We have been striving to make changes to be more environmentally-conscious as a hotel group for the past number of years now.
After reading about Vancouver being the first major Canadian city to reduce reliance on disposable single-use items, and the abundance of news centred around plastic waste pollution in our oceans and landfills, we need to do better.
How many plastic straws could we be using at our hotels? After we crunched the numbers we were startled to find out that an estimated 150,000 straws per year were used at our food and beverage establishments. We must make changes to reduce our consumption and the waste that ends up in our landfills, so as a hotel group we are setting a target goal for the next year to reduce straw usage by 50%. Our servers and bartenders will no longer automatically provide straws in beverages served to customers, instead they will be available upon request. The choice to use a straw will be left up to you. We have already started phasing out all plastic straws at the hotels and will be moving towards only using a compostable product. According to our supplier, these compostable straws will break down from 100% to less than 1% in 36 months with no harmful residues. They are also considered non-toxic to plants, animals and aquatic life.
Our kitchens are moving towards only stocking compostable take-a-way containers instead of plastic foam ones. The kitchen staff will also have access to reusable metal portioning cups as an alternative to plastic ones and will use plant-based compostable cleaning towels.
We are currently working with our suppliers to find suitable eco-conscious compostable coffee cups for our restaurants and guest rooms. You will soon see new signage in the guest room area indicating that our housekeeping staff are turning down our air conditioner/heat units and mini fridges when the room is not occupied to reduce energy consumption.
We acknowledge that we can't stop here, we will continue to assess and identify areas we can implement more eco-conscious choices in our day-to-day operations, reduce energy consumption and unnecessary waste wherever possible.