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It could end up being one of the biggest pieces of news to ever impact green lodging. What I am referring to is TripAdvisor’s announcement this past week that it will soon launch a GreenLeaders program on its website that will recognize U.S.-based hotels and B&B accommodations for their green practices. Once launched, travelers will be able to comment on and even critique green steps properties are taking (just as they can comment on their accommodation experiences today). I strongly recommend that you read the article posted on the Green Lodging News site and then click through to the TripAdvisor site to get complete details. I spoke with Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel for TripAdvisor and she was not ready to announce a launch date for the program (it will be soon).
If it is hot enough to fry an egg on your rooftop during the summer or any other time of the year, maybe it is time to do something about your rooftop. While I do not touch on every type of cool roof technology in my article posted on the Green Lodging News website this past week, I do focus on white roofs and their numerous environmental benefits. Did you know that a roof covered with solar-reflective white paint reflects up to 90 percent of sunlight as opposed to the 20 percent reflected by a traditional black roof? Or that on a 90°F day, a black roof can be up to 180°F while a white roof stays a cool 100°F? I am sure those of you with properties with flat black roofs are not surprised. The coating need not be white paint but a white rooftop surface can reduce cooling costs in your building significantly.
At first glance I thought it was a walk-in cooler. I quickly realized it was really a grow room for vegetables, flowers and herbs. What a great idea for chefs interested in using fresh ingredients in the kitchen. The grow room from Eden Grow Rooms was just one of the cool products I came across while walking The NAFEM trade show floor in Orlando. The event was held February 7 to 9 at the Orange County Convention Center. In my NAFEM Show wrap-up article I highlight many of the latest products that can help you save energy, water and reduce waste in your food and beverage operations. With more than 500 exhibitors represented at The NAFEM Show, it was impossible to mention every advancement but I tried to include what I considered to be highlights in my article now featured on our site.
As mentioned in my previous column, last week was a busy one for me with a trip to Orlando for The NAFEM Show (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) with stops at the headquarters for Clean the World (the nonprofit that collects new and partially used soap, shampoo, etc. for processing and distribution) and a visit with Dina Belon-Sayre, energy specialist at The Peabody Orlando. Be sure to watch Green Lodging News this week for coverage of The NAFEM Show and my visit to The Peabody Orlando. I have already posted an article summarizing the latest news from Clean the World but would like to highlight a few things from my visit. First of all, the organization now has 1,700 hospitality partners representing 350,000 hotel rooms—just four years after its founding.
This week will be a busy one for me with a visit to Orlando to attend The NAFEM Show at the Orange County Convention Center. For those of you not familiar with the event, it is produced by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers and will include more than 500 exhibitors displaying items ranging from grease traps to ice makers to ovens. I will be walking the aisles of the show looking for new ways to save energy and water in the kitchen. Waste management will also be my focus. Be sure to watch the Green Lodging News website and our newsletter next week for coverage of the entire show as well as the event’s WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’s COOL! new product gallery where green products will be highlighted. More than 125 companies will participate in the gallery.
I recently contacted 30 suppliers of green amenities and asked them to send me a summary of what new and “hot” products they will be making available to the lodging industry in 2013. Eleven companies responded to my query and I put together the collection of responses into an article posted on the Green Lodging News website this past week. While in a perfect green world all properties would be using dispensers to dispense soap, shampoo and conditioner, reality is that just is not going to happen any time soon. (According to the 2012 Lodging Survey, only 6 percent of respondents said they use liquid soap dispensers in the bathroom.) A lot has changed in the amenity space in the last 10 years and suppliers of amenities in plastic bottles have certainly gotten more eco-sensitive to what is in their products and how they are packaged.
It is our industry’s largest collaboration on one cause since the launch of Clean the World. What I am referring to is WHOLE WORLD Water, which was announced through many media outlets this past week. Set to officially launch on World Water Day, March 22, 2013, WHOLE WORLD Water is an effort to raise funds to improve access to safe and clean water for approximately 1 billion people. WHOLE WORLD Water co-founders Karena Albers and Jenifer Willig believe the hospitality industry should be able to raise $1 billion each year for the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund. How? The business model encourages spas, hotels, resorts and restaurants to filter, bottle and sell their own water, and contribute 10 percent of the proceeds. ClimateCare will manage the Fund.
There’s been a lot of talk over the years about guestroom cleanliness—in the media especially and most recently in the media in Canada. For a reporter, it seems like doing an exposé on poor hygiene in hotels is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Last year, Best Western introduced its “I Care Clean” program that utilizes UV wands and black lights to ensure guestroom cleanliness. I wrote about that program in a previous column. Best Western’s approach is just one example of a brand being big-time proactive about hygiene. This past week I posted an article about the use of spray-on invisible coatings as an approach to addressing cleanliness in a hotel—especially in hotel guestrooms. I had long been aware of PURE Solutions using a PURE Shield treatment as part of its seven-step PURE Room process.
The events calendar for 2013 is filling up. Be sure to keep checking our Events page for updates throughout the year. Last year was the first year in a long time without a national or regional green lodging conference. (On a more local level, the Greater Boston Energy Efficient Hotels Conference was held in December and was successful.) I have been told that there are tentative plans to hold a green lodging conference in central Florida sometime this fall. I will provide more details when I have them. The first big event this year is the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles from January 22-24. I wish I could say there are sessions scheduled for those interested in green lodging but there are not. Are the big playmakers really no longer interested in talking about the many upsides to green building?
I have always been a fan of Superman. It goes way back to when I was a child collecting comic books. (Interestingly, my office is located just a few miles from the home where Superman was first created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.) Every boy wants to be Superman at one time or another. Who wouldn’t want to have x-ray vision? In an article this week, I explore how an infrared camera can be beneficial to your property. While not exactly providing x-ray capabilities, an infrared camera can reveal valuable information unseen by the naked eye. Thank you to John Keane, director, Infrared Training Center, Nashua, N.H., for helping me with my article. It was not that long ago that infrared cameras were cost-prohibitive—in the $50,000 range. Today, they can be purchased for as low as $2,000.
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