Pretty impressive. That is my reaction to all of the green products that were on display at last week’s International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York. Congratulations to the many vendors who have devised new ways to reduce waste and minimize energy and water consumption. Each company spent thousands of dollars in research and development on their products and thousands more just to be at the show. If you did not attend this year’s event, consider doing so in 2007. Discovering just one money-saving product can make the trip well worth the investment—even with the Big Apple’s hefty hotel prices.
In my article covering the show, I describe some of the products that struck me as innovative and unique. There were many other green products featured at the event that do not appear in my article. What trends did I notice? Here are just a few that have the potential to have the greatest impact:
• The increasing use of wireless technology to control guestroom energy management systems. Also, the ability to monitor guestroom energy consumption from a centralized location.
• Dual-flush toilets—giving guests two flush options—one being 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf); the other 1.6 gpf.
• The move away from toxic pest elimination or cleaning options.
• The introduction of wallcoverings with environmentally friendly paper and adhesives.
• Innovative ways to pulverize or break down 100 percent of all kitchen food waste.
• Coating processes for tubs and furniture that do not use volatile organic chemicals.
• Energy-saving design additions to washers, dryers, washer/extractors and cooking and food preparation equipment.
While at the show, I spoke with developers, students, professors and hoteliers—all of whom expressed great interest in environmental issues. What I would have liked to have seen is official representation from the many lodging certification programs—Energy Star, Green Seal, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), etc. The show would have been a great opportunity to get the word out about these types of programs.
I believe it is time for the New York show and other similar shows to feature green products and services more prominently. Why not segregate green product vendors in a Green Product Pavilion type of area? Or, at least give these types of vendors the option of participating in such a setup? At this year’s National Restaurant Assn. show in Chicago, there was a Green Restaurant Products Pavilion. Companies like Sloan Valve Co. participated. I thought it worked great.
Another suggestion is to offer an exhibit area (similar to this year’s Technology Innovation Center) for green product vendors that cannot afford a booth space. George Little Management, the manager of the New York show, should seriously consider these ideas.
If your property has not yet implemented even the most basic resource-saving products—low-flow showerheads, toilets, etc.—be sure to visit a trade show where you know these types of items will be featured. There is no better place to learn about the latest advancements and meet vendors face to face.
Those hoteliers who implement the latest green products and technologies just might find themselves with a lot more money to spend. Not a bad deal, even at New York prices.
Odds and Ends
In last week’s column I asked readers what they have liked or not liked about Green Lodging News in its first four months. Thank you to all of those who responded. In the coming months I will be making additions to Green Lodging News to better meet reader needs. Please don’t hesitate to send additional suggestions my way.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (440) 243-2055. I look forward to hearing from you.