Question: I want to make energy-efficient (and cost-effective) changes to our guest rooms, but I feel like I’ve exhausted all my options; green amenities, signs asking guests to reuse their towels, recycle boxes, LED lighting, you name it! What else can I do to “green” things up for my clients?

Answer: If you’re a hotel operator looking for new ways to lessen your environmental footprint, considering investing in eco-friendly office paper products for your guests! Choosing recycled products over those made from virgin trees is an easy way to reduce your energy consumption and create a greener brand for your hotel.

According to Bloomberg, Americans use 68 million tons of paper products annually. Not sure if investing in recycled products is worth your time, and money? Newsflash! Your customers are buying recycled products, and they’re looking for eco-friendly efforts from your hotel. In fact, Americans pay about $4.8 billion for eco-friendly paper products, according to the Natural Marketing Institute.

Save energy with recycled paper

According to Conserveatree, the difference in energy savings between recycled and virgin paper (paper made from new trees) is significant – read their entire White Paper here. In fact, by choosing 1 ton of recycled paper over 1 ton of virgin paper, you are saving 24 trees, 11 million BTUs, 2,068 lbs. of greenhouse gases, 11, 218 gallons of wastewater and 751 lbs. of solid waste.

All about post-consumer recycled content

Once you’ve decided to use recycled paper, why not go one step further and explore the world of post-consumer recycled paper products for your hotel. As per the American Hotel and Lodging Association, all office paper products specifically should have 20% or more post-consumer recycled content.

According defined by the DoE, post-consumer material or fiber includes “paper, paperboard, fibrous wastes from retail stores, office buildings, homes, and so forth, after they have passed through their end-usage as a consumer item, including: used corrugated boxes; old newspapers; old magazines; mixed waste paper; tabulating cards; and used cordage; and all paper, paperboard, and fibrous wastes that enter and are collected from municipal solid waste.”

So, why the push towards post-consumer products? Because using 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper reduces the carbon footprint of your hotel, saves waste from going to landfill and protects our forests, resulting in 45% less energy used and 38% less greenhouses gases produced. Using products made from recycled-content reduces the number of trees used during the production process and reduces energy consumption; 40% less energy to manufacture to be exact. You efforts also eliminate three cubic meters of landfill for every 1 ton of recycled newspaper.

Read more about how buying recycled paper products help preserve our forests in “Choosing the greenest toilet paper for your hotel”.

Questions about using recycled paper products at your hotel? Leave them below!

image credit: Philip R Jones