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IMPACT ““Green” Green” Hotels Hotels Association Association®

Change the Conversation to a more powerful idea. 1

Reduce Today, Respect Tomorrow* is

Product Design We strive to design products that reduce consumption across the whole lifecycle.

the KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* approach to sustainability. It begins with knowing that the way we use resources

6

today shapes the world of tomorrow. And it has led us to focus on reducing

2 2 Raw Materials

Final Disposal

We are committed to responsible sourcing of raw materials and ensuring the sustainability of the fiber we use.

Innovative products combined with reliable dispensing mean you can reduce how much gets used, wasted and thrown away.

consumption at every stage of our product lifecycle and in every area of our operations. Reduction is the powerful idea that

We strive to use less of the world’s resources so there’s more left for the future.

is lowering the environmental impact of our business.

5

3 Use

Manufacturing

Our high performance products and systems aim to help customers reduce their usage.

We examine our product’s whole lifecycle, from sourcing through disposal, to create products that reduce environmental impact by reducing the use of resources at every stage.

We invest in new technology and process improvements to reduce the use of natural resources and waste from manufacturing.

4 Transport We continue to develop more efficient ways of packing, handling and transporting our products to reduce the impact of their distribution.

Using recycled fiber in our towels can help lower environmental impact. But it’s not the whole answer. We use a proprietary process with a mix of virgin and recycled fibers that results in improved performance. This helps reduce the number of towels you use per task and cuts the amount you waste by up to 28%. Recycled fiber. It’s one part of the solution.

OUR

GOAL IS TO

SOURCE

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OF OUR WOOD

FIBER FROM

88%

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CERTIFIED SUPPLIERS

2008

Our goal is to source 100% of our wood pulp from suppliers that have certified their forests or fiber procurement activities.

We are the 1st tissue company in North America with FSC-Certified products. This label certifies that the wood fiber used to make the product comes from a combination of well-managed FSC-certified forests, controlled sources and/or post-consumer waste.

Find out more at www.kcpreducetoday.com/us/gh ®/*Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. or its affiliates. Marques deposees de Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. ou de ses filiales. ©2010 KCWW. K01773 K4624-10-01

Just a few small changes to your property can help improve your bottom line. ?6C8JÔ@?D6CG2E:@? s,%$,IGHTING s/CCUPANCY3ENSORS s%LECTRONIC"ALLASTS

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Contact your local branch or Grainger representative for more information, or visit 8C2:?86Câ4@>ã8C66?. © 2010 W.W. Grainger, Inc. M-QA35

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ello again! Welcome once again to “Green” Hotels Association®’s fabulous IMPACT magazine. It’s filled with smart information and ideas directly from Partner Members of our elite corps of green hoteliers. Glorious photographs reveal clearly what works at green locations. Beautiful

advertisements beckon you with clever, useful, helpful green products and services offered by Ally Members. So, here we are in the fall of 2010. Things have been very tough for a lot of us. Worldwide economies are struggling. There are lots of thing to worry about. There are lots of things to be happy about. There are always cycles. There are always peaks and valleys. Some valleys are deeper than others. But, things do always go in cycles. So, we know this too will end. However, we are still all extremely fortunate to live in the most fabulous country in the world. Let’s make the best of it! I truly believe it’s the perfect time to work on and ramp up your green program. Perhaps there’s less demand from guests now. There’s also more time to do research on next green steps to take. More time for staff to perfect green programs. Specifics of statistics regarding success of your greening can be gathered. There’s time to develop information for press releases and marketing. Remember, there’s going to be no end to greening. Don’t expect to ever be through, be done, you’re green, you’re finished. Because vendors are creating, designing, developing and bringing to market amazing and exciting products that will continue to slow energy usage, lower utility expenses and reduce waste. Two of those are hospitalitybatteryholders.com and althusgolf.com. The first allows replacement of expensive battery packages in door locks and such with AAA and AA batteries. The second is a golf ball meant to be hit into the ocean or a lake because it degrades in 48 hours and has a center made of fish food! Engage and applaud your staff! Welcome and celebrate your guests! Enjoy time with family and friends. Ramp up your green program. Rave to hotel associates and colleagues about your green successes. Encourage them to join “Green” Hotels Association®. Press on with marketing your green program. Continue to develop the environmental portion of your website. And, let’s all look forward to and be ready for the next peak, because it’s on its way! Thinking “green,” Patty Griffin, President and Founder, “Green” Hotels Association®

IMPACT “Green” Hotels Association®

8

Environmental Initiatives Ingenuity, not investments, is all that is needed to implement successful – and greener – practices By Tara N. Wilfong

12

Green Developments Embracing the green movement By Heidi Bohi

16

Maintenance Matters Outside, inside, and all around – green opportunities abound By David A. Brown

25

Maintenance Vendors Meeting green demands By David A. Brown

30

Responsible Renovations Considered to be the front line of any greening protocol, guest rooms provide ample fodder for the hotel’s environmental overhaul By Tara N. Wilfong

46

Nourishing Guests While Nurturing Sustainability By David A. Brown

55

Green Food Service Vendors By David A. Brown

60

Effective Environmentalism Unique and informative training methods for all staff members serve as the first step toward success in greening your property By Tara N. Wilfong

66

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IMPACT “Green” Hotels Association®

North American Headquarters 701 North West Shore Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609, USA Tel. (813) 639-1900 • Fax (813) 639-4344

IMPACT “G “Gre “Green” Gre ” Ho Hot Hotels otel tels ls A Association ssociat ssocia ssociati sso ciati iat ati tiio on®

Contributing Writers Heidi Bohi David A. Brown Tara N. Wilfong Editor in Chief Charles Oldham chuck.oldham@faircount.com

Publishers Ross W. Jobson Peter M. Antell Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Roberts lawrence.roberts@faircount.com Vice President, Business Development Robin Jobson robin.jobson@faircount.com Assistant to the Publisher Alexis Vars Project Manager Steve Chidel steve.chidel@faircount.com Advertising Account Executives Julie Forrest, Ed Suyak Controller Robert John Thorne robert.thorne@faircount.com Chief Information Officer John Madden john.madden@faircount.com IT Assistant Anson Alexander

Senior Editor Ana E. Lopez Project Editor Iwalani Kahikina Editor Rhonda Carpenter Assistant Editor Steven Hoarn Art Director Robin K. McDowall Design and Production Daniel Mrgan Lorena Noya Kenia Y. Perez-Ayala Ad Traffic Manager Rebecca Laborde Production Assistant Lindsey Brooks Sales Support Joshua J. Roberts Office Administrator Aisha Shazer This publication is printed on 30% recycled material.

Webmaster Clyde Sanchez Cover photo courtesy of Casa Laguna ©Copyright 2010, Faircount Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction of editorial content in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Faircount Media Group does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Reproduction of articles and photographs, in whole or in part, contained herein is prohibited without expressed written consent of the publisher, with the exception of reprinting for news media use. Printed in the United States of America.

IMPACT greenhotels

Environmental Initiatives Ingenuity, not investments, is all that is needed to implement successful – and greener – practices By Tara N. Wilfong

T

Photo courtesy of Graycote Inn

he decision to adopt greener operational practices, particularly in the hospitality industry, is often regarded as a costly endeavor that can take years to realize a return on investment. Properties new to this rising trend consciously weigh the costs of such changes versus the benefits to the environment, and often are left overwhelmed by their choices. Although many hoteliers facing an environmental overhaul can’t help but conjure visions of winged dollar signs quickly escaping through drafty windows, the economic truth remains that going green doesn’t necessarily translate to a hard hit on a property’s bottom line.

8

Photo courtesy of Harrison House Suites

greenhotels IMPACT

Cutting Costs with Creative Collaborations t At Harrison House Suites on San Juan Island, Wash., innkeepers Anna Maria de Freitas and David Pass began a composting project with local farms to recycle kitchen scraps from their Coho Restaurant. Each week, when the farmers deliver fresh produce, they pick up the restaurant’s organic “leftovers,” which the kitchen staff disposes of in large, 5-gallon recycling buckets. Back on the farm, the farmers use the scraps for chicken and pig feed, as well as composting. This collaboration between the innkeepers and farmers is a veritable win-win, with no monies changing hands, but both providing a significant service to the other and the environment. “Because of our recycling and composting project, Coho has just two garbage pails of trash per week from a restaurant that serves approximately 225 dinners each week,” de Freitas said. “You can say we truly have a farm-to-table-to-farm program.”

In fact, nearly every member of the “Green” Hotels Association® (GHA) remembers their switch from overly consumptive to environmentally conscious as a boon, not a burden, to their property’s bottom line. “While the Georgian Hotel has had a number of eco-friendly practices in place for many years, the first change we made was to designate a ‘Green Team’ for our hotel,” said Aimee Beardsley, sales assistant and Green Team chief at the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. “This change was not costly at all, and it helped include all of our employees and departments in our efforts and desire for change. With many versatile minds working together, we have made many positive changes and increased awareness Photo courtesy of the Georgian Hotel

throughout our company.” Relying on its Green Team’s ingenuity and ability to discover new and innovative ways to implement savvy environmental projects, the Georgian Hotel began making small, yet significant changes. “While it’s true that becoming a green

tt From the energy-saving furnace to the energy-efficent bathroom fixtures, innkeepers Pat and Roger Samuel have updated Graycote Inn to meet exacting green standards. p The Georgian Hotel uses reusable items (flatware, linens, containers, etc.) in food and beverage areas, compostable to-go coffee cups, biodegradable cleaning products, and energy-efficient incandescent heat lamps in guest bathrooms to name a few green practices.

9

IMPACT greenhotels W A.G. Thomson House Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn has a detailed green policy in place that covers energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, and recycling.

it takes a little longer to fill a glass or a coffee carafe, there is virtually no noticeable difference when showering.” Smart changes, like these, that have little-to-no impact on a guest’s comfort – not to mention the property’s bottom line – are the most successful when it business sometimes requires finan-

one of the easiest and most inexpensive

dustry. For many properties that have

cial investments, many green options

changes is offering guests a choice be-

successfully and efficiently implement-

require no cost at all, and many oth-

tween reusing their towels and linens

ed new practices, one area in which an

ers produce an immediate return on

and requesting fresh ones. “This is a big

environmental overhaul can truly be

investment, such as using reduced-

win,” said Roger and Pat Samuel, inn-

measured is the onsite kitchen. Wheth-

energy fixtures and energy-efficient

keepers at Graycote Inn in Bar Harbor,

er a property features a small café, a

appliances. Small, up-front costs such

Maine. “Not only does this reduce wear

gourmet restaurant, or a simple self-

as these are easily justifiable since

and tear on the linens, but it also saves

serve dining area, there are numerous

they are beneficial to both the environ-

water in the laundry, reduces pollution

low-cost changes that can be made to

ment and the company’s budget,” said

caused by laundry detergents emitted

promote greener initiatives.

Beardsley.

to the waste stream, and still allows

One easy change is offering drinking

To minimize up-front costs, most ad-

guests to have their towels and sheets

water to restaurant patrons only upon

vocates of a greener hospitality indus-

changed more often than they are used

request. Or, taking it one step further

try tend to tackle the simple fixes first.

to at home.”

– purchasing a water purifier instead

For example, when a light bulb burns

To compound water savings, many

of stocking trendy bottled water, and

out, instead of replacing it with another

properties are also installing aerators

serving purified water in reusable glass

incandescent bulb, opt for a more en-

on the faucets in guestrooms, and,

carafes. While this may take a little get-

ergy-efficient compact fluorescent one.

when showerheads and toilets are in

ting used to for those guests “hooked”

Although these bulbs may cost a little

need of replacement, choosing low-

on bottled water, a few carefully worded

more than their predecessors, by pur-

flow options that in many cases use 50

signs detailing the environmental ben-

chasing them on an as-needed basis,

percent less water than the previous

efits associated with banning the bottle

you not only spread the cost over sev-

fixtures.

are sure to help.

eral months or even years, but you may

aerators on our bathroom sink faucets,

A little more time and research inten-

also begin to immediately reap the fi-

the cost was minimal and the savings

sive, but certainly not costly, is transi-

nancial benefits of the conversion with

were immediate: going from 2 gallons

tioning to buying from local farmers and

lower energy bills.

to 1 gallon of water per minute,” said

merchants. Not only does this bolster

Water conservation is another area

Craig Sanders, general manager for

community relations, but it also prac-

in which hoteliers can realize signifi-

Hoagland Properties, owners of the

tically negates the environmental im-

cant savings with minimal cost. Perhaps

River House Inn in Florence, Ore. “While

pact that is created from shipping goods

10

“When

we

changed

the

Photo courtesy of A.G. Thomson House Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn

comes to greening the hospitality in-

greenhotels IMPACT

S GHA Partner Member Byblos Resort & Casino aims to further the preservation of Costa Rica’s endangered flora, fauna, and natural resources through sustainable tourism.

across county and state lines. As an added benefit, out-of-town

products also retained a longer shelf life, thus reducing waste

guests have an opportunity to sample some of the area’s fresh-

and generating a direct savings overall.”

est seasonal offerings, giving them a true flavor of the local scene.

Photo courtesy of Byblos Resort & Casino

“Our

Like all decisions in the hospitality industry, the move toward greener operational practices is one that must be care-

restaurants

really

jumped

on

the

‘go

green’

fully weighed against cost as well as guest satisfaction. Going

bandwagon, taking charge of providing food for our mulch

green can be a noble endeavor, but tackling too many projects

pile, eliminating most of the paper products or disposable

at the onset, or perhaps even worse, placing too many restric-

products that required extra packaging in our food service

tions on a guest’s experience, can lead to certain disaster. “Our

area, and converting to more environmentally friendly brands

best advice is to take the first step and build on it,” said Tim and

of all foodstuffs,” said Kimberly Barron, director of marketing

Angie Allen, innkeepers at A.G. Thomson House Historic Bed &

at Byblos Resort & Casino in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Breakfast Inn in Duluth, Minn. “Living a greener life is a process.

“When we started buying from local providers and supporting

No person or business can

more directly our smaller neighbors in the industry, they

exist without impacting the

reciprocated by providing our resort with their highest

planet, but we can each do

quality products. This not only resulted in better tasting and

our part to make the world

quality ingredients for our restaurants, but the higher-quality

a better place.”

11

IMPACT greenhotels

GREEN DEVELOPMENTS Embracing the green movement By Heidi Bohi

T

he hospitality industry, more than any other business sector known for offering amenities, indulgences, and gimmicks that range from grass being cut with a reel or mechanical mower so as not to disturb the guests, to Hermès bath products, personal butlers, and luxury linens, is just as enthusiastically embracing the green movement as it becomes clear as a crystal goblet that besides the immediate and substantial cost savings, guests who once indulged are now seeking out properties that put the Earth first. While some hotels, lodges, and resorts are just beginning to

Finding ways to reuse what many hotels would throw in

make small changes that can be implemented immediately, at

the dumpster includes donating all retired linens and towels

the same time just as many are making sustainable practices

to homeless shelters, and pillowcases and other terry cloths

an essential part of their business strategy.

are used for dust rags. The housekeeping seamstress also turns

Regardless of the size or sophistication of the operations,

retired linens into aprons for kitchen and stewarding staff, an-

there seems to be no limit to the number of creative and

other cost savings measure. Griffin’s favorite example of one of

innovative green measures they are coming up with now that

its unusual green measures is turning retired duvet covers into

they understand that not only is it the right thing to do for the

pet beds, which reduces waste and results in dog accommoda-

environment, it’s a way of thinking that means measurable and

tions that match what their owners are sleeping in.

immediate savings in operating costs. A 10 percent reduction in

Another GHA Member property offers a car-less trip – guests

energy consumption has the same financial effect as increasing

arrive via train or metro, and while there, use bicycles. Those who

the average daily room rate by $.83 in limited-service hotels

use the exercise bikes in the health club are given a coupon for

and $2.45 in full-service hotels.

a free meal because they are generating electricity for the hotel.

