Newsletter Lead Articles

SEP/OCT 2015


As usual, this September / October issue focuses on success stories of GHA's Charter and Partner Members. We are sharing these very successful stories with all members. You are all working very hard at being green, and sharing information will make it easier. We know you'll love reading these stimulating, interesting and very green stories! So, we begin again . . .

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The 5-year PARTNER MEMBER Hyatt Regency Sacramento has 503-rooms, 15-floors and a 1,200-seat ballroom which they love filling. Charlie Bane, Director of Engineering, sees that this Hyatt is exceptionally green. A few months ago, the Catering Department was approached by clients asking what they would do with the pitchers of ice water left on the tables after large dinners and events.

First, Charlie had to discover how many gallons of water and ice that might be—and found that it would be approximately 400 gallons a week. This is how the problem was solved, and an idea which any other hotel with a restaurant, meeting and/or ballrooms can mimic. Charlie bought four 33-gallon rain barrels and put them on big-wheeled casters so they could easily be moved. Staff was notified that after a dinner the pitchers of water along with all glasses of clean, unused water on the tables are to be poured into the rain barrels. The rain barrels are wheeled outside to water the lawn and gardens or the barrels are wheeled to the back of the property where the water is pumped into the cooling tower. The cooling tower loses thousands of gallons of water a day via evaporation, so it can always use additional water. Their front lawn, gardens and interior plants can almost always use additional water as well.

The best news is the fallout of this new measure, which is that Charlie says all the staff has become very enthusiastic about the challenge—especially so since they're in California. He says the rain barrels are now permanently placed outside the restaurants and ballroom, and they are filled almost every other day. Just as regularly as the rain barrels are filled with unused table water, they are emptied on the lawn and gardens or into the cooling tower. Terrific solution!

Asa Ransom House Country Inn
A Green Hotel

A PARTNER MEMBER since 2004, Asa Ransom in Clarence, NY, continually works to be greener with its 10 rooms and restaurant. Robert Lenz, Innkeeper, says, "We started early—1975—recycling glass, plastic, metal and cardboard, and purchasing recycled paper for the office."

Here are other greening successes at their property:

  • Front-loading Whirlpool Duet washers save 50% on water and 70% on soap while reducing drying time.

  • Ecosmart and Cree soft-white LED bulbs replaced their CFL bulbs.

  • Toilets are one-gallon Flushmate by Water Control International and 1.5-gallon Gerber.

  • Soap and shampoo dispensers by Aviva Signature in their showers.

  • Guests' option to reuse towels a second day saves water, soap and electricity.

  • Pur filtered drinking water in glass bottles.

  • Turning kitchen electric and gas appliances on as-needed only.

  • Two tankless Tanagi T-K2 water heaters.

  • Using green cleaning products such as Green Works by Clorox.

  • Energy-saving 3M window film on west windows.

  • Composting kitchen produce waste.

  • Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers rain barrels collect rainwater.

  • Growing herbs for their kitchen.

  • Investing in renewable wind energy through NYSEG billing.

  • E-mailing their newsletter rather than mailing hard copies.

  • Their proudest achievement for 2015 is their Destination Charging via a Tesla Motors-sponsored dual-charging station. Electric charging is complimentary for dinner and room guests. Tesla offered to install the units complimentary at any of Select Registry's 300+ US members.'s properties are quality-assured bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels. Tesla wants to make travel easier for Tesla car owners, thus the offer.

    Asa Ransom participates in the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program. They are a member of Pride of New York (, a program promoting regional and local foods and products supporting the local economy while reducing fuel and environmental transportation use. They are also a member of the New York Farm Bureau (, a farmers' membership organization supporting farmers and preserving land for farming, ensuring a supply of local products. They also support the efforts of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation ( to promote the 406+ wineries and grape growers in NY. Their wine list features over 40 quality NY Wines.

