Green lodging in Tampa: local eco-friendly hotels

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So why become a designated property? What is in it for the big wigs paying for everything? The program takes a stab at answering some of these questions on their website. The first thing they mention is saving money. This always catches corporate's eye. For exmaple, when you use energy efficient products, your utility bills tend to go down. No big surprises there, but is a nice incentive for hotel businesses that are concerned about changing policies that might effect their budget. They also mention that it attracts audiences that are specifically looking for lodging that is more environmentally friendly. Saving money, becoming more eco-friendly, and the possibility of a bigger client base is really music to everyone's ears.

So which hotels in the Tampa Bay area have made the grade with the Florida Green Lodging Program? Some of them include the Courtyard Marriots in Downtown and Tampa North, the Doubletree Westshore, Embassy Suites Downtown and USF, Tradewinds on St. Pete Beach, Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, among many others. See the full list here all of the Florida hotels.

The fun part of all of this is seeing what an impact a single hotel can make on the environment. The program website also offers some success stories of a few local Florida hotels that have saved an exponential amount of water, electricity and excess waste just from their one facility.

If you work at a hotel and this sounds like something that might be up your alley, check with your manager about being a 'green team leader' and then go to the application section of the website and start your new green iniatives today!

What the heck is "green lodging"? That might be the first question someone asks when clicking on this post. In a nutshell, green lodging are hotels that are making a conscious effort to lower their water and energy uses, reducing waste and promoting various other green efforts that work specifically for their hotel. Some of the ways of doing this include introducing and encouraging recycling programs of traditional items (plastic, paper, etc.) and of towels and sheets, installing energy efficient lightning, and promoting contributions back to their local communities.

The Florida Green Lodging program, established in 2004, has set forth a set of guidelines for hotels that are interested in becoming more eco-friendly. On their website, they give eight steps to becoming a designated property with their organization, like creating a "green team" with employees at the property and creating a leader to oversee all of the changes that the hotel will make. They find it especially important to educate the staff about the importance of conservation.

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