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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.

Board Diversity Within the Lodging Industry—Moving Away from Ordinary Thinking

Results from a recent gender diversity study I conducted for the lodging industry indicate that of the 238 board seats available among the 28 U.S. lodging companies, only 51 were occupied by women (21 percent), a woefully low number. If we live in a world where women account for 80 percent of consumer spending and a multitude of credible studies point to a correlation between greater gender diversity and strong board performance, it is certainly time for us to address this issue head on. I have personally facilitated countless client board meetings and can say with unwavering confidence that...

Leveraging Technology to Reduce Laundry Costs and Optimize Labor

Hotels, motels and other lodging facilities frequently wash thousands of pounds of sheets, towels, pillow cases and other linens each day. While just 8 to 12 percent of the laundry operation represents initial equipment costs, a staggering 87 percent of the total laundry budget consists of operating costs: water, chemicals, electric, gas and labor. For lodging entities embracing green and other technologies to reduce costs, the laundry operation should be a focal point. Reducing Water Use  While today’s commercial washer-extractors are far more efficient than decades ago, manufacturers continue to fine tune operation. More innovative manufacturers have designed special spray heads...

Showcasing Your Spa with Sustainable Best Practices

Shelley Lotz The trend in spa vacations, wellness classes, and eco therapy is growing and continues to weave its way into business as usual. With our dependence on resources and mother nature, sustainability is front and center in the hospitality industry. Most guests expect certain standards and that includes a more restorative mindset in our business models. Are you up to speed with your initiatives? Here are some best practices to consider in your CSR plans for spas, wellness programs, and beyond.Evolving Your Brand Include your sustainability mission and vision in your culture, messaging and marketing. Make it visible and share...

It’s Time to Clean Up Our Cleaning Act

The cleaning industry is all about getting rid of dirt and germs. Just how we get rid of them is becoming more and more important to increasingly safety-savvy consumers. They know that, ironically, the very products we depend on to make our physical environments clean and safe are too often highly toxic. From the CDC to the World Health Organization to The American Lung Association, the verdict is in: cleaners and disinfectants are harming us. Even killing us. These products are complicit in birth defects, ADHD and autism, asthma and allergies, respiratory disease and even cancer. One recent, impressively large study...

Three Questions to Ask if Solar Powered LED Lights are Best for Your Business

It’s clear to many, especially in the lodging and hotel business, that the effort to “go green” has been greater than ever. With the rising costs of energy, the biggest effort is to find renewable, cheap energy that hotels can rely on for decades. The daily use of electricity, water, heat, lighting, and whatever else a tenant or guest may need can make significant use of the most abundant energy source that everyone benefits from daily: the sun. Using renewable energy lowers costs, ensures continued business success, and keeps guests happy without cutting corners in order to set competitive...

Booming Travel Segment Leads to Concerns About Overtourism

What, for you, makes an ideal vacation? Being alone in a beautiful spot or sharing the experience with loved ones? More likely than not you prefer to avoid the ‘madding’ crowd, but you may already have had first-hand experience of the increasing numbers of tourists visiting major destinations such as Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and Venice. Growth in Tourism: Facts and Figures According to the latest statistics from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals rose by 6 percent to 1.4 billion in 2018, the second strongest year since 2010. UNWTO expects the number of tourist...

Why the Era of Water Efficiency Has Arrived

The Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria opened in 2017. As you can imagine, no expense was spared to ensure its guests would enjoy some of the most elegant accommodations to be found, not just in Southern California, but anywhere in the world. Moreover, with room rates ranging from $700 to more than $4,000 per night, their guests expected nothing less. However, along with the elegant accommodations, the hotel took some very practical design steps, especially regarding water efficiency. Considering that one traditional urinal can use as much as 35,000 gallons of water per year, planners called for the men’s rooms in...

What is the Value of a Hotel Sustainability Assessment?

When was the last time you took an objective look at your hotel operations? Have you ever drilled down on how much you spend on plastic cups and trash liners? One client spent $47,000 annually on trash liners. They were shocked, and even more surprising was this cost could be reduced by $21,150 annually. How? Recycling better and reducing trash liners, because recycled items tied up in trash liners are not accepted by most recycling facilities, anyway. Choosing the right-sized trash containers and liners reduces cost, because you don’t need a 60-gallon liner for a 30-gallon container. Eliminating desk...

The Green Hotel Revolution

In 2005, I co-founded Boston Green Tourism, to help Boston hotels reduce energy and water use, enhance indoor air quality and improve waste management. I didn’t realize then that our job would become easier, because the hotel sector was on the cusp of a green revolution. The scope of recently introduced, environmentally-smart innovation is astounding. Here are some of the green products and practices that have emerged or flowered in the last 13 years. Which ones have your hotel incorporated? Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Since 2005, LED lighting was introduced, and it now dominates the hotel lighting market. Today’s building management systems and guestroom energy management...

Aspire to Be a Role Model & Steward for Planet Earth

The other day I picked up my 5-year old son from school and as we were driving to pick up his brothers from their respective schools, he asked me a question that led to an eye-opening conversation. My son: Daddy, does your car have gas? Me: No, my car does not use gas. My son: How does it move? Me: It has a battery and uses electricity. My son: That’s good for the Earth. Does mommy’s car have gas? Me: Yes, it does. My son: That’s not good for the Earth because it makes the Earth sneeze. Me: Laughter : )  (Daddy 1 – Mommy 0) This simple yet innocent...