    Asa Ransom's management always welcomes any suggestions on other ways to lessen their carbon footprint. See more at


    Rene Robles is general manager of 12-year PARTNER MEMBER Big Sur Lodge on the California coast which has 61 one- and two-bedroom cottage-style rooms. Recently they replaced two 100-gallon hot water heaters with a tankless propane water heater. As a result, water bills and energy bills have been reduced considerably.

    The property has also placed toilet tank fill diverters in older toilets which save about one-half gallon of water per flush. There is no watering of lawns since it's currently against the law in their area, which, of course, has resulted in a brown lawn. Towel and sheet cards ask that guests reuse towels and not have sheets changed every day. Lastly, a small but very important change—they serve only half-glasses of water on request only.

    Horticultural Gallery Springs Up
    at The Hilton Chicago / Oak Brook Hills

    2-year PARTNER MEMBER, The Hilton Chicago / Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, is committed to sustainability efforts that support its mission of becoming a uniquely green destination. These environmental practices are evident throughout hotel operations, but none more so than what's taking place outside on its grounds, comprised of a 150-acre Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and the Championship Willow Crest Golf Club. This year the multi-faceted resort announced a "Horticultural Gallery," on Earth Day. Spearheaded by a new full-time horticulturalist, Karen Paquin, the sustainable ecology aims to be the hospitality industry's premier Midwestern environmental showcase.

    Unlike a typical art gallery, the Horticultural Gallery at Oak Brook Hills, an IACC Green Star/Gold Status property, presents a cutting-edge array of eco-friendly hospitality projects happening outside in real time, headlined by the resort's groundbreaking beekeeping program. The Horticultural Gallery is open to everyone to enjoy—from individual guests to client events. Paquin, who has been trailblazing in San Francisco's progressive horticulture scene for 25 years, wants visitors to be "blown away" by what's happening at Oak Brook Hills. "It's not just about plants," said Paquin, "it's about the habitat and ecology of the plants coming together. My goal is for guests to walk away with a new aesthetic for not only what's beautiful, but also what's in balance with our native region."

    "Gardening is much more than a hobby to many," added general manager Stefan Muhle, who spent more than a decade conceptualizing, developing and managing green hotels in San Francisco while chairing the Sustainability Committee for the city's Hotel Council. "We feel there's a huge demand for learning more about techniques and approaches that have the potential to result in competitive and fiscal advantages while protecting the natural environment and respect for the local communities in which we operate."

    The Horticultural Gallery at Oak Brook Hills has escalated throughout the season. Highlights include:

    • Beekeeping Program: Hundreds of thousands of honey bees are currently living and working on resort grounds. Managing the property's nine hives is Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry (a.k.a., The "Beekeeper Chef"), who is sourcing honey for hotel culinary recipes and beeswax for natural hotel products, while the bees themselves are helping pollinate the Foodscaping and Chef's gardens.

    • Monarch Butterfly Waystation: by planting Milkweeds and nectar source plants, Oak Brook Hills has created a butterfly habitat that promotes the migration of the Illinois State insect.

    • "Foodscaping" Garden: an educational garden highlighting a new type of edible landscaping using vegetables in the landscape in an ornamental as well as a functional way.

    • Chef's Garden: a garden that incorporates vegetables and herbs specifically for Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry's "modern farm cuisine."

    • Drink/Cocktail Garden: a garden containing herbs specific to infusions and cocktails for the hotel bar. Part of this plan also involves the planting of Elderberry bushes for a signature blend of house-made signature teas.

    • Audubon education: members of Oak Brook Hills' horticultural and grounds team host local middle schools, educating students by discussing green initiatives and joining together for Audubon projects such as installing special landscaped areas.

    • Prairie restoration: or prairie "reconciliation"—as Paquin puts it. The development of the native areas on the golf course are taking them back to the way they used to be.

    • Native bird boxes: Screech owl boxes, hawk platforms and Bluebird boxes are being constructed and introduced around the estate to encourage native bird sightings and protected habitat.

    • 5,000+ bulbs: planted around the property. After blooming each April, bulbs are dug up and transplanted into native/rough areas around the golf course to naturalize.

