Home Publisher's Point of View No Age Requirements for Innovation, Enthusiasm in Our Industry

No Age Requirements for Innovation, Enthusiasm in Our Industry


Of the five educational sessions I moderated at last year’s International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York City (event now called HX: The Hotel Experience), the session that drew the most participants was entitled, “Crafting a Career in Sustainability in Hospitality & Tourism—Sustainability Trends in Hospitality Education.” It was great to see young people so excited about sustainability.

Whenever I see a young person trying to make a difference in our industry, I do my best to give that person a lot of exposure and encouragement. In 2013 I profiled the work of Milo Cress, an 11-year-old at the time whose goal was to get restaurants and bars to go straw free. With the help of his family he founded the Be Straw Free Campaign. Inspired by Milo, on Earth Day that year, Xanterra Parks & Resorts launched its own “Choose to be Straw Free” program—proof of the impact a young person can have.

This past week I interviewed Benjamin Stern for a Green Lodging News article. Benjamin, who is 16, is developing an alternative to plastic amenity bottles. It is not a dispenser but a way of placing a product inside of a water soluble ball. When used in one’s hands with running water, the membrane dissolves, releasing the ball’s semi-dry contents that lathers easily with the water. Benjamin describes the sphere as a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and even shaving cream delivery system. Benjamin’s goal is to significantly reduce the volume of plastic amenity bottles entering the waste stream.

First Shipments Coming Soon

Benjamin’s company is called Nohbo. His Nohbo balls are patent pending and close to the point of delivery to a couple of major hotel chains for testing. Benjamin told me that he is working to procure the equipment he will need to produce the product. Shipments could begin as early as the next few months.

Stern was inspired to help do something about plastic waste while watching a film in January 2014 while at school. He saw how his mother used laundry detergent pods and thought there must be a way of delivering shampoo, conditioner and body wash in a similar fashion. He got a job at a sub shop to help cover expenses, borrowed from family members and his college savings account, and partnered with a law firm that offered up to $20,000 in pro bono services. He hired a chemist to help develop the product and has attracted the interest of venture capitalists.

Each ball will be packaged in compostable plant-based packaging, adding to the product’s green story. The balls can be displayed in a glass container or on a plate. Stern says the cost will be about half to a little more than half of what it costs per plastic amenity bottle. In addition to selling the product for guestroom and spa use, Stern also intends to make Nohbo balls available for sale in on premise gift shops.

Kudos to Benjamin for following through on his idea. He is fortunate to have so many folks supporting his venture. While dispensers have come a long way in helping to reduce the volume of plastic amenity bottles sent to the landfill or for recycling, most hotels and resorts today still opt for the bottles. There is certainly room for Nohbo balls in our industry. I will be curious to see how they are presented in guestrooms and how they fare in real-world testing.

Green Lodging News Adds AirRevive Case Study to Website

Green Lodging News has added an AirRevive case study to its website. The case study details the successful refurbishing and re-commissioning of 167 fan coils at a Marriott hotel—a process that took 21 days. The hotel that runs at 98 percent occupancy year round needed to upgrade or replace their guestroom fan coil units. The units were not properly operating to cool and heat. This resulted in guestroom complaints, reduced guest satisfaction and the consumption of more energy for less return. The challenge for this airport property was the property could not give up guestrooms. The age of the property and the fan coil units was also a challenge. The property’s flagship, Marriott, engaged AirRevive to explore an alternative to replacement fan coil units. The case study details how the fan coil units were brought back to their original operating performance level through valve replacement, coil rejuvenation, upgraded insulation, and EC motor retrofits. Graphs illustrate improved performance levels. To access the entire case study, click here. Reach AirRevive at info@airrevive.com, or by calling (954) 660-2300. You can also find more information at www.airrevive.com.

Green Lodging News Adds WET-TECH as Directory Partner

Green Lodging News welcomes WET-TECH as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. WET-TECH develops, designs, manufactures, installs and services energy and water saving EnviroSaver II ozone equipment. The company’s equipment is presently installed on tunnel washers as well as conventional washer/extractor equipment. WET-TECH’s specially designed small bubble ozone infusion provides a high quality wash while maintaining savings in fuel energy, electrical energy, water, sewage and chemical costs. The EnviroSaver II offers a low operating cost and a quick ROI. WET-TECH offers a three-year parts warranty. Call (508) 831-4229, e-mail jackreiff@wet-tech.com, or go to www.wet-tech.com.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2015 or 2016?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2015 and 2016. Many excellent spots are available on the website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2015 or 2016 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 5,149. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There is a “subscribe” form in the upper left area of the Green Lodging News home page.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,618 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 686 Facebook followers.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.