In other words, the green movement and the industry are

One of the biggest areas of advancement in hotel greening

growing up together, said Founder and President of the “Green”

efforts that Griffin noticed is the commitment to work with

Hotels Association® (GHA) Patricia Griffin. The organization has

green vendors that increasingly offer more new products and

450 members that represent more than 35,000 guest rooms.

services including key cards made from recycled products, bio-

“Green programs are maturing – hotels have done a lot and

degradable shower caps, eco-friendly menu and wine list cov-

are adding to it, creating solutions that are interesting and en-

ers, robes made from certified organically grown cotton, and

tertaining for guests,” she said.

hand dryers that take 10 to 15 seconds and use 80 percent less

A resort in Huntington Beach, Calif., has implemented about 40 green initiatives as part of its commitment to be proactive about taking steps to preserve natural resources and improve

energy than conventional models. “None of us can be green without the green vendors,” Griffin said.

the environment. Its 25-person green committee, comprising

Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y., has

staff from every department, continues to brainstorm ideas

introduced Adirondack Harvest Dinners at its Generations

that range from simple to those that require more of an

Restaurant. The menu features dishes made mostly with

investment.

ingredients from local growers and suppliers including local

12

Photo courtesy of Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

greenhotels IMPACT

Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

13

IMPACT greenhotels cheeses. Supporting local suppliers is a key concept behind

keep bar soap wrappers to take lightly used bars of soap

sustainability and the green movement because it is an

home, and leave small bottles of unopened amenities in the

important link in strengthening the economy by providing local

guest room. Packing a permanent marker and writing each

jobs and reducing transportation costs and pollution.

personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name on the cups in the hotel is also a simple step

The newest addition to the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growing inventory of green

to reduce waste.

initiatives is the installation of solar thermal panels, Jennifer

Antlers at Vail Condominiums & Conference Center, named

Holderied, owner and director of marketing, said. These panels,

the Vail Valley Green Business of the Year in 2009, has been

installed in July are expected to produce enough heat to warm

a leader in green reform since the early â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s. Since investing

the indoor pool, conserving 31,600 kilowatt-hours per year and

$70,000 to convert fireplaces from wood burning to gas back

saving more than $1,800 in annual fuel costs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We should have

in 1992 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; along with encouraging a number of other properties

100 percent pay back in under eight years and any additional

to do the same â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the property has committed to several other

heat produced will be diverted to help heat the water for the

green changes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s green and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to save money, then

north wing of the resort,â&#x20AC;? she said of the latest development.

letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go for it,â&#x20AC;? is the thinking here, Greg Ziccardi, sustainability

Housekeeping departments are consistently one of the

coordinator for the property, said.

top areas where greening practices can be affordably imple-

Currently, he said, he is focusing on working with the house-

mented, Griffin said, and guests can easily participate in the

keeping department to help keep costs down. Last year the

efforts. In addition to hotel linen programs that encourage

property spent $22,000 on amenity bottles of hygiene products

guests not to have sheets and towels changed every day, she

such as body soap, shampoo, hand soap, hair conditioner, and

also is starting to see other innovative approaches that make

lotion. To reduce that cost and the amount of trash that goes

it easy for guests to participate in these efforts. To keep track

in the local landfill, this year it is focusing on implementing a

of personal towels, she recommends packing safety pins and

program that will instead refill these bottles from 1-gallon pump

colored beads, then attaching a pin and bead to keep track

containers. A similar dispensing system will be implemented for

of which towel belongs to which family member. Guests can

all biodegradable cleaning products and staff is now required

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greenhotels IMPACT to properly dilute concentrated cleaners,

Antlers at Vail Condominiums & Conference Center

resulting in a 75 percent savings. Although adopting improved green measures presents property owners with the decision of making cash outlays in the midst of the worst recession in generations, 63 percent say they consider environmental issues just as important as the economy, 88 percent think it’s important for their businesses to be green, and 84 percent consider

themselves

environmentalists,

“occasional”

according

to

a

recent survey by online payroll firm PayCycle, though at the same time, they are not willing to sacrifice the profitability

of

their

business

by

paying more for making green choices. While times are tough, instead of

Photo courtesy of Antlers at Vail Condominiums & Conference Center

paying more for green solutions, many property owners are turning to eco-

into its profits, Arie Barendrecht, propri-

plastic to-go containers, has eliminated

conscious measures that save them

etor of the resort, said.

paper napkins and disposable cups, and

money, including reducing waste and

Best practices were implemented in all

purchases recycled tissues, paper towels,

making smarter consumer choices like

departments so that new, practical work

and poly-green trash bags. Upon check-

high-efficiency appliances and low-

habits pay closer attention to their sur-

ing in, guests are briefed about best green

watt light bulbs, without requiring

roundings. One housekeeping example,

practices they can participate in, includ-

additional cash outlay.

Barendrecht said, is improving the maxi-

ing reducing towel use, requesting that

Although being green does not in it-

mum capacity of dishwashers and laun-

bed linens be changed infrequently or not

self present enough of a competitive

dry facilities by documenting usage of

at all, and how to use the air conditioner

edge to capture more market share, it

water and electricity on a daily basis and

so that it does not run unnecessarily.

is one more component of a market-

evaluating variances in use. “Doing small

At a time when visitor industry num-

ing mix that can help businesses earn

things in a better way,” he said, includes

bers are down across the country, this is

positive public relations and encourage

waiting for dirty dishes to be stacked up

a good time for businesses to use extra

guests to become involved by increasing

so that the machine is loaded to capacity,

available staff time to develop and in-

awareness about these efforts.

and reducing wash and dry times. Besides

corporate best practices into their operations.

“Everyone wants to participate be-

saving money on the property, employees

cause there’s that whole feel-good thing

cannot help but take these same habits

“With what’s going on with the econ-

going on,” Griffin said. “They’re on vaca-

home. When the property was changed

omy, this is the perfect time to ramp

tion, having a great time, and feel good

out with compact fluorescent light (CFL)

up green efforts when there are not so

about what they’re doing for the com-

light bulbs, each employee was given 12

many guests demands and hotels can

munity, the country, and the world –

of the bulbs to use in their own homes, as

tighten things up and find ways to mar-

even making little changes add up.”

a way to increase top-of-mind awareness

ket to new guests while improving their

among staff.

green program,” Griffin said.

Cobalt Coast Dive Resort on Grand Cayman, Green Globe Certified by the

After a year, he said, the staff has

department of tourism there, is one ex-

seamlessly incorporated these practices

ample of a GHA Member property that

into their daily routines. The resort also

is actively adding several greening mea-

changed its purchasing habits and now

sures to its operations without cutting

uses

biodegradable

detergents,

corn

15

IMPACT greenhotels

MAINTENANCE MATTERS Outside, inside, and all around – green opportunities abound By David A. Brown

S

o often, it’s the simplest details that bear great examples of, and great inspiration for, the causes that unite like-minded people. Case in point: the floral tapestry accenting the grounds of FivePine Lodge in Sisters, Ore. Colorfully whimsical, these petals of purpose offer a vivid microcosm of the maintenance strategies common to “Green” Hotels Association® (GHA) Members. What’s that, you say? Flowers symbolizing environmen-

In historic Charleston, S.C., General Manager Abigail Martin

tal sustainability? You bet. See, they’re not just any flowers –

also employs sustainable grounds maintenance strategies for

they’re native wildflowers that flourish just fine on their own

The Inn at Middleton Place. The inn is located in a very rural

throughout the region. Of course, the clarkia, lupine, candytuft,

area, surrounded by live oaks and fragrant magnolias along

five spot, mallow, and bird’s eye don’t mind the organic fertil-

the Ashley River. Martin said that her cozy Southern location

izer that lodge owner Bill Willitts and his staff apply, but the

comes with its share of maintenance considerations, but she’s

seemingly simple act of planting wildflowers embodies the

pleased with the green advancements in the outdoor chemicals

“green” mindset.

industry.

Quick review of the facts: The seed mix comes from a local

“I believe the greatest opportunities lie in the maintenance of

supplier, so there is the whole reduction of transportation, fuel

our landscaping,” she said. “This is South Carolina and no ho-

usage, and emissions thing working. Wildflowers require mini-

tel is safe from outside invaders. [However,] there are so many

mal water – resource conservation – and plants that can thrive

new products that allow us eco-friendly choices on treating for

anywhere from an open field, to a fence row, to a highway me-

pests, weeds, and other issues concerning the environment.”

dian don’t need much babysitting. Count that as a labor saver.

Two new products that Martin’s staff has recently started

Those are the hard facts. Philosophically, wildflowers meld

using are CedarCide – aromatic cedar hardwood granules that

perfectly into the FivePine strategy of minimizing fossil fuel use

repel flies, fleas, roaches, mosquitoes, and snakes in decorative

by encouraging guests to park their cars and enjoy the magnifi-

areas around the guest buildings – and Snake Mole Grub (SMG),

cent natural setting on foot or via the lodge’s complimentary

a water carrier and two active ingredients that are instrumen-

cruiser bikes.

tal in killing and surfacing grubs that the moles eat. Without

“From bees to deer, wildflowers enhance our connection with nature – they’re nature’s carpet,” Willitts said. “We have a focus on protecting our environment in balance with creating the perfect guest experience.”

16

their food source, the inn has fewer tunnels under its lawn and in the flower beds. Now despite a few pests here and there, nature also provides many positive forces, not the least of which are the sun and

Photo courtesy of International House Hotel

greenhotels IMPACT

S “Going green is not always the cheapest way to do things in the short term. In many cases, it has to be more about wanting to do the right thing,” said Brian Toche, general manager of International House Hotel in New Orleans, La. X FivePine Lodge’s green groundskeeping efforts begin from the ground up with hardy, native landscaping.

wind. Both hold tremendous energy potential, as evidenced by the greenhouse at Reignwood Pine Valley Resort in Beijing, China. Harnessing these renewable energy sources, Reignwood maintains optimal growing conditions for the production of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs used in its restaurant. Wind power runs the LED lighting, recovery fan, and

©Jill Rosell/Courtesy FivePine Lodge

a pump that circulates recycled gray water for crop irrigation. A solar panel powers the ventilation. “We have a control system to manage the property’s construction – a project

the power station to deliver maximum reliability and output,” said Pachanee C.

INDOOR MAINTENANCE

laid out to minimize local tree loss and maximize the efficiency of water and

Devapradipa, Reignwood’s head of Members’ House and project manager. “We

Willitts said the FivePine family is

use good insulating material to control

continuously working to minimize its

energy use. “We had the benefit of being able to

the temperature in the greenhouse.”

“footprint.” That objective traces back to

build our campus with ‘Green Intention,’”

17

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greenhotels IMPACT W [ Reignwood Pine Valley Resort in Beijing, China – set amid 900plus acres of pristine, rolling greens – counts a solar- and wind-powered greenhouse among its green efforts.

Willitts said. “By incorporating heat pumps, wood casement windows, 6-inch walls with blown insulation, and ondemand, computer-driven hot water heaters, our

actual

electricity

bills

average $55 per month per cabin.” Walnut Lawn Bed & Breakfast sits in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of Lancaster. Innkeepers Tom and Sarah Murphy proudly tout the charm and ambiance of their century-old building, but despite the reminiscent value of holding onto the “old life,” keeping their property relevant in the 21st century has necessitated certain modernizations. Tom said they’ve installed energy-saving lights with timers and energy-efficient windows – a real challenge for a building with more than 100 birthdays. As one of the first smoke-free hotels in New Orleans, the International House further exercises environmental protection through the use of low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. The “Bayou State” establishment also has

Photos courtesy of Reignwood Pine Valley Resort

installed compact fluorescent and LED lighting throughout the building. Such steps require commitment to the green mission, as their impact on the bottom line cannot be ignored. “For many boutique hotels like International House, money presents the greatest challenge to becoming more ‘green,’” said International House General Manager Brian Toche. “Going green is not always the cheapest way to do things in the short term. In many cases, it has to be more about wanting to do the right thing.”

19

IMPACT greenhotels

S Housekeeping staff at the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco, Calif., use citrus-based cleaning products that do not contain any hazardous chemicals commonly found in other cleaning agents.

Maria Lougaris, managing director of Castelli Hotel in Zakynthos, Greece, knows well this premise. Although green products and services are far less accessible than in U.S. markets, she’s intent on implementing and upholding sustainable practices. Energy use is one of Castelli’s biggest concerns and the hotel

• toilet exhaust fans set in series with restroom lights so both shut off when the facility is not in use; • adjusting a building’s outdoor air thermostat (OAT) to a wider range to free cool when the temperature and OA humidity is in range; and

has an arsenal of strategies to fend off this foe. For starters, all

• adjusting the settings on the Building Automation System

guestrooms have electricity-saving systems that shut off all ap-

to reduce the load while keeping the humidity in range

pliances (except refrigerators) when guests leave their rooms.

minimizes energy output and retards mold.

a door is left open. Conversely, open drapes are encouraged, as

CLEAN IT & GREEN IT

this reduces the need for interior lighting by allowing lots of natural light through the hotel’s large windows.

Many of the greening strategies hotels employ go largely

A leader in professional services, ARAMARK provides direct

unnoticed, or at least uncontested. Occasionally, a solid idea

management of client facility functions including operations

requires a good bit of PR to pass muster with guests’ discern-

and maintenance, engineering, custodial, landscaping, house-

ment. In Golden, British Columbia, Denise English of ‘eh’ Cana-

keeping, and energy usage. Using ARAMARK’s conference cen-

dian Lodge takes to heart an alarming comparison, but strug-

ter client, the International Training Center, as an example,

gles with the implementation of countermeasures.

Director of Operations Joseph Fischioni offers a handful of greening strategies:

20

“I was once told that the average North American family uses as much energy in their dryer in one year as a family in

Photo courtesy of Orchard Garden Hotel

Sensors at balcony doors block the air-conditioning function if

greenhotels IMPACT

WS GHA Member Castelli Hotel emphasizes staff involvement for the success of its green programs.

lack the fumes and hazardous chemicals of common products. Castelli’s staff regularly uses vinegar for cleaning kitchenware, and room cleaning is done with warm water – a practice that lessens the amount of water needed for sufficient cleanliness. Furthermore, Castelli’s paper rolls are made of recycled material, while housekeepers use newspaper sheets instead of cloths Africa uses in their entire household in one year,” she said. “I

to clean windows.

usually tumble my laundry until it is steaming and then pull it

Additionally, GHA offers a few tips for making the most of a

out to air dry. The problem is wrinkles. Patrons see the wrinkles

hotel’s recycling program. First, crushing aluminum cans opti-

[in sheets and pillow cases] and think the beds have been slept

mizes space, while offering wine bottles to local wine-making

in. If we can get people thinking that wrinkles mean no ironing

stores or clubs keeps the containers in practical use. Gallon-

and less drying, which saves on energy, it would be great.”

size metal cans should be washed and both ends removed to

Martin rarely hears any objection to the signature soaps she

allow flattening.

provides for her guests. The Inn at Middleton Place purchases

In a related strategy, magnetic flatware-recovery systems are

large blocks of all-glycerin soap, melts it down, and uses molds

available. By mounting the simple device (affixed with mag-

to form the raw material into the shape and thickness they pre-

netic strips around the collar of of the mouth) to the top of a

fer. Martin’s staff adds seasonally appropriate color and scent,

standard 32-gallon garbage bin, it’s easy to detect and retrieve

often dressing up the aroma and appearance with natural

silverware. This saves money by minimizing flatware lost and

items such as lavender, poppy seeds, and mint found on the

cuts down on labor costs by eliminating the need for sorting

property.

and manual recovery.

The inn presents these unique bars to guests in small reclos-

Photos courtesy of Castelli Hotel

able bags and encourages them to take the soap home for con-

WATER WISDOM

tinued use. Unused soap left in rooms is melted and reformed for employee washrooms only.

From cooking to cleaning, a hotel simply cannot function

“The amount we make each month is strictly dependent on

without H2O. The cost of water use goes beyond monthly bills, so

our occupancy,” Martin said. “This is also the highest selling

strict resource management and environmental responsibility is

item in our gift shop. I would say we sell anywhere from 200 to

paramount. Orchard Garden minimizes the potential pollution

500 bars a month.”

flowing into its drains daily by using rice straw wattles to absorb

For daily cleaning, the housekeeping staff at San Francisco’s

the concrete and wash-down runoff. The long, narrow wattles –

Orchard Garden Hotel uses citrus-based cleaning agents that

available at most major construction supply stores – fit snugly

21

greenhotels IMPACT

MAKING IMPRESSIONS BY MAKING A DIFFERENCE

A

well-trained sculling team is pure poetry in motion. With upwards of eight rowers pulling in unison, the drive toward a common goal collects individual effort and directs it into fluid momentum. But let just one team member falter in effort or cadence and progress diminishes. This analogy fits also with a hotel’s green policy – it only works when everyone’s on board. “It doesn’t really matter how you try to show your efforts, it matters that the efforts are being done,” said Abigail Martin, general manager of The Inn at Middleton Place in Charleston, S.C. “The real issue is behind the scenes. If your employees do not practice these values at all times, even when their day is coming to an end, they’re tired and that extra 10 steps to the recycling bin is really hard, the system will fail.” On the Greek isle of Zakynthos, Maria Lougaris manages Castelli Hotel, a property with exemplary commitment to greening. In her opinion, human willingness is a far greater force than any technological advancement. “Technology may offer us new techniques, nevertheless it is the people who implement any technique or idea,” she said. “For example, not following the most advanced equipment’s manufacturer’s guidelines may have the opposite effect [e.g., a ‘green’ professional dishwasher may have terrible results in terms of cleanliness and energy consumption if dishes are not cleaned before they’re put into the washer, or if too much detergent is used].

“That’s why our people have to share the same green orientation with the management. We hold a relevant meeting at least once a month to view various everyday improvements, and make sure obstacles are overcome and our ideas implemented.” Taking this thought a step further; fully committed owners, management, and staff members have only a brief window through which to expose guests to green principles and practices. Leading by silent example is a good start, but hotels that make concerted efforts to inform and inspire guests often send them home with the knowledge and motivation to implement their own environmentally sustainable policies. In San Francisco, Orchard Garden Hotel models the proactive communication effort necessary to the advancement of greening. General Manager Stefan Muhle said: “We educate guests and visitors about what it means to be a truly ‘green’ hotel by offering information and resources at the front desk at all times. The hotel’s staff is also very knowledgeable on the subject and welcomes questions and feedback. “On a community level, the hotel offers one annual paid day off for team members to volunteer service to their community. It’s called ‘Community Connection Day’ and it’s very well received by all Orchard Garden Hotel employees as a way to make a difference in their neighborhood and local community.”

against the curb and around drain inlets. The hotel has also used

up spills with absorbent material, which can then be

a filter fabric for runoff, which prevents dirt and concrete par-

swept up. Do not hose spills into a parking lot, street

ticles from entering the drain system as water flows through it. “Water will soon be a precious resource,” said Orchard Gar-

gutter, or storm drain. • Wash water – Pour mopped water into a mop sink or

den General Manager Stefan Muhle. “Water rates are going to

toilet. Do not pour it onto a parking lot, alley, or street.

go up about 10 percent every year, so why waste? Mitigating/

Wash floor mats, kitchen mats, and trash cans in a mop

conserving helps the business save money while helping the environment. It’s a win-win!”

sink, janitor’s sink, or near the kitchen floor drain. Now, a sunny Greek isle may offer supremely relaxing ambi-

Storm water pollution is a peripheral threat that’s often rel-

ance, but water issues are no stranger to the Mediterranean.

egated to “out of sight out of mind.” However, without preven-

Specifically, the sea presents maintenance challenges for prop-

tive measures, dirty water will still be dirty water at its ultimate

erties such as the Castelli Hotel, where Lougaris faces the re-

destination. Suggestions from GHA include:

lentless assault of saltwater corrosion.