    • Planting of fruit trees. Varieties include Chicago Hardy Fig, persimmon, pear and cherry. The harvest will be used in culinary and bar recipes.

    • Continual division and relocation of existing perennials around the property: By making the perennial beds the best they can be, Paquin is helping to create a new esthetic in blooming gardens.


    Throughout more than 100 picturesque acres at the PARTNER MEMBER Hilton Chicago / Oak Brook Hills Resort, you will find beautiful greens, wildlife and more than a half million busy sous chefs.

    Bees—and lots of them—busily prepare one of Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry's favorite ingredients: Honey. There are two yards of hives that contain 60,000 bees in each hive. It is a hobby Chef Sean started on his own and brought to the hotel. It is farm-to-table on a whole new level. Not only is honey front and center on the chef's menu, the bees have the veggies blooming too.

    "They pollinate," Chef Sean says. "We have 100-plus acres out here, and they pollinate everything. We're seeing flowers pop up all over. The garden is lush, and that has a lot to do with the bees naturally pollinating and taking it from one plant to another to another."

    Chef Sean is replacing processed sugar with honey in any dish he can. Things like homemade granola parfaits, smoothies with honey and fruit from the garden and a regional cheese plate with honey comb. Menus are planned seasonally, and will eventually be sourced 50% on site and 50% local.


    Traditionally, a resort will inspire guests with its sheer beauty and superb guest service. At 22-year CHARTER MEMBER Bucuti Beach Resort, it's the resort that's left awestruck by its many guests who arrive and ask, "What can we do to help?"

    Long before stepping onto Bucuti's powdery white sands, guests are introduced to the Aruba resort's significant green and sustainable initiatives through the website, social media, newsletters and blog. In return, the resort finds that guests are eager to engage and learn more about Bucuti's efforts so they can participate during their stay. Bucuti's management is humbled and proud to know that guests share their passion for nature and its beauty, and grateful to find they are eager to join the efforts from the time they pack their suitcases.

    Bucuti, a worldwide sustainable tourism leader, is certified in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), Green Globe 21, ISO 14001 and Travelife Gold and holds the Green Globe High Achievement Award among other distinctions. Bucuti was the very first Charter Member of Green Hotels Association® over 22 years ago. Led by founder and environmentalist Ewald Biemans, Bucuti is dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment and committed to raising awareness within the resort and community to foster sound environmental practices. While the resort has many behind-the-scenes green initiatives, it also involves guests in the efforts. Here are guests' favorite green initiatives for participation while vacationing at the Caribbean resort.

    REUSE - Upon arrival each guest receives a reusable water canteen to eliminate the impact of waste and pollution caused by plastic bottles. Guests proudly tote the canteens throughout their stay, refilling them at the four on-property water fountains offering Aruba's clean, safe water. The resort is elated that guests consider the canteen a favorite vacation keepsake and choose to take their canteen home with them to continue their conservation efforts.

    Bucuti and its sister property host approximately 193 guests on any given day, for an annual total of 70,606 person-days of water consumption. Considering the recommended consumption of 64 oz. of water per person per day, Bucuti potentially reduces the number of plastic bottles by 774 per day or 282,424 bottles per year (based on a 16 oz. plastic bottle). In the 6.5 years since the program began, it's estimated with the help of its guests, this one small resort has kept nearly two million (1,835,756) plastic bottles out of Aruba's landfill.

    RECYCLE - Bucuti has an extensive recycling system that includes placement and use of recycling bins throughout the property for glass, aluminum, paper and carton. Bucuti guests enjoy participating in recycling efforts and their positive impact doesn't go unnoticed. Every six months Bucuti conducts an audit to determine how much waste is recyclable and/or recycled at the resort. Bucuti recycles and reuses 60-70% of the hotel guests' disposed trash. Consequently only 30-40% reaches the island's landfill.

