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Green Hotels can be highlighted in a feature article on our site. Green Lodge will interview hotel staff and ownership and provide a more detailed overview of the green features of the hotel. Please click here to be emailed more information.
What is a ‘green hotel’?
Essentially, there is no one answer. In fact, in many ways, it’s the reason Green Lodge exists! Most industry experts agree that a green hotel refers to a hotel or resort has significantly reduced its environmental impact in some way. This can be accomplished through participation in a certification program, or simply through voluntary efforts that result in reduced their emissions and waste. Each hotel may reduce their footprint in a different way and there is no standard measurement for success.
Why is Green Lodge US Hotels only?
With the green boom impending – we look forward to going global in the coming months. Our database is expanding daily and as we add new countries, our members will be the first to know. If you have specific countries or hotels that you’d like to see added – please email us! We are always looking for your suggestions to guide our next steps.
How are hotels added to this site?
We add hotels that have taken significant, verifiable steps towards reducing their environmental footprint. Most of these hotels have been certified by an independent 3rd party such as the EPA Energy Star (www.energystar.gov) or LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (www.usgbc.org). There are 12 states that offer Green Lodging Certification programs, they are all included. We also have a variety of other standout eco-hotels, who are not certified but have verifiably reduced their footprint.
What is a carbon credit?
A carbon credit (or carbon offset) is a certified document of a reduction in CO2 emissions. Each credit is equal to 1 ton of carbon emission reduction. This reduction can be obtained in several different ways, including the production of renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, methane capture) and voluntary improvements in energy efficiency (i.e. above and beyond normal regulations). Companies that generate carbon credits from the production of renewable energy or improvements in efficiency can sell their credits to companies that have not made improvements or sell them to a carbon credit exchange. In the US, we currently have a voluntary carbon credit market, where companies can sell their certified carbon credits to individuals or companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint. There are several organizations that are dedicated to purchasing carbon credits on behalf of individuals or corporations. Click Here to see table that outlines the major carbon credit buyers.
Where do you get your data on hotels?
Air travel and car emissions are calculated from data by the World Resource Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol (www.ghgprotocol.org). Hotel emissions are derived from data by the Department for the Environment, Food and and Rural Affairs “Mapping of evidence and trends in sustainable travel” (www.defra.gov.uk).
How does Green Lodge make the member’s travel carbon neutral?
We track how much carbon you generate from your booked travel and buy the equivalent amount of carbon in the form of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). For example, if you booked a trip to Panama City, similar to the one outlined on our "Climate Impacts" page, you would produce about 3476 lbs of CO2. We then purchase the VER's from Atmosclear.org, for the same amount of carbon. VER's can be produced from a variety of sources including improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Atmosclear obtains its VER's from a landfill operation in Illinois that generates electricity from the landfill gases. See our blog entry about comparisons of carbon credits here. At the end of each month, Green Lodge purchases carbon credits on behalf of its membership in the amount equal to our members’ carbon footprint. Members receive an e-certificate confirming the amount of credits purchased at the end of each month.
How can I determine if a hotel is going 'green' or not?
Several green changes that hotels are making will be obvious to you when you arrive. Look around your room or the lobby to see if they have switched over their light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs use only about 1/3 of the energy of standard bulbs. You may also notice if your room automatically shuts off the lights and/or heating and cooling if you are not in the room. The green changes that you can’t see would include improvements in the heating and air conditioning system, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, recycled carpets, etc. You can ask the front desk if the hotel has a plan to reduce their environmental impact and what they have done so far to make improvements.