Hotel Andaluz is proud to be a LEED Gold certified hotel, and we work hard to make Hotel Andaluz the most sustainable historic hotel in the nation. But there is always room for improvement, as some young visitors to our hotel recently pointed out. Earlier this year, we received a letter from Brooklyn, Emery, and Janell, 6th graders at Mountain Mahogany Community School. Their letter shared their concern about the effects that plastic drinking straws have on the environment, and urged us to consider only giving out straws to people who ask. They shared with me that Americans use 500 million drinking straws a day – enough to fill over 125 school buses – and that plastics in our oceans are creating all sorts of problems, both for the animals that call the sea home, but also for all of us as these important natural resources are being destroyed.
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that Hotel Andaluz uses over 1,500 straws per month, or 18,000 straws per year. That is 1/3 of a school bus. In keeping with our commitment to being sustainable, we set out to reduce our usage of plastic straws. We trained our staff to ask guests if they want a straw, rather than just providing them. Then we set out to find a good source for paper straws, which took us some time to find the right supplier. We wanted to make sure that we reduced our usage, but still had a more sustainable option for those who want a straw or for our disabled guests who need a straw. It took us some time to find the right supplier and implement this new policy, but I am proud to announce that we are now 100% switched over to paper straws in all of our restaurants and bars.
Brooklyn, Emery, and Janell, we greatly appreciate your commitment to making small changes that have a big environmental impact. Hotel Andaluz is proud to have LEED Gold Certification, recognizing our achievements in environmentally-friendly practices. We are proud to continue to implement changes that increase the sustainability of our hotel.