Water has been in the news for the last few weeks, from the expanse of the Indian Ocean to the draught in the Southwestern United States to river pollution in West Virginia. We certainly do have a way about corrupting a major source of life. Hospitality can be an agent of change.
What particularly caught my attention was almost an ad lib about the search for Malaysian Flight #370, now focused upon the Indian Ocean. This entire effort has been fraught with miss-leading and heart rending miss-direction of the search effort and daily recaps. It has been a story about conjecture and theory all over the board. However, reports did surface about a moving mass of garbage, the size of Texas, riding the Indian Ocean swells and currents. The largest component of this mass is plastic, crushed and amalgamated into a floating, non-biodegradable garbage dump.
How can Hospitality help ecologically? You do not necessarily have to be Green to impact the trend – stop using bottled water. Do not have them in your guest room fridges, do not offer them during the meeting refreshes - stop enabling. Our markets and grocery stores have pushed options away from the plastic bags; our restaurants have tackled Styrofoam cups with paper alternatives. We, in hospitality related businesses, can do more.
The first shots of the “Plastic Revolution”, appropriately, occurred in Concord, MA where the town became the first in the nation to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. San Francisco has become the largest city to do the same.
In a related article, written for Indian Country Today, Darla Antoine provided some startling statistics: “In the United States it’s been estimated that we throw away 2.5 million plastic water bottles every hour. Hour. Or 40 million bottles a day. Those bottles are clogging up our landfills and even our oceans, rivers and streams. And for no reason. Bottled water is not healthier than tap water and in fact, 40 percent of the time, it is tap water.”
There are alternatives, but behaviors must change. We in Hospitality are influencers; we also have a role as stewards of the environment. Make your efforts part of the Guest Experience!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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