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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 700 to 1,200 words and should include a photo of the writer. Authors can include a paragraph about themselves and their company at the end of the article. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.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 700 to 1,200 words and should include a photo of the writer. Authors can include a paragraph about themselves and their company at the end of the article. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Sustainable Hospitality is Within Reach…If You Want It

The “green” bandwagon moves triumphantly through our communities. Where we used to be called “tree huggers” and fringe conservationists, many now understand that sustainable hospitality is within reach, where we can be good stewards of the environment AND make money. Let’s put the green movement in perspective, just from today’s news items. Detroit still pimps the Hummer and SUVs, big oil is even bigger, and our governments refuse to address global warming. Areas of the world have fragile ecosystems under siege, the glaciers are melting (Boston the new Miami?), and certain species require protection. Oil, landfills, the greenhouse effect, acid...

Some Important Things to Remember About Green Cleaning

The use of cleaners in hotels has a long history. Until recently, the products available to housekeeping professionals have been limited to one of two evils: acid- or bleach-based cleaners. Neither presents a healthy alternative. When green cleaning products made an appearance on the market several years ago, their popularity was curtailed by two facts: they were not as effective as their toxic sisters, and they were more expensive. Today, green cleaning products are competitively priced but some still remain toxic. Several “environmentally friendly” cleaners continue to contain ingredients that pose alarming health and safety hazards. To name a few,...

Your Building is a Bank Account

Building owners are taught to view waste as an inconvenience. The waste stream keeps flowing, and if anything disrupts the “get it out of here” model, we tend to view that with the same disdain as a clogged drain. Here’s the challenge: material has value. As recycling markets gain speed, recyclable material gains value. By thinking of your building as a bank account, the concept of “waste management” becomes a whole new game: asset management. Extending the idea of maximizing value to items in the waste stream, the best way to manage costs is to step in front of the...

Eight Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Waste Disposal Costs Under Control

Waste management is entrenched as the least exciting aspect of the lodging industry. Aside from the obvious unpleasantness, waste disposal is a comparatively small expense and is often thought of as, “out of sight, out of mind.” Even so, the nascent green lodging movement has taken trash and recycling from the loading dock and parking lot and into the executive offices. There, the movement has quickly established itself as a viable way to control costs, enhance guest satisfaction and improve occupancy. While the economic benefits of going green are straightforward, the difficulty in executing a green lodging waste initiative boils...

Getting Down to the Basics of LEED

The term “green building” can have a wide variety of meanings. One person may say it includes water conserving bathroom fixtures, solar panels, recycling, or nontoxic cleaning agents. Another person may say linen and towel reuse programs, lighting controls and organically grown foods. All these items (and many others) are green, as each item supports the basic 3Rs of green business practice: reduce, reuse and recycle. Many hotel operators have already incorporated very specific cost-saving and ultimately green strategies in their daily housekeeping and engineering programs. Embracing green operations is only one piece of the puzzle that makes today’s truly...

Why Have North America’s Hotel Companies Been Slow to Adopt Responsible Tourism?

The travel and tourism industry contributes 10.3% of global GDP and accounts for 220 million jobs worldwide, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). But although responsible and sustainable tourism is increasingly on the agendas of social and environmental activists and even some governments, it is something that by and large corporations in the industry have been slow to sign up to, particularly in North America. Perhaps one of the best demonstrations of the apparent lack of interest and action comes from Ethical Corp.’s subscriber database, which contains just over 100 people with close ties to responsible tourism among...

Why Is Green Building Still So Hard?

Recently, “Colorado Company” magazine highlighted a developer who believes in nothing but “green” building. It was a wonderful article, but it gets at an underlying question: Why is this still a story? The idea of green building has not spread like wildfire. The mass-market building sector is oblivious. Most of the structures in trade magazines like “Architectural Digest” aren’t green. Two months ago, “The New York Times” ran an article in which Robert A.M. Stern, dean of Yale’s architecture school, said, “I think the trouble with environmentalism is that at most architecture schools it’s been confined to a dreary backwater...

Why Green Cleaning is Important to Facility Managers

As building and facility managers, you are probably aware of the availability of green cleaning products, at least on the periphery. But there’s much more to green cleaning than just environmentally preferable cleaning products. Green cleaning is not about simply replacing your current product with a milder cleaner. By definition, green cleaning can simply be defined as “cleaning to protect health without harming the environment.” Green cleaning is about understanding the unique requirements of your building and your occupants, examining your entire process of cleaning, identifying the areas that can be improved, developing a plan and the procedures to implement...