Walking around a hotel, it can be easy to spot the systems or products that aim to make it more sustainable.
There may be large refillable bottles of shampoo or reminders to reuse bath towels, automated airconditioning that turns off when you open windows or an absence of single-use paper or plastic.
One method guests may not think of is milk on tap.
That’s right, a growing number of hotels are cutting out significant quantities of plastic by delivering dairy via a spout.
One such hotel is Sudima Hotel at Auckland Airport, where guests can pull themselves a big glass of fresh milk via a keg system at the breakfast buffet.
The keg is the product of Happy Cow Milk Company, a New Zealand crowd-funded business founded by Glen Herud, which aims to encourage regenerative farming practices and cut out plastic bottles.
Sudima Auckland Airport is the first hotel on board, launching an industry-leading trial.
Thousands of bottles to be eliminated
By introducing a keg system, Sudima estimates it can eliminate 5200 two-litre plastic bottles in one year, which will help the company achieve its sustainability goals, according to Kanika Jhunjhnuwala, Sudima Hotels’ executive director for sustainability and environment.
“Delivering milk via a spout is not only helping our hotel with its sustainability goals – with 800 plastic bottles already having been avoided,” she said. Not only is it sustainable from a packaging perspective, she added, but a production one too.
Straight from the source
The milk is sourced from a farm just 60km away in Waerenga, which is heavily invested in regenerative practices and animal wellbeing. Owner Chris Falconer has planted 10,000 trees and fenced 30km of waterways since taking over the property nine years ago.
“The short travel distance from the farm to the hotel means fewer emissions and a short supply chain,” Jhunjhnuwala explained, adding that, by supporting, they could also back local farms that were prioritising sustainable ways of farming.
“This support of the farming industry is crucial as farmers work to adopt more regenerative practices, which will make a large difference over time,” she said.
From an experience perspective, it was much more fun for guests too.
“Having milk on tap has been an impactful conversation starter,” Jhunjhnuwala said. “The feedback has been really positive so far and kids especially love using the spout.”