Our Mission Statement:

At Casa Sol, we are compromised with preserving the environment and our natural resources. We are determined to work in this direction, acting as agents for change by getting involved part on community and global level activities that contribute to a sustainable future. We recognize our environmental responsibility and have internal practices for waste reduction, recycling, electric and water conservation, and support of local manufacturing and growers. We are also committed to provide first class service during your visit.

Guest participation:

As a guest of Casa Sol, we thank you for participating with these practices and for offering suggestions so we can all take part in the conservation of our planet. We have recycling within the rooms and kitchen. Our guests may take part in activities related to environmental solidarity. We exhort you to turn off appliances that consume electricity when they’re not needed. Together we can make a difference.

greenkey_logo_smBenefits of Green Key

Such as other national and international eco-labels, Green Key brings recognition to those tourism installations that demonstrate improvements towards the environment by establishing sound environmental actions in its facilities, contributing towards the quality of life of the community and by promoting local culture. Green Key is also a great marketing tool that helps attract more guests and groups who are seeking hotels that are eco8friendly. Since it focuses on environmental education seeking change in attitudes and having representation in the Island, its cost is very low in comparison to other certifications. In addition, OPAS through its consultants can provide tailored workshops and develop educational tools to help in the compliance with the criteria.

International eco-label for tourism facilities

A voluntary annual certification for tourism facilities that aims to contribute to prevention of climate change and sustainable tourism by awarding and promoting sound environmental actions. It intends to change the practices and behaviors of tourism actors including enterprises, authorities, guests and local communities, and to involve them in increasing their responsibility towards their own environment. Most eco8labels on tourism products consist, like the Green Key, of criteria in management and technical issues. All ensure approximately the same level of environmental content. But the Green Key is unique in the sense that it focuses on environmental education. The criteria makes demands on staff, guests, and suppliers in involvement in the international work. In each country national operators, with the advice of a steering committee, look after national Green Key activities. Periodically, each awarded business receives control visit from the national operator and spot check visits from the international Green Key in all countries.

What does it focus on?

The criteria focus on environmental management, technical demands, and the involvement of guests, staff and suppliers, and cover fields such as water, waste, energy, environmental management, use of chemicals and open spaces and food & beverages. Why Green Key? Green Key is an international eco8label recognized both by WTO (World Tourism Organization) and UNEP (United Nations Environmetal Protection) whose main object is to achieve a change in the practices in the operation of tourism facilities, with special focus on environmental education. For Green Key the process during the implementation of the criteria is very important and considered as part of the evaluation. Finally, in terms of cost, Green Key is cost effective for the participants. Cost of most eco8labels represents a burden, especially for small properties. Since the FEE programs aim to promote sustainable development through environmental education, its interest is to have as much participation (through responsible practices) as possible in their programs. Cost should not be an obstacle for those who want to do their part in benefit of the environment through one of the programs.

How does it work?

The award is voluntarily applied and granted for one year at a time, during which control visits are made to check that certain standards are upheld and that all criteria are met. These facilities have to show that they have adopted environmentally sound practices and strategies within their operations in line with standardized international criteria, which are mandatory in each country, as well as more specialized national criteria, adjusted to national legislation, infrastructure and culture. Why get involved? Sustainable Tourism is good for business, not only is it part of corporate social responsibility, (CSR), but it represents savings in operational cost. The implementation of sound environmental practices is capable of transforming the facility into a sustainable one. Today this is very significant as we are going through a worldwide hurting economy. Many hotels, small and major chains around the world have been going green by adopting economically and environmentally sound practices and management schemes.

How can I get involved?

You may contact Lourdes Díaz, Green Key Coordinator (email: ldiazcolon@gmail.com), for introductory information on Green Key.

FEE-logoThe Green Key has been adopted as the fifth FEE program. FEE is a non-governmental and non-profit organization aiming to promote sustainable development through environmental education (formal school education, training of staff and general awareness raising). FEE is mainly active through our five environmental education programs: Blue Flag, Eco8Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Learning about Forests and Green Key. (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).

logo2The 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