At Highline Adventures, we feel responsible for cultivating sustainable ways to travel and experience a new place. Sustainable tourism has two parts: social responsibility and environmental responsibility. Socially, we are focused on respecting and honoring the people and history of the place we draw travelers to. Environmentally, we want our company and our guests to have an awareness of the environmental impacts of travel, and actively seek to reduce that impact.
There are currently around 47,000 hotels across the U.S., each using up to 7,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, equal to 5.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The average daily usage of a single hotel is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of driving a car for 13,158 miles. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the largest use of electricity in hotels and motels is lighting, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total electricity used. One of the best ways to reduce energy use from lighting is to install more efficient bulbs. LEDs use at least 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, saving electricity while also reducing waste.
Do Your Part: Turn all lights off that are not being used in your hotel room, and make sure your lights are off each time you leave the room.
The hospitality industry produces millions of tons of waste each year, with an average of 2.5 pounds of trash per guest every day. One study found that hotels generate approximately one cubic yard, or 200 gallons, of waste per room in just one month. Fortunately, it is estimated that 50-60% of the total waste produced by hotels is recyclable, including food, office paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles. Many of the largest sources of waste, such as single-use soaps and shampoos, can be eliminated by switching to refillable bottles, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds of plastic per year. However, these practices can’t completely solve the issue of waste. By reducing and recycling waste, guests can help the hotel industry divert trash from landfills and become more sustainable.
Do You Part: Bring recyclable materials and storage on your trip, and place recyclable items into the available bins around the property when possible.
Not only do disposable plastic water bottles take up space in landfills and pollute our oceans, they also require a huge amount of fossil fuels to produce. According to one study, it takes 17 million barrels of oil to make one year’s supply of bottled water. This is the equivalent of fueling 1.3 million cars or powering 190,000 homes for a year. The industry creating single-use plastic bottles also releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Conversely, reusable water bottles are recyclable, save hundreds of dollars, and can reduce the strain on areas with limited water supplies where most bottled water comes from. That’s why we provide water bottle refill stations, so it’s easy for guests to fill their reusable water bottles.
Do Your Part: Help lower waste in landfills, reduce harmful chemicals such as BPA, and protect animals and the earth by bringing a reusable water bottle and using water bottle refill stations when possible.
Millions of trash can liners are disposed of every day in the United States. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade, breaking down into tiny toxic bits of microplastic. A plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down in the environment. In the meantime, these plastic particles contaminate waterways, eventually entering the food web when animals ingest them. By choosing not to use plastic trash can liners, Highline Adventures is doing its part to reduce the estimated 34 million tons of plastic that enter landfills every year in the U.S. alone.
Do Your Part: If you do stay in a hotel that uses plastic garbage can liners, you can help reduce waste by only using one of the trash cans. The unused can is generally left for the next guest.