• Leaky/dirty dumpsters – Keep dumpster areas clean and

“The humidity of our island together with the salt of the wa-

lids closed. Cover, repair, or replace leaky dumpsters. Waste

ter makes a very interesting combination,” she said. “Anything

hauling companies normally do not charge to replace a

has a shorter lifetime here.”

dumpster. Bag all trash before placing in dumpster. • Spills – Use dry methods for outdoor spill cleanup. Soak

As Lougaris noted, salt stains gather quickly on everything from kitchenware (kettles, flatware, paring knives) to

23

IMPACT greenhotels bathroom elements (tiles, taps, tubs). The material/glue

This approach can work for every green hotel, if only in vary-

around wall tiles is gradually destroyed by the salt and

ing approaches. As Lougaris pointed out, budgets often dictate

during the winter off-season, water that remains in pipes

the scope of a property’s green practices, but making the most

and toilets creates other marks as well. This extremely hard

of every opportunity within one’s reach defines success.

water greatly shortens the life of machinery pipes (water boiler, pool, etc.).

“There are simple ways one may contribute to greening, without necessarily spending big money,” she said. “For exam-

Such impacts have required a lot of extra maintenance,

ple, solar energy is more beneficial – especially in the long run

detergents, and labor, but Lougaris will soon be reducing

– as is [recycled] gray water, than simply applying methods and

all of these environmental affects by installing a desalina-

filters to save water.

tor. Removing the salt should drastically reduce the wear

“We strongly think that the most important factor is the

and tear on machinery, along with persistent maintenance

change of mentality – changing from thinking of just today

burdens.

to thinking of tomorrow; and changing from thinking of our-

Beyond the seawater issue, Castelli takes many proac-

selves to thinking of the planet and everyone’s future. We

tive steps to conserve water and maximize what it uses.

all have to find ways to make our routines and businesses

Low-flow showerheads and sink faucets inject air into their

greener.”

streams to reduce water usage without reducing the pres-

Martin said this requires imagination and prevalence. As a

sure. The hotel’s toilets also use less water, thanks to a

privately owned company working to invest any monthly sur-

device known as Hippo the Water Saver. Fitting this clever

plus back into the property, The Inn at Middleton Place has

creation into a toilet cistern saves Castelli up to 4 liters of

seen its ups and downs, but as the business developed, Martin

water per flush.

has held firmly to her green commitments.

Saving on water bills is a no-brainer for hotels, but reduc-

“When I couldn’t find a company that could meet the de-

ing water use also provides the less obvious benefit of lowering

mands I had in regards to guest bar soap, I made my own,” she

carbon emissions. The energy dedicated to the supply, heating,

recalled. “At the time of starting this practice, no company was

and disposal of domestic water supplies contributes to a hotel’s

affordable or had their own line of recycled packaging for guest

overall footprint. Every strategy that reduces water use also

amenities. Sure, now it would be easier to go to a different line,

shrinks that footprint.

but why? We offer up something unique and that still meets

Elsewhere, Castelli’s hot and cold pipes are insulated and

our green requirements. Why change?”

water taps are one-hand controlled. A professional dish-

Indeed, sustainable practices can also become popular ele-

washer affords maximum control of water and energy usage,

ments for guests. Through such endearment, powerful lessons

while a drip system allows the hotel to efficiently water its

are taught.

fruit and vegetable garden. Watering during early morning or

“We are not only trying to provide guests with healthy sur-

late afternoon ensures that more water reaches the plants

roundings and conservative-minded options, but we are working

with minimal evaporation. With sufficient outside warmth,

to educate them on how easy it really is to make a difference,”

leftover ice does a good job of watering plants and landscape

Martin said. “If a small company such as us can do so, the expec-

elements.

tations for the larger corporations should be much higher. “Are we doing everything we can? Absolutely not. Again,

KEEP IT GOING

funds are what they are and we still have a business to keep running. I look at each challenge presented to me by staff and

Within ARAMARK’s environmental stewardship statement, we find a point of connectivity that summarizes the cumula-

ask myself, ‘Can we afford to go green with this?’ The real question is ‘Can we afford not to?’”

tive approach to sustainability. From the company’s Web site:

The good thing is that once hotel guests understand the

“Throughout our corporation, we develop and implement long-

purpose of greening, most find it infectious, invigorating.

term environmental stewardship programs and policies within

Hotels have an incredible opportunity to create the spark

the areas of sustainable food; responsible procurement; green

of interest, and with the right information for mental

buildings; energy and water conservation; transportation; and

kindling,

waste stream management. We call these programs and poli-

environmental sustainability

cies Green Thread™ as they weave throughout our business op-

will spread like wildfire – or

erations every day.”

maybe wildflowers.

24

the

message

of

greenhotels IMPACT

MEETING GREEN DEMANDS Maintenance Vendors By David A. Brown

W

hen Abigail Martin of The Inn at Middleton Place looks for supplies, she’s one picky general manager. But hers is not merely an economic scrutiny – she’s also super strict about her sustainability preferences. “Vendors who do their homework already know that the inn is a ‘green’ hotel and don’t waste my time on highwaste products,” she said. “If there is not a green line or sustainable practice within their company, we do not care to work with them. It’s as easy as that.” Fortunately, green choices are steadily increasing within the industries serving hotels, and it’s a good bet that much of the development has come in response to stated needs. It’s about relationship building and any good relationship grows best when the lines of communication remain open. Here, development depends on hoteliers talking to vendors and vendors bringing new ideas and options. Along the way, both groups must respect one another’s positions. Martin explained: “I do have some long-time vendors that are struggling to meet the green demands and with the economy today I can’t forget that I’m running a business, so I can’t just leave them for a higher charging vendor who is 100 percent eco-friendly. We take it a step at a time with suggestions and support so that they too may soon see the benefits.” Kaylin D’Aire, general manager of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.based Natural Soap Formulas (www.naturalsoapformulas.com), agrees, adding that green hotels provide a critical conduit to consumers who are often exposed to the principles and practices of sustainability for the first time during their hotel stays. The opportunity to teach, she said, is invaluable. “Many people are oblivious to what’s happening [in terms of greening] and a hotel is an excellent place for them to learn,” D’Aire said. “Society needs an education and hopefully people will take away something helpful from their stay [at a green hotel]. “Guests who stay in a green hotel will recognize the difference immediately. They’ll feel better in a green hotel and then, hopefully, they’ll take that experience with them to their homes, their schools, and their churches.” Natural Soap Formulas – makers of the EPA awardwinning KD Gold brand – produces non-toxic, all natural ingredient formulas and basic concentrates for industrial and commercial use. By producing high-performance plantbased cleaners, degreasers, solvents, and polishes, the company seeks to help shift the industry from hazardous chemical cleaning products to safer, organic cleaning solutions. Natural Soap Formulas won a “Champion” award from the EPA’s Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative,

Design for the Environment Program (DfE) by proving that it has never used, nor will it ever use, NPE Surfactants in its products. The basis for Natural Soap Formula’s innovative products is a revolutionary development in environmental science known as colloidal chemistry. This process provides a new solution to the personal health and environmental hazards of toxic cleaners and the free radicals emitted by them. Colloidal products are non-hazardous, non-fuming, noncaustic, non-corrosive, non-combustible, and non-explosive. Highly effective, they are remarkably gentle and safe for humans, pets and the environment. Natural Soap Formulas are slightly more costly than harsh chemical cleaners and solvents. However, the company suggests that reductions in Workman’s Compensation claims, protective clothing costs, expensive disposal procedures and fire insurance will offset the price differentials. Touting its wares as “industrial strength and baby safe,” Natural Soap Formulas makes its non-toxic botanical product available for general use or formulated to fit specific needs. Concentrates are available by the gallon, drum, or tanker load. Customers can also purchase or lease a formula license and manufacture it independently. Noting the severe taxation that harsh cleaning chemicals have already inflicted on the environment, D’Aire said her plant-based products present a twofold advantage: They’re made from a completely renewable resource and they’re readily biodegradable. Moreover, they’re not just eco-friendly; they’re human-friendly – a point D’Aire can personally appreciate. “I’m chemically sensitive, so going to a hotel is a trying experience at best,” she said. “Sometimes [in a new town], I’ll have to try two or three hotels before I find one where I can tolerate the chemicals they use. “This is an extremely important point for the hotelier because staff members are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals. The hotels often have turnover and absenteeism because of staff illnesses resulting from exposure to harsh chemicals. Hotels will cut their absentee time down [significantly] when they use clean products.” More urgently, D’Aire said that human complacency toward environmentally harmful products can no longer be tolerated. “We’re looking at our own survival on this planet and that of our progeny. We’ve so neglected it over the past 50 years that it can’t wait another minute. That’s why I got into this business. For every green cleaner we use, we’re not using the other stuff so we’re not compounding the problem.”

25

greenhotels IMPACT OTHER GREEN GHA VENDORS SERVING THE HOTEL INDUSTRY’S MAINTENANCE NEEDS INCLUDE: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND PRODUCTS Location: Eldred, Pa. Web site: www.environmentallysoundproducts.com Summary: Environmentally friendly products that help protect the environment by using renewable, biodegradable ingredients. Among the company’s notable products are Cellulose bags. Cellulose, the primary component of the cell walls of plants, is completely natural and nontoxic, so it can be composted and will completely biodegrade. Cellulose can also be recycled with other paper products. Cellulose bags are more effective for food storage, because unlike plastic, no gases are given off to spoil the taste of food. These bags also work well in the microwave, freezer storage, lunch bags, etc. The company also offers products such as Mates Air Fresheners made from high-quality citrus oils. Available in orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit scents, Mates eliminate odors and clean the air naturally. The special recyclable container contains no harmful CFCs or propellants, yet sprays effortlessly.

Photos courtesy of Waste Management, Inc.

HOST/RACINE INDUSTRIES Location: Racine, Wis. Web site: www.hostdry.com Summary: Dry extraction carpet cleaning system for use in both residential and commercial settings with results superior to those of hot water or steam methods. Given the dry process, you can walk on the carpet immediately after cleaning, so there’s zero downtime. The Advanced Formula HOST® Sponges Carpet Cleaner is a soft, natural product that is environmentally friendly. HOST Cleaner is a soft, natural product moistened with water, detergent and a small amount of safeto-use-solvent. The HOST Sponges Cleaner dissolves, absorbs, and traps soil, spots, and odors as it cleans. The product and the material it gathers are removed by vacuuming. Studies have shown this process to be effective at minimizing dust mites, pet dander, mold, and spores. WASTE MANAGEMENT, INC. Location: West Berlin, N.J. Web site: www.wm.com/index.asp Summary: Waste Management, Inc. offers waste services such as hauling and landfill services, recycling (including single stream, paper, cardboard, aluminum, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, and more); and in-depth assessments of current waste service to determine and implement optimal service levels. With nearly 300 landfill sites managing the disposal of millions of tons of waste per year, Waste Management, Inc. has direct access to a vast supply of a natural, renewable energy source: landfill gas or methane. Created naturally through the decomposition of landfill waste, this gas is a readily available, renewable energy source that can be collected and used directly as medium Btu gas for industrial use or sold to gasto-energy plants to fuel engine- or turbine-driven generators of electricity. Waste Management works with public and private entities to develop beneficial-use projects for landfill gas. The company currently supplies this clean, reliable gas to more than 100 projects in North America, with the equivalent of 470 megawatts of energy equaling the power needed for approximately 400,000 homes. This level of energy would replace nearly 2 million tons of coal per year.

27

greenhotels IMPACT COMPACTORS INC. Location: Hilton Head, S.C. Web site: www.compactorsinc.com Summary: The company’s products promote and facilitate recycling, reduce waste hauling costs, are environmentally responsible green solutions, reduce manpower requirements, provide a rapid return on investment, and result in significant volume reduction of recyclables and waste. Models include vertical compactors, chute fed compactors, densifiers, can crushers, glass crushers, and shredders. HOSPITALITY BATTERY HOLDER Location: Kissimmee, Fla. Web site: www.hospitalitybatteryholder.com Summary: Hotels often use high-tech electronic locks to provide a more secure environment to guests and employees. Currently, expensive replacement batteries are only available through the manufacturers of the electronic locks. The Hospitality Battery Holder is a cost-effective alternative that allows you to replace manufacture-specific batteries with inexpensive, standard AA rechargeable batteries. The holder is easy to use and can be applied to most hospitality electric locks that currently require expensive, wrap-around style batteries. The compact battery holder is equipped with a dual- or three-wire connector specifically designed to be compatible with the most popular brands of hospitality electronic locks.

©Benjamin Moore & Co.

REEL MOWERS, ETC. Location: Grenada, Calif. Web site: www.reelmowersetc.com Summary: Under the motto of “Mowing down pollution one lawn at a time,” Reel Mowers offers a selection of quiet, safe, long-lasting, grass-cycling, zero-emission, renewable-energy Reel lawn mowers. The company offers push (manual) Reel Mowers, Amish-made Classic Garden Cultivators, ProMow Gang Reel Mowers, manual Hudson Star and Hudson Star, cordless electric golf putting green mowers, and Reel Mower parts and accessories. The advantages of the Reel Mower are many: They start every time, they’re quiet, safe, inexpensive to own, and they do not create air, water, or noise pollution. The Reel Mower gives a superior cut, sought after by those who desire a professionally manicured look. BENJAMIN MOORE & CO. Location: Montvale, N.J. Web site: www.benjaminmoore.com Summary: A resolute commitment to producing environmentally safe products, led to the development of the company’s lineup of Green Promise® paints. Using safer raw materials enabled Benjamin Moore® to develop paints with ultralow, and in some cases zero VOC. Topping the eco-friendly Green Promise paints is Natura® – a virtually odorless paint that is the greenest and safest paint available on the market. In independent third-party testing, Natura paint has the lowest total VOC emissions of any national paint brand tested. Natura’s unique waterborne colorant system keeps this paint at zero VOC levels even after it is tinted to a specific color. Natura paint’s quick drying, virtually odorless formula allows you to use your room the same day it is painted. Available in any color, Natura doesn’t compromise Benjamin Moore’s superior quality or color options as it minimizes any impact on the environment.

29

IMPACT greenhotels

RESPONSIBLE RENOVATIONS Considered to be the front line of any greening protocol, guest rooms provide ample fodder for a hotel’s environmental overhaul By Tara N. Wilfong

Although most properties agree that greening their entire organization is the overall goal, pinpointing options to make guest rooms more environmentally friendly is a logical first step. In most cases when guests overnight away from home, they spend more time in their rooms than any other place on the property. Even though the majority of that time is usually spent sleeping, it’s by far the guest room that sees the most guest activity. At Adventure Inn in Ely, Minn., operating an environmentally sensitive business is a practice that works in concert with its surroundings and its guests’ refined sensibilities. When Sue and Mark Edgington purchased the property five years ago, it was anything but Earth-friendly; old, dilapidated buildings sucked energy, while five smoking rooms polluted the air. Retrofitting and revamping every area of the business, particularly

30

Photo courtesy of Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast

O

ne of the most unique traits of today’s travelers is an increased awareness of global issues. Many savvy businessmen and women and leisure travelers alike who arrive in cities the world over share one common denominator: a penchant for saving our planet’s natural resources. Environmentalism, with an emphasis on preservation and conservation, is no longer a vague term, but rather an extension of many travelers’ everyday lifestyles. To this end, it’s no wonder that many properties within the hospitality industry are quickly adopting a greener standard of operation, and, in particular, targeting the guest room as ground zero.

greenhotels IMPACT

The 1896 National Register historic mansion, Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast, kept its period feel even after the installation of modern rainwater harvesting systems, unobtrusive mounting of 10 solar thermal panels that heat hot water used throughout the inn, and a gray-water recycling system to conserve water by safely reusing treated gray water for toilet ďŹ&#x201A;ushing.

