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Guest Columns

Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Guest Columns

Home Guest Columns
Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

What You Can’t See Can Hurt You: Improving the Air We Breathe Indoors

Forty years ago, if you didn’t see it, you weren’t worried. Today, given advances in science and technology, we now understand that gases and micro-pollutants in our air—even those we can’t detect by sight or smell—can impact our health and well-being. Air quality is no longer something we can judge by our senses alone, especially indoors. According to a 2016 Newsweek article, indoor air quality “gets about 100 times less research funding than outdoor air, even though the average American spends about 90 percent of the time inside.” Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulates, carbon monoxide, and radon are among the...

Saline-Based Swimming Pool Sanitization is Greener, Safer, More Cost-Effective

It’s time for the owners of hotels, inns and spas to take a fresher, closer look at saline-based sanitization systems for keeping their pools and Jacuzzis disinfected. Saline-based technology delivers a greener, safer, more cost-effective way to kill algae and bacteria in pool water and destroy chloramines and dirt. Swimming pool sanitization depends on chlorine, but it doesn’t depend on the use of bulk chlorine. On-site chlorine generators use a mild saline solution to produce free chlorine—or bleach—in a sufficient concentration to meet health and safety requirements. Saline-generated chlorine should be pH-neutral, with generators having the ability to control the...

The Continued Central Role of Recycling in the Circular Economy

A key tenet of the “circular economy” sustainability paradigm is the reduction in reliance on virgin materials. The goal is to create high-functioning products that flow from cradle to cradle instead of cradle to grave—that is, a closed-loop system, where products are reused rather than disposed of, as opposed to a linear, single-use oriented system. This goal is aptly captured by the classic chasing arrows symbol. Early in its efforts to promote the “Three R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle) waste management campaign, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explained that the first arrow represents the collection of recycled materials, the second arrow...

Achieving Greener, Healthier Cleaning at Less Cost in Hotels

The right cleaning delivery systems can produce greener, healthier guestrooms and public areas while lowering costs; gains that directly affect guest well-being, satisfaction, and the hotel’s bottom line. Three proven technologies can help achieve greener, healthier cleaning at less cost: One: Cleaners and disinfectants dispensed from concentrates at controlled-dilution or mixing stations. Two: Electrochemically activated (ECA) solutions systems—sometimes called electrolyzed or engineered water on-site generation units—that produce cleaners and disinfectants from self-contained devices connected to the hotel’s plumbing. Three: Dry steam vapor (DSV) systems on mobile carts for chemical-free cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection. One: Cleaners and disinfectants dispensed from concentrates at controlled-dilution or mixing stations. Water is costly to...

Get Your Hotel ‘Switched On’ to LED Lighting

In lodging like hotels and B&Bs, the lighting is often as important as the fixtures in which they’re placed. This applies particularly to LED lightbulbs, since they’re directly tied to monthly energy costs, which can impact your bottom line. First, an introduction to LEDs: LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode,” a semiconductor device that converts electricity into light, doing so more efficiently than incandescent and CFL bulbs. The lack of heat emitted from an LED bulb is what sets it apart from an incandescent bulb. Heat is what shortens the lifespan, but since LEDs operate at lower temperatures, they last...

How Water Conservation Technology Can Impact the Bottom Line

In water conservation and management, the retail and hospitality industries face a unique set of challenges. A hotel guest, after all, has very little incentive to turn the air-conditioning unit off when he leaves or to take short showers in the morning. He’s not paying the bill, so what’s it matter to him? That type of behavior, combined with the pressing needs of landscape maintenance and the aesthetics required to attract people to a business, is enough cause for worry among facility managers…and their accountants. With water scarcity becoming a more prevalent issue with every passing year, facility and asset managers...

Some ‘BRIEF’ Tips for Building a Green Team

Sometimes, the team that got you to the championship is not the one that can bring home the trophy. This is a well-understood phenomenon in entrepreneurship—the visionary who started the company struggles to deal with the operational complexity of growth and scaling. The same may be true for your sustainability program; it may stall out at the current level of expertise and development. There’s no doubt sustainability is growing in importance in the hotel industry. Major brands are mandating corporate responsibility and environmental management into their standards. Hilton’s LightStay and IHG’s Green Engage, among many other initiatives, are evidence of this. Complying with such...

The Growth of Green Product Certification in China

The Chinese characters for “China” (zhong guo)—middle (中) and kingdom (国)—translate into a worldview that places China at the center of the world. This worldview is more of an economic reality than ever given China’s meteoric ascension to global powerhouse status. What does this mean for the green and sustainable products market? Much has been written about three trends that are important in answering this question—growing affluence in China, the power of e-commerce, and the export of Chinese goods to the rest of the world. These trends, in turn, are creating a greater demand for truth in labeling, and driving...

The Rise of the Social Enterprise in the Hospitality Industry

The rise worldwide of the Social Enterprise sector is making it easier to achieve the goals of running a solid profitable business, such as a hotel, while also practicing “green” procedures and being a good community partner. This article will describe some of the different approaches that players in the hospitality industry are taking today, and will offer recommendations for how a business may want to take steps to participate in the Social Enterprise Movement in the future. First, it’s important to understand what a “social enterprise” (SE) is. Social enterprises are a mix between a private business that exists...

Should We Reconsider Guestroom Trash Liners?

On an online travel forum, Carlo, who travels frequently, left the following post: I try to be a good guest and not make a mess for the people who tidy up the rooms each day. But here I am at yet another property where the plastic trash bags/bin liners are about half the size of the trash cans that they are in. I put anything in these and the trash bag just falls to the bottom of the trash can. And being a (reasonably) contentious guest I try to keep my trash in the bag, not all over...