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As goes the economy, so goes the recycling markets. Have you heard any grumbling yet from the companies that collect your recyclables? The market for recyclables such as cardboard, plastic, newspaper, mixed paper and metals has collapsed.
This past week I had the opportunity to visit the site of the U.S. tourism industry’s largest solar installation. It is located in California in Death Valley National Park, the sunniest place in the country, and meets more than one-third of the annual electricity needs of Xanterra Parks & Resort’s Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort, golf course and employee offices and housing.
Last week, Joie de Vivre, operator of 29 boutique hotels in California, launched Joie de Vivre Green Dreams, a new portal on its website. Joie de Vivre Green Dreams is also the name of the company’s environmental program. Be sure to check out this new website. Its design is appealing, user friendly and worth emulating.
I was fortunate to attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston for two days last week. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it is the annual conference and trade show of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the creator of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. When Greenbuild was first held in 2002, 4,000 people attended. Last year in Chicago, the total attendance was approximately 22,000 people.
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS) in New York. For those of you who did not attend, you missed a great opportunity to learn about steps you can take and products you can purchase to increase your property’s profitability during these difficult times.
“Hush hush.” I heard that phrase several times while talking to suppliers of products that help to address bedbug infestations. Hotel, motel, resort and inn operators like to keep bedbug problems quiet and out of the news media, and off of the many websites that allow visitors to comment on their stays. I wouldn’t blame anyone at all for wanting to be silent; the little critters are a potential financial, public relations and legal nightmare.
Almost everyone who reads Green Lodging News is in one form of sales or another—whether one runs a lodging establishment or sells a product or service. As a sales representative for your company, you have to be constantly mindful of sales and networking opportunities. If you are doing your job well, you already have a great website, make sales calls relentlessly, are a member of the various local, state and national industry associations (and actually attend their meetings), and exhibit at and attend trade shows where purchasing decision makers congregate.
I have always had an interest in composting—even when I was a child. What fruit and vegetable scraps I generate today are placed in a compost pile just outside my home. Every now and then, I add soil, relocate earthworms that I find to the pile, and turn everything over a few times. In a tiny way, I am helping to reduce the flow of food waste to the local landfill.
I suspect that most of you are familiar with the term “greenwashing”. According to Wikipedia, it is a term used to describe the perception of consumers that they are being misled by a company regarding its environmental practices or the environmental benefits of a product or service. (Picture a TV commercial that includes a Hummer driving through a pristine forest with birds singing and deer dancing.)
Dennis Quaintance, the CEO and CDO (Chief Design Officer) of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, must be a football fan. During a conversation with him this past week, he kept on using the phrase “go deep” when asked what advice he would give to a hotel developer pursuing green building. Quaintance had every reason to be excited when we spoke—Super Bowl level excited. He just learned that his Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., had earned LEED for New Construction Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Proximity Hotel is the first hotel in the United States to reach the Platinum level. Dennis and his development team have every reason to be excited and proud.
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