Go green

Company policy

  • Draft an environmental policy for your establishment, setting out the environmental and sustainable actions and policies your team will try to sustain.
  • Educate your guests about going green, using pamphlets and posted notices.
  • Promote your efforts on your website and in your advertising.
  • Brief your staff on the benefits of going green, explaining the long-term implications and the effect on our children's children. Introduce incentives, such as sharing revenue received from recycling paper, cans and glass.
  • Support other local green initiatives.

Cleaning chemicals  

  • Change to toxin-free cleaning chemicals. Explain to your staff that harmful chemicals have an impact on our water systems and endangered fish species.
  • Use micro fibre cloths which will reduce the amount of cleaning liquid you use.
  • Remember that low-foaming natural products clean just as well as chemical ones.
  • Throughout your establishment, try to use concentrated products which are chlorine and phosphate-free.

Dining facilities

  • Buy locally and build up relationships with local farmers and traders. Grow your own produce, and advertise it.
  • On menus, identify the local specialities and describe where ingredients were sourced, who the producer is and why you've chosen them.
  • Offer food that has been grown in a sensitive manner, organically grown and raised, or freshly harvested.
  • Choose organic food that has been grown without pesticides, using natural compost rather than fertilizers.
  • Disposable cups, plates and boxes consume petrochemicals in their production and aren't recyclable. They fill landfills with materials that will be around for hundreds of years. Try to make use of recyclable disposable containers.
  • Gradually replace kitchen appliances with energy-efficient versions, and investigate options such as induction cooking equipment.
  • Let chefs wear coloured clothing to cut down on laundry and bleaching.

Accommodation facilities

  • Have washable calico cases made for extra blankets and pillows rather than plastic covers.
  • Post notices about frequency of changing linen, inviting guests to request changes as required.
  • Minimise the clutter of brochures, directories, tent cards, doorknob hangers, magazines, perspex holders, leather and vinyl covers. One loose-leaf folder is enough so that pages can be changed easily.
  • Fix little signs near switches asking guests to switch off and not leave appliances running.
  • Beverage trays do not need individually wrapped sugars, teas, coffees, biscuits. Use good quality airtight containers for dry goods where possible.
  • Find unbleached tea bags; chlorine is used to bleach bags that are going to stain the minute they are wet anyway!
  • Purchase attractive waste-separation or recycle bins (ask us) in the rooms.
  • Fresh air is so much nicer than recycled centrally controlled air, or musty, stale air of a closed-up room.
  • Encourage guests to change their clothes, not the thermostat.
  • Have bedding, carpets and curtains anti-allergy treated and advertise that you do. Use anti-allergy bedding (even feather duvets and pillows now come allergy free). Try silk or wool duvets.
  • Install central electrical control switches so that all lights and appliances are switched when someone leaves the room and can be activated by inserting their key card when they return.
  • Use only wood that is sourced from sustainable certified forests.
  • Find hemp bathrobes and upholstery fabrics.
  • Cotton linen may be natural, but cotton farms use toxic chemicals during farming and manufacturing. Use organic cotton and unbleached if you can find it. Poly uses petrochemicals.
  • Seek out beds made of as many natural components as possible.


  • Buy soaps and amenities in bulk. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotions can be kept in bulk dispensers rather than individual packaging. this saves you time and money, saves natural resources and cuts down on packaging in landfill.
  • Try hemp towels; they're soft, durable and a more sustainable and eco-friendly product than cotton.
  • Install water-efficient shower roses and taps and low-flow toilet cisterns. A 5-minute shower uses 1/3 the water of a bath.
  • Set geyser thermostats lower (60 deg is good.)
  • It is essential to wrap toothbrush glasses in paper or plastic?
  • Invite guests to reuse towels and ask them to put the ones they want washed on the floor. Ensure your housekeepers comply and, most importantly, that they understand that it saves on resources, time, wear and tear on the towels and put less chemicals in our water systems. (Linen reuse programmes can save a medium sized hotel on average 22.7 cubic metres of water and 150 litres of detergents a month.)
  • Does your "snow white, thick and fluffy" 800g towel dry a guest any better? It uses more fabric, more water and space in the washing machine and takes forever to dry.

Public areas

  • Décor: display local artist's work and use natural, local materials.
  • Lighting: use energy-saving light bulbs and make better use of daylight.
  • Heating: be grateful we don't have the challenges they have overseas, but improve insulation and use thermostats to save energy. Install energy-efficient heaters.
  • Conserve energy by reducing the amount of energy used, for example, through the use of energy efficient lighting and appliances, turning off lights and appliances when not in use and using insulation and weather stripping.
  • Recycle bins: give guests the option of separating waste where possible.
  • Clean carpets with eco-friendly powders rather than harsh chemicals (ask us).
  • Conference centres: eco-responsibility applies here too. Furniture from certified forests, minimal use of glues in construction, natural carpets, low energy bulbs and switch off equipment not in use.
  • Fitness areas: Limit equipment to weight and resistance machines rather than energy-hungry machines. Explain why to your guests. Use glasses, not paper cups at water fountains.

Outside areas

  • Establish indigenous gardens using local plants and materials. Be water-wise.
  • Install grey-water systems. Grey water is water from kitchens, bathrooms, sinks and laundry where non-polluting, biodegradable soaps are used. This water is filtered and used instead of fresh water (ask us).
  • Use local wooden furniture, not concrete.
  • Install solar panels and use solar powered garden lights.
  • Renewable energy sources, such as biomass, small hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal energy and photovoltaic conversion systems all exclude fossil fuels.