IMPACT greenhotels W Adventure Inn runs successful conservation and recycling programs and is dedicated to using toxin-free cleaners, which are less harmful to both guests and the environment.

a significant drop in costs and quantities related to laundering. Before guests were made aware of the environmental advantages to reusing towels and linens, they often regarded the ability to have fresh, clean ones daily as a luxury associated with being a guest. Although most would never consider changing their sheets and towels on a daily basis at home, simply as a matter of practithe guest rooms, the Edgingtons were

out that they never sacrifice comfort for

cality, many guests became accustomed

successful in not only greening their

the greener good; instead, they deter-

to this practice while traveling. But once

business, but also receiving tremendous

mine areas in which a sensitive change

more green hotels adopted a linen- and

guest approval.

can be made, and make it as guest

towel-reuse

friendly as possible.

savvy guests were quick to comply.

forward-thinking,

our efforts to make their accommoda-

In regard to linens, for example, most

Complementing many hotels’ reuse

tions greener,” Sue said. “They’re not

green properties make abundant use of

policies is a progression toward using

only receptive to our recycling and con-

a linen- and towel-reuse program, which

linens and towels made of all-natural

servation programs, but they also have

allows their guests to determine when

fibers. Although bamboo is highly touted

praised us for our use of natural and

and if their linens need to be changed.

as a natural fabric (see “The Buzz Behind

toxin-free cleaners. We have heard from

Removing themselves from this deci-

Bamboo” on page 35), most properties

some of our guests that they often get

sion-making process, green properties

instead provide organic cotton towels

ill staying at other properties, but they

refrain from imparting any unwanted

and, in many cases, luxury, organic, or

didn’t have a reaction at ours. One guest

environmental policies on guests while

recycled-content linens for a superior

even posted our inn on a Web site dedi-

at the same time allowing guests to

night’s sleep. Plush, soft, and abundantly

cated to safe places to stay for those

participate to whatever degree meets

absorbent, organic cotton takes less time

with chemical sensitivities. That type of

their comfort. “Most guests are happy to

to dry than chemically manufactured

feedback makes any effort we put forth

comply accordingly, just as they would

fabrics and, as an added bonus, contains

at our inn, as well as in our personal

at home, if they are recognized for their

no dyes.

lives, more than worth it.”

contributions to making the world a bet-

Combining this effort with the use of

While it’s true that properties of all

ter place,” said Shakti Khalsa, proprietor

non-toxic, chemical-free detergents in

sizes – from large national chains to

of Park Lane Guesthouse in Austin, Tex-

the laundry prolongs the life of the lin-

small, cozy boutique establishments –

as. “Some guests may even be partici-

ens and ensures the health and well-

put much emphasis on the general com-

pating for the very first time and start a

being of guests. “We try to find towels

forts of the guest room, those particular

new habit that they will incorporate into

and linens that have some recycled

properties with an environmental policy

their lives at home.”

content in them,” said Vern Schram,

take comfort to a new level. Since guest

By adopting this “guest-controlled”

retail, recreation, and environment

satisfaction is key to a successful busi-

linen policy, most properties are re-

manager at Harrison Hot Springs Re-

ness, green properties are quick to point

porting wide acceptance and noticing

sort and Spa in Harrison Hot Springs, Continued on page 36

32

Photo courtesy of Adventure Inn

“Our guests have really appreciated

policy,

greenhotels IMPACT

Recycling Redux An impactful part of any property’s greening process, particularly in guest rooms, is a comprehensive recycling program. In-room bins that facilitate a patron’s desire to sort plastic, glass, and paper not only make the program easy for guests to adopt, but also allows the property to divert recyclable waste – which is prevalent in a guest room – from the landfill. But the recycling initiative doesn’t just end there. Guest rooms are full of items always in need of replacement, and this constant turnover can put a severe strain on local landfills. Properties with a penchant for environmental stewardship have come up with savvy ways to not only recycle their unwanted items, but also repurpose or reuse them. With a relatively short lifespan, bed linens represent one area of constant change – both figuratively and literally – for any property. Once sheets, blankets, and comforters reach that point in which they are no longer acceptable for guest use, many hotels ingeniously repurpose or recycle them for longer use. At Harrison Hot Springs Resort, there is no such thing as a trash-worthy linen. Instead of tossing out old or dingy linens, Vern Schram, retail, recreation, and environment manager, said they find new uses for practically everything. Old towels make perfect dust rags for housekeepers or rags to wipe up spills for the maintenance crew, while old sheets are easily transformed into staff aprons. Other linens that still have a bit of life left in them, but aren’t quite up to the quality standards for guest use, are donated to local charities, where they’ll quickly be put to good use. “As a rule of thumb, we don’t throw anything out unless it’s in a horrible state of disrepair, mainly because we don’t want to contribute to the ever-growing waste stream,” Schram said. “There is a use out there for just about everything if you are willing to do your research and find it. The life of almost every product can be extended with a little time and ingenuity.” Like linens, mattresses are another guest necessity that is short-lived. With an average lifespan of just five years, mattresses are constantly being rotated in and out of hospitality circulation. For those progressive properties opting to replace old mattresses with new, hypoallergenic and organic green ones, the switch can combine peace of mind with peaceful rest. Ideal for guests with chemical sensitivities and proprietors with a penchant for Earth-friendly products, green mattresses are relatively chemical free and made from natural latex, organic cotton, and wool from chemical- and crueltyfree sheep farms. On the downside, however, most property owners and managers stress that the cost of these green mattresses is too great for their operating budgets. And, because of the inordinate number of mattresses they must replace on a yearly basis (most hoteliers do not replace every mattress on a five-year cycle, instead, they replace a handful of them each year on a five-year rotation), they are forced to use traditional mattresses in their guest rooms. With these less-than-environmentally friendly mattresses gracing their sleeping quarters, many hoteliers are loathe to see these monstrosities relegated to the landfill once their lifespan has been surpassed. To ensure their continued use, many hotels are offering old but still-usable mattresses to staff and local charities, or donating them to mattress recyclers. “When we first donated our used mattresses to the recycler, we did our homework and checked to make sure they were truly an environmentally sensitive company,” said Rachael Solem, owner and general manager of Irving House at Harvard and Harding House in Cambridge, Mass. “Many times companies say they recycle items such as mattresses, but, upon closer inspection, you learn they are just taking them to the landfill for quick and easy disposal. For us, it’s important to work with a company that supports and complements our environmental mission.” GHA Ally Member Ohio Mattress Recovery and Recycling is a nationwide business offering the hospitality industry and municipalities a green alternative to dumping old mattresses in landfills. Ohio Mattress deconstructs the mattresses and sorts the materials for multiple end uses including: sending steal to a local scrap yard, recycling foam for carpet padding, using the inner stuffing for bow and arrow targets, and using the covers as diesel fuel filters.

33

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greenhotels IMPACT

The Buzz Behind Bamboo With so many products proclaiming their eco-friendly nature, it’s often hard to differentiate the real from the really not so good. As interest in all things green rises to a frenzied roar, numerous new products flood the market, but perhaps the one generating the most buzz is bamboo linens. Touted for their superior softness, absorbency, and eco-friendly cachet, bamboo linens are making a statement in the global market, while sparking some heated debate. Although most green hotels contend the price is what deters them from purchasing these luxe linens for their properties, others say the process by which they are made taints their eco-friendly claims, making them anything but green. “I did use bamboo sheets when we first opened the inn,” said Sue Edgington, innkeeper at Adventure Inn. “There’s a lot of hype about the friendly nature of bamboo, but the process by which it’s made requires the use of harsh chemicals. When I found out about this ‘chemical cost,’ I decided bamboo was better suited to flooring, not linens, and I did not replace them when they wore out.” True, the bamboo plant can be classified as one of the world’s most sustainable resources – it can grow at a considerable rate, sometimes shooting up more than a yard a day – but bamboo the fiber may indeed have far less beneficial qualities than its natural roots. When bamboo is harvested for use as a textile, there are two possible processes to turn the woody grass into fiber. The first, and least common, is the mechanical process. Similar to the process used to produce flax or hemp, the hard bamboo stalks are crushed and then natural enzymes break down the bamboo walls until it is a mushy consistency. From this pulpy mass, natural fibers are mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. Considerably more labor- and cost-intensive, not to mention much coarser to the touch, very few bamboo linens are made from this process. Those that are, however, are often referred to as “bamboo linen.” The second process, known as chemically manufactured bamboo, follows the same process by which rayon is made. In this scenario, bamboo leaves and woody shoots are chemically broken down using solvents such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide to create fiber. Bamboo linens and clothing made from fibers created by this process are much softer and more cost-effective, however, due to the use of harsh chemicals, their green properties have all but disintegrated. Last August, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cracked down on companies who used chemically manufactured bamboo, labeled their products as pure bamboo, and claimed that their products exhibited all of the environmental benefits of the plant. Among those claims, manufacturers insisted that their chemically produced fibers were created through an environmentally friendly process, retained natural, antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, and were biodegradable. According to the FTC, because of the manufacturing process, through which cellulose found in plants and trees – including bamboo – is broken down with harsh chemicals, the resulting fiber is still man-made rayon, not bamboo. Perhaps even more significant, chemically produced bamboo fibers, in contrast to many manufacturers’ claims, do not withstand any of their environmental proclamations, as revealed by the FTC. The commission said that even if bamboo is used as the cellulose source, the resulting fibers do not retain any of the antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant. In the same vein, by using harsh chemicals, which emit pollutants into the air, an environmentally friendly process is unsubstantiated, and any naturally existing properties of the plant, including its ability to biodegrade in a short period of time, are eliminated. “With the tremendous expansion of green claims in today’s marketplace, it is particularly important for the FTC to address deceptive environmental claims, so that consumers

35

IMPACT greenhotels can trust that the products they buy have the environmentally friendly attributes they want,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When companies sell products woven from man-made fibers, such as rayon, it is important that they accurately label and advertise those products – both with respect to the fibers they use and to the qualities of those fibers.” To quell any consumer confusion, the FTC has ordered manufacturers who produce linens and clothing with bamboo processed chemically to label their products as “rayon made from bamboo,” as long as they can prove and substantiate this claim. Following this order, it can be hypothesized that green properties will begin shying away from the much-hyped bamboo revolution, opting instead for a more environmentally sensitive option. Or, once mechanically produced bamboo is improved

W S Guest room greening efforts at Park Lane Guest House include non-smoking rooms (in fact, the entire property is 100 percent smoke free), implementing a linen- and towel-reuse program, as well as providing 100 percent cotton linens and organic robes and reusable carafes/glasses, to name a few. Continued from page 32 British Columbia. “However, equally important to us is how

creating a chemical-free zone also includes using low- or no-

we treat them and how long they will last. For those reasons

VOC paints and stains for both walls and floors.

alone, we begin by purchasing quality products with high

At Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast, an historic inn in the

thread counts so that our linens and towels help us remain

heart of Atlanta, Ga., a total renovation in 2007 prompted the

true to our greening efforts by not having to replace them on

owner and interior designer, Barb Shadomy, to seek green op-

a regular basis.”

tions that would add to the charm of the inn while surrounding

Aiding their efforts to offer high-quality, green options that

her guests with ambiance and luxury. To her, the allure of stay-

are designed to pamper guests, many hotels, including Harris

ing at a luxury bed and breakfast is the personal experience

Hot Springs Resort, have implemented a strict chemical-free

guests receive; a feeling akin to cozying up in your own home.

zone within their guest rooms. Besides non-toxic, biodegradable

Keeping true to that experience, Shadomy personally over-

cleaning agents that are becoming increasingly more popular,

saw every green detail of her inn’s renovation and hand-picked

36

Photos by Cory Ryan Photography/Courtesy of Park Lane Guest House

upon in both touch and cost, properties may begin to look at this natural product as a viable alternative.

greenhotels IMPACT X Harrison Hot Springs is dedicated to recycling and reusing old towels and linens that are no longer acceptable for guest use. Some of the retired linens are made into housekeeping rags, some are turned into staff aprons, while others are donated to local charities.

everything from materials to colors and beyond. “A significant green choice for flooring at Stonehurst Place included restoring the original wood floors in about

Photo courtesy of Harrison Hot Springs

90 percent of the home,” she explained. “We restored them using low-VOC stains

efforts whenever it upgrades is a priority.

Living in a progressive town, she said

and finishes to minimize the off-gassing

When the resort underwent a major ren-

the opportunities to green her business

impact on guests, and us, too. It was more

ovation several years ago, eco-friendly

have been ample. When she first pur-

costly to not use harsh chemicals to pre-

carpets were a given in the guest rooms.

chased the inn 13 years ago, its five well-

pare the wood for refinishing, but it was

“Where we’re located, surrounded by

appointed guest rooms were in need of

well worth the investment in our health.”

mountains and perched on the edge of

a green overhaul. “I began by gradually

While the majority of the floors at

a beautiful lake, our guests expect us to

tackling one area at a time,” Pruitt said.

Stonehurst Place could be refinished,

have green practices,” Schram said. “Typ-

“It quickly became a challenge to see how

Shadomy said some were beyond re-

ically when we replace anything in the

much I could do. I do use recycled pa-

pair and required a complete overhaul.

resort, we use Earth-friendly products

per products in all my guest rooms, and

Although walnut would have been

as much as possible, considering they’re

while they’re not perfect, they certainly

her first choice in new wood flooring –

functional, proven, and cost-effective.”

are fine for their intended purpose.”

mainly because of its deep, rich tones

Other guest room necessities, such as

Equally as acceptable are eco-friendly,

and beautiful finish – Shadomy shied

facial and toilet tissue, are also available

individual bath amenities. Most for-

away from it because of the difficulty in

in recycled-content versions, though

ward-thinking properties cringe at the

finding sustainably harvested walnut. A

many proprietors admit that what they

thought of tiny, half-used shampoo and

tough decision, but one that gelled with

gain in environmental friendliness, they

other containers filling up their landfills.

her environmental philosophy, Shadomy

lose in softness. Although some of these

To clear their consciences, these pro-

instead chose Forest Stewardship Coun-

products continue to make strides in

gressive properties have sought other av-

cil-certified beech wood and stained it to

comparability, their eco-friendly appeal

enues that still allow them to offer their

look like walnut.

has allowed them to gain mass accep-

guests such luxuries as soap, shampoo,

Larger establishments usually don’t

tance. For Deb Pruitt, owner and inn-

and bubble bath, while remaining true

have the luxury of installing hardwood

keeper of Woods Hole Passage Bed &

to their environmental protocols.

floors, however many do consider in-

Breakfast Inn in Falmouth, Mass., mak-

Perhaps the most common outlet is

stalling recycled-fiber carpets whenever

ing the switch from overly consumptive

the use of commercial soap dispensers,

redecorating needs arise. At the nearly

to conservative did come with some sac-

which can easily be refilled. Eliminat-

100-year-old Harrison Hot Springs Re-

rifices, but it was a challenge she was

ing those “tiny bottles” entirely is one

sort, for example, maximizing its green

happy to accept.

simple way for hoteliers to lessen their

37

IMPACT greenhotels

Self-described flower child Sandy Maine, founder, president, and CEO of SunFeather Natural Soap Company, knew at a young age that her life’s passion included sharing the beauty of nature with the world. With a keen awareness of medicinal herbs and scents – not to mention a highly developed nose – Maine began tinkering in her kitchen in a quest to develop a business that married her philosophical beliefs and the tactile joys of working with her hands. As her experimentation progressed, a fragrant and environmentally sensitive endeavor was born. “From an early age, I had an appreciation for fragrance and medicinal herbs, and that appreciation inspired me to create a business that revolved around them,” she explained. “At the onset, I quickly discovered that soap was the perfect medium.” With an initial investment of just $15, Maine and her compatriots began their foray into creating a socially responsible microbusiness. Offering a dozen unique, scented soaps, all packaged in environmentally friendly calico fabric, Maine’s tiny business quickly thrived, and satisfied customers began clamoring for more. Today, more than 30 years after the self-taught entrepreneur discovered an outlet for her scent-inspired creativity, SunFeather Natural Soap Company is a bustling business that produces 4,000 pounds of fine, natural soap each week. Counting among its supporters a number of properties in the hospitality industry, Maine said she is happy to tailor any of her products to her clients’ needs. “Currently, we have about 75 boutique hotels and beds and breakfasts, spa destinations, and a few upscale chain hotels that keep us fairly busy,” she said. “While we have our signature scents that are available to the wholesale and natural food market, our core competency is in private-label, cold process, artisan-made bar soaps. I tailor the formulas to the sense of place or bio-region of the hotel, for example, we might create a sage- or juniper-infused soap for a hotel in the Southwest, or a mango or lemongrass soap for a hotel in Hawaii.” Created from certified organic raw materials, each private-label body care product is slowly and meticulously handcrafted by SunFeather’s skilled soapmakers. Using old-fashioned ingenuity – a simple, wooden slatted spoon and a sizable soap pot – unique mixtures of ingredients are blended to create a signature product that perfectly captures the essence of its destination. To further complement the heady experience, Maine’s production and design team works with each client to expertly craft the perfect packaging, from custom-designed labels to vessels to hold the products for end use. For those clients with an Earthfriendly environmental policy, Maine is pleased to offer a number of choices to complement any eco-sensitive mission. “All of our products – from soaps, lotions, and candles to sunscreens, bug repellants, and lip balms – are packaged in natural, biodegradable wraps or recyclable containers,” she explained. “We use a simple cello wrapper and a cigar band label or pressure-sensitive label, or a combination of these, for our privatelabel work. Our lotions, body butters, and sunscreens are not only organic, but they are also packaged in either glass jars with aluminum lids or recyclable plastic jars and tubes. Our natural, biodegradable, DEET-free bug repellents are in balm or spritzer form and available in recyclable tin or plastic packaging.” With so much attention and general enthusiasm for her natural and Earth-sensitive products, Maine is looking to the future to further expand her interests and satisfy the needs of her clientele. This year, plans are in the works for a subsidiary company on the Finger Lakes Wine Trail in Seneca Lake, N.Y. This extension of the original company will not only showcase its methodical production efforts via personal tours, but it will also accommodate a 1,500-square-foot museum housing soap-related fine and commercial art dating to the 1800s. To expand her current crop of body care products, Maine hopes to broaden her private-label offerings by infusing her scentladen soaps with even more regional flavor. “I’d really like to find ways to incorporate raw materials into my soaps that are local to the client or the particular hotel we are servicing,” she said. “This would not only create a truly unique brand, but it would also allow for cross-promotion between complementary businesses in the same region. In this respect, and in regard to our fundamental desire to share the beauty of nature with those around us, we can see the vast potential for creativity, as well as the path to social responsibility.”