    REDUCE - One of Bucuti's newest green initiatives invites guests to choose a Green Stay. An increasing number of guests are excited to participate in the Green Stay program, which includes reducing housekeeping service and turndown service to help the resort conserve natural resources by reducing energy, water consumption and the detergents used.

    Participating Green Stay guests receive a credit of $5 per night per room. Participation means Housekeeping service on Saturday and Wednesday only. Trash will be taken from the room daily, beds will be made (sheets not replaced), and the dehumidifier will be emptied daily. Turndown service is not included. The program is in an early stage of implementation and already enjoys a 15% guest participation rate.

    UPCYCLE - As rewarding as it is to recycle, Bucuti found that its guests also enjoy its efforts to upcycle. Bucuti's Green Team organizes events several times a year, and we relish having resort guests act as judges during a lively exhibition and competition of recycled crafts created by Bucuti associates.

    PROTECT - Bucuti is located on Eagle Beach where endangered Leatherback sea turtles nest. During turtle season, guests of the resort enjoy the magical experience of witnessing a turtle come ashore to lay eggs or the special moment when hatchlings emerge and begin the journey to sea. With the presence of beach signage designating nesting areas, guests become enthusiastic protectors of the sea turtles.

    PRESERVE - Many guests are excited when their Bucuti vacation falls on the third Wednesday of any month. Guests team up with Bucuti's associates to join in the resort's 20-year-old monthly beach clean-up tradition. It's a fun time for all and a special opportunity for Bucuti associates to work side-by-side with guests to preserve the beach and marine life.

    Bucuti weighs the amount of refuse collected on property, which averages 42 lbs. per month and totals more than 500 lbs. per year. As a result of this collaborative program, hundreds of guests have volunteered vacation time to help keep the beach clean of materials that wash ashore or blow into the water from the beach.

    NURTURE - Guests often inquire how they can help the Aruba community. Bucuti is now a proud member of Pack for a Purpose, which gives arriving guests the rewarding opportunity to make a lasting impact on young lives in Aruba. By dedicating a small space in their suitcases, guests bring much needed supplies including school and art materials, solar lanterns and flash drives that are given to a local orphanage Bucuti supports.

    Bucuti's management knows it takes everyone's commitment to realize green success. The constant outpouring of support from its guests—both on vacation and long after—humbly reminds them that even on its small Caribbean island, it's joined by others committed to making a positive difference in the world. And, that ranks right up there with other cherished vacation memories.


    By Rachael Solem, Owner & General Manager

    Among the many guests 11-year PARTNER MEMBER Irving House accommodates are those who are environmentally conscientious and want to continue practicing their conservation efforts even when traveling. So we offer them many opportunities to do so: Composting their food scraps at breakfast, recycling their paper and plastic items, indicating they wish to reuse their towels, avoiding renting a car and walking or using public transit to their destinations.

    On our web site we indicate that we are a Green Hotel, and have a list of ways we are currently operating that lets prospective guests know how they can participate, or at least what to expect.

    Because Irving House is in Cambridge, MA, we have lots to do within walking distance. We provide maps and a bulletin board with a list of current events guests can reach by foot, bus or subway.

    As an independently-owned hotel, Irving House has the control over all of our marketing and operations. We understand that people are visiting Cambridge to get an experience they would not get elsewhere. We therefore seek co-operative relationships with the cultural venues, restaurants and stores nearby, particularly those that are locally owned and independent, and we promote them to guests. This way, when people visit us, they are getting a true Cambridge experience.

    Another way Irving House offers a true Cambridge experience is by buying local breakfast products as much as possible. So our jams and jellies come from Cape Cod, our baked goods are provided by independent vendors who respond to our requests for special products and changes in our menus. As much as possible we request organic products since more and more guests request them.

    Some of our green operations are actually saving us money, of course, like energy conservation measures in our electricity use and heating systems. Some do not: We no longer offer water bottled in disposable bottles. We offer reusable bottles and cold, filtered Cambridge water. This reduces the plastic production, transportation and land use demands of disposable bottles.

