Enviromental

“Sustainable tourism in its purest sense is an industry that tries to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, jobs and the conservation of local ecosystems. It is responsible tourism that is both ecologically and culturally sensitive.”

Mision

At Casa Sol B&B we are committed to preserving the environment and natural resources. For this reason, we assume our environmental responsibility through internal conservation practices and by getting involved in community and global activities that contribute to a sustainable future. Our B&B uses low-consumption electrical appliances, we install solar panels, collect rainwater, recycle and practice eco-friendly interior design. We are certified by the Business Green League as a Certified Sustainability Officer.

Guest Participacion:

As a visitor to Casa Sol, we thank you for familiarizing yourself with these eco-friendly practices and offering your suggestions so that together we can contribute to the conservation of our planet. We will have recycling bins inside the bedrooms and the kitchen. Our guests will be able to participate in activities related to environmental solidarity. We encourage you to turn off energy-consuming appliances when you don’t need it.

Green Key

Profits

Like other national and international ecological labels, Green Key brings recognition to those tourist facilities that demonstrate improvements towards the environment through the establishment of adequate environmental measures in their facilities, which contributes to the quality of life of the community and the promotion of local culture. Green Key is also a great marketing tool that helps attract more customers and groups looking for hotels that are eco friendly. Since it focuses on environmental education seeking to create a change in mentality in the population. Compared to other environmental certifications, its cost is very low. In addition, OPAS through its consultants can provide individualized workshops for each property and develop educational tools to assist in meeting the criteria.

Green Key… International eco-label for tourist facilities

Green Key is an annual voluntary certification for tourist facilities that aim to contribute to the prevention of climate change and sustainable tourism by granting and promoting appropriate environmental actions.

It is intended to change the practices and behaviors of tourism stakeholders, including companies, authorities, guests and local communities, and to participate in increasing their responsibility towards their own environment. Most environmental certifications or “ecolabels”, as in Green Key, share management criteria and technical issues. They all ensure the same level of environmental content. But the Green Key is the only one that focuses on environmental education. Making demands on staff, clients and suppliers in participation and involvement in the program. The national operators of each country, with the advice of a steering committee, are in charge of the activities and administrative aspects of the certification. Periodically, each company receives visits from the national operator to verify that the certification standards are in compliance. In turn, from time to time, members of Green Key International visit the countries and properties that have the certification to make sure that they comply with the international standards of the program.

What are they focusing on?

The criteria focus on environmental management, technical requirements, and the participation of customers, staff and suppliers. It also covers fields such as water, waste, energy, environmental management, the use of chemicals, open spaces, food and beverages.

How does it work?

The award is requested voluntarily and is awarded once a year in which audit visits are made to verify that all criteria are met. Facilities have to demonstrate that they have adopted ecologically sound practices and strategies within their operations in accordance with standardized international criteria, which are mandatory in each country, as well as more specialized national criteria, which are adjusted to national legislation, infrastructure and culture.

Why participate?

Sustainable tourism is good for business, not only does it represent corporate social responsibility, but it also represents savings in operating costs. With the implementation of good environmental practices it is possible to transform the facilities into sustainable facilities. Today this is very significant since we live in an economy that focuses only on profit without caring about the environmental repercussions. Many hotels, small and large chains around the world have been adopting a green economy with environmentally sound practices

How can I participate?

You can contact Nadja Rivera, Green Key Coordinator (email: nrivera.opas@gmail.com), for introductory information about Green Key.

The Green Key has been adopted as the fifth FEE program.The Green Key program has been adopted as the fifth program of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). This is a non-governmental and non-profit organization with the aim of promoting sustainable development through environmental education (formal school education, staff training and general awareness). FEE operates primarily through its five environmental education programs: Blue Flag, Eco Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), LEAF and Green Key. For more information on these programs visit www.fee-international.org FEE is an umbrella organization with representation in 58 countries around the world. In Puerto Rico it is represented by OPAS (Organización Pro Ambiente Sustentable). OPAS has been managing the Blue Flag, Eco Schools, Green Key and Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programs in Puerto Rico since 2005.