38

Courtesy SunFeather Natural Soap Company

Artisan Bath and Beauty … Naturally

greenhotels IMPACT X In 2007, Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast’s major renovations paid special attention to expanding the green aspects of the property. For instance, 90 percent of the hardwood floors were not replaced, but instead restored using Earthfriendly low-VOC stains and finishes.

contributions to the waste stream. And, according to Rachael Solem, owner and general manager of Irving House at Harvard and Harding House in Cambridge, Mass., “there’s something to not having to deal with the excess bottles that guests really appreciate. We offer both private and shared baths, and for our guests who share facilities, this is a real bonus.” Although Solem said she’s still waiting for an attractive soap dispenser that can deliver amenities with a one-handed push, she’s happy with her switch and will continue to use the dispensers to promote

a program that helped the innkeepers

a local homeless shelter,” said Tami Ra-

her philosophy.

contend with half-used amenity bottles.

hier, environmental coordinator and

Out West, in the heart of Mt. Rainier

Instead of tossing them in the trash,

administration assistant for Mt. Rainier

National Park, the environmental co-

housekeeping collects the bottles for

Guest Services. “All partially used sham-

ordinator at National Park Inn devised

pass-on use. “I started a program with

poo and lotion is collected, and once we have a few storage bins filled to capacity,

Photo courtesy of Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast

we transport them to a local business

Contributing to the Greener Good Speak with any proprietor, manager, or green team member in charge of a property’s environmental policies, and they all agree that their green practices and programs couldn’t exist without the conscious actions and guidance of their vendors. Taking the reins of the green revolution, GHA Vendor Members have developed and honed specific products that complement the hospitality industry’s Earth-friendly mission.

down the mountain so that someone from the mission can pick them up. Each year, the mission assists approximately 8,000 people, averaging about 650 people every month. This program has been important to us because it not only allows us to continue our green practices, but it also helps local people in need.” Still others in the hospitality industry have sought cutting-edge practices to eliminate plastic amenity bottles while still providing guests with individual soaps and shampoos. Low-impact amenities in biodegradable bottles are a growing trend, but for Shadomy, they still didn’t fit her philosophy. Continued on page 42

39

GREEN TRAVELERS

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greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company

Shades of Green Long before the terms “green” and “environmentally conscious” were common buzzwords tripping off the tongues of every passerby, Charles Thibeau was experimenting with ancient formulas to create an authentic, natural paint for his reproduction furniture. Primarily creating Colonial and Shaker reproductions, Thibeau did extensive research into the finishing techniques of these skilled Colonial craftsmen. Discovering that the various hues they used were individually created with locally found ingredients, he set out to perfect a formula that would not only compliment their ingenuity, but also add authenticity to his wooden creations. Finding the perfect mixture, Thibeau came up with a viable formula for milk paint in the early 1970s. This simple ingredient mixture, which dates back more than 6,000 years, originally combined skim milk or buttermilk with crushed limestone, minerals, or pigments found in clay pits or chimney soot. The primitive palette that was generated from this combination varied greatly in hue, texture, and permanence, so Thibeau created his own version of the mixture that could consistently be replicated. “Original milk paint varied from one batch to the next, and had a very short shelf life,” said Anne Thibeau, Charles’ daughter and president of The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company. “Because the primitive versions used real milk, it didn’t last very long. My father, who has always been very environmentally conscious, didn’t want to put preservatives in his paint, so he created a formula that mimicked the original, with one major improvement: Instead of making a liquid paint, he created a powdered version that you mix with water.” As luck would have it, Thibeau’s furniture, finished in his all-natural, chemical-free milk paint, soon caught the attention of producers of Yankee Magazine, which was producing a book on the lost arts. Highlighting Thibeau’s work, the book generated a flood of requests for the primitive paint and served as the impetus for the creation of The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company. Today, nearly 40 years after Thibeau rediscovered and perfected the mixture, his milk paint is widely distributed to more than 400 national dealers, as well as a handful of international dealers. Available in 20 classic colors ranging from barn red to bayberry green and marigold yellow to federal blue, the powder paint is ideal for porous, raw wood. “True to its original intent, our milk paint is ideal for porous, wooden surfaces, like furniture,” Anne explained. “Once this paint adheres to a surface, there is no getting it off because it hardens, like concrete, over time. In fact, historians have even found traces of milk paint in King Tut’s tomb.” While milk paint is ideal for wooden furniture, applications to non-porous surfaces, such as walls, are not recommended. To that end, Thibeau went back to the drawing board to create a formula that would not only be safe for these surfaces, but also safe for the environment. Staying true to its inherent qualities, Thibeau aptly named his new creation SafePaint. Made in the same manner as original milk paint, with milk protein, lime, and natural or mineral pigments, SafePaint only differs because of a non-toxic additive that easily allows it to stick to non-porous surfaces. “SafePaint comes in the same 20 colors as milk paint,

41

IMPACT greenhotels Continued from page 39

it’s still a powder formula that you mix with water, and it’s long-lasting and durable like its predecessor,” Anne said. “But, SafePaint is so mild that even pregnant women can safely paint with it.” Both manifestations dry quickly and maintain a beautiful, flat luster. However, in high-traffic or high-abuse areas, Anne recommends using a sealant to prevent water spotting and dirt absorption. Her suggestion: Daddy Van’s Beeswax, a natural paste wax that seals the painted surface and provides a velvety, unique finish while maintaining the company’s green philosophy. “Although original milk paint fell out of favor many years ago with the invention of latex paint and the easy-to-transport paint can, consumers today are discovering the many harmful chemicals that are used to make these paints,” Anne said. “With so many people with chemical sensitivities, or a desire to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, we’re witnessing a rise in consumer interest in milk paint.” For those people taking an interest in this ancient art, it’s as much a desire for a pure, natural manifestation as it is a return to the basics. Instead of letting a computer generate the perfect paint palette, consumers are trusting their instincts and creating custom colors by mixing and experimenting with The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s signature hues. “For us, this entire endeavor has come full circle,” Anne said. “My father went into this business to pursue his dream of making beautiful and authentic furniture that he could share with the world. Instead, from his vision, he created a business that not only benefitted other skilled craftsmen by furthering their art, but also allowed him to pursue his passions for antiques, woodworking, and the environment.”

42

With a strict, “no bottles here!” mantra, she sought alternative packaging that would work with her gray-water system. “Although most of the eco-friendly choices come in biodegradable corn starch bottles, in my tests of the products the plastic was so rigid that a significant amount of the product was left unused in the packaging,” she said. “I opted instead for paper bottle amenities, which have numerous benefits, including a residual 1 percent of product left in the bottle instead of the 20 to 30 percent that remains in a plastic bottle. In addition, the leftover packaging takes only 7 percent of the space in a landfill that plastic bottle amenities would use.” Such consumer consciousness in regard to residual waste can be applied to other areas of the guest room as well. With an almost national obsession with television, many hoteliers have opted for more energy-efficient electronics in all of their guest rooms. Energy Star-rated choices and efficient LCD televisions top the list, while at some bold establishments, removing the electronics entirely ensures a move toward greener operations. In the same vein, many properties are eliminating signature notepads and pens from guest rooms. But for those who still want to facilitate their guests’ creative outpourings, many use recycled-content paper and pens to get the juices flowing. Others, like Solem’s Cambridge-area inns, offer diminutive, loose-sheet paper in smaller quantities. “For our swag bags, we have recycled content paper notebooks and we’ve used recycled pens, but I’ve found the pens to be less than reliable,” she said. “When I have my name on something, I need it to work, so we’re waiting for the pens to improve in quality before we purchase them again.” At Harrison Hot Springs Resort, where paper pads are still in use, Schram said housekeeping will not set out a new notepad if there is sufficient paper left on the old one. Practicing the principles of environmentalism, which proclaims, “reuse, repurpose, recycle,” others, like Shadomy, continue to use old stock from previous owners. Although the paper may not be as environmentally sound, using the old stock before purchasing new is a greener way to operate. With so many ways to green their guest rooms, hoteliers are finding new and unique ways to incorporate environmentally friendly products and fixtures. From simple tried and true practices, such as converting old incandescent lights to more energy-efficient CFL bulbs and retrofitting sinks and showers with water-saving aerators, properties are eagerly awaiting the latest technology. While in the beginning, light emitted from CFL bulbs paled in comparison to incandescents, and the fixtures that accepted these retrofits were limited at best, today technology has progressed to where CFLs emit a brighter, pleasant light and are standardized to fit a number of attractive fixtures. In the area of water conservation, dual-flush toilets and composting toilets are gaining attention and appreciation, allowing users to significantly reduce their water consumption. “We’ve been researching dual-flush toilets, and we really like what we see,” said Sue. “We’re currently in construction on a new building, and we plan to use these toilets when it is finished. If they work as well as we’ve read, we plan to retrofit our older building with them too.” Other cutting-edge practices that can certainly benefit in the greening of the hospitality industry include electronic door keys that automatically turn on electrical devices within guest rooms when the key is inserted in the lock and ecofriendly signage that is both informative and durable. Regarding the latter, Jay M. Lloyd, general manager of the Suites at Hershey in Hershey, Pa., retrofitted his guest rooms with magnetic signage, which has virtually eliminated the hotel’s

greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy of Harris Pillow Supply

A Green Night’s Sleep The importance of a good night’s sleep can never be stressed enough. But, if you’ve ever tried to get comfortable using a lumpy or perhaps even worse, a flat pillow, then you know peaceful slumber can be frustratingly elusive. The owners of Harris Pillow Supply in Beaufort, S.C., however, have made it their mission since 1958 to improve rest relations one pillow at a time. The family-owned and -operated company had its humble beginnings as a mobile pillow cleaning service based in Chicago. At that time, William Harris purchased a franchise of Fluff ’n Puff Pillow Service of America and began what today is considered a truly sustainable business of cleaning and regenerating old pillows in institutions such as hospitals, hotels, and nursing homes. When Fluff ’n Puff went bankrupt, William borrowed enough money to purchase the failed business’ inventory, and began selling these ingenious pillow-cleaning machines to corporations across the country. Making some adjustments to the original machine with an engineer friend, William soon unveiled an updated version of the Pillow-Vac – the same one that is widely available today. Portable and relatively compact, the Pillow-Vac allows users to empty the stuffing of an old, used pillow into the machine where it is agitated, separating the dirt from the stuffing. Sifting out the bacteria-laden dirt, while exposing the stuffing to an ozoneemitting germicidal light to kill remaining harmful bacteria and sanitize and deodorize the filling, the Pillow-Vac simultaneously fluffs up the pillow and breaks down the clumps or lumps that have formed. Once the stuffing has been sufficiently transformed, and, if needed, additional stuffing is added to regenerate the pillow’s original density, the filling is blown into a new cotton ticking that is both feather- and down-proof. The entire process, which is ideal for feather, down, loose-filled microfiber, and cluster-fiber pillows, takes a mere 3 to 4 minutes per pillow. “The Pillow-Vac is basically a recycling machine that allows corporate institutions, like hotels, to restore their old pillows without replacing them,” said Patrick Harris, vice president of the company and the grandson of founding father, William Harris. “In today’s economy, businesses are looking for ways to not only reduce costs that impact their bottom line, but they also are looking for sustainable, green products that help them adhere to their ever-expanding environmental policies.” Doing its part to contribute to this greening trend, Harris Supply reports that one of its supporters in the hospitality industry – with a 700-room property using approximately 4,500 pillows on a daily basis – purchased only 400 new pillows in

2006, and a mere 100 pillows in 2007, due to its use of the Pillow-Vac. “We have about 2,000 customers worldwide using our machines, including many hotels,” Patrick said. “At this particular property in Colorado, they’ve been very successful with the Pillow-Vac, and they even custom-make pillows for their guest rooms.” As a full-service manufacturer, Harris Supply also stocks a wide range of pillow tickings in a number of standard and custom shapes and sizes. The ticking, the industry word for the fabric “bag” that holds a pillow’s filling, is also available in various patterns and colors, and customers can choose from a stocked inventory of 150,000 yards of fabric. The pre-stitched ticking comes with an opening designed to fit the Pillow-Vac, and it can be custom designed with any logo or company name. Likewise, Harris Supply also stocks pillow feathers and other fillings, as well as fully manufactured pillows. “In 1998 we began

43

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greenhotels IMPACT manufacturing high-quality pillows, a segment of our business that is certainly a source of pride,” Patrick said. “We make nearly every part of the pillow here in our plant, and import as little as possible to ensure quality control.” The company’s best seller is its Heavenly Down® pillow, an allergy-free pillow that blends two different microfibers for a soft, down feel. Encased in a 230-thread count, 100-percent cotton ticking, the pillow is both washable and well-received in the hospitality industry. With such a diverse and encompassing product line, Harris Supply continues to gain much-appreciated attention, particularly among the environmentally conscious sector of the hospitality

industry. Through its creation of the Pillow-Vac alone, the company has given its clients a viable alternative to the wasteful consumption of pillows that also drastically reduces the amount of trash entering our waste stream. By diverting these bulky items from landfills and creating a unique and Earth-friendly technique to reuse pillows, Harris Supply is on the front lines of conservation. “When you renovate a pillow, it’s brand-new, and no one can tell the difference,” Patrick explained. “Because every hotel wants each guest to have a superior experience, we developed a system that allows them to custom-make a finequality product while practicing environmental stewardship.”

Photo courtesy of Bucuti Beach Resort

S GHA Charter Member Bucuti Beach Resort’s guest rooms are equipped with separate waste bins for recycling, energy-saving lamps, and water-saving toilets, showerheads, and taps. The resort is also equipped with light sensors, water-control devices, HACCP food safety procedures, environmentally friendly products, solar-heated water, AC sensors, and bulk dispensers.

need for costly paper reprints when signs are damaged or

practices and well-detailed programs not only reduce a proper-

lost. “The magnets rarely disappear, and they hold up better

ty’s overhead costs, but they also provide a much sweeter sav-

than conventional signage,” he said. “So often hotels look to

ings: the Earth’s limited natural resources. Although monetary

go green, and then they unnecessarily inundate their guest

savings are never unappreciated,

rooms with paper signage.”

savvy establishments tout their

Through smart choices, green hotels are successfully streamlining the consumptive nature of their guest rooms. Creative

environmental prowess as their biggest return on investment.

45

IMPACT greenhotels

NOURISHING GUESTS WHILE NURTURING SUSTAINABILITY By David A. Brown

A

s youngsters, most of our mothers taught us that our health depends on eating plenty of greens. Today, the hotel industry faces the challenge of considering not only the health of its patrons, but also that of planet Earth – both of which require a strong dose of greening. Many hotels are finding abundant greening opportunities in various aspects of their food service. From sourcing to prepara-

MEALTIME AND AFTERWARD

tion, service to recycling, taking care of guest meals goes handin-hand with promoting environmental sustainability. Tech-

Located on the sun-drenched Mediterranean isle of Zykan-

nological advancements and a rising tide of “green” product

thos, Greece, Castelli Hotel lacks a full-service restaurant on

development have propelled many properties forward in their

the premises, so guests find only a breakfast buffet and a pool

quest for best practices, but nothing drives achievement like

snack bar. That’s a situation ripe for rampant waste, but Man-

heartfelt commitment to a selfless mission.

aging Director Maria Lougaris said the hotel remains ever dili-

These efforts rarely traverse level paths; challenges are

gent on this front. For starters, Castelli buys paper goods and

many and resolve is frequently tested. Geography and distance

buffet supplies in bulk whenever possible and avoids single-

can limit product availability, while implementation of proven

portion packages. Cereals, juices, yogurts, fruit, marmalade,

green strategies often stumbles over the low enthusiasm of

milk, sugar – all are served in dispensers and pourers.

guests and/or staff. Economics factor here as well, but despite

Some 5,000 miles away, Tom and Sarah Murphy face similar

the price tag, “Green” Hotels Association (GHA) Members know

concerns as the innkeepers of Walnut Lawn Bed & Breakfast

that the short-term cost of doing what’s right for the planet is

in Lancaster, Pa. One of the endearing facets of a B&B’s charm

far less than the long-term cost of failing to do so.

is the comfortably familiar dining. The Murphys take pride in

®

Some of the green advancements in food service are fairly obvious and straightforward while others occur with more sub-

Walnut Lawn’s culinary experience, but when preparation exceeds demand, they do their best to put all items to good use.

tlety. Often, hotels work to educate their guests and promote

“The greatest opportunity to make green advancements [ex-

environmentally sound practices through a variety of means

ists] in the ‘waste’ of foods,” Tom Murphy said. “It is difficult to

ranging from in-room literature, to facility tours, and even

gauge the amount of breakfast a group of people will eat when

some hands-on opportunities.

you serve family style. For [staff and owners], we can make

Striking the tasteful balance between promoting green con-

leftovers into a lunch or dinner. Composting is an option that

cepts and respecting the guest’s privacy is an art as challenging

we have used. Also, in the preparation of our breakfasts, we

as it is rewarding. Commendably, members of GHA undertake

do limit the amount of waste – namely, recycling egg cartons,

this task with the utmost diligence.

avoiding plastic, and doubling use of containers.”

46

greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy of Orchard Garden Hotel

Orchard Garden Hotel

47

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greenhotels IMPACT

S Roots Restaurant, at the Orchard Garden Hotel, is furnished with Forest Stewardship Council-certified maple wood chairs and tables, 100 percent recycled/low-emission material carpet, and energy-efficient lighting.

ARAMARK provides food services and facilities management

as the designation of a certified San Francisco Green Business.

to health care institutions, universities and school districts,

Roots Restaurant contributes a great deal to the property’s

stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. ARA-

green culture with carpet pads made of 100 percent recycled

MARK manages client facility functions including operations

content and low-emission material, maple wood furniture cer-

and maintenance, engineering, custodial, landscaping, house-

tified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and energy-efficient

keeping, and energy management. Reducing the environmen-

lighting.

tal footprint while delivering exceptional operational results is

Photo courtesy of Orchard Garden Hotel

the company’s objective.

At the Orchard Garden’s bar, many of the spirits are also organic in nature, while the Roots wine list comprises only sus-

In the area of food service, ARAMARK Innovative Dining So-

tainable, organic, and biodynamic wines. (Biodynamic refers to

lutions supports a diverse portfolio of clients including the In-

an agricultural method that treats the land as a unified, indi-

ternational Training Center in Bowie, Md. Here, staff members

vidual organism. This approach balances the holistic develop-

are taught to maintain proper water levels in their three-com-

ment and interrelationship of the soil, plants, and animals as a

partment sinks, thaw foods in walk-in refrigerators rather than

self-nourishing system without external inputs.)

under running water, and turn off lights in vacant rooms and

Doubly beneficial is Orchard Garden’s innovative recycling

offices. The Training Center’s Director of Operations Joseph Fis-

process that gives cooking oil a new career. Each week, third-

chioni stressed that the impact of environmental sustainability

party vendor Got Grease picks up the kitchen’s used oil, puri-

is not measured solely by a company’s negative consumption

fies it, and sends it to Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc., which

of resources, but by its holistic approach to conserving, improv-

converts the oil into biodiesel fuel. Orchard Garden General

ing, and reducing usage.

