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Green norms for hotels to prevent food wastage

According to reports, soon, you may have an option to order half a portion of your choicest dishes in hotels in the country, if you don’t feel like having the full plate. The option will not only be easy on your purse strings, but also prevent food from being wasted.

Untouched leftover food items in the hotels’ kitchens can be distributed among food banks or local shelters. This and several other options are parts of 48 do’s and don’ts for hotels under the government’s green norms.

Amid concerns over misuse of substantial amount of water, food stuffs and other utilities in such hotels, the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has come out with elaborate guidelines for Green Hotels to reduce waste through several eco-friendly measures.

Under the green guidelines, the hotels are also asked to purchase towels and sheets made from 100% natural cotton — containing no chemical, dyes or bleaches — purchase refillable soap, hair rinse and hand lotion dispensers for guest rooms, donate partially-used product and used linens to local shelters or other charities and re-use of left unopened amenities by the next guest.

Sharing this in the Lok Sabha on Monday, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan in her written response to a Parliament question said, “The five start hotels have been advised to take appropriate measures like waste reduction, water and energy conservation and follow environmentally responsible purchasing practices envisaged in the guidelines for Green Hotels”.

She said the guidelines were being enforced for compliance by the hotels. Respective State Pollution Control Board has the responsibility to enforce it within the state, she added.

Referring to waste of water in hotels, the minister said that the wastewater discharge from hotels varies from 51% to 93% of the total water consumption depending upon the wastewater management practices adopted by them.

“Assuming a 50% occupancy rate, a 200-room hotel uses almost eight million gallons of water in a year. Using water-efficient fixture could save nearly 2.5 million gallons of water a year,” said the guidelines while suggesting use of low flow showerheads, bath and sink faucet aerators and low flow toilets.

To encourage environmentally responsible purchasing practices, the norms suggest the hotels to buy recycled products like toilet tissue, facial tissues and paper towels. “Buy cleaning products that are biodegradable, use recycled paper for letterhead and guest room stationery,” it said.

Preference of use of invertors instead of diesel generation sets, switch to low-watt fluorescent light in place of bulbs, installation of solar water heating\parabolic concentrator for cooking, solar lighting, solar AC, use of pollution free electric vehicles and use of recycling bins for guest rooms or floors are some of the other key points in the guideline.

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