Generally we try to keep modules to 30 minutes or less, but the beauty is that you can dip in and out as required and it saves your progress. So if you only have 10 minutes today, you can still get started and finish at your own pace.
Continuous learning is good for us all, you never know when the information you learn here today could serve you well in the future. Our practical approach means that we always equip you with useful tools and insight that you can implement straight away. Maybe it inspires you to set up a green team at work if you don’t have one already, all of these things are great experiences for your career.
Of course, all of our courses come with completion certificates. These are great not only to demonstrate you have taken the course, but they serve as evidence for external auditors that may ask about staff training in sustainability and waste management.
Many of our courses are free of charge. Access to our hygiene and plastic reduction course is valued at €59 but we are so concerned about the impacts of single-use plastic because of COVID-19 that we have made this available FREE of charge.
Yes, the course content will remain active in your course library and you can go back to it any time to refresh your memory
All the products listed on our site contain information on the materials they are made of and include instructions on responsible disposal.
To feature on our site we insist that our suppliers tell us about their environmental and ethical working practices before we agree to feature their products on the GreenerGuest site. The level of sustainability will also depend on which product you are replacing, where products and materials originate from and how you will dispose of them at the end of their life.
There is no easy answer to this question as there are many different variables that need to be considered and every business situation is unique. For more detailed information on life cycle analysis, labels and disposal, see some of the helpful documents in our external resources library.
Small, independent businesses are denoted with (icon) and we have made it clear where they are based so that you can choose to support local suppliers where products are relevant for your business. Where relevant we also tell the story of how your purchase supports livelihoods.
Traditional plastics are petroleum based, whereas compostable plastic (also known as bioplastic or PLA) is made from plants (usually corn starch, sugar beet, sugarcane or bagasse).
Plant-based plastics look and feel like traditional petroleum-based plastics, however their production is much less energy intensive, potentially saving up to two thirds of that required for traditional plastics.
However, PLA plastics require industrial processing to break down into compost, a facility most businesses don’t have access to, meaning plant based plastics have almost the same impact in general waste as traditional plastics (i.e. taking many, many decades to break down). They can still cause problems for wildlife and if they are mistakenly disposed of with traditional plastic for recycling, they will contaminate the process meaning everything may be sent to landfill or incineration.
Some plants (corn starch and bagasse) will break down more quickly, but to be truly more sustainable they should be composted. If not, they will break down and produce greenhouse gases. Both corn starch and bagasse can be composted in a home environment, if your business has a specific organic waste collection service they can be disposed of this way (we highly recommend checking with your local authority to find out if the waste is actually composted.
Increasingly there are private waste companies who will work with businesses to collect home and industrially compostable products so that you know they are being properly processed, we recommend checking to see if any of these facilities are available near your business.
Bamboo is actually a grass, it is fast growing, it doesn’t require a lot of water to grow and it doesn’t need herbicides or pesticides either. Bamboo grows extremely quickly, sometimes up to 90cm a day, and it takes anything between 1 and 5 year to reach maturity meaning it is much faster growing than trees. Bamboo also produces 35% more oxygen compared to an equivalent tree and when harvested it doesn’t need to be removed at the roots so it regrows naturally and doesn’t impact soil health.
However, like other popular crops, bamboo may be grown in a monoculture format, this means only bamboo is planted and nothing else. Monocultures are not conducive to a diverse ecosystem environment. Commercial growing of bamboo takes place in China, this means that products need to be shipped great distances if they are to be sold in a UK or European market.
Bamboo is most sustainable when it is used for applications that don’t require it to be processed, for example, in the construction industy in its country of origin or in other countries close by.
Turning bamboo into a fabric often requires energy and water intensive, chemical laden processes.
The key questions to ask about bamboo and any material are:
- Where is the product coming from and how is it being transported?
- What processes are required to make the product, are they energy/water/chemical intensive?
- Are there alternative products that are locally manufactured and just as sustainable but maybe not as “on trend”?
There are two good blogs that explore the pros and cons of bamboo in more detail.
Everything has an impact and which is best for you will depend on many factors like cost, practicalities and recycling or other facilities wherever you are based.
Aluminium and glass are extremely resource intensive to produce and must be infinitely reused or recycled to compensate for this. If you don’t have decent recycling or reuse facilities accessible, these are not a good choice.
Aluminium is a very lightweight material so has a lower carbon footprint when transported, but aluminium cans are often not returned to the supplier for reuse in the same way as glass, therefore correct separation and recycling is essential.
Paper is often more resource intensive to produce than single-use plastic but unlike plastic, it breaks down naturally if it finds its way into natural environments. Switching from single-use plastic bags to single-use paper bags is often not advocated by organisations like UNEP as their research shows that the environmental impact of a paper bag is (on average) around 4 x worse than a single-use plastic bag.
Paper is often bleached which uses significant amounts of chemicals, if using paper products try to stick with more natural colours
If you opt to stick with single-use plastic products, aim for products made from PET resin or HDPE resin, which are most likely to be recycled, and be sure to separate these correctly. If you don’t have plastics recycling facilities locally, this is not a good choice for you.
Greener Guest’s sustainability policy includes information on our ways of working, how we expect to work with suppliers, health and safety in the work place, bribery and corruption, payments, gifts and hospitality, political donations and due diligence and risks. You can find the policy here.
Ideally, home compostable products would be disposed of in one of two ways, either on your own compost heap if you have one, or they can be disposed of with food waste IF food waste is specifically collected and destined for compost.
Avoid disposing of home compostable products with food waste that is destined for landfill as they will simply decompose and release methane, a greenhouse gas that is more powerful than CO2.
If in doubt, check with your waste collection service about how to dispose of home compostable products.
Greener Guest predominantly features alternatives to single-use plastic products that are used in the accommodation and hospitality sector. We are very keen to hear from suppliers of reusable products as our ultimate aim is to help businesses to reduce overall consumption. However, we are also keen to hear from suppliers who produce single-use items from other materials (for example sustainably sourced paper, wood, straw).
- The products they sell truly help businesses to reduce waste.
- They are aware of where and how the raw materials for their products are sourced.
- They make every effort to reduce packaging waste.
- They are clear on how products should be responsibly disposed of after use.
- They don’t use ambiguous marketing terminology to promote their products.
- They pay fair wages to staff and fair prices to suppliers within their own value chain.
- They ensure good working conditions for direct employees.
- They have taken every possible step to ensure good working conditions for indirect employees.
- They encourage diversity and pride themselves on being an inclusive employer.
- They always strive to deliver customer service.
We know that it’s very likely you’ll continue to innovate and create new products and of course we’d love to feature them. Whenever you upload new products, we will be automatically notified and will carry out the same evaluation before accepting them or not. To ensure this process is as smooth as possible, please provide detailed information.