It seems that guests are enjoying the eco-conscious reminders Hotel Verde have introduced as part of their holistic, sustainable vision. Not only does the hotel implement a range of green operational practices, but they have recently introduced a weekly Earth Hour that gets guests actively involved in their green thinking.
Samantha Annandale, Hotel Verde’s general manager, explains that in order to expand Earth Hour, which is traditionally an annual event, Hotel Verde has decided to make it a weekly one. So between 19h00 and 20h00 every Wednesday all non-essential lights and equipment are switched off. In the spirit of reducing electricity consumption, the hotel prepares wood-fired pizzas and offers a discounted menu of specially selected food that is not prepared using the standard energy consuming methods.
“Going green is not just about the building; it’s also about every aspect of the operation. As part of Hotel Verde’s commitment to be “Africa’s greenest hotel”, management is committed to following the principal tenets of sustainable procurement to minimize their environmental impact, to maximize wider social benefits and to aim for zero waste to landfill.”
A green operation
Hotel Verde has installed a vertical aquaponic system to minimise use of space and produce vegetables and herbs. The cyclical system of fish and plants involves the breaking down of the fish waste into nitrates, off which the plants will feed, and in turn the plants clean the water for the fish.
The system is fed by a timed pump system to ensure that the plants get regular and sufficient water, without compromising on energy output.
Split bins are placed in the guestrooms and throughout the property, encouraging waste separation and recycling, as well as to optimize Hotel Verde’s waste reduction plan.
All products in the rooms, such as hand lotions, liquid soaps and body washes, are locally produced and are not harmful to the environment.
Not an easy task
“This was not an easy task,” explains Annandale. “In some cases we had to request that suppliers redesign and rethink their products entirely by minimising the use of packaging and omitting harmful ingredients.”
As part of their green initiatives, guests are encouraged to embrace the greening philosophy and will be offered rewards called VERDINOS for sustainable practices during their stay.
“We want to educate guests as well as encourage them to reduce their impact on the environment. We have come up with fun, subtle ways to do that, which will hopefully become second nature that guests then take home with them.”
Make your “promise to the Earth” on Saturday, 29 March at Hotel Verde’s EARTH HOUR NIGHT MARKET! Enjoy a festive evening with a low carbon footprint along with a variety of green crafters and artisans, live, acoustic music from local bands Touchwood and Grassypark, locally sourced, fresh food and wood fired pizzas, and organic wine and beer tastings…
Join Hotel Verde and WWF in making a promise to the Earth at wwf.org.za, share it on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #EARTHHOURZA and #VerdeWin and stand a chance to win a weekend’s stay at Hotel Verde for the weekend of Earth Hour. Winners announced 27 March 2014.