Make 2010 the year you go green in a big way. Here are 10 ways to live a greener lifestyle in the coming year and help conserve the Earth’s precious natural resources.
1. Green Lighting
The thousands of traditional light bulbs in a hotel (and even the dozen or so in your home) can waste a lot of electricity, unnecessarily. Switching to low energy-use lighting, such as the compact fluorescent & LED lights used throughout the Hotel Felix, can cut down on your energy usage and your energy costs.
2. Alternative Power
The Hotel Felix is currently conducting a study to determine how much energy could be harvested from wind power. Using alternative energy sources is a bit more difficult at home, but still possible. If you live in a very sunny area, the money you would save by using solar power could offset the investment costs. And as gas prices continue to rise, alternative sources of fuel like those employed by bio-diesel and hydro-electric hybrid cars are becoming more attractive.
3. Buy Locally Produced Items
The further an item travels from producer to consumer, the larger its carbon footprint. Cut down on the amount of fuel used to transport good by buying locally produced items whenever possible.
4. Buy Sustainable and Organic Products
Sustainable products are made in a way that doesn’t deplete the natural resources used to create them. Organic products are made without potentially harmful chemicals. By purchasing items that are sustainable and organic, you help protect the environment and conserve limited natural resources. At the Hotel Felix, we only serve locally produced, organic Metropolis coffee and teas in our lobby.
5. Limit Waste
Buy only what you will use, and use only what you need. It’s easy to over-consume in our world, where so much is available, and often at a very small price. But consuming needlessly creates extra waste. Cut down on your consumption and there will be less trash to dispose of. To cut down on paper waste, the Hotel Felix runs a paperless front desk and offers a limited supply of daily newspapers.
6. Compost Organic Waste
Food scraps and other organic waste won’t decompose when buried in a landfill. But when composted outdoors, they will break down quickly and turn into a nice fertilizer. Composting organic waste will help deposit nutrients back into the soil and reduce the amount of space needed for landfills.
The Hotel Felix puts a strong emphasis on recycling. A “Recycle Room” is dedicated to sorting recyclable materials from the rest of the trash, all cups and wipes in the fitness center are recyclable, and recycling bins are located at the front desk and all offices. Recycling at home is vital to reducing the amount of waste that gets dumped in landfills each year. If recycling isn’t offered in your area, invest in a few heavy-duty bins and, at the very least, recycle paper, glass, and plastic.
8. Build with Sustainable or Recycled Materials
Carpets in the guest rooms and the floor in the fitness center of the Hotel Felix are made of recycled materials. Using recycled materials whenever possible reduces the need for new products to be created (reducing carbon emissions release during that process) and keeps salvageable materials from going into the landfill. Using recycled materials in your home projects can also help save you money.
9. Reduce Water and Electricity Usage
We’ve all heard the advice that we should turn off the water when brushing our teeth, take shorter showers, and turn off and unplug electrical appliances when not in use, but how many people actually do it? Making a conscious effort to take these steps can save you money and make a large impact on the amount of resources wasted annually. At the Hotel Felix, we’ve installed motion sensor heating, ventilation and air conditioning throughout building so that these functions aren’t used when they don’t need to be. We’ve also installed a water waste reduction valve and employ an enhanced energy management system throughout the building.
10. Use Nontoxic Cleaning Products
Runoff from toxic cleaning chemicals can get into the water system and pollute our lakes and rivers. Help the Earth by using nontoxic cleaning products whenever possible. Only eco-friendly chemicals (no bleach) are used for cleaning rooms and linens at the Hotel Felix. Eco-friendly products are used in the Hotel Felix spa, and throughout the hotel we only use products that are low VOC and Green Seal certified.