NATIONAL REPORT—Sustainability has shifted from a trend to a lifestyle for many people around the world. They want to help the planet by making changes in their lives, especially when they leave home to travel.
Vacationing requires driving or flying, which uses natural resources and increases carbon footprints. Currently, the tourism sector accounts for 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, a rate expected to grow 4 percent annually. To help offset the use of resources, guests look for hotels that hold their same values. Green initiatives and pledges are important, but hoteliers can do more to make their property more sustainable.
Here are five tips for making hotel furniture designs more eco-friendly to show guests they’re booking with a brand that respects and promotes their green lifestyles.
1. Research Local Furniture Providers
Anyone can find new furniture online by accessing a world of virtual stores and catalogs. Although it’s nice to have so much to choose from, it’s smarter to research local furniture providers and buy products from the surrounding area. Local stores won’t require continental or international shipping, which reduces the CO2 emitted when transporting the furniture to hotel properties.
2. Find Sustainable Materials
It’s important to know what resources went into making a piece of furniture, which is why it’s smart to find sustainable materials. Instead of relying on traditional options like softwood, hoteliers can pick sustainable wood varieties for lasting furniture, such as bamboo, ash and mahogany. See how the materials would look as dressers and headboards to decide which would be right for the property.
3. Sample Sustainable Paints
Some hoteliers may want painted furniture, which is possible due to eco-friendly paint blends. Traditional paint may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gasses emitted from chemicals in liquids or solids. Sustainable paint will use plant- or water-based ingredients, and natural solvents, which should be evident on the paint can label. Look into different brands to discover more eco-friendly blends that look great on furniture.
4. Select Eco-Friendly Fabrics
Upholstered furniture can also be eco-friendly, even though it requires more materials. The key is to select fabrics made by companies that don’t use pesticides or chemicals to grow the fibers. Organic fabric options are easy to work with when hotel managers choose a design style for each room and amenity. Whether a property wants a traditional appearance—something with soft and curved edges and muted colors—or a more rustic look, eco-friendly fabrics can meet any need.
5. Designate Specific Purposes
One of the main ways people improve their sustainability is by throwing out or donating anything they don’t need. It’s a waste of natural resources to buy decor that doesn’t serve a daily purpose. When considering eco-friendly furniture, ensure that it’s something guests or staff will use. A second dresser in a double bedroom will be more helpful than in a single bedroom. Even avoiding too many couches in lounge areas will reduce how many materials a property needs.
Create a Checklist for Eco-Friendly Furniture Design
Hoteliers should consider many things when making hotel furniture designs eco-friendly. Before you start shopping, create a checklist to ensure any future purchase abides by the property’s sustainable values. Research local companies, find fabric made with eco-friendly materials and consider the piece’s daily uses to know if the furniture fits in with your hotel.
Once you have sustainable furniture designs in place, don’t forget to advertise them on your website and social media channels. You can also send an e-mail blast about the changes. Let customers know that you’re committed to going green and making the planet a better place to live.