Housekeeping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering how to reduce the hospitality industry's impact on the environment. However, traditional housekeeping procedures can use more water and energy than necessary. With just a few simple changes to housekeeping tasks, hotels can significantly reduce waste and protect the environment.
Reduce water use
With the exception of Antarctica, Australia gets less precipitation than any other continent. According to National Geographic, water levels in some of Australia's reservoirs have decreased by as much as 91% since the 1970s. Conservation efforts are greatly needed to ensure sustainable water levels across the country.
Hotels can reduce water consumption by:
- Monitoring water usage through a smart meter.
- Training housekeeping staff to be vigilant about water use.
- Improving maintenance response times to water leaks.
- Installing flow restrictors or aerators to reduce tap flow.
Replace paper towels with microfibre cloths
Paper towels are inefficient cleaning tools, and they usually require an excessive amount of water when used to clean surfaces. Reusable microfibre cloths do not produce as much waste, and they clean surfaces more efficiently. In fact, Rubbermaid all-purpose microfibre cloths clean 25% better than traditional cotton cloths. Bleach safe and durable for up to 500 launderings, these cloths can significantly reduce waste produced by housekeeping tasks.
Install refillable soap dispensers
Bathroom amenities like branded soaps and shampoo bottles might look nice, but they're not very good for the environment. Replacing these products with manual, wall-mounted dispensers can greatly reduce waste. The new Rubbermaid FLex skin care system can be refilled with handwash and hand sanitiser as well as shampoo and conditioner. Each refill pouch is hygienically sealed to reduce the chance of contamination while providing significant environmental benefit.
Remove single use plastics from guest rooms
In addition to shampoo and conditioner bottles, a number of other single-use plastics can be found in hotel rooms. Examples include water bottles, disposable cups and drinking straws. At some hotels, guests may receive several single-use water bottles for each day of their stay. All of these items can add up to a mountain of plastic that eventually ends up in a landfill, or worse, in the ocean.
Replacing these items with reusable ones can greatly limit the amount of plastic hotels throw away. For instance glassware and ceramic mugs can offer an upscale experience while also protecting the environment.
Focus more attention on entryways
Stopping dirt and debris at entry points can reduce how much cleaning is necessary in other parts of the building. This is especially true during rainy weather, when guests are likely to track in mud. Increasing the number of times cleaning staff visit entryways throughout the day can stop dirt from getting dragged into areas of the building that may be more difficult to clean.
Invest in durable cleaning tools
Commercial-grade cleaning products are built with durability in mind. For example, the PULSE microfibre hard floor cleaning system is designed for heavy daily use. Plus, it uses a refillable spray bottle to reduce water usage and disperse the exact amount of cleaning solution needed for the task.
The tools and equipment used by housekeeping staff have a direct impact on a hotel brand's environmental impact. For more insights into how cleaning products support your business goals, check out our resource centre.