What is Greenwashing in the Hospitality Industry?

Categories Greenwashing

The hospitality industry is awash with buzzwords like “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” and “green,” but how much of it is real and how much is greenwashing? Change Plastic for Good is on a mission to shed light on important issues so that you can make an informed decision as a consumer. That is why we have put together some information uncovering what greenwashing in the hospitality industry is and what some of the most common greenwashing practices in the industry are.

1. Tiny Toiletry Bottles

While tiny toiletry bottles might be filled with organic products, their production and recycling process can be quite resource intensive. Plus, the single-use nature of these bottles contributes to a significant amount of plastic waste. It is much more environmentally friendly to install refillable dispensers in hotel bathrooms instead.

2. Towel and Linen Reuse Programs

While reusing towels and linens can save water and energy, these programs can sometimes serve as a cover for less sustainable practices. For instance, a hotel might encourage guests to reuse towels but not invest in energy-efficient appliances or renewable energy sources.

3. Locally Sourced Food

Local food often travels less distance, thereby reducing carbon emissions. But if a hotel is sourcing locally while simultaneously generating substantial food waste, using energy-inefficient kitchen appliances, or non-reusable plastic packaging, it might not be as green as it claims.

Read more about the difference between true sustainability and greenwashing.

4. Green Certifications

Not all certifications are alike. Some hotels flaunt green certifications that, upon closer inspection, are based on self-reported data or lack rigorous standards. This could lead to a situation where a hotel is more “certifiably green” on paper than it is in reality, which is a clear example of the dangers of greenwashing.

5. Excessive Energy Consumption

A hotel might be planting trees for the cameras or investing in local conservation efforts while neglecting their own energy consumption. Energy use, especially from non-renewable sources, is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. A truly green hotel will prioritize energy efficiency in its daily operations and invest in renewable energy sources.

Remember, it is not all doom and gloom! Many hotels genuinely care about their environmental impact and work hard to improve their practices. As a consumer, it is essential to stay informed and question “green” claims, so you can make travel decisions that align with your values.

If you have any questions about greenwashing or how to improve your practices, fill out the contact form on our website. We are ready to provide all the answers you are looking for.