    The more we do, the more we see we can do, so the process of changing our operations never ends. More and more I am keeping only electronic files, so I don't fill my file cabinets with paper. I request invoices be e-mailed to me where possible. Of course, we reuse paper for in-house printing, and use 100% recycled paper wherever possible.

    Since 2009 we have hosted an array of solar thermal panels to heat our guests' hot water. This saves 15-30% in therm use—varying with season and weather.

    Some of the furnishings at Irving House were found on the street and refinished and reupholstered by a local vendor who really appreciates old furniture. It is amazing to see the transformation. I have awakened some of my staff to the treasures to be found on the street.

    Our housekeeping staff reuses old bedspreads (if we cannot donate them to charity), for pillows, chair cushions or headboard upholstering, which is done in-house.

    Another way we can provide guests with a true Cambridge experience is by hiring locally as much as possible. Most of our employees are from Cambridge or nearby Somerville. They take public transit or walk to work, and Irving House subsidizes T passes for our employees. When guests need directions, or want to know of a good restaurant near somewhere they are going, chances are that we will know the best place to send them.

    Irving House has had a recycling program for many years. With increased training of staff and enabling guests to participate in recycling and composting, Irving House has further reduced its waste stream from eleven 50-gallon barrels per week to seven. Guests can put their bottles, paper, cardboard and other recyclables in bins in the common areas. Guests also participate in composting at breakfast. By buying amenities in bulk, Irving House has reduced packaging by eliminating small containers. By buying more things locally and using canvas bags to carry them, we have reduced our corrugated and brown paper bag use. Irving House continues to seek ways to reduce packaging on purchased items and reuse more materials.

    Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, do without.

    Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

    LEED GOLD CityFlatsHotel—Grand Rapids

    One-year PARTNER MEMBER CityFlatsHotel – Grand Rapids, MI, opened as an independently-owned boutique hotel property in 2011. The hotel and restaurant occupy a renovated building and were designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, which was awarded in 2013. Since its opening, CityFlatsHotel has expanded with a ballroom in the adjacent renovated 1920's former bank space. The success of CityFlatsHotel Grand Rapids has been tremendous. Locals in the Grand Rapids community and tourists have loved the concept, especially the eco-friendly mission of the hotel. Because of this, CityFlatsHotel has expanded again in 2015 with the opening of a blow-dry bar and three additional event spaces, each with green design, recycled materials and energy-saving programs.

    Design and comfort features include cork flooring, reclaimed woods, locally manufactured furniture, Michigan-made CityDrem mattresses, naturally hypoallergenic bamboo linens, eco-friendly luxury bath products and custom tiled walk-in showers.

    CityFlatsHotel uses innovative design, earth-friendly values, and personal service to give guests a unique hospitality experience.


    The State of Oregon is an especially beautiful state in part because of its advanced programs relating to ecology and minimizing our carbon footprint on the Earth. In Lincoln City, where the 5-year PARTNER MEMBER Nordic Oceanfront Inn is located, it is very obvious why ecology is so very important. The coast has brisk beach breezes and magnificent ocean waves which are a tribute to Mother Earth.

    There are many things we have done to contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint to keep the environment safe. The Nordic Oceanfront Inn has changed many of our lighting fixtures to energy-saving versions. We use LED light bulbs, and we turn off the appliances when rooms are vacant to save energy. Our appliances are all EnergyStar rated. We have a towel-reuse program which reduces water consumption and energy use. We use Ecolab products for cleaning and laundry, which means no harsh chemicals are used at our hotel. We converted our swimming pool and spa to salt water, which is better for our guests' health and for the environment. Our guests appreciate all our environmental efforts.


    For the third year in a row 8-year PARTNER MEMBER Keys Hotel The Aures, Aurangabad, India, planted tree saplings to celebrate the Indian Independence day last August 15—the country's 69th Independence Day. Fulfilling their commitment to plant trees and as part of a CSR activity, they joined a local non-profit at a training center at Chowka Village. Keys Hotel The Aures began this initiative on Independence Day 2012.

