I have been contacted by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) that is running a project called Hotel Energy Solutions that will “deliver information, technical support and training to help small and medium sized hotels across the 27 EU countries to increase their use of energy efficiency and renewable energy”.
In order to be included in a publication about “best practices” (accommodation businesses already working hard for sustainability), we were asked to fill in a very detailed questionary about our energy usage, renewable energy and many other features that make the Locanda a sustainable accommodation.
When filling in the questionary I realized that I consider quite a lot of the actions that we take as “normal” and I do not think about mentioning them unless specifically asked for. I also realized that it can be the other way round too.. I mean, quite often we do not realize how our daily behaviour affects the environment, so I will start posting a series of suggestions to keep your home and your life greener. I’m sure that most of you already practice most of this and much more, so please share your suggestions and thoughts.
Waste is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about sustainable accommodtion or a greener house, most of us recycle and are quite conscious about the importance of doing so. There are great differences from place to place regarding what you can recycle and how so I’ll approach the issue from a different point of view.
Why not reducing the quantity of waste that you produce? Concretely, why not stop buying things that you will throw away straight away?
Some time ago I complained at my local supermarket because they changed the packaging of a cheese that I sometimes buy. Every piece is wrapped in plastic, put in a small polystyrene tray and wrapped AGAIN! The nice lady I was talking to assured me that they weigh the cheese BEFORE packing it so that I was not paying for the plastic…. I had a hard time explaining to her that we were ALL paying for it!
At Valle Nuova we produce at our organic farm as much food as we can and we buy a lot from nearby farms, this also reduces the amount of packaging that we “buy”. We never use packaged items for breakfast (no small portions of butter, no sugar bags…) nor in the bathrooms (we have soap dispensers for guests’ use): this is Valle Nuova waste policy for sustainable accommodation.
So my suggestion today is: when you buy something try to go for the minimum possible packaging and of course make sure that the packaging (if really necessary) is easy to recycle.