For the past two years, I have been invited to speak at several hospitality conferences across the country about ways to incorporate easy and economical environmentally friendly practices into the hosts’ businesses. For every event, I spend time tweaking the presentation and incorporating my own take aways from the previous gatherings.
I firmly believe we are all here to learn from each other - especially at conferences where the exchange of ideas is key. As an “expert” I do not pretend to know it all and actually open my talk with encouragement to make it a discussion with input and questions from everyone. If I don’t know the answer, someone else in the room may! Likewise, they may have tried something that worked or didn’t, or have a different perspective on it.
The two prominent take aways I garnered from my days at the recent AIHP Annual Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico were how to deal with water waste and concerns about tampering with amenities in the rooms.
Water conservation is a huge issue in the western states. Honestly, coming from the East Coast, I didn’t even consider it as we are not plagued with long term drought or other issues arising from water resources or lack thereof. This is a separate issue from the plastic water bottles - that will be another blog soon!
What I learned was that each state or municipality might have its own water conservation requirements so it is really incumbent on the innkeeper to know their local rules. However, active steps any innkeeper can take include: installing grey water intake stations (water from kitchen sinks, dishwashers and laundry rooms) that can then be routed to outdoor watering areas; installing rain barrels which are an excellent way to collect water and use for outdoor purposes; switching to larger, refillable shower and bath dispensers which actually cuts down on water usage as the time taken to dispense the amenities versus those of the mini sizes is less so showers are shorter.
This brings me to the second issue that seemed to be at the forefront of hosts’ minds of late: tamper proof amenities.
As many states and large hotel companies move toward the larger, refillable dispensers in the rooms, innkeepers are also keen to follow the trend. However, many seemed worried about the possibility that an errant guest may open them and put something in it. In my opinion the likelihood of this is scant at best given most clientele at a bed and breakfast are specifically checking in for that inns’ experience and not just “traveling through.” If someone did wish to cause trouble, it would likely be premeditated and would target larger hotel properties where the likelihood of causing havoc is much greater.
All that being said, the concern is real and I don’t discount it. I have therefore sourced lockable amenity dispensers that are tamper proof - you need keys to open it. You spoke, Sítrónu listened! I hope to have these available soon. In the meantime, you can buy direct from Kure Products’ website.
Learning from each other is key and I am most grateful for the opportunity to always learn from those in the business. It helps shape my company so I can respond and offer what is most wanted.