Hotels and Hostels

The Heathman Hotel - Portland, Oregon                                    Hostelling International - Northwest Portland Hostel

Eco-tourism has become an industry of its own over the years and hotels are beginning to take notice, not necessarily to sell rooms, but to save money and help the local community. That is at least the motivation for the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. This historic luxury hotel, under the supervision of general manager Chris Erickson, has committed to eco renovations and sustainable strategies to enjoy the long term benefits and become a productive part of the local community.

Heathman Hotel is Green Seal Silver

Heathman hotel understands that sustainability is part of the culture in Portland and in order to remain a part of that culture the hotel must keep up. In addition to keeping with community expectations, Erickson has been able to retain employees, even through the recession, by cutting energy costs rather than labor.  Along with financial incentives from local organizations and government initiatives, the Heathman has been able to benefit while benefiting the environment as well.

Hostels take sustainable travel one step further than hotels; placing up to eight strangers in one room, rather than eight rooms for each stranger. Generally most travelers spend the bulk of time out of their hotel rooms, seeing sights or taking meetings while the hotel room sits idle, most likely using energy. The North West Portland Hostel and Green Tortoise Hostel of Seattle both cater to social travelers who don’t need a private room and enjoy being around people of all ages from all around the world. These hostels are comprised mostly of bunk bed filled rooms that serve the simple purpose of storage and sleep. The hostelling culture encourages patrons to spend as little amount of time in rooms as possible, while encouraging guests to socialize in communal areas and take advantage of hostel programs and events. These hostels also provide public transportation information and bicycle rentals to limit car usage by guests.

Both the Heathman Hotel and hostels abroad practice sustainability through recycling and composting, using sustainable materials and cutting down on energy/water use through lighting fixtures and low flow everything. Hostels have a greater sustainable impact due to room sharing. Land use and building materials are cut drastically when not as many rooms are needed and the concept of sharing rooms while traveling makes so much more sense for society, the environment and the wallet.

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