5 simple ways your hotel can celebrate World Environment Day

Image Credit: Angela Benito, Unsplash

World Environment day is an annual celebration created to raise awareness and actions to protect the environment. This year’s theme is #forNature, encouraging people to learn about how all living things are connected and what we can be doing to protect the natural world.

Do other Hotels celebrate Environment Day?

Yes, World environment day was first established in 1974, and now, people, hotels and businesses around the world celebrate it in different ways. A few examples of hotels celebrating in the past include:

  • Apex Hotels who celebrated by removing plastic drinking straws from their hotels

  • Riu Palace Tenerife who briefly turned the power off to highlight the importance of energy conservation.

  • Hotel Jen Beijing replaced plastic food containers with paper boxes, swapped plastic bags for paper bags, and encouraged guests to refill their own water bottles.

  • Shangri-La and sister brand properties arranged beach cleans and longer term environmental projects in their communities

  • Royal Orchid hotels organised a “Cyclathon” biking to the local town and back to raise awareness of pollution and their ride to work scheme.

Celebrating World Environment day can benefit your community, guests, employees, and your hotel in so many ways. Here are a few reasons you might want to celebrate too:

  • WED activities are a great opportunity for employee team building

  • It creates a better experience for your guests

  • Guests may expect you to celebrate if they have been to other hotels that do

  • You can strengthen your relationship with the local community

  • Helps staff and guests to buy-in to new initiatives

  • It gives you something to shout about, you can share your achievements on your website and socials.

Feeling Inspired? Here are 5 Simple Ways to Celebrate:

Plant a tree

Image Credit: Austin D, Unsplash

Tree planting has become a popular way for hotels around the world to celebrate. You can plant trees yourself in your grounds, join up with a local support group to plant a larger number, or even launch a new tree planting initiative. One successful example of this are Accor hotels with their towel scheme. The scheme works by encouraging guests, staying more than one night, to reuse their towel, the money saved on laundry then goes towards planting trees, all over the world. So far they have already planted over 7 million trees, and estimate that they now plant a tree every minute.

Organise a litter pick

Encourage your staff and guests to get involved cleaning up the local area, by organising a beach clean or a park litter pick. This is a great opportunity to do something #fornature and provides plenty of photo opportunities, you can get photos of the team, the rubbish and before and after shots to show what you've achieved.

We’ve designed a beach clean tool kit to help you get started. Including:

  • Beach clean bingo card

  • Tips for staying safe

  • Press release

  • Tally card

Celebrate the occasion

Does your hotel run events? Why not take the opportunity to run an event for WED. You could host an organic dinner using local produce. Or invite speakers to come and run a panel. Shangri-La, Beijing, used WED to run an event about sustainable seafood with MSC. The hotel brought in sustainability experts and high end chefs for a range of talks and demonstrations. Even children got to have a go with a children’s cookery session.

Creation Stations

WED isn’t just for adults, encourage your kids club to get involved and see all the different things they can make and do. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For younger ones:

  • Go on a bug hunt or a nature resort around the hotel

  • Create “World in our hands” crafts like this hotel

  • Run a #ForNature themed writing competition

  • Save plastic bottle tops and corks for a junk modelling challenge

  • Decorate yoghurt pots for seedlings, like this hotel growing Chit palm trees which are in danger of extinction.

  • Or turn bottles into planters, and see how long it takes for shoots to start growing through

Remember to encourage your kid’s club to make items that the children will be able to take home and keep, or that will be used in the future. It would be a shame for something to be thrown away just because it’s too big to fit in a suitcase.

Reduce unnecessary plastic

Have you been waiting to launch a plastic reduction initiative? World Environment day is a great opportunity to do so. Have a look around your hotel and see what items you could provide only on request, or remove completely. Are you still providing any of the following?

Eliminating some or all of these is a great way to reduce waste and cost. It also means a lot less items to harbour germs and means housekeeping won't need to waste time sanitising unnecessary items. Given the new focus on hygiene, it is more likely guests will want to travel with their own products and if you use good communications to explain why you're making the changes, it is much more likely they will be accepted. See our recent blog on why now really is the best time to reduce single-use.

We'd love to hear what you do this year and to share your projects and activities on our social media.