Way back in the bell-bottom dark ages of 1970, a new day was born: Earth Day. Millions of people joined demonstrations that April 22 nearly fifty years ago to protest the deterioration of the environment. Oil spills, air pollution, not to mention toxic waste and wildlife extinction. Fast-forward to April 22, 2017:

Earth Day organizers are continuing the vision for change—through education, public policy reform, and consumer campaigns. 2017, specifically, is calling for a Teach-In on the environment and climate (packets available at EarthDay.org) and a March for Science on the Washington mall in DC.

This April, Distinguished has offered a series of articles on how the hotel and restaurant industry can take seemingly small yet very effective steps in their business practices to make a positive impact on the environment.

We’ve highlighted just a few ideas to start! Like, on-site composting of kitchen and grounds waste. We’ve discovered hotel chains that donate used pillows to animal shelters, and we’ve provided info on offering electric car plugs to travelers.

In addition to these practical solutions, there are, of course, many ways to save on energy, including assessing a buildings’ lighting, water, HVAC, and electrical usage. And it doesn’t have to stop there. Making every day Earth Day can be a series of steps that eventually lead toward a Zero Waste Challenge for hotels and restaurants.

How about installing solar panels? We’ve covered that one! Or maybe you’d like to investigate solar-powered hot water heaters for your building? Another idea: many restaurants find both a cost savings and an environment impetus to selling their used vegetable oil from the kitchen.

Zero Waste Challenges are sparking more and more interest, like in New York City in 2016, where six leading hotels signed on reduce the tons of waste that end up on landfills or incinerators. The choice is yours…How will you step up for the Earth? We’d love to hear from you!