Manager Stefan Muhle describes such services as “absolutely

This belief system resonates deeply at San Francisco’s Or-

crucial” to the viability of greening efforts.

chard Garden Hotel, where a strong tradition of environmental

“Hotels need to help create a demand for conducting busi-

consideration has earned the city’s official Green Seal, as well

ness in a sustainable fashion,” Muhle said. “We need to make

49

IMPACT greenhotels X In New Orleans, La., the International House Hotel’s Rambla restaurant uses bio-friendly food service items and locally sources its meats whenever possible, cutting down on greenhouse gases. sure we align ourselves with like-minded organizations, partners, and vendors. At the Orchard Hotels, we gladly participate in field studies. That’s why we work so closely with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Green Seal, and the U.S. Green Building Council.” In Charleston, S.C., Abigail Martin is general manager of The Inn at Middleton Place. Her property also deals responsibly with food waste – much to the delight of pigs living at

fertilization – a disciplined process that maximizes the

the neighboring plantation. Similarly, ‘eh’ Canadian Lodge in

efficiency of nutrients and crop water. With minimal loss of

the Blaeberry River Valley near Golden, British Columbia, uses

water and nutrients, the greenhouse increases the quality

the food waste from its restaurant to feed its chickens. Mar-

and quantity of its crops while protecting ground water from

tin notes that sorting through what domestic animals can and

nitrate pollution. Balancing soil ecosystems and building

cannot eat requires extra effort, but the same can be said of

sustainability are the long-term benefits.

most greening practices.

Castelli Hotel boasts an agricultural side of its own, with a

Fischioni puts it into perspective: “Human willingness to

farm of chickens and a small production of fruits and vegeta-

adopt better habits is most important to me as the technology

bles. Organic waste from the produce is used to feed the domes-

is already there but not all humans are putting forth the ef-

tic animals, and farm-fresh eggs are served at breakfast and

fort to utilize it and adapt their habits to conserve/recycle and

the pool snack bar. Olive groves surrounding the hotel flourish

reuse. It takes effort to save but it is the price we must pay to

without any toxic chemicals, and the pure virgin olive oil pro-

clean up the Earth.”

duced on-site is used for baking the homemade cake served at breakfast, and also for serving salads at the pool snack bar.

“GREEN” THUMBS

Castelli Hotel and many others strive to source their purchased produce from local vendors. Doing so promotes the

In Beijing, greening is literally a grassroots – make that pro-

sustainability of agricultural communities and limits the con-

duce roots – operation for Reignwood Pine Valley. Reignwood’s

sumption of transportation energy. Lougaris said her hotel

on-site greenhouse provides many of the fruits and vegetables,

subtly promotes greening to local growers by donating plastic

along with herbs such as rosemary and thyme, used in its res-

containers. This helps defray the cost of local produce, while

taurant. Using recycled gray water for irrigation, the green-

decreasing the number of containers in circulation.

house reduces the need to purchase outside produce, thereby

For the Murphys, proximity to southwestern Pennsylva-

minimizing the fuel usage, emissions, and shipping containers

nia’s agricultural areas ensures a healthy selection of fresh

associated with transportation.

products. Of course, optimizing the positive impact of local

for our food service operation,” said Pachanee C. Devapradipa,

markets means taking advantage of opportunities before they dwindle.

Reignwood’s head of members’ house and project manager. “As

“We are blessed to live in an area that has lots of farms and

we use both wind and solar energy to generate power, this plan

we can purchase many of our foodstuffs directly from the

will help us save energy and labor costs and reduce CO2 emis-

farmers or local markets,” Tom said. “We do search for as many

sions by approximately 5,780 tons per year.

local outlets for foods as possible. When we do find them we

“As our guests are always our first priority, we also feel that

are relieved, but they can be short-lived because [some] cannot

both health and environmental issues are things that we need

do a volume business. During the off-seasons, we have to rely

to pay more attention to in order to give the best we can to our

on national markets and it’s tough to find the kinds of foods we

guests, our place, and our world.”

want to serve to our guests.”

Devapradipa said that Reignwood optimizes the potential

Bridgette Miramon runs Rambla, the Basque-influenced

of its greenhouse through bee pollination and balanced

restaurant within the International House located two blocks

50

Photo courtesy of International House Hotel

“I feel this greenhouse is the most significant [green element]

greenhotels IMPACT

FivePine Lodge

from New Orleans’ French Quarter. Noting that the cheaper food service items are typically the worst for the environment,

PRACTICAL PRACTICES

she uses bio-friendly disposable products and strives to source

Photo courtesy of FivePine Lodge

her meats from small local suppliers.

Martin said her biggest green advancement in her food ser-

“Large pig farms are some of the highest producers of pollu-

vice is the use of environmentally friendly utensils and packag-

tion,” Miramon said. “Buying local products helps cut down on

ing. Knives, forks, and spoons are made of biodegradable, com-

greenhouse gases and pollution from transportation.”

postable plant starch, while the paper napkins and to-go bags

Across the country, in the Pacific Northwest, Bill Willitts oper-

come from recycled paper.

ates FivePine Lodge amid the stunning forest setting of Sisters,

Properties such as ‘eh’ Canadian Lodge and Castelli Hotel

Ore. When his guests lift a mug or glass, it’s often filled with lo-

have realized significant energy and water savings by installing

cally produced beverages produced with the Earth’s well-being

commercial dishwashers that clean and sterilize dishes. Point-

in mind. From the on-site Three Creeks Brewing Company to

ing to the perpetual pitfall of a breezy, oceanfront location, Lou-

nearby Sisters Coffee Company and a local winery, sustainable

garis said that Castelli is confronting the specter of saltwater

practices are the common thread of what Willitts terms the

corrosion by installing a desalinator. Removing the salt extends

“Authentic Green” of FivePine.

the life of the pipes, fittings, and faucets that serve her kitchen.

51

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Procter & Gamble Professional® believes in products that are effective AND sustainable, because in the world of cleaners, “If it’s not clean, it’s not green.” That’s why for 173 years, P&G has worked to bring effective, innovative products to market, and the area of sustainability is no different. Progress never stops. P&G Professional offers an outstanding program for cleaning your linens, with Tide®, America’s preferred laundry brand for more than 60 years, at the core of its offering. P&G Professional combines the power of Tide with the touchable softness benefit of Downy® to deliver a laundry system that provides cleaning, softness and sustainability. The first thing that sustainability-focused customers will appreciate is that the P&G Professional Tide Professional Laundry System does the wash at a near neutral pH, close to that of water. That means you’re not exposing your linens or work staff to harsh alkali (base) and sours (acids). It can also help reduce equipment corrosion. P&G’s most recent innovation came in the form of bringing the sustainability benefits of compaction to the professional laundry industry. Their formula is 2x concentrated – allowing customers to do twice as many loads with a standard pail. That has multiple benefits for Tide’s environmental footprint – including g half as much packaging – and reduced water, r, d CO2, and energy usage in production and transportation. Finally, P&G delivers these benefitss without phosphates, and with safer (non-APEO) surfactants, and has done so forr more than 20 years. So for sustainably great cleaning, considerr the P&G Professional laundry system of Tide de and Downy.

greenhotels IMPACT the property makes good use of its food waste, there’s still a lot of energy and resource usage. GREEN MATERIALS: For short-term use or takeaway food packaging, food service operations should use biodegradable items produced from renewable resources (such as paperboard), which contain either some recycled or unbleached content. Styrofoam should be avoided when possible in favor of non-rigid containers. For leftovers, offering guests aluminum foil or wax paper will often suffice. On dining tables, replacing candles with micro-lights powered by rechargeable batteries yields the same ambiance with none of the air pollution. For the small touches, green hotels opt for plain wooden toothpicks with none of the frilly stuff and they don’t waste toothpicks in sandwiches. More-

S GHA Partner Member ‘eh’ Canadian Lodge.

over, they bundle napkins and silverware without adhesive paper straps.

THE HUMAN FACTOR Complementing the many sensible and sustainable ideas shared by GHA Members, the association offers an insightful

Despite sci-fi tales of hostile takeovers by self-aware ma-

summary of greening practices for food service operations. This

chines, reality remains contingent upon a simple premise: Hu-

resource includes tips such as:

mans control technology. That means development as well as

SAVE ENERGY: Controlling temperatures is essential to energy conservation, so keep refrigerators at 38°F (4°C) and freezers

GHA Members recognize this truth, both for its inherent

at 5°F (-15°C). Adding a thin coat of petroleum jelly on gaskets

challenges and the incumbent responsibility for the green-

yields a better seal and longer life. For the hot stuff, remember

committed to continually teach, remind, and encourage

that ovens lose about 10 degrees of heat for every second the

others. Staff should be expected to uphold green policies,

door is open.

but free will remains a constant hurdle for guest indoctri-

In-meat thermometers with outside-oven gauges minimize oven door openings, thereby reducing heat loss and saving en-

Photo courtesy of ‘eh’ Canadian Lodge

implementation.

nation. Increasingly, travelers patronizing green hotels do so

ergy. Cooking meat at the lowest temperature possible for good

with

forethought

and

discernment.

Many

select

their

results also saves energy, with less shrinkage and nutrient loss.

accommodations based on the property’s commitment to

Heat loss will result if floor fans, etc., are allowed to blow

environmental sustainability. However, as eh’ Canadian’s

directly on cooking surfaces or equipment. After rush periods,

Denise English pointed out, travel often equates to leisure,

staff should turn off all equipment except one of each type

which typically means decreased attention to prudent

(griddles, burners, fryers, etc.) and lower temperature on stand-

practices. This is where proactive engagement between hotel

by equipment whenever possible.

and guest can bear significant impact.

POST-COOKING CARE: When cleaning ovens, green hotels

“Human willingness to adopt and adapt is the bigger part of

steer clear of products that contain lye as this corrosive mate-

the equation,” said English. “People on holidays tend to say ‘What

rial proves very detrimental downstream. A better option in-

the heck, I am on holiday.’ What they don’t realize is people on

volves dampening the oven, sprinkling it with baking soda, and

holiday expand their ecological footprint by virtue of travel. Fur-

leaving a shallow dish of ammonia inside overnight to soften

ther, the lack of refrigeration while traveling means they are of-

baked-on grime. A steel wool scrubber helps remove the soft-

ten eating foods with a lot of preservatives and packaging.”

ened matter.

Essential to this relationship is a green hotel’s persistence

NET RESULTS: To help minimize food waste, all food service

in demonstrating and verbalizing sustainability principles.

people should wear hairnets. The simple step of inexpensive

For some guests, hotels simply must bridge the gap between

hairnets can help avoid a lot of costly waste. One guest sees a

willingness and comfort level. For example, English finds it

hair in something and the batch has to be thrown out. Even if

challenging to get clients to deposit food waste in compost

53

IMPACT greenhotels W Casa Laguna Inn & Spa in California, an active member of the Slow Foods movement and GHA, is dedicated to using fresh, local (requiring less transportation), organic (requiring less water and pesticides) ingredients in every gourmet breakfast dish. produce, and explore the natural surroundings. Guests who visit the henhouse can select their own egg and later enjoy a complimentary fresh omelette by the pool. These visual and tangible experiences afford Castelli staff ideal opportunities to articulate the property’s green practices after their visit. Lougaris said that raising awareness yields bigger dividends than simply mandating compliance. When staff understand why procedures are implemented, they’re more likely to go beyond the routines they’re expected to remember. “Implementation is usually where most mistakes may happen,” Lougaris said. “We may have a drip system for watering the garden but if one [leaves] it on a lot of water is wasted. Or if one washed the vegetables without being very careful with their storage, etc., it could even be dangerous. We invest in our people.” Martin echoed this opinion, adding: “We can adopt the use of buckets because they’re not as visually tolerable as a

environmental sustainability and provide to our guests all the

conventional trash can.

means necessary to do this, but if they are not willing to help,

Willitts encounters occasional resistance at another level

all our efforts are wasted.”

– this one a calorie-conscious selection of wholesome, locally

The smaller, more intimate setting of an inn, Martin said, af-

sourced items known as the Healthy Start Breakfast. Organic

fords more direct interaction with guests and that yields great-

coffee and tea, granola, juice, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs will

er occasion to pass along the message of sustainability.

certainly fuel a body well, but the distinct absence of tradition-

“In [larger hotels], notes are placed in rooms that explain [the

al breakfast treats raises a few eyebrows. For FivePine’s guests,

property’s green practices], whereas we have the opportunity to

it’s less about rejection of green practices as it is a simple long-

talk to guests about what we do on our Web site, through bro-

ing for the sugar and white flour to which Americans have be-

chures, at check-in, and throughout their stay,” she said. “Here

come accustomed.

at The Inn at Middleton Place, we have had standard green

Any such pushback doesn’t offend Willitts, as he realizes his breakfast lineup represents a radical departure for some of his

practices for over eight years. It is our way of life, not our way in business.”

guests. However, standing firm on the selection helps define

Central to this strategy is a cohesive staff effort, Martin said.

the lodge’s complete commitment to sustainable practices. Ul-

“Trained employees [who] understand the need to provide sus-

timately, Willitts believes in educating and influencing without

tainability bring that information home to their personal lives.

preaching.

I am just trying to reach one person at a time, hoping that one

“The lodging industry has the opportunity/responsibility to

person passes on that information to one more.”

be an authentic ‘living green’ model of sustainability,” he said.

In some ways, the collective concept of promoting

“Our property defines the fact that a focus on sustainability is

greenness parallels a hotel’s food service. Intrinsic are

compatible with a premier guest experience. We are the highest

the right ingredients, prudent preparation, and creative

rated property in our region on TripAdvisor® and we’re authen-

presentation. With skill and

tic ‘green.’ We don’t sell green, we live green.”

effort, a memorable experience

Castelli Hotel guests with a deeper interest in greening are regularly invited to tour the gardens, pick the fresh

54

pleases the guest and leaves them hungry for more.

Photo courtesy of Casa Laguna Inn & Spa

and suggest options for guests to carry these lessons home

greenhotels IMPACT

GREEN FOOD SERVICE VENDORS COOKING OIL Chefs use if for a variety of preparations from sautéing to deep frying. Restaurant patrons see only the end result, but behind the scenes, the limelight quickly fades for this culinary necessity. Grease traps keep food and other debris from going where they shouldn’t go, but where does the used oil go? Given the harmful ramifications of groundwater contamination and other environmental maladies, greening prudence warns against pouring oil down drains or directly into soil. However, with voluminous quantities of cooking oil passing through a kitchen each week, the potential for a slippery sea of accumulation would seem inevitable. Fortunately, a sane solution exists – one that exemplifies how specialized services like those of oil collectors bring tremendous value to the hotel industry. GHA Approved Vendor Tallowmasters, LLC, of Medley, Fla., is a collection and rendering company that helps protect the environment by recycling used cooking oils and animal byproducts. As the company explains, fat is more than 75 percent carbon and each pound of carbon can result in an environmental release of 3.7 pounds of CO2. If not rendered, these materials would be a potential source of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. Tallowmasters has been providing rendering and grease removal services since its 1958 inception with conformity to all current EPA and USDA regulations. A member of the National Renderers Association, Tallowmasters serves a diverse range of clients from the single operator to national chains. The company ensures that waste cooking oil is recycled in accordance with state and local regulations. Tallowmasters Customer Service Manager Tom Letcher said that all of the oil collected from restaurants is taken to the company’s rendering plant in Miami, where it is screened for large items. After removing all of the French fries, onion rings, and hush puppies, Tallowmasters puts the mostly cleaned oil into a cooker to remove any water. The last step in the purification process is a good spin in the centrifuge. This eliminates any remaining particulates and leaves what is known as “yellow grease.” Sold to poultry farms, the rendered product is mostly used as an additive for chicken feed. According to Tallowmasters, renderers continually recycle 95 to 100 percent of discarded material (oil and other animal parts) into useful and saleable products. This represents the most successful and efficient recycling effort in the world today.

By David A. Brown

“The good thing about our service is that we use 100 percent of the oil – unlike biofuel operations, which only use [a portion] of the oil they collect,” Letcher said. “Also, when biofuel is burned, some of it goes back into the environment, whereas [yellow grease] is consumed in chicken feed.” Additionally, Letcher said that the Tallowmasters services provide direct environmental benefits, as well as the prevention of maintenance nightmares. “Just about every hotel has a restaurant, so without our type of service, the oil would be poured into the grease traps and that would wind up in the municipal waste waters where it would cause big problems,” he said. “It’s an expensive proposition to get the oil out of the water. Also, large amounts of oil would clog the municipal pipes and then [waste water management] would have to put a lot more chemicals into the pipes to clear them.” As a point of convenience, the Tallowmasters collection team operates from sunset to sunup, as picking up waste oil at night prevents any interference with the normal flow of business. The company offers free pressure cleaning in its container area once a year as a value-added service. (www. tallowmasters.com) Other areas in which green vendors serve the hotel industry include: DINNERWARE, UTENSILS, CUPS & NAPKINS Green hotels with green food service must constantly guard their operation against wasteful and environmentally harmful practices. Meals with locally sourced meats and organic vegetables cooked in water-conscious kitchens with strict energy-management practices can still fall short of optimal greenness when served with or on the wrong materials. Plastics, Stryofoam, even common paper items – these are the energy-wasting, Earth-threatening, landfill-bulging pitfalls to avoid. Options are many and the uses for alternative materials have become increasingly creative. Here are some of the green products available for hotel food service. Bamboo Studio – It’s the age-old question that seeks the lesser of two (environmental) evils: “Paper or plastic?” In truth, neither one sits well with the green faithful. Providing a great alternative, Bamboo Studio offers an innovative line of dinnerware made from bamboo sheath – a protective covering found on newly emerging bamboo plants.

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IMPACT greenhotels \ Bamboo Studio.

