Every hotel in the world is on a quest to be more Wellness orientated, post-COVID has expedited wellness awareness. People now really understand that if they do not spend time on their Wellness, they will have to treat their illness.
Hotels have been offering and developing Physical & Mental Wellness for quite some time now in the form of Spa treatments, fitness sessions, and personal training, group classes like aqua, Zumba, yoga, and Thai Chi are some of the more common. Not everybody is Matt Fraser, who needs to go a bit further than a simple workout in a hotel fitness center, although I must admit we have come a long way from a small fitness center /room tucked away in the basement. Looking at Wellness again, many hotels already run meditation sessions, and we see more and more dedicated, purpose-built areas just for Mindfulness. Mr. Deepak’s Mental Happiness has dramatically influenced and has boosted this even more, especially during all the Corvid lockdowns. So I really think that the hospitality sector has this covered, or at least this is something going on. However, there is a new type of Wellness that I like to call Green Wellness Environmental, Social, and Animal Welfare, where there is so much more that can be done. Climate change, Sustainability, and Industrial Farming are hot topics. The Hospitality World can not only make VERY big changes to aid these challenges but also use this as a marketing tool to promote a Wellness image and imagine actually helping our planet. If Nike, Adidas, and even Samsung are making a massive push to Green Wellness, so can Hotels.
Where do I start, I suppose ‘’Straw Wars’’ was very successful, and we practically do not see them in Hotels anymore, Plastic shower amenities are being phased out to more sustainable ceramic pumps, and we see almost in every hotel now the linen flyer about reduced washing of Towels and sheets. A new growing trend is eliminating plastic water bottles in the rooms and replacing them with a more sustainable (RRR) idea, Glass that can be reused or refilled. We are now starting to see the Pichet / flask in the room with one central supply point even better as this reduces the carbon footprint of transport. Some Hotel groups have taken this to the next level by having a bottling plant on properly. This should become a standard clause in the management agreements and construction budgets if you ask me. Remember, some hotels have over 500 rooms and run an occupancy of 80%, 800 per day, 5600 per week, and 22400 bottles of water per month. (that is a lot of single-use plastic) and this is only ONE big hotel there are MANY!!!! Side note I was on a domestic flight the other day plane was full of +_250 people. Everybody received a PLASTIC water bottle and a cold towel covered in plastic pre-COVID. I was delighted to see recycled cups and water offered from one Big plastic bottle. Still, now due to social distancing and security protocols, we are back to Single-Use Plastic bottles. How many flights, how many passengers, per day, day, per week, per month………… so sad.
So what can the hospitality world do? Well, as mentioned, many tiny efforts/changes can be made. Let’s look at waste. This is a big area. First, we can look at water, ‘’Gray water ‘’ this is wastewater from showers, toilets, kitchens, laundry, and even rainwater. This is channeled into sewerage most of the time, and all go to the same place, but this water can be used again. This water can go to a separate treatment tank where the water can be filtered to be reused for garden water. Depending on the level of filtration, it can even be used for cleaning Wastewater filtration. Another area of waste management is food and trash, there has been significant progress here in waste separation over the years, but amazingly this is still far from a given. If somebody does not drive it, it just does not happen. Recyclable products can be provided or, in some cases, sold to local communities that, in turn, either use themselves or sell off to recycling plants. The same goes for food waste. This can be sold to livestock farms or even used as compost within a property or community. A great opportunity growing in some resorts worldwide is an on-property Farm or local community partnership. Another great example I read about ozenreserve-bolifushi they say ‘’Nothing is wasted’’ they reuse ground coffee beans, coconut, ginger, lime waste, etc. for scrubs and other treatments, they produce their coconut oil and use aromatic herbs, herbs, fruits and veggies, leaves (banana, pandan) from their our Spa Healing Gardens. All of the above can be done, not to mention the Marketing value involved. I have even heard of properties charging guests to get involved, so rather than just throwing out the trash, saving the planet, making money, and getting great exposure, it sounds very sustainable to me. Another side note: Did you know that every house automatically has organic and none organic separation in Germany? This is a given (what a wonderful world).
Another easy change is Animal welfare ‘cages free Eggs’ are growing and this too has not only a positive environmental impact, it too has a marketing value HIS. While we are talking about food, another scorching topic is Vegetarian and Vegan, we don’t want to go crazy and scare off everybody, but there is a growing interest in this area. Not the best example, but if KFC goes Veg, this must be considered. This is a huge opportunity to offer more Vegetarian dishes that could come from your farm or even the local community farm (that used your waste) to grow the produce. Another positive is the food cost for Vegetables is a lot cheaper than imported beef from Australia!! Not sure if you know this, but to grow/produce 1Kg of beef, 15000 Litres of water is needed. I may not be an expert, but this is not sustainable, not considering the amount of land forestry that is destroyed for mass farming. Every hotel in the world should have something else in the management agreement contract, or CSR SOP is a Tree planting commitment. Once again win-win for everybody. An excellent idea is for particular functions, birthdays, weddings etc..…. Buy and plant a tree.
Everybody can make a difference. Every little effort counts. We need to change our minds and set a president. I challenge every hotel out there to ‘’MAKE CHANGES.’’