves. It is an activity organised by the hotel itself.
Tinos Ecolodge is an eco-friendly destination on the Greek island Tinos and rents the two eco-houses Small Stone House and Big Stone House. The owner uses the natural resources of the island in a sustainable way creating an autonomous, off-grid system for the houses. The accommodation not only works with renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power, it also used local materials for the construction. This encouraged the production of local products and avoids unnecessary transport routes. The accommodation also supports the minimisation and recycling of waste and the promotion of nature conservation activities.
Help to preserve the planet you live on and start travelling eco-friendly. Together we can keep our beloved nature alive so that we can continue to travel and discover unique landscapes and places for the rest of our lives.
If you have any further questions or comments, Secretplaces is always at your disposal and will be happy to receive recommendations and suggestions for further green accommodations.