As eco-friendliness and green living have become popular in recent years, there is a higher demand on the hospitality and tourism industry to go green and maintain a green status. According to Statista.com: "Green tourism has been promoted over recent years due to growing concerns about environmental sustainability in different countries worldwide. New and existing companies now offer advice and reviews on the best eco-friendly hotels in any location."
At the moment, South Africa finds itself in a profitable season to run a green lodge, especially one in a nature reserve or conservation area. Green Worx Cleaning Solution CEO, John J Coetzee states: "As technology rises there seems to be an equal balance of holiday goers seeking a break from the chaos of modern day cities. We are seeing a pull to eco-friendly reserves. With the increase in demand for natural living we also see the standards of being green and maintaining an eco-friendly facility increasing."
Higher lodging standard
Operating in a way that maintains and promotes the preservation of nature and animals has arguably become one of the most crucial elements of managing a lodge. "The onus is on leaving no trace. We have a responsibility to enhance the environments we inhabit, by ensuring that we do all that we can to eliminate any unnecessary waste or pollution. To quote the old adage ‘we should leave the place better than we found it’," adds Coetzee.
Building with eco-friendly materials is not always enough. Even in establishments where strategies are being employed to reduce waste, some environmental (and human) dangers persist. For example, the use of grey water for recycling water is only safe if the correct green cleaning procedures are followed. If not, these systems could be doing more damage than good, introducing chemical-rich water into the surrounding habitats.
Coetzee advises that Grey Water Management be an essential part of running a green lodge or hotel. "It is critical that this grey water is made safe for the environment. Chemical suds left in grey water can be harmful when used for irrigation, while developing a strong unpleasant odour. However, with enzymatic greywater treatment products dispensed into the water tank - then circulated by agitation and, if possible, aerated - the bio-enzymes will degrade all organics in the water. This will effectively clean the water, which can then be reused safely."
The benefits of owning and/or managing a green lodge in the current tourism climate are seemingly great. To take advantage of these benefits and, hopefully, also play a part in helping to reduce waste and improve on the global green status, it is imperative that lodges not only build green, but clean green as well.
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