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Celebrate the Environment: Check in to an ENERGY STAR Hotel to Check Out with Energy Savings

2008 December 9

About the author: Maura Cantor Beard joined EPA in 1992 and currently works with the ENERGY STAR program.

Like so many of us, I love the holiday season. Perhaps my greatest joy is the time spent with family and friends. But with relatives spread from coast to coast, it can feel like a logistical circus act trying to get everyone from here to there with a good place to stay. And I can’t help but think about how all this travel impacts the environment. But there is good news – with help from ENERGY STAR, I’ve found a new way for my family to help protect the environment while on the road this holiday season by staying in ENERGY STAR qualified hotels.

Just like the ENERGY STAR qualified TV on your holiday shopping list, you can find hotels that have earned the ENERGY STAR. These hotels use 40 percent less energy and emit 35 percent fewer greenhouse gases; all without you lifting a finger.

But once my family is checked in and our bags are unpacked, our job’s not finished. Many of the things I do to save energy at home and in my office can also be done when I’m staying at a hotel. For example, I always turn off the lights when I leave my room. When I’m in the room, I open the curtains to take advantage of natural light. I also unplug my cell phone and iPod once they are charged, since they still draw energy even if they are not charging. If I know I’m going to be gone for a while, I’ll set the thermostat to an energy-saving setting so it doesn’t heat or cool the room while I’m gone. And when my son “unpacks” by throwing his clothes on top of the air vents, I remind him that it will take as much as 25% more energy to condition the room when the vents are blocked. Remember, it’s the little actions that, when combined, can have a big impact in our fight against global climate change.

Find hotels that have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR. If you can’t find one in your area, keep checking back with us as ENERGY STAR hotels are added every day. You could even check out internet travel search engines and search for ENERGY STAR qualified hotels along with other green travel options.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. cooler choice permalink
    December 9, 2008

    interesting post great tips on how to save energy every little helps
    with kind regards

  2. Sven permalink
    December 9, 2008

    This is great advice. I was just checking out some of the online hotel search engines and it seems that Orbitz offers one with energy star hotels. Check out
    Hopefully others will join in to help us have a lower impact vacation.

  3. Tara permalink
    December 10, 2008

    Thanks for the great tip. Good to know about the hotels – maybe Hotwire, and Priceline should include that information in their hotel searches too. It would be a good advantage for many hotels to promote their Energy Star status.

  4. Maura Beard permalink
    December 11, 2008

    Hi – thanks so much for your recent post to my blog ““Celebrate the Environment: Check in to an ENERGY STAR Hotel to Check Out with Energy Savings.” I just wanted to let you know that we were delighted when Orbitz began including information about ENERGY STAR qualified hotels earlier this year and we are working with other on-line travel sites and hope that they too will shortly share information about ENERGY STAR qualified hotels across the country.

    Happy Holidays!

  5. Maura Beard permalink
    December 11, 2008

    Hi – thanks so much for your recent post to my blog ““Celebrate the Environment: Check in to an ENERGY STAR Hotel to Check Out with Energy Savings.” If you’re interested in finding more tips for saving energy at work, take a moment and explore our interactive cubicle at – it has lots of great ideas! To learn what you can do at home to save energy, visit

    Happy Holidays!


  6. Sujan Patricia permalink
    February 5, 2009

    Hi Maura, really a great post. I’m associated with, one of the leading hotel booking sites in Asia. We want to be a part of “ENERGY STAR Hotel”. Do you think its possible? Waiting for your reply.

  7. Mike permalink
    May 29, 2009

    This is new to me. Never heard about ENERGY STAR Hotels before. Will support it from now on. :)

  8. Chezka permalink
    November 18, 2009

    Thank you for sharing this. I’am actually new to this as well. But I hope more hotel can adapt this energy saving program so that they can help the nature as well.

    I’ll support this cause. Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Will Stanley permalink
    November 27, 2009

    Great idea, the government here in the UK is trying to work with companies to reduce energy consumption. Its a no brainer, less energy used = lower costs = higher profits.

  10. June 15, 2012

    Fantastic idea. Keep it up sharing a very informative topic like this. I will come back again and read some of your new posts.


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