According to the International Energy Agency, the rapid development of renewable power means that it is set to become the world’s second most common energy source by 2016. These methods of power generation are the fastest growing in the industry, and it’s been forecasted that the use of such sources will grow by 40 percent within five years.

In the last year, renewable power accounted for 12 percent of the United States’ energy consumption. However, this is expected to increase dramatically as more industries, particularly the travel industry, start thinking about sustainability.

Wind Energy

Many hotels in the United States have begun harnessing the wind as an energy source. This is a valuable practice, and the fact that hotels are realizing the importance of sustainable energy is worthy of celebration. Fort Lauderdale’s Hilton has just finished putting turbines atop the building, which has garnered them much attention.

These six wind turbines say a lot about their willingness to become more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, if the hotel sees considerable decreases in their costs of operation, this certainly won’t be the last sustainable change they adopt.

Solar Energy

Recently, Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced a new global partnership aimed at increasing the presence of green energy on all of their properties. This will start with three of their locations, which includes a 1.3MW solar power setup on one of is Virgin Island buildings. Starwood says it is committed to cutting its electricity use by 30 percent and its water use by 20 percent by 2020.

Biofuel Energy

The Hilton Americas-Houston, Houston’s biggest hotel and the first in the state to acquire certification by Green Seal, has taken additional steps toward sustainability by adopting biodiesel energy. The hotel accepted its first delivery of the biofuel in July in the hopes of minimizing their impact on the planet. By adopting this practice, greenhouse gases have been reduced by up to 78 percent.

Geothermal Energy

The Peppermill Resort, Spa and Casino, located in Reno, Nevada, get its heat in a very special way. Using a geothermal aquifer nearly 4,500 feet beneath the surface, the Peppermill is able to provide all of its own hot water and heat.

Water measuring 174 degrees is drawn from the ground below at around 1,200 gallons every minute. The resort saves about $2 million each year using this method as opposed to the natural gas it was using.

According to Dr. Jim Combes from Geo Hills Associated, the Peppermill Resort, Spa and Casino is the only establishment in the United States that gets its heat and hot water exclusively from geothermal sources that are located directly on the property. This area seems to be at the forefront of green innovation.

With millions of travelers each year visiting the strip, the number of people that can take advantage and utilize the various green features is truly exciting.


Stratton’s Hotel in the United Kingdom realized that when they provided guests with small 25ml bottles of shampoo, conditioner and other toiletries, only around one-third of the contents were used. Meanwhile, rather than taking the rest home and using it, guests simple threw them away. In an effort to combat needless waste and improve efficiency, the hotel has begun providing shampoos and soaps in convenient dispensers.

The number of eco-friendly facilities continues to increase. As of March 2011, 91 lodging properties have achieved LEED certification. An additional 1,100 lodging projects have registered with LEED and are working towards certification. In addition, the number of facilities pursuing certification continues to grow as well. This is especially encouraging news.

This article was contributed by Sam Marquit. Sam is an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodeling expert in New York. He makes a point to share with readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is a small part of his effort to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.