I don't know about you, but I am guilty of energy gluttony every time I stay in a hotel. Okay, let's be real people, you know you do it too, or at least did it until you became more green aware.
What? You say; I mean letting the hot water run in the shower long enough to steam up the entire bathroom, letting the TV and AC run for W-A-Y longer than needed or using a thousand times more towels that you normally would at home. No big deal, right? Isn't this why you pay a hundred bucks a night to stay at a hotel that hasn't been renovated since the 1980's?
Well, therein lies the problem, some of these hotels are still using the energy sucking air conditioners originally installed in 1979, you know, the ones with the push button switches mounted by the window?
Okay, I must admit, I love using clean towels, and especially at a hotel, I use a new towel for everything, I even use those cute little washcloths to dry my hands, a way to replace my paper towel addiction while in my usual home environment. And god forbid, I never leave that little card of the bed saying that I would like to save water and forego the clean sheet replacement, hell no, give me a clean set of sheets and blanket too if they do it! Okay, shoot me.
At least that's what I would have said in the past until I got educated by a little energy firm from the happiest city on Earth, San Luis Obispo. What the cool dudes at 3C Engineering schooled me in was the understanding of what it takes to heat water to a high enough temperature to kills the gross germs from the previous hotel guest. (Oh me? I'm never gross. :) You see, the hotel needs to use an industrial sized boiler to heat the water to clean those towels, sheets and blankets. And the amount of energy it takes to pump enough water into those boilers and then keep the water at a high enough temperature is mind boggling.
So, it dawned on me that it wasn't just the water to wash the linens, it was the power to heat and pump the water. Same concept with that awesome water pressure out of the shower and sink that I let pour out of those heads and spigots.
Remember when Motel 6 used to say, "We'll leave the lights on for you!" - okay, I may be dating myself, but, I hear that so differently now.
So, the beautiful thing is, there is something all of us can do about this. And I'm not going to convince you to bring a bucket to catch your shower water to flush the toilet with, however, how much of a good idea that may be; what I will implore you to do is be aware. We live on this beautiful blue planet in space and it's only protected by a laser thin layer of atmosphere. (More on that tangent later.)
For now, choose to stay at hotels that have completed their lighting retrofitting, replaced old pumps and boilers with new, more efficient ones, and most importantly have upgraded heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
How do you know this? Ask! One simple question, "Has your hotel gone green?" If the front desk doesn't know, then they haven't. Believe me, a green hotel is a big deal and very few have veered from their ways of massive energy consumption. Until we at Bright Future Solar Energy Convince hotels to catch up with the times, do your part and conserve while away from home and take 1-minute to ask your hotel staff what they are doing to save energy at the hotel, if nothing else but to give yourself a reminder that this stuff, you know, our little blue planet is important. (Well if you care to pass it along to future generations.)
Until next time, let me know your thoughts and comments and if you like what you read, please like us on Facebook, +1 on Google and help spread the word to the world!