Ultra Green LLC – Going beyond basic recycling, this company makes Earth-friendly products using cutting-edge ecological discoveries. Ultra Green’s premiere Tree Free paper products are made from sugarcane fiber. Under traditional agricultural processes, sugar is extracted from the raw cane by squeezing out its naturally sweet liquid. Afterward, the crushed stalks are burned or discarded. Ultra Green has developed a way to utilize the unwanted stalks, thereby eliminating the atmospheric pollution of disposal fires and adding value to the agricultural operations. The company’s premium napkins comprise 80 percent sugarcane fiber and 20 percent other natural fibers. Additionally, the company produces cups and utensils made from cornstarch. This process eliminates the environmental nightmare of petroleum-based plastics that need hundreds of years to break down, while contaminating soil, groundwater, and oceans. All of the company’s products are 100 percent biodegradable, compostable, and sustainable. According

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to Ultra Green, its Tree Free sugarcane paper products biodegrade or compost in 60 to 90 days. The cornstarch products biodegrade or compost in 150 days. Made to withstand heat and hot liquids, Ultra Green’s products are oil resistant, safe for microwave and freezer, and compliant with FDA guidelines. (www.ultragreenhome.com) TAKEOUT CONTAINERS G.E.T. – This company’s Eco-Takeouts line offers a green alternative to disposable/reusable containers that reduce waste and environmental impact. Break-resistant and designed for use in commercial dishwashers, Eco-Takeouts are made of recyclable, 100 percent BPA free polypropylene and are microwave safe for reheating. G.E.T. also makes BambooMel, an eco-friendly dinnerware crafted from rapidly renewable bamboo cellulose and quality, break-resistant melamine. G.E.T.’s BambooMel and Eco-Takeouts are sustainable options to traditional plastic foodservice items. (www.get-melamine.com) Genpak – The Harvest™ Collection comprises biodegradable food containers produced from naturally occurring, annually renewable resources such as corn, rice, and wheat. All are 100 percent certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute to completely compost and biodegrade when placed into a commercially run composting facility. The Harvest Fiber line includes a selection of compostable dinnerware items, hinged take-out containers, and bowls. In the Harvest Starch line, hinged containers, dinnerware,

Photo courtesy of Bamboo Studio

Based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the company collects the sheaths, which fall to the ground as a plant matures, cleans them, and boils them in preparation for product creation. Bamboo Studio laminates the natural material to the desired thickness and presses it into shape. The result is disposable/reusable dinnerware that is elegant, strong, leakproof, and 100 percent biodegradable. Products include plates, trays, bowls, coasters, utensils, flatware, chopsticks, and various picks and skewers. (www.ecobambooware.com)

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Sign up for a free subscription to the “Green” Hotel Association®’s IMPACT magazine. The online edition offers informative, industry-specific articles and helpful greening tips.

Visit www.impact-gha.com and subscribe today!

IMPACT greenhotels and cutlery are made from a hybrid material that reduces the polypropylene material normally used by up to 60 percent with natural, annually renewable starches. (www. harvestcollection.genpak.com) BEVERAGES Whether they’re starting their day at the breakfast table, toasting a special event, or just sipping something pleasant during a relaxing conversation with friends, guests of a green hotel should be able to expect a clear history of eco-friendliness in their glass, cup, or mug. Indeed, several vendors provide products boasting strong commitments to environmental sustainability. A shining example of such commitment can be found in Vermont’s Green Mountain region, where the aptly named Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has established itself as a leader in the specialty coffee industry. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea, and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Tully’s Coffee®, Green Mountain Coffee®, Newman’s Own® Organics coffee, and Timothy’s World Coffee®. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. Recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices, the company based in Waterbury makes waste reduction and responsible energy use central to its mission and business model. For example, 2008 found Green Mountain Coffee setting out to reduce normalized total energy use in its Specialty Coffee business unit by 10 percent. The company exceeded that goal with a 13 percent reduction in its thermal footprint. In other energy-saving moves, Green Mountain Coffee recently upgraded the air-conditioning for its distribution center’s information technology room. The new system is expected to save 61,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 6,212 gallons of propane per year. At its Essex, Vt., facility, Green Mountain installed a new energy-efficient compressor system to serve production needs and retrofitted its production area with high-efficiency lights. An independent third-party energy consultant (Efficiency Vermont) estimates that these projects will save 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. In the company’s human resources office space, upgrading to energy-efficient lights should cut annual energy consumption by 2,340 kilowatt-hours. A grant in 2008 enabled the company to install a 100 kilowatt solar array on the roof of its distribution center. This installation will help reduce demand and CO2 emissions (as well as save money) because solar installations typically achieve maximum output on hot summer days when the Vermont grid is most heavily utilized. In the area of solid waste management, Green Mountain Coffee owes significant reductions to its new quality-control

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protocols for production; improved processes and newer, more efficient packaging equipment; and expanded recycling. Furthermore, the company has made its disposable items more environmentally friendly by working with International Paper to develop the ecotainer™ — an innovative alternative to conventional paper cups. Paper for the ecotainer comes from sustainably managed tree farms, so there’s no damage to old-growth forests. A liner made from a corn-based polymer breaks down under proper composting conditions. Green Mountain estimates that developing the ecotainer – winner of the 2007 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America – has helped keep more than a million pounds of petrochemicals out of landfills by using unique and sustainable materials. In another innovative move, Green Mountain redesigned the packaging film used for its Newman’s Own Organics line of coffees by replacing a layer of petroleum-based material with a layer of Poly-lactic Acid (PLA). PLA is a polymer derived entirely from natural cornstarches and is 100 percent renewable. The change reduced the non-renewable portion of each bag by 19 percent, by weight. Complementing its operational initiatives, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters promotes its green beliefs beyond corporate property. The company offers incentives for employees to reduce their personal carbon footprint and in 2009, put up $800,000 in grant funding to support nonprofits working on climate change. One of the 2009 grant recipients was the National Parks Conservation Association’s Do Your Part program aimed at encouraging park visitors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (www.greenmountaincoffee.com) Other companies promoting sustainable practices include: Earth Friendly Distilling Co. – This Earth-friendly spirits company produces the world’s first eco-friendly, flavored vodka series – 360 Vodka. With the slogan, “Saving the planet … one glass at a time,” 360 Vodka is produced at a profoundly green facility in Weston, Mo. where it is quadruple distilled and five times filtered with an energyefficient process that fully utilizes every bushel of grain for zero waste. Committed to reducing waste and resource consumption, the company uses recycled paper for labeling and 85 percent recycled glass for its bottles, which were designed for infinite reuse, thanks to the swing-top cap. After consumption of 360 Vodka, the bottles can be reused to hold anything from olive oil to water to spices. For those who choose to recycle their bottle, Earth Friendly Distilling developed the Close the Loop program. Essentially, the company encourages customers to remove the swing-top cap prior to recycling and mail it back in a postage-paid envelope (made from 100 percent

greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy of Earth Friendly Distilling Co.

S Earth Friendly Distilling Co.

recycled paper) provided in the original packaging. The company reuses the caps, thereby reducing waste and conserving the resources and energy needed to make a new one. To date, customers have returned approximately 50,000 swing-top caps. For each one received, Earth Friendly Distilling donates $1 to Global Green USA. The company also implements green strategies throughout its purchasing and office management, while encouraging employees to work green and live green. (www.vodka360.com) Frey Vineyards, Ltd. – Situated on the slopes of the Redwood Valley A.V.A. (American Viticultural Area) in Mendocino County, Calif., at the headwaters of the Russian River, Frey Vineyards is a family-owned and -operated green

business with a third generation helping with the production of fine organic wines in a tradition of sustainability started nearly 30 years ago. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the company has installed efficient lighting and motors. A 17 kilowatt solar array is used to power a forklift, lights, computers, office equipment, bottling equipment, and pumps. A solar water heating system is forthcoming. Using recycled office and label paper, tree planting, and local forest protection enhance the carbon-reduction efforts. Frey Vineyards’ wines are made with no added sulfites and this liberates their true flavors. America’s first maker of certified Biodynamic® wines, the company puts its emphasis on producing organic wine of the highest quality while caring for planet and palate alike. (www.freywine.com)

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IMPACT greenhotels

EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTALISM Unique and informative training methods for all staff members serve as the first step toward success in greening your property By Tara N. Wilfong

I

n the hospitality industry, when it comes to successfully greening your property, staff participation is vital. Simply having an environmental policy and adopting green practices aren’t enough; a well-trained and environmentally conscious staff is the key to operational success. “Training for any job, whether the company is green or not, is the most important thing,” said Gwen Corbett, owner of Bear’s Den Cottages in Hocking Hills, Ohio. “Thorough training not only gives employees self-confidence

owners. Although their business is small, boasting just two

and more satisfaction, but it also gives employers peace of

environmentally conscious cottages tucked in the breathtaking

mind that their employees are less apt to make mistakes. In

foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Gwen and Mike

any business, mistakes are wasteful in every realm, from time

Corbett’s mission is to tread as lightly as possible on the Earth,

and money to materials and products. Many companies in

both in their personal and business lifestyles.

America forego proper training to save money, but, in my opin-

To accomplish this goal, the Corbetts insist on operating a

ion, I believe these upfront savings end up costing the company

green lodging, and equate their success to staff participation.

more money in the long run due to wasted resources.”

When they hired their employee, they began an intensive

As the movement toward a greener way of thinking contin-

six-month training process that fully educated her on every

ues to evolve, and many more properties in the hospitality in-

facet of sustainable operations, from cleaning with all-

dustry adopt environmental protocols, owners and managers

natural, organic, and biodegradable products to procedures

are seeking successful training methods to inspire and enlight-

for recycling or reusing viable resources. “All of our green

en their staff members. Whether a property employs a staff of

procedures are written out in great detail so they’re easily

hundreds or just a small handful, adapting the methods that

accessible for a quick refresher,” Gwen said. “I also provide

worked for others to fit your property’s needs is the first step

her with my weekly ‘going green’ tip from the column I write

toward success in sustainability.

for a local newspaper so that she is continuously trained and

For Bear’s Den Cottages’ single employee, the recipe for

made aware of new trends and procedures.”

success was a long and detailed training process that included

Although many larger properties don’t have the manpower

instruction from a well-heeled authority: the cottages’

or resources to train new employees through one-on-one

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greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy of Boston Seaport Hotel

Photos courtesy of Bear’s Den Cottages

Bear’s Den Cottages

Boston Seaport Hotel supervision, most have developed successful training

Introducing the program during orientation ensures that ev-

programs that begin with a combination of motivation and

ery employee is familiar with Seaport’s environmental mission;

education. As new hires are brought on board at Boston’s

it also serves as the foundation for the hotel’s environmental

Seaport Hotel, for example, they are immediately exposed

training initiatives. “When we introduce new concepts, we ex-

to the company’s environmental program, Seaport Saves.

plain the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ to ensure the staff completely

Based on the criteria that you can only lead by example,

understands the issues at hand,” said Lauri Howe, director of

Seaport Saves was designed not only as a program for the

communications for Seaport. “Although we initially faced a lot

hotel to conserve precious resources, but also as a platform

of skepticism, once our team saw how they could easily ex-

to empower guests to adopt these efforts in their own

ecute some of these initiatives, and we were able to make a

homes.

positive impact, support for the program grew steadily. After

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we have used many mediums for communication,” said Julie

Radisson Los Angeles Airport Hotel

Baylor, project and public relations consultant for the hotel. “The most effective is video, primarily because everyone enjoys watching themselves and their co-workers on film.” Whenever the Radisson hosts an environmentally themed event, the video cameras come out, and the employees are encouraged to engage in a little healthy competition. Some of the hotel’s most successful events include a recycling pledge drive for America Recycles Day and a Green Halloween, which included a departmental pumpkin-carving contest in which employees were limited to only using recycled materials to decorate their jack-o-lanterns. In celebration of the December holidays, a Holiday Diversity decorating event took place, in which employees again used recycled materials to decorate

all, an educated and knowledgeable team is the foundation for

different areas of the hotel to represent the different holiday

exceeding our guests’ expectations.”

traditions from around the world. Guests served as judges, vot-

In California, where the edicts of “going green” have firmly

ing for their favorite scene. The entire festivities were filmed

taken root, especially among environmentally sensitive resi-

and posted on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as the

dents, the hospitality industry is doing its part to emulate

hotel’s internal television station.

the efforts of its citizens. Taking a step beyond traditional

For the Radisson, a unique approach to training, which al-

training methods, the Radisson® Los Angeles Airport Hotel

lows its employees to participate in their green initiatives in

pursued a new technique designed to awe and inspire its

an unorthodox yet refreshing way, has resulted in a program

employees. Instead of simply teaching them the hotel’s en-

truly embraced by its staff. Instead of relying solely on verbal

vironmental policy, the Radisson engaged its team with old-

communication, the hotel has given credence to the old adage,

fashioned flattery.

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Like most people, the Radisson’s employees really respond-

At another major hotel chain, the Holiday Inn’s 11 proper-

ed to the hotel’s green policy when they had a formidable part

ties comprising Indiana’s General Hotels Corporation, green

to play in its implementation. So, to harness that enthusiasm

products and ideas are slowly filtered into the mix. Instead of

and dole out a little good will, management decided to cap-

bombarding its more than 1,000 combined employees with new

ture its staff in all its green glory on film. “To increase em-

procedural protocols, the corporation beta tests every environ-

ployee acceptance and engagement in our green initiatives,

mental change at just one hotel. If the new, greener option is

Conserving by Department

E

very department in any given hotel has its own unique way in which it can operate more conservatively. By reducing water and energy consumption, recycling and reusing or repurposing good-quality materials, staff members can minimize their department’s impact on our natural resources.

Housekeeping: The housekeeping department plays a major role in a property’s conservation efforts. With so many areas pertaining to greener operations, it’s important for management to adequately train its housekeepers. One simple swap is replacing harsh, chemical cleaners with natural, biodegradable ones. Although many in the housekeeping department may be skeptical about the sanitary properties of friendlier cleaners, through proper education and training, they’ll learn that these green products are not only sanitary, but also less harmful to themselves, their guests, and the environment. To facilitate their proper use, management’s best training practice is empowering the staff with knowledge.

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Photo courtesy of Radisson Los Angeles Airport Hotel

IMPACT greenhotels

greenhotels IMPACT

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Photos courtesy of Activeion™

To reduce energy consumption, housekeepers should be trained to turn down thermostats in those guest rooms that are unoccupied, and, perhaps even more dire, make sure they turn off all electrical devices once they are through tidying a room. In regard to water conservation, devising a system in which beds that have been unoccupied don’t get remade will help reduce the laundry load as well as the amount of detergents emitted into the waste stream. “The head of our housekeeping team has taken sustainability to every level of the cleaning experience,” said Bill Willitts, owner of FivePine Lodge and Shibui Spa in Sisters, Ore. “We use post-consumer tissue paper, 100 percent green cleaning supplies, and natural amenities with postconsumer packaging.” Empowering the housekeeping staff to use greener alternatives and training them on their proper use not only helps the environment, but also provides a healthier workplace. For tips on training, lead by example and distribute data on water and energy savings so that staff members are well aware that their efforts on the front lines are truly making a difference. Kitchen: Small but significant changes in a hotel’s kitchen can have a huge environmental impact. Like the housekeeping staff, members of the kitchen staff can be adequately trained to make greener choices in both food and packaging. Begin by encouraging those involved with food preparation to buy produce and other foodstuffs locally, thus minimizing the pollution involved with deliveries and, at the same time, supporting local commerce. Instead of offering bottled water in restaurants and through room service, invest in reusable glass carafes that can easily be washed and refilled with purified water. Likewise, consider eliminating Styrofoam for takeout, and opt instead

63

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greenhotels IMPACT

Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Terre Haute

for to-go packaging in post-consumer containers. While these greener options may take some getting used to, training the kitchen staff by example and positive feedback will go a long way toward a more conscious kitchen.

Holiday Inn Terre Haute viable, and the staff readily accepts the change, then it is introduced as policy in the remaining 10 hotels. Stacey Metz, sales manager for the Holiday Inn Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Ind., said one of its most successful green programs is its Conserving for Tomorrow initiative. Focusing on

Groundskeepers: Outside, groundskeepers can tread lightly on the Earth and work in concert with our natural resources by planting vegetable and flower gardens to supplement the kitchen and aid in the ambiance of the property. Training with a horticulturist will teach groundskeepers how and when to plant different varieties of fruits and vegetables, and how to properly tend the soil. To further their efforts, groundskeepers can search for ways to minimize outdoor watering, including collecting rain water and planting indigenous species that flourish in their particular climate.

water conservation, Metz admitted that at first, the staff was a little skeptical, but once they realized that the program not only saved resources, but also time, they were immediately on board. “For our housekeepers especially, this program is beneficial,” she said. “Particularly when they are dealing with a double room in which there is only one occupant. In those instances, we train our staff to make the two beds differently so that if a different housekeeper arrives the next day to make up the room, he or she can immediately tell by the way the beds are made, that one does not need to be changed.” When new employees are hired to the Holiday Inn’s housekeeping staff, they are trained by a long-term employee who is well versed on the resource-saving protocol. As a double check, once that new employee is on his or her own to clean rooms, management inspects those rooms much more thoroughly to ensure all procedures are being met. Every training method implemented by the wide variety of hospitality properties – from intensive one-on-one training to veritable self-flattery – comes with rewards for staff

Management: With successful training methods in place for staff members operating in other areas of the property, it’s important for management to not only adopt a greener policy, but continually be trained on the newest and most impactful conservation programs themselves. Imperative is a management that leads by example, buying only recycled paper products and recycling used office furniture and supplies. “To keep all of our properties’ conservation efforts in check, we formed a green committee comprising representatives from each of our hotels,” explained Stacey Metz, sales manager for the Holiday Inn Terre Haute in Indiana. “We also created a ‘Green Trophy,’ which is awarded monthly to the property with the best green idea or the best motivation when it comes to implementing our new programs. This has created some friendly competition, and it’s really boosted morale, getting members from every department excited and involved in our environmental initiatives.”

participation, namely a feeling of self-accomplishment and the knowledge that they are doing their part to preserve the planet. To help accomplish their training goals, most managers report that an open line of communication, in which employees can make suggestions for new green programs and products, has made acceptance of their programs flourish. Although monetary rewards are practically unheard of, most employees are happily conserving because, once

properly

trained, they

understand the impact their combined actions can have for a less consumptive future.

