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News & Features

Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? We frequently post contributed articles here. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

News & Features

Home News & Features
Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? We frequently post contributed articles here. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Four Seasons Hotel Miami Receives Florida Green Lodging Certification

MIAMI—The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has added the Four Seasons Hotel Miami to the Florida Green Lodging Program. The voluntary state initiative provides the lodging industry with technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving green practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources. “Green lodges take the initiative to conserve resources and protect the environment,” says DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “By adopting innovative green practices, Florida’s environmentally sensitive lands are preserved for future generations.” The Four Seasons Hotel Miami reduces water consumption by using technologically advanced showerheads, faucets, spray nozzles and toilets....

LED Exit Signs Last Longer, Burn Less Energy, Save Labor and Money

NATIONAL REPORT—Every hotel owner is required to provide exit signage throughout the hotel. Many exit signs today use incandescent and fluorescent/compact fluorescent lighting technology. These older signs consume more than 350 kilowatt-hours and cost $28 each annually to operate. They also require frequent maintenance because of the short life span of the lamps that light them. Thanks to light-emitting diode (LED) technology, hoteliers need not spend as much money on energy and maintenance. Many manufacturers today sell exit signs that incorporate LED lighting that are easy to install and maintain. These exit signs start at about $40 a...

Starwood’s FuelCell Plant Installation in San Diego Will Be World’s Largest

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Three years after installing its first Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants at its Sheraton hotels in Edison and Parsippany, N.J., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is taking the technology to a new level at its 1,044-room Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Soon, Starwood will launch a 500-kilowatt power plant there that will make it the largest commercial DFC installation in the world. Through an agreement with Alliance Star Energy LLC—a joint venture of Alliance Power and FuelCell Energy Inc.—Starwood purchases power generated by four 250-kilowatt DFC plants currently running at the San Diego property. The addition...

Owners of Three Resorts Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates

LUDLOW, VT.—Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, have entered into an agreement with Gunnison County Electric Assn. to purchase 27 million kilowatt hours of Renewable Energy Certificates from Sterling Planet, one of the United States’ leading retail renewable energy providers. Gunnison County Electric Assn. is a member owned, nonprofit cooperative located in Colorado. The amount of kilowatt hours represents enough renewable power to fully offset the annual use of electricity by the Mueller’s three resorts. “Protection of the environment...

EPA’s Energy Star Program Offers Myriad Benefits for Hotel Operators

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1992. Then, it was a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, Energy Star is far more and hoteliers can benefit directly in many different ways. Here are some of those ways: • By purchasing products with the Energy Star label, hotel operators can save thousands of dollars in energy costs each year. The Energy Star label is currently on products in more than 40 product categories. Some of these categories include...

One Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Vintage at San Francisco Marriott

SAN FRANCISCO—From the hotel’s subterranean compactor, to the sun-kissed vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, to the elegant tables of the hotel’s lounges, the San Francisco Marriott is helping complete the recycling loop by offering a one-of-a-kind “trashy” wine list in its View Lounge and Atrium Bar. The San Francisco Marriott initiated its award-winning compost program in 2003 and currently collects and compacts over a half-million pounds of its food scraps a year, enough to fill the lobby from floor to ceiling. The San Francisco Marriott and local recycler Golden Gate Disposal see food scraps as a resource, a...

Time to go Tankless? On Demand Water Heaters Keep Energy Costs in Check

NATIONAL REPORT—If you wanted just one hot cup of coffee, would you keep the kettle burning 24 hours a day? Does not make much sense, does it? In a way, however, that is what most hotel and restaurant operators are doing every day of the year with their hot water supply—keeping it hot even when guests and customers do not need it. “When providing 200 rooms with hot water, you can only imagine how much energy is wasted,” says Francis Serrano, marketing coordinator for Noritz America Corp., a maker of tankless water heaters in Lake Forest, Calif. ...

Higher Gas Prices Causing Many Americans to Alter Vacations

NEW YORK—While two-thirds of American families say they haven’t yet scaled back their summer vacations because of higher gas prices, the other one-third are significantly changing their travel plans, The Conference Board reports in a special survey. Among families who are changing plans because of the run-up in gas prices, 63 percent say they will be staying closer to home, about 26 percent say they have postponed or shortened their vacations this year, and about the same number say they are canceling vacation plans because of high gas prices. The survey covers 5,000 U.S. households and was conducted...

Formaldehyde IAQ Exposure Back in the News: What You Need to Know

MARIETTA, GA.—Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Because it is so common, there is a tendency not to give the impact of formaldehyde exposure a second thought. Every so often, however, the results of a new study, such as the Sierra Club’s recent investigation of the trailers used by the Federal Energy Management Assn. (FEMA) to house tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents left homeless after Hurricane Katrina, serve as an important reminder of...

Green Restaurant Assn., New Leaf Form Partnership to Boost Biodiesel

SAN DIEGO— The Green Restaurant Association’s goal is to create an environmentally sustainable restaurant industry; now, this industry is not only cleaning up its own act, it has the opportunity to become a supplier of fuel to the United States. How? The Green Restaurant Assn. is partnering with New Leaf Biofuel, LLC, which has just begun collecting waste grease from restaurants in San Diego and plans to produce 3 million gallons of biodiesel each year. “The Green Restaurant Association’s goal is to turn every restaurant in the United States into an environmentally safe source of fuel for America,” says Michael...