Resource Saving Tips
My Green Butler helps you save money by reducing guests’ energy and water use. In small accommodation guests can use up to 90% of the resources, while in large hotels it can be 50% (the rest being public areas and restaurants). Resources can account for around 20% of a firm’s expenses and together with food waste and other landfill can be the main contributor to carbon emissions, which we all need to reduce. But hospitality could do better in engaging guests. We have a fear they won’t be receptive or we shouldn’t interfere in their consumption. But times have changed and the vast majority of travellers are concerned about the environment and Cliamte Change.
Inviting guests to save will help you be a more effective host because you will be sharing common sense information which the guests can choose to participate in or not. I believe it makes you a more appealing accommodation provider as it lets you build stronger relationships with your guests. Research I conducted with leading scientists has shown the guests respect responsible practices and make them feel they have made a good choice in their accommodation standards.
Don’t be negative or set rules
Don’t raise environmental negatives or give preachy messages, provide instead helpful and appealing advice that actually helps people save. Be specific so guests know what to do. Share with them the efforts you have made and what you have achieved. This builds the ‘feel good factor’. You want to persuade your guests, that means they choose to support you of their own free will (you can read about how to persuade guests in my book).
What happens to the money you save from using less?
I recommend that you put the savings to a good cause. Here are two examples
- Invest in specified eco-innovation projects at your business. Make sure it is something special, rather than just asking people to save so you can buy save money, which is not very motivating. For example, you could build a dedicated solar farm, use the roof to catch water and underneath use the storage for purpose e.g. drying firewood. A 3-in-1 solution. This is what we did and our guests love the ingenuity.
- Donate to nature or community conservation projects. You might already be donating funds to this. By restructuring the way you raise funds and directly linking your donation amounts from guests’ resource savings, you could offer a really positive ‘feel good factor’ to guests as to why they should save (not going to your own pocket). By making your donations transparent in this way guests know they are making a difference with their holiday. That’s a really powerful result that will encourage them to return to you and spread the word about your great accommodation.
Will guests save and how much can you save?
Watch our film made with Griffith University, the details are based on our scientific research findings. Key to saving resources is to conserve them We don’t actually have much proof that more efficient equipment saves as much as it claims because as a society we keep inventing things that need power. Conserving resources mean choosing to use less, not wasting or avoiding that particular behaviour.
At A Glance Guide Energy Saving Tips
|Use of energy||For Guests||For You|
|Fridges||Keep cooling setting to just below medium||Keep fridge set between 3-5 °C|
|No room fridge||Central fridge guests can visit for milk||Offer guest fridge for their drinks etc they can have access to|
|No room freezer||Central location freezer guests can take items from at reception e.g. ice lollies||Offer guests freezer space which they can have access to|
|Kettle||Only put the water you specifically require, don’t re-boil||Choose gas kettle (flat bottom so no water wastage) or choose One Cup/Two cup measure electric kettle|
|Green Switch||Turn off when appliance not in use||Install for TV, radio|
|Key Tag||Remove tag when leaving||Only one tag per room/apartment|
|DC ceiling fans||Use with A/C on low or medium fan||CD fans use 1/3 of the electricity of AC fans|
|Solar fiber optic lights||No need to turn off||Install in places which need extra daylight|
|Recharge bike||Place bike which recharges guests mobiles and keeps them fit!||Install bike in gym or in coffee bar|
|My Green Butler Display||In-room tv channel which informs guests of their consumption and the overall property’s daily/hourly use||Public displays of overall property’s energy, water and carbon results updated hourly|
|Computers||Solar generates power in the day so if you have photovoltaics encourages guests to recharge at this time||Turn off un-used electrical items and lights and tell guests about you policy. What has it achieved?|
|Outdoor clothes line||Avoid the dryer||Place in a practical location with clothes basket|
|Cloths washing||Cold wash||Choose front loaders with efficient cold wash settings|
At A Glance Guide Water Saving Tips
|Use of water||For Guests||For You|
|Showerheads||Single shower head keep use lower||Check your water pressure as this also affects the amount of water used even if you have a low flow showerhead – SAVES ENERGY TOO|
|Attractive bathroom clock||Encourage guests to time their showers using fun advice||Place the clock to be easily seen from the shower – SAVES ENERGY TOO|
|Cooking utensils||Choose the right size utensils||Buy small sizes for singles or couples – SAVE ENERGY TOO|
|Rack for dishes by the sink||Washing up||Offer an alternative to guests having to turn on a half-full dishwasher – SAVES ENERGY TOO|
|Bucket||Collect shower washer for garden||An attractive bucket that is not too big|
How to measure energy and water
Electricity is invisible to us and we generally do not know how much each appliance uses and what that will mean overtime. For example, if a guest links their laptop to your tv to watch a movie and they are recharging their mobile phone at the same time, it is equal to 17 LED lights being on. You can create interesting examples quite easily buy buying a power meter (not expensive) which you plug into a socket and then put your kettle or hairdryer in to see how much energy it uses. This then lets you compare devices.
Guest will find it very hard to know how much water they are actually using as your fittings will be different from their home. Measure a shower’s output by placing a bucket close to the shower head and turn the tap on fully. Time how long it takes to measure 1 litre of water in the bucket. Then calculate how much water the amount of water per minute: e.g. it takes 5 seconds to fill one litre of water so over 60 seconds you would collect 12 litres. Thus a three minute shower uses 36 litres. A ten minute shower would be 120 Litres more than an average sized bath would require!
You can measure water flow from taps in the same way. If you don’t want to fill your bath by using a bucket to calculate the amount required you can contact the manufacturer if you have the name and dimensions.
Other devices which use a lot of water are of course washing machines and dishwashers, recommend the eco setting. The handbook will have details of eco washing water use, or contact the manufacturer.
For My Green Butler Small Accommodation and Hotel Service versions only
Resource Saving Messages
It is always good to remind guests of your key saving advice. So this text appears every day on the reverse side of the daily advisory sheet where you show the monitoring results. You have space for four advisory suggestions. I have put examples into four resource types. Alternatively you could write four tips about the same resource. Focus on what will help your guests make the biggest difference for your business.
Below you can see examples of where this text will appear on the daily advice sheet (on the right below the table)