It’s no secret that travelers are more eco-conscious than ever been before. Following a global pandemic that led to travel limitations in 2020 and 2021, people are now hyper aware of the impact they have on the environment. New research shows 90 percent of consumers look for sustainable options when traveling.
Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions drastically decreased while the world was quarantined at home, but COVID-19 led to a massive spike in consumption of single-use plastic. And when travel did pick back up, disposable face masks began polluting national forests, oceans, beaches, and community parks.
Consumers took note and emerged with strong opinions on how to build back better. Many have already begun making meaningful changes to their travel habits to help our planet heal. Global research conducted among consumers in 24 countries found that 54% of people place more importance on reducing their carbon footprint than they had pre-pandemic.
For many, that starts with how they experience the planet: the hospitality and travel industry. According to Booking.com’s research of more than 20,000 travelers worldwide, 53 percent of people want to travel more sustainably and reduce their waste while traveling. It’s not just about protecting themselves, but about protecting the places and destinations they care about most.
And hotels are hearing consumers loud and clear. There is a growing niche group of stand-out hotels ensuring that sustainability feels like a premium upgrade for guests who care about their overall experience.
“Travelers and meeting professionals alike are actively seeking eco-friendly alternatives,” said Alison DeBorba, Market Manager at Hotel Erwin in Venice, California. “Having these solutions available is the norm now, not the exception. Hotels incur a lot of waste, and necessitate a lot of water use, so we are constantly looking for ways to reduce both.”
The Hotel Erwin is a WELL certified building and has replaced plastic room key cards with wooden room key cards. The hotel also uses smart thermostats, locally sources food and beverage as much as possible, and hosts several beach cleanups throughout the year.
“We’re an oceanfront hotel, and with our entire operation being so close to the Pacific Ocean, we want to make every effort to protect our oceans, and treat the areas around us kindly,” DeBorba said. “Sometimes making the sustainable choice seems like it is going to be cost-prohibitive, but we haven’t found this to be true.”
Mint House is an innovative, tech-enabled hospitality brand that is putting a modern twist on eco-friendly design, standards and amenities. Mint House offers spacious apartment-style accommodations in 15+ major cities from Seattle and Nashville to New York and Miami. The company is hoping to eliminate all soap waste sent to landfills.
“With an efficient operating model and prioritization of intelligent tools like smart thermostats, Mint House proudly produces 23% less CO2 emissions than a traditional mid-scale hotel and 56% less CO2 emissions than a traditional upscale hotel,” said Mint House Manager Brenna Dorney. “Our guests appreciate the thoughtfulness we put into our sustainable apartment designs and strategic partnerships with smart brands like Boxed Water™. They are proud to be part of a community that is supporting sustainability and doing its part to contribute to more responsible travel.”
Mint House is currently offering guests Boxed Water™ cartons on arrival.
“Customers are eager to share a picture of this amenity on their social media, largely due to the aesthetic of Boxed Water™ branding and the appreciation for participating in a community supporting sustainability,” Dorney said.
La Tourelle is another hotel that’s had an earth-friendly mindset for some time now. The hotel, located on 20 acres of land in Ithaca, has installed low-flow water features, LED bulbs, Tesla and EV vehicle charging stations and has minimized laundry. They even have gardens and composting right on site.
“It has been interesting to see how many of the sustainable practices have become standard practice in so many businesses,” said La Tourelle General Manager, Cameron Ostmeier. “Our next big step is to install solar panels to offset our consumption, although navigating the local regulations, overcoming aesthetics, and following the ever changing landscape of government subsidies has posed quite a hurdle. In the coming years I hope to see the installation and support of solar to increase to allow some of the red tape to be minimized.”
Ostmeier said he thoroughly enjoys hearing how the environmental improvements his hotel has taken are appreciated by guests and the local community.
“Seeing our utility consumption decrease has been an obvious return on investment,” he added.
The Zero George Hotel is a premiere boutique hotel in Charleston with a rich history and award-winning hospitality. A collection of five luxuriously restored buildings from 1804.
“Given the historic nature of our hotel and continuous preservation efforts, we fully support efforts to create a more sustainable environment,” said Simon Stilwell, General Manager of Zero George Street.
“When selecting vendors to work with us on any project, we look for companies that work to protect and preserve the history for future generations.”
The Zero George Hotel has eliminated plastic bottles from all of its historic residences and now serves Boxed Water™ cartons, which are 92% plant-based and 100% recyclable.
“Sustainability is key to this cause as the future of preservation relies on protecting all of our natural assets,” Stilwell added. “We are able to offer our guests options to protect our natural resources, one of them being the Boxed Water™, which our customers appreciate. It is the cumulative effort of small changes we can make to impact larger environmental change.”
Hotel Erwin, Zero George Hotel, La Tourelle and Mint House are among a growing number of hotels and resorts that have made the switch to Boxed Water™.
“I love that I can offer our hotel guests water without the guilt of creating more plastic litter in the world,” said Kerri Frantz, General Manager of The Society Hotel in Portland, OR.
Interested in our wholesale perks? Boxed Water™ offers quantity discounts and free shipping through our wholesale program. Cartons come in four sizes, and four new flavors for all of your hospitality needs. Lower your hotel’s carbon footprint and protect our planet from the overuse of single-use plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Click here to learn more.