“At 316 Calle Sol in legendary Old San Juan. Casa Sol provides its guests with the experience of staying in a restored colonial style 18th century building. The restoration process made use of reused materials that were salvaged from other properties in Old San Juan. “Casa Sol is a piece of architecture that evokes the past, and offers commodity to the modern traveler searching for personal attention in a cozy and family friendly ambiance.” as described by owners Eddie Ramírez and Margarita Pastor. This bed and breakfast inn has five uniquely decorated rooms, all with antique – carefully restored furniture and artwork by local artists. Casa Sol embraces environmental responsibility, has internal practices for waste reduction, recycling, electric and water conservation, and it also supports local manufacturers and growers.”

The GreenLeaders Program recognizes hotels and B&Bs that engage in environmentally friendly practices, making it easier for travelers to find and book a greener stay. Qualifying properties are marked with a badge on their TripAdvisor page. To see a list of the business’s environmentally friendly practices, click on their GreenLeader badge.

We have developed this program with help from national and international green industry experts including the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program, the United Nations Environment Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, and other sustainability experts.

The program is completely voluntary and available to properties with green practices interested in promoting their activities through TripAdvisor. Properties do not pay to participate in the program.

Education & Innovation

  • Education for guests on local environment
    Such as habitat loss and conservation efforts
  • Green Key Certified
  • Provides assistance for local transportation options (e.g. maps)
  • Provides or helps guests find bicycle rental
  • Participates in initiatives related to local conservation or biodiversity
  • Complies with zoning requirements and laws related to protected areas and heritage
  • Respects land, water, and property rights of indigenous cultures
  • Has a policy to not sell, trade, or display historical or archeological artifacts
    Has a policy to not sell, trade, or display historical or archeological artifacts
  • Has a policy to not harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species
    Except as permitted by local and international law
  • Asks guests for feedback on green practices
    Guests are given the opportunity to comment on property’s green practices

Purchasing

  • Biodegradable toiletries
    At least 90% of toiletries are biodegradable
  • Toiletries w/ recycled packaging
    At least 90% of toiletries have recycled packaging
  • “Green” certified cleaning products
    Over 50% of cleaning products are certified
  • Refillable toiletries dispensers
    Dispensers in over 90% of guest room bathrooms

Site

  • Local plants in garden
    At least 75% of landscaping has plants native to the region

Waste

  • Safe disposal of hazardous materials
    Such as paints, batteries, and electronics
  • Reusable dinnerware and cutlery
    At least 90% of crockery and cutlery is reusable
  • Leftover materials donated or re-used
    Such as toiletries
Energy
  • Air conditioning temperature set to save energy
    Indoor temperature set at a minimum of 22 C during the summer
  • Air conditioning temperature set to save energy
    Indoor temperature set at a minimum of 22 C during the summer
  • Preventative maintenance plan
    Regular checks to ensure energy and water equipment is working efficiently
  • Energy-saving lighting controls in public areas
    Sensors automatically turn off lights when they’re not needed
  • Energy saving guest room controls
    Sensors are used to control blinds, lights, temperature, and/or electronics in guest room
  • Water heated by solar thermal system
    Reduces energy needed for water heating

General

  • Tracks energy use
    Regularly measures and records energy use (at least 4 times a year)
  • Towel reuse program
    Program includes housekeeper training and regular checks
  • Linen reuse program
    Program includes housekeeper training and regular checks
  • Recycles waste
    Recycles at least two types of waste, such as paper, glass, plastic and cardboard.
  • Recycling bins in common areas
  • Education for guests on green practices
    Guests can learn about the property’s green practices before or during their stay
  • At least 75% of interior lightbulbs are energy-efficient
    Energy efficient lightbulbs include compact fluorescent (CFL), LED, and T5/T8 fluorescent bulbs

Water

  • Water-efficient faucets in guest bathrooms
    Over 90% of guest room faucets use 6 liters per minute or less
  • Water-efficient showerheads in guest bathrooms
    Over 90% of guest room showerheads use 6 liters per minute or less
  • Water-efficient toilets in public restrooms
    Over 90% of guest room toilets use 4.5 liters per flush or less
  • Water-efficient faucets in public restrooms
    Over 90% of public faucets use 6 liters per minute or less
  • Water-efficient toilets in public restrooms
    Over 90% of public toilets use 4.5 liters per flush or less
  • Water-efficient urinals in public restrooms
    Over 90% of public urinals use 2 liters per flush or less
  • Organic, local, or other similarly certified grains and bread option