1. Most of a hotel’s energy consumption is for heating, lighting and airconditioning, so check to see how it manages to reduce these utilities. Does ituse off-grid energy (eg solar panels and wind turbines, and/or sources its energy from green suppliers), has it installed thick insulation (eg window glazing), or low-energy light bulbs and does it provide a master keycard that controls the room’s electricity, airconditioning and heating. Is the waste from the toilet going into energy production?
2. Does the hotel gather rainwater? A sure sign that a hotel limits the amount of water it uses is if it uses flow-restrictors in its taps and showerheads and has installed dual-flush toilets.
3. As well as recycling facilities provided in your room, there should also be information provided that explains how to separate your waste correctly. Keep an eye out, too, for refillable pump dispensers in the bathrooms instead of wasteful packets of plastic miniatures.
4. Check the hotel’s menu to see if it grows any of its own food, such as fruit and vegetables, and/or sources meat and other products from nearby suppliers, which cuts down on food miles and helps bring income into the local economy. Look out for local, organic, seasonal food.
5. The most progressive hotels encourage use of low-emissions transport; for example, they provide a collection/drop-off service from nearby train or bus stations, and/or provide bikes for guests to use while staying at the hotel. Some hotels now offer a discount if you arrive by public transport.