South Coast region welcome guests to environmentally friendly lodgings
“Green hotel” and “green-certified hotel” are becoming familiar terms for travelers as hotels and lodgings from the smallest bed and breakfast or country inn to the largest urban hotel or motel jump onto the environmental bandwagon. In general, green certification means that hotels, motels, and other lodgings have begun using environmental conservation practices to achieve standards that various state or federal programs require for certification – a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for environmentalism. Practices can range from linen reuse programs, in which guests can opt to reuse towels and linens rather than have them laundered daily, to use of energy-efficient appliances, florescent lighting, alternate fuels, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and non-toxic cleaners. The growing trend is being driven in large part by the demands of environmentally friendly guests and competition among lodgings to woo these guests.
In Maine, the state runs its own green hotel certification program. Forty-five Maine hotels, motels, and other lodgings participate in the state program. Owners of lodgings also have the option to undertake federal programs like EPA Energy Star, Green Seal, and LEED (which is oriented more toward new construction).