Africa’s greenest hotel opened up near Cape Town International Airport earlier this year. Hotel Verde was built using advanced sustainable methods and materials, and boasts a number of innovative environmentally-friendly features, which make it well deserving of its green title.
Hotel Verde has installed a beautiful green wall between their lounge and bar area. Apart from the aesthetic aspect, green walls also help to reduce the room temperature, and absorb air contaminants and carbon dioxide. This particular green wall is fed and watered with nutrients from the hotel’s own vermicompost worm farm!
Vegetated Green Roof
A vegetated green roof has also been put in place on the flat concrete above the reception and lobby area. Using indigenous plants, green roofs form a great habitat for local wildlife, and furthermore, provide insulation for the rooms below.
A 40 000 litre underground stainless steel tank is used to collect both rainwater and subsoil drainage water, diverted from a series of catchment pipes. The accumulated water is then used for irrigation, car wash and cleaning purposes.
Grey Water Recycling
Hotel Verde has implemented a grey water recycling system, where waste water from showers and baths is collected, processed and then redirected for use in irrigation and toilet cisterns. According to their website, the system is capable of processing 9000 litres per day, and will ultimately reduce the consumption of municipal water by around 1.5 million litres per year.
A total of 220 solar panels have been installed on the north-facing sections of the hotel’s roof. They estimate that these panels will produce approximately 78 000 kWh/yr. Meanwhile, 3 wind turbines have been placed in the parking lot to supplement Hotel Verde’s energy supply.
Life Regeneration Drive
Hotel Verde also makes use of 3 rather energy-efficient lifts, where 30% of the input energy is recaptured and directed back into the building. According to their explanation, “Whenever an elevator travels in the “light” direction, i.e. when a full cart is going down, or an empty cart is going up, the motor acts as a generator and produces power.”
Occupancy sensors in passages, offices and storerooms help to reduce energy wastage, by monitoring whether there are people in the room and switching off lights if necessary. There are also energy-efficient appliances in use across the hotel, from Energy Star office equipment and appliances, to water-saving taps and showerheads, and LED lighting.
From Hotel to the Home
Whilst you may not be able to install a massive green wall in your home, or require a lift with a regeneration drive, you can still take a leaf out of Hotel Verde’s book, so to speak. (Although if your home does have these fantastic features, we really wouldn’t mind an invite!)
Green up your home interiors with pot plants! Just make sure that you place them in an area where they receive enough sunlight.
You may not be able to install an entire green roof, but if you have a suitable, accessible roof area, then it is a great space for growing vegetables, herbs and plants. Even a balcony can work, if you purchase a planter or two.
Sustainable.co.za’s rainwater tanks mean that you can harvest your own rainwater and use it to water your garden or wash cars.
Our Maxi grey units, meanwhile, connect directly to your bathroom's outlet plumbing pipes, and filter the water, before pumping it back out to your garden irrigation system.
As far as energy efficiency is concerned, electricity monitors are a great way to keep track of your energy usage. This Effergy Engage Hub Kit allows you to monitor your electricity usage in real-time, thanks to their online platform and mobile apps, perfect for the tech-lovers out there. Making use of LED lights around the home, and solar lights outside, can also go a long way to reducing your electricity bill.
We hope this post has inspired you to incorporate a little more green into your life! Browse our full range of products for more inspiration.