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Eco-friendly practices in housekeeping

Preserving environment is a major concern in today’s world. The issue of global warming and continuous depletion of ozone layer has forced all of us to re-think and act in the pursuit of conserving environment. Hotel industry has also not remained uneffected with this. Growing popularity of ecotels and adoption of eco-friendly practices have defined the commitment of hotel industry toward this.

Use of recycled paper products, bio-degradable herb toiletries and essential oils with no chemical content, should be encouraged. Some of the herbs and natural substance that can be used in toiletries are aloe-vera, liquorise, citrus fruits, Indian-gooseberry, neem, basil, pumpkin, cucumber, sunflower, turmeric, sandalwood, apricot, mace, clove, nutmeg, coriander, rose, henna, coconut, honey, etc. Refill-dispensers could also be used.

Energy conserving products

Products like jet hand-dryer can be used, which produce bi-directional cold air jets. The primary advantage of jet hand-dryer is the enormous power saving due to its low energy consumption compared to the conventional hot-air model. Some trends in lighting that have been gaining momentum in Indian hotels are use of luminaries with sensor technology, compact luminaries and compact halogen lamps.

Ozone treatment

Use of Ozonizers to treat air and water in hotel rooms and public areas is recommended.

Room ozonizers is a compact device that can be used to disinfect and deodourise air-conditioned rooms, thus improving the indoor air quality. Ozonizers can also be placed in lobbies and corridors to disinfect the air and effectively remove all foul odours. Small-capacity ozonizers, such as the one-gram models, can be enough to minimize ordour in such area.

Ozonizing air-scrubbers in bars and pubs can draw the foul air out, treat it with ozone to disinfect and clean the air, and then return it through the air-handling unit.

In swimming pool treatment, ozone is injected at the water entry point of the pool to disinfect the water. This treatment makes the water clear, sparkling, and appealing. It is safer for swimmers compared to chlorine which is accompanied by certain health hazards – eye irritation, hair loss, and skin rashes.

Ozonization of recirculated water in cooling towers dramatically enhances its performance, reducing the operating costs by eliminating the use of chemicals and considerably lowering the make-up water requirement. Its disinfection properties effectively prevent bacteria build-up, as well as destroying organic binding matter such as slime and algae. It thus increases the efficiency of the cooling tower and reduces power consumption as well.

Ozone is an effective cleaning agent in all single-colour laundry operations since it improves the efficiency of the washing process by reacting with the dirt molecules and converting them to oxides that are easier to treat.

Last but not the least is to make your staff educated and aware about the eco-friendly practices and energy conservation. Employee should switch off the lights and fans that are not in use. They should ensure that only the correct wattage of bulbs is used and the drapes should be closed to maximise the effect of air-conditioning or heating.

Arvind Kumar Saraswati
Lecturer, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute
of Hotel Management & Catering Technology

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