A lot of hotels claim to be green, and ask their guests to participate. “Help us save water and energy: hang up your towels if you don’t need them washed,” they plead. “Help us save electricity: turn off the air conditioner and lights when you leave the room.”
Guess what: the hotels also save money.
Nothing wrong with that. The hotel gains. The planet gains. We’re all for it.
These things are very much on my mind as world leaders gather in Paris for the latest – and arguably most important – U.N. conference hoping to curb the very real threat of climate change and to rein in the systematic abuse of our resources. I covered many of these conferences as a journalist.
Many people think if they leave a light burning needlessly it won’t make any difference in the great scheme of things.
We don’t agree. Collectively, it does indeed matter. And as a hotel, albeit a small one, we can do more.
We gave some thought to these issues when we remodeled the Wadiya several years ago. We dug a massive 30,000-liter rainwater harvesting tank for irrigation during the rainless periods, rather than using city water. That's about one-fourth the amount of water in our swimming pool.
Speaking of the pool, the 40x20 saltwater pool draws from a well fed by the sea and filtered by the sand. It’s true, however, we have to use electricity to further filter and clean the water with our Australian purifying system.
We’ve changed all our garden spotlights to energy-saving bulbs, which were not easy to find in Sri Lanka.
Solar panels heat the water for the suites and the kitchen. Our appliances were the most efficient on the market when they were bought, and will be upgraded in due course.
We grow some of our own vegetables, herbs and fruit (as in the papaya pictured above), and otherwise buy locally grown food when possible.
So, we do what we can.
Oh, just one more thing:
Please turn off the AC and the lights when you leave the room.