True confession here. When I first read about eco tourism, it was frankly, – a bunch of bull. Travel agents thought that a green hotel meant that it was located around trees! We’ve come a long way, friends.
My optimism for truly environmental lodging shifted when I read about BIO-hotels. Their admirable slogan is taste the natural life. This is an association of independent hotels that base their offerings around natural products. Choose between a wide selection of lodges in many different regions, primarily Austria, Germany and Italy.
The group originated in 2001 with standards guided by organic organizations. They developed their mission to maintain organic farmer and handler regulations into the hotel and catering industry. Thus, constant inspectors and quality control were integrated into their business plan. Ecological criterions were followed in the building and furnishing process of each hotel as well.
Good ‘ole USA lags far behind, but I’m happy to report progress. An interesting forum (or blog) is owned and operated by Kit Cassingham. She’s been dedicated to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. Her site, ECOnomically Sound is the culmination of her environmental and lodging passions. Therein is discussion about a rather newly available product, biodegradable hotel key cards.
Thankfully, security isn’t an issue with a key card as a door key. You can find green key cards made from recyclable paperboard, wood, corn plastic (PLA), as well as recycled plastic.
RESOURCES FOR FASHIONABLE KEY CARDS:
Sustainable Cards makes a wood key card. They claim it is kinder to earth to compost and recycle wood. Good point!
USFI is a supplier of Green Earth Key Cards, the first-ever 100% biodegradable key made of an all-new bioPVC that’s reusable. They claim it can completely decompose in a landfill or compost within 18 months.