Charity begins at home: How to save extra on monthly utility bills ⭐


The hospitality industry is among the top when it comes to practising not-so-sustainable practices. What should be the practices to make the hospitality industry sustainable by saving utility bills?

Sustainability is a progression. And every effort you take daily to improve towards sustainability brings you money. This can be through your efforts towards the below goals.

  1. Refusal to unwanted spending or buying things
  2. Reduction in the usage
  3. Re-use possibilities and by avoiding single-use utilities
  4. Re-purposing things at all possibilities
  5. Recycle at its best

In Hospitality, I listen to many professionals comment on the impossibility of following the 5 Rs. Excuses will not make your organisation sustainable. The other way is to create islands of sustainability. Some brands or individual units proclaim their properties as sustainable ones. Unfortunately, half of such claims are greenwashing. And another half also doesn’t do the right thing. If we cant contribute to the overall sustainability of our destinations, creating islands of sustainability will not help to grow our business.

I am trying to bring a proposition where we all may be tempted to introduce sustainability in our lives and businesses. You may find it so simple. And to your surprise, as I have mentioned many times, sustainability is a simple exercise if you are guided well by experts in sustainability application. My latest academic learning was from the University Of Colorado, Denver, US on How To Become A Sustainable Business Change Agent. This was a fantastic course, and our teachers were also excellent.

I am going to tell you a few examples where you make real money by the following sustainability in your business and personal life.

Recently I had to fly to Delhi after many years as I had reduced my travel overall. I opted for Vistara because of many priorities. The experience was excellent, and I sent the feedback to them too. But with a suggestion to improve their sustainability and to improve their profits.

Vistara inflight magazine has a dedicated page to explain how they fly green. They have mentioned about their efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastic, their choice of fuel-saving aircraft and many other initiatives. But when they served food on board, I found one sachet of sugar, milk creamer etc which went with every food tray. My flight had 182 seats, and I could find at least 40% of the passengers don’t use this sachet because either they are diabetic or they just drink black tea or coffee. This means around 70 sachets on this flight go into the trash.

Vistara has around 50 aircraft and should be operating 150 schedules a day. So this results in an unwanted trash creation of around 10,500 sachets daily which is equivalent to 3,15,000 sachets into the trash a month. If we just consider the value of this sachet as Rs 5, the total waste has a value of Rs 1,57,500 (Rupees Fifteen Lakhs and Seventy-Five Thousand ). This is per month. And in a year it will accumulate to Rs 1,89,00,000 (If I am good at counting the zeros, it’s One Crore and Eighty-Nine Lakh rupees).

Won’t it be a significant amount when it’s added to your profit? Which entrepreneur will not like to save such an amount of money? If my calculations are not accurate, it doesn’t matter. I just wanted to mention that there significant savings when we implement sustainability programs into our operations.

I am sorry for taking Vistara as an example. Each one of us is doing the same thing. This is not because we don’t want to be sustainable. But we have no expertise in sustainability to look into the smaller sections of our operations. This particular trash creation can easily be avoided by serving those sachets only to the passengers who need the same. I am sure there will be an excuse by the operations team that this change will take extra time to finish serving food on board. I disagree as there will be many ways to implement the same if we decide.

Nature To Homes is our Eco Community store in Cochin which we started during the pandemic to mitigate the crisis in tourism as our entire team was sitting idle at the office. This is a sustainable start-up with a feature of Fair Trade where we procure natural products from social entrepreneurs and small farmers and help them to brand them and reach more customers. We have many suppliers who lost jobs in tourism during the pandemic.

A month back, we had a new staff at the store with whom we noticed a special kind of sustainability behaviour. She did not know about sustainability as a learning subject. We usually have 15 to 20 walk-ins only at the shop. We used to have an electricity bill of Rs 5000 plus every month earlier, but we just received a bill of Rs 3000 for the last month.

I rushed to the shop to congratulate this lady on her big savings and asked how she managed this. She was very practical in managing the air conditioning and lighting at the shop which resulted in this drastic reduction. So nothing is complicated, or sometimes you don’t even need much technical knowledge to reduce the usage and save money.

These are just examples of how we make money by following sustainability in our businesses. I can guarantee that any hospitality unit may save another 10% on their utility bills if they follow sustainable practices in their businesses. But to begin this, you may need the help of a sustainability expert who can do a baseline assessment and implement changes. Also, at least one employee at the organisation should be trained on sustainability.

In the earlier weeks, I mentioned some areas where we waste our resources. And this is all money wasted. I am sure none of you will say no to extra savings in your operations. There are many areas where you can make extra savings if you follow sustainable practices in your operations. If any serious business owner is keen on knowing more about the sustainability implementation in your unit, please feel free to contact me. I am sure I will have a solution for everyone.

Also Read: Charity begins at home: Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink!

(George Scaria is Managing Director of Keralavoyages India Pvt Ltd, a Travelife certified tour operator company. He is one among what Kerala tourism is today. He is a GSTC Certified Sustainable Tourism Professional.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)


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