It is not uncommon these days to hear the terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable.” The green movement is more relevant than ever, especially with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as we have seen a surge in the use of single-use plastic.
Businesses across various industries are steadily picking up on this green movement. That includes the travel industry with both services provided and tourists more conscious than ever in their social and environmental impact.
So what exactly does it mean when we say the terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable”?
Difference Between Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
When we say eco-friendly or earth-friendly, it simply refers to those things which are not harmful to the environment. Usually, it meant products that were processed using green practices, like water and energy conservation.
On the other hand, sustainability pertains to the process of using natural resources without causing permanent damage or exhaustion.
Though these terms are broad in their definitions, they essentially hold the same underlying concept. To put it, if a service label or a product claims itself to be eco-friendly or sustainable, it uses materials that are recycled.
Sustainable Tourism: A Definition
Based on the definition given by the UN World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism pertains to making conscious and responsible efforts to mitigate current and future impacts to the environment, society, and economy.
One survey showed that more than 87 percent of international travelers opt to travel sustainably. The survey further showed that 4 in 10 individuals affirm that they manage sustainable travel most of the time.
Being one of the service providers calls for your business to play an active role in the global green movement. More than just public relations, thinking for the future generation is imperative.
This said, here are some of the best practices your summer resort may adhere to promote eco-friendliness and sustainability.
Practices to Turn Your Summer Resort into an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Haven
1. Source Locally
One way of turning your summer vacation resort into a sustainable haven is to source supplies locally. From fresh produce and handicraft items to furniture pieces and antique finds, consider looking for local suppliers instead.
Not only will this reinforce the local community, helping improve the living conditions of locals, but it is also cost-efficient on your part. You no longer have to spend so much on shipment and transportation of products.
Encourage resort guests to check local shops, even have some items displayed in the lounge area to entice them.
2. Hire Local Staff
In the same vein, hire locals instead as staff members for your vacation resort business. This also contributes a lot to the local economy. Rather than contracting workers from big agencies or companies, opt to find local independent contractors instead.
Doing this boosts your business’s brand. It is not just customers and guests to whom you build customer loyalty, but also the locals.
3. Reach Out to the Community
Do not just stop with hiring locals and sourcing local products; focus as well on improving the local economy.
There are plenty of ways to do it. You might want to consider investing in other local businesses, partnering with the local government in some projects, or donating to the local charity.
By preserving and protecting the local economy, you are actually helping improve the place. This significantly helps boost tourism in the area, and in return, it means more business.
4. Choose Green Construction Materials
Regardless if you are building a new structure for your summer vacation resort or renovating an existing one, choose eco-friendly materials for the construction. Good material options include recycled steel, reclaimed wood, and bamboo.
If you would like to save up on the costs of making fixtures like drawers and cabinets, you may check out wholesale cabinets online. Materials are durable, ensuring you that they last a long time.
Opting for eco-friendly construction materials is not only cost-efficient but also improves indoor air quality. Your guests and staff would not be exposed to harmful chemicals like asbestos and VOCs.
Consider building an organic garden in your outdoor area. It helps enhance the aesthetic value of the place while offering fresh produce for your resort’s kitchen.
5. Conserve Water and Energy
Of course, water and energy conservation are always on the list when it comes to sustainability.
60 percent of our carbon footprint is due to our energy consumption. Thankfully though, technology made it possible to help reduce these carbon footprints.
Switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient ones and replace old appliances with Energy Star-rated. If you can, you should invest in solar panels as means of energy supply.
Simple maintenance and check of your water pipes promote sustainability. Remind guests to turn off their faucets when not in use and you should also consider investing in a sustainable water system.
You do not have to make overnight changes just to keep up with this green movement trend. Baby steps in embracing sustainable and eco-friendly practices are the key to eventually inculcating such fully.
As demand for sustainable tourism continues to rise, following these practices ensures you stay up-to-date and competitive in the market.