Concierge, Valet, and Bell Staff: With a unique opportunity to directly engage guests, concierge, valet, and bell staff can quickly and efficiently apprise travelers on the hotel’s green successes. Training these staff members on why the property has implemented some of its green programs and how they have positively affected the environment allows them to easily answer guest questions both effectively and knowledgeably. In addition, concierge and bell staff particularly should be instructed to point out green literature that guests can consult for additional information.

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Atlas is dedicated to remaining fast and flexible in response to our customers needs with our green tissue and towel offerings. Together with Green Seal™, Atlas Paper Mills is dedicated to creating a more sustainable world through products that help protect the environment. Atlas is a proud member of the USGBC, “Green” Hotels Association®, and the Healthy Schools Campaign.

ClearWater Tech offers the EcoTex™ Advanced Oxidation Laundry System for commercial laundries to help defray rising energy costs without compromising quality laundering. By using mostly cold water, business operational costs can be reduced up to 50%.

• Ozone adds oxygen to wastewaters, deodorizes, and lowers COD levels in wash and final rinse water. • The UK’s Water Research Centre (WRc-NSF) studied ozone-treated laundry wastewaters and concluded that it is not only safe but actually beneficial to discharge them to the environment.

Economic Benefits • Ozone requires cold water for effective performance, and therefore saves 86% to 90% of the energy required by traditional (conventional) thermal laundering. Using EcoTex lowers the amounts of chemicals required by about 21%. Labor costs are lowered by 39%. Fabric life is extended (because of fewer rinses being required). • Annual cost savings allow Returns On Investment between 7.7 and 17.4 months, depending on equipment size. Environmental Benefits • Using ozone decreases the use of chemicals. Therefore, fewer chemicals are discharged; fewer chemicals are stored; thus providing more safety for staff. • Ozone “preoxidizes” some organics prior to discharge, making them more biodegradable when discharged.

Microbiological Benefits • In seconds, the EcoTex system eradicates MRSA, Clostridium difficile, and other laundry-associated bacteria and viruses. The EcoTex™ Advanced Laundry Oxidation Systems result in significant cost savings over conventional laundering, environmentally beneficial wastewater discharges, and provides degrees of microorganism kills and inactivation that cannot be attained by conventional laundering. Contact Info: 805-549-9724 or 262-0203 sales@cwtozone.com www.cwtozone.com

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE Hotels go green with high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers XLERATOR®: The New Industry Standard for Hand Dryers Nestled along the banks of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, London Bridge Resort and Conference Center boasts some of the most striking views of the world-famous London Bridge. The resort is home to 122 suites that serve as an oasis for guests looking to relax, unwind and be pampered. “All of our facilities are designed and maintained to meet the needs of discriminating guests from around the world,” said Finn Hauchrog, maintenance director, London Bridge Resort. To cut back on paper waste, Hauchrog recently installed four new XLERATOR high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers to service Kokomo, the resort’s 10,000-square-foot, four-level nightclub. “In addition to cutting back on paper waste, the dryers also helped us decrease time spent on restroom maintenance,” said Hauchrog. “And, the response from customers has been great.” Eight years after its official launch, the XLERATOR hand dryer by Excel Dryer, Inc. has established itself as the new industry standard by which other dryers are measured. Unlike conventional hand dryers that take 30 to 45 seconds to dry hands, the XLERATOR completely dries

hands 3 times faster (in 10-15 seconds) and uses 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. XLERATOR also delivers a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels and eliminates their maintenance and waste, while creating a more hygienic restroom environment. It is the only hand dryer to be MADE IN USA Certified, the first hand dryer to be GreenSpec® Listed and helps facilities qualify for LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits by the U.S. Green Building Council. A recent peer reviewed ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) confirmed that XLERATOR reduces the carbon footprint of hand drying by 50-70% when compared to traditional hand dryers and paper towels. Contact Info: P. O. Box 365 357 Chestnut Street East Longmeadow, MA 01028 1.800.255.9235 www.exceldryer.com

Let your guests “carry-on” your green message with The Green Garmento™ The Green Garmento™ is an eco-friendly all-in-one reusable VIP/laundry, duffel and hanging garment bag created to help eliminate the estimated three hundred million pounds of single-use dry cleaning plastic that annually clogs US landfills and waterways, threatening marine and wildlife. Each Green Garmento™ is made from non-woven polypropylene and is durable, washable, printable and recyclable. Rapidly changing the face of dry cleaning, these bags are to garments what reusable totes are to groceries. Since its introduction, The Green Garmento™ has received a tremendous response from dry cleaners and environmentally conscious consumers and was recently nominated for an Editor’s Choice Award from the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Association. Because of its growing demand within hotel laundry and guest services throughout the US and abroad, the hospitality industry is quickly embracing The Green Garmento™, which finally presents a viable alternative to single-use plastic laundry and garment bags. Eco-friendly, stylish, practical and affordable, The Green Garmento™ complements many Hotels’ green initiatives. Not only does it function as a profitable take-home gift for guests, but it continues to serve branding efforts far beyond the hotel room. The Green Garmento™ is distributed through Pineapple Hospitality and Paper Industries.

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4-in-1

VIP/Route

HAMPER

DUFFEL

GARMENT

Be Fantastic...use less plastic! Switch to The Green Garmento™ www.thegreengarmento.com

If you’re reading this, you probably already know of ways to help protect the environment using better practices indoors…but what about the outside areas surrounding your facility?

care and more. NaturaLawn of America also offers an exclusive line of commercial retail products including its eco-friendly ice melter, Natural Alternative® Ice Melt.

NaturaLawn® of America, an organic-based lawn care company, can help you take care of many of your outdoor needs in ways that are better for the environment. Unlike traditional chemical lawn care companies that spray unnecessary chemicals and pesticides into the ground, NaturaLawn of America uses natural and organic-based products for healthier, greener grass. By following an Integrated Pest Management system, NaturaLawn of America has reduced weed and insect control usage by over 85% when compared to traditional chemical lawn care. The NaturaLawn® of America System currently has 66 franchise locations across the United States who offer services such as fertilization, seeding and aeration, flea and tick control, tree and shrub

For information on how we can help your business, please visit www.NaturaLawn.com or call 800-989-5444.

Cascades Tissue Group is the fourth-largest paper tissue producer in North America servicing the hospitality, office building, institutional, and foodservice fields. We offer a broad range of products including paper hand towels, bathroom tissue, facial tissue, paper napkins, perforated roll towels, wipers, and dispensers. Cascades’ environmental commitment, supported by over 45 years of recycling experience and ongoing research and development, are strengths that enable us to create increasingly sustainable products. With rapid growth in green product claims, users need to know which claims can be verified. North River® 100% recycled towel and tissue products are Certified Green™, providing assurance that you are purchasing one of the most environmentally responsible brands available. North River®’s third-party certifications include Green Seal®, EcoLogo™, and Processed Chlorine Free® – more than any competitive brands. We are also the first and only brand in this market to offset

100% of the electricity used for its production with Green-e® certified renewable wind energy, which speaks to Cascades’ commitment to a sustainable future. In October of 2009, Cascades became the first in its industry to be awarded LEED-NC certification in North America with the significant expansion of its manufacturing plant located in Lachute, QC. The much coveted LEED certification recognizes buildings that are of high environmental quality and that meet stringent performance standards, notably in terms of energy, water consumption, and the use of local materials.

1 East Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

For more information, visit www.northriverwind.com or Cascades Tissue Group’s site at www.cascades.com/tissuegroup/afh

TURTLE PLASTICS is one of the original RECYCLED PLASTICS MATTING companies going back 30 Years. ALL of their MATTING products are made from RECYCLED PLASTICS. Furthermore, TURTLE PLASTICS will BUY BACK their matting at end of life!!!! ENTRANCE MATTING, carpet/drainage keeps beautiful lobby floors clean and sparkling. POOL DECK MATTING covers unsightly and dangerous cracks without expensive concrete work. SLIP-RESISTANT MATTING makes ramp areas and other RISK MANAGEMENT problems easier to manage. LAUNDRY AREA MATTING makes for happier, more productive workers who would be standing on concrete.

For more information contact Michele Norton at 1-800-756-6635 Ext. 204 or email Michele@turtleplastics.com

69

Activeion Cleaning Solutions

American DG Energy Inc.

A.V.M. Enterprises, Inc.

BIOgroupUSA (BioBag)

Chemical-free cleaner kills 99.9% of harmful bacteria.

American DG Energy provides low cost, clean energy with efficient cogeneration and cooling systems.

A.V.M. ENTERPRISES, INC. distributes hospitality and janitorial supplies nationwide.

Biodegradable and certified compostable bags and can liners. GREEN your hotel operations.

Amber Arnseth

Barry Sanders

Marketing Manager Ph: 866-950-4667 ext. 306 amber.arnseth@activeion.com

President and COO Ph: 781-522-6000 info@americandg.com

21308 John Milless Drive, Suite 104 Rogers, MN 55374

45 First Avenue Waltham, MA 02451

P.O. Box 22283 8923 Transport Lane, 37363 Chattanooga, TN 37422

P.O. Box 369 Palm Harbor, FL 34682

www.activeion.com

www.americandg.com

www.goavm.com

www.biobagusa.com

Blueair Air Purifiers

Clif Family Winery & Farm

Coast To Coast Leather & Vinyl

CozyPure®

Tony Ritter

High-quality wines that sustain the natural resources of the local community.

Call for samples. 100% ECO Earth Leather. Unbelieveable softness and high quality.

Visit us and discover quality organic mattresses and bedding. Commercial inquiries call Rex 800-229-7571.

Executive Director of Professional Sales

Biji Abraham Sales & Marketing Ph: 423-847-4700 biji@goavm.com

Jennifer Wagner Marketing Manager Ph: 727-789-1646 info@biobagusa.com

Linzi Gay

Vicki Reed

General Manager Ph: 707-968-0625 lgay@clifbar.com

Manager Ph: 888-409-4433 vicki@coast2coastleather.com

1312 Vidovich Avenue St. Helena, CA 94574

543 Townsend Avenue High Point, NC 27263

www.cliffamilywinery.com

www. coast2coastleather.com

www.tomorrowsworld.com

Crypton Fabric

Ecofiber Textile Corp.

Eel River Brewing Company

Energex Inc.

Dana Winshall

Lead manufacturer and supplier of organic bamboo apparel, fabric/textiles, beddings, yarn and flooring.

America’s first certified organic brewery – brewing great beer sustainably.

Occupancy Sensor – Save 25-45% on the heating and cooling of empty spaces.

Ph: 1-800-BLUEAIR tony.ritter@blueair.com 17 N. State Street, Suite 1830 Chicago, IL 60602

www.blueair.com

Marketing Coordinator

Rex Mitchell Director of Communications Ph: 757-480-8500 x203 rex@cozypure.com 201 W. Ocean View Ave Norfolk, VA 23503

Rachael Weseloh

Rami Belson

Marketing Assistant Ph: 707-764-1772 scotia@eelriverbrewing.com

President Ph: 604-616-2618 rami@energexinc.com

1777 Alamar Way Fortuna, CA 95540

105-6091 Dyke Road Richmond, BC V7E 3R3 Canada

www.ecofibertextile.com

www.eelriverbrewing.com

www.energexinc.com

Environmental Specialty Products

Excellent Packaging & Supply

Green Business Insurance, Inc.

IDC Construction, LLC

Manufactures outdoor leisure furniture made from recycled HDPE plastics – 35-year warranty.

National distributor of bio-based and compostable food serviceware – cups, cutlery, plates, napkins.

Insurance for green businesses.

A Hospitality Company in the Construction Business.

Ph: 1-800-CRYPTON dana@cryptonfabric.com 6745 Daly Road West Bloomfield, MI 48322

www.cryptonfabric.com

Jim Chew Owner Ph: 951-371-5792 environmentalsp@sbcglobal.net 1044 McCall Drive Corona, CA 92881

Cindy Leong Sales/Marketing Manager Ph: 604-779-1007 cindy@ecofibertextile.com 16777 83rd Ave Surrey, BC V4N5T3 Canada

Allen King Ph: (510) 501-3307 allenk@mindspring.com 3220 Blume Dr., Ste. 111 Richmond, CA 94806-1903

Pat Thompson, CPCU President Ph: 614-562-5881 pt@greenbusinessinsurance.com P.O. Box 546 Dublin, OH 43017

Charlie Crabbe IT/Marketing Coordinator Ph: 678-213-1110 x213 ccrabbe@idcconstruction.com 1000 Churchill Court Woodstock, GA 30188

www.excellentpackaging.com

www.greenbusinessinsurance.com

www.environmentalspecialtyproducts.com

Impact Enterprises, Inc.

Kirei USA

Krull & Company

Maytag Commercial Laundry (c/o Miller Brooks, Inc.)

Manufacturers of Eco-friendly custom binders, menu covers, table-top accessories, and more.

Kirei Eco-Friendly Design Materials: Kirei Board, Kirei Bamboo, Kirei Wheatboard & Kirei Coco Tiles

Krull & Co. is the East Coast’s leading socially and environmentally responsible investment firm.

On Premise Laundry Audience.

Ralph Salisbury

Teresa Cooney

Peter Krull

Sr. Vice President Ph: 845-988-1900 rsalisbury@impactenterprises.com

Marketing Coordinator Ph: 619-236-9924 teresa@kireiusa.com

President Ph: 912-437-2900 pkrull@krullco.com

11 Horse Hill Warwick, NY 10990

412 N. Cedros Ave Solana Beach, CA 92075

P.O. Box 1377 Darien, GA 31305

www.impactbinders.com

www.kireiusa.com

www.krullandcompany.com

www.idcconstruction.com

Lisa Miller Interactive Media Planner Ph: 317-873-8300 x204 lisa@millerbrooks.com 11701 N. Michigan Rd. Zionsville, IN 46077

www.maytagcommerciallaundry.com

Natura World

Pella

ProTeam

Renaissance Lighting

Natural, green and organic bedding, pillows and mattress specialists since 1994. Sleep Well for Life.

Pella’s aluminum-clad wood, fiberglass, and vinyl windows and doors are a great fit for hotel projects.

ProTeam, designs, manufactures and markets a full line of high-end commercial vacuum cleaners. Since 1987, ProTeam has been recognized as a leader in efficient vacuum cleaner filtration, cleaning effectiveness, quality, durability and advanced features.

Renaissance Lighting designs and manufactures energy efficient LED-based recessed downlights.

Cristina Rodrigues

Julia Rosien

Mike McDaniel

Communications Director Ph: 519-651-2006 julia@naturaworld.com

VP - Director of Media Services Ph: 515-247-2663 mmcdaniel@integer.com

Marketing Manager Ph: 866-888-2168 customerservice@pro-team.com

One Natura Way Cambridge, Ontario N3C 0A4

2633 Fleur Drive Des Moines, IA 50321

P.O. Box 7385 Boise, ID 83707

www.naturaworld.com

www.pellacommercial.com

www.pro-team.com

Savvy Rest Organic Mattresses

United Feather & Down

Verus Carbon Neutral

WATG

Supremely comfortable, durable, customizable, certified organic. 20-year warranty.

United Feather & Down is a premier purveyor of quality down and manufacturer of eco-friendly, hospitallity quality bedding

Verus can help hotels to become certified carbon neutral.

WATG is a design firm that creates environmentally sensitive hotels and resorts.

Laura Wallace Marketing Director Ph: 866-856-4044 laura@savvyrest.com 4144 Ivy Commons Charlottesville, VA 22903

Jacalyn High

Director of Marketing Ph: 703-707-6070 crodrigues@renaissancelighting.com 480 Springpark Place, Suite 900 Herndon, VA 20170

www.renaissancelighting.com

Andrew Keenan Tracy Miller Director of Marketing

Ph: 847-296-6500 tmiller@ufandd.com 414 E. Golf Rd. Des Plaines, IL 60016

www.savvyrest.com

Chief Marketing Officer Ph: 800-275-1847 a.keenan@verus-co2.com 1112 St. Louis Place Atlanta, GA 30306

www.verus-co2.com www.ufandd.com

Howard Wolff SVP Ph: 808-540-4645 hwolff@watg.com 700 Bishop St., Suite 1800 Honolulu, HI 96813

www.watg.com

IMPACT is online!

Sign up for a free subscription to the “Green” Hotel Association®’s IMPACT magazine. The online edition offers informative, industry-specific articles and helpful greening tips.

Visit www.impact-gha.com and subscribe today!

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- Nov09

Imagine a cleaner without a chemical-related health warning label.

We did. The new ionator EXP™ converts tap water into ionized water — an effective dirt-removing cleaning agent — so you can now clean your hotels without general-purpose cleaning chemicals. With just a faucet and the ionator EXP, your lodging facility will now have a virtually endless supply of cleaner without the ongoing hassles and expenses of cleaning chemicals. When used as directed, the ionator EXP also kills more than 99.9% of harmful germs.

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The ionator EXP is ideal for cleaning: • Guestrooms • Dining Areas • Restrooms • Common Areas • Bars • Exercise Rooms • Pool Areas • Meeting Rooms

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Just charge it, fill it and your staff is ready to clean.

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© 2010 Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC. Patents pending, Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC, and Tennant Company.

866.950.4667 | activeion.com


IMPACT ­ Green Hotels Association