    After planting about 200 saplings, the team painted the interior of a temple community hall in Sarola Village near Sarola Reserve Forest with the help of villagers. Later that day the team trekked to the forest, and collected plastic waste along the way.

    Those involved in this activity from Keys Hotel The Aures were Executive Director Sunil Choudhary, Managers Yuvraj Aman, Subrata Raj, Vishal Ashish and Sanjay Ganesh along with Supervisors Khalil Deepak and Shruti Vijay. A team from the non-profit headed by Mr. Ratan Ambhore and Dr. Suhas Ajgaonkar joined the others. Villagers also got actively involved in this initiative.

    The City of Santa Monica's
    Green Business Certification

    Anne Carmack, Environmental Practices, at 11-year PARTNER MEMBER, The Ambrose Hotel, Santa Monica, CA, writes that they're very proud to announce that they've earned Santa Monica's Green Business Certification for 2015-2016.
    The Green Business Certification Program is a voluntary program that encourages businesses to implement proactive actions that are good for their bottom line and the environment. The Santa Monica Green Business Certification Program is a collaboration between the City of Santa Monica, Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sustainable Works to certify and recognize green businesses in the Santa Monica community.

    Only businesses with a commercial location in Santa Monica can apply. Businesses must fall under one of these sectors: Office, retail, restaurant, grocery, hotel, motel and arts and cultural facilities and must have a minimum of 2 employees. The cost for hotels to participate ranges from $275 to $650 depending on the number or rooms. After paperwork is completed, required energy efficiency, water efficiency and urban runoff inspections are scheduled. If the final onsite visit confirms all program measures are in place, the business achieves certification. Their goal is to identify as many sustainable tasks as are appropriate for the business' facility while practicing good business policy, good economic policy and good policy for posterity.

    Benefits include recognition of the business with a graphic, decal, certificate, listings, a presence on various websites and in annual publications, cost savings, priority consideration for utility energy retrofit programs, discounted advertising and regular e-mail updates. To learn more, see

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    NOTE FROM Patricia Griffin, President, GHA.

    Each and every one of these member properties as well as all our Charter and Partner Members deserve a round of applause and a pat on the back. Please do take a bow. Please go look into a mirror, and blow yourself some kisses. You deserve it for your strong attention to greening all year long year after year!

    JUL/AUG 2015


    As our green programs continue to be refined, we're reminded more and more that none of us can be really green without the green products and services offered by green vendors. GHA continues to encourage and support our Ally Members, and to bring you news of their successes--new products, new ideas, new techniques, recent awards, new contracts, etc. So, each July/August issue of this newsletter focuses on new and refreshing stories about our Ally Members' successes. Here we go once again . . .

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    ALLY MEMBER The New York Times and Financial Times recently announced a new, first-of-its-kind program available to US hotels to provide their guests access to and on any device connected to the hotel's network. The program offers hotels a chance to purchase their own branded web portal that provides guests free entry into both and Participating hotels will receive promotional materials in the form of instructional keycards to notify guests about the amenity.

    Guests staying at hotels with this program will receive complimentary access to more than 25 sections on including articles, video, interactives and slideshows. Readers will also have access to the world-class coverage of business, international news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community that only the FT can provide.

    "The New York Times has been available in select hotels for years, starting with the print newspaper and more recently with digital access," said Hannah Yang, executive director, Education and Corporate Marketing, The New York Times. "Teaming up with a premier brand like the FT enhances the guest experience, allowing them to explore and discover the vast amount of digital content available on and, which normally require a subscription for full access."

    For more information on the program, please contact The New York Times at

    Continental releases new high-speed
    G-Flex Washer-Extractors for on-premise laundries

    Following 60 years of hard-mount washer development and innovation, ALLY MEMBER Continental Girbau Inc. (Continental) recently released its most advanced hard-mount washer line yet. The new G-Flex Washer-Extractors generate extract speeds of up to 200 G-force, offer a highly programmable control and deliver superior results using less water and energy. Available in 40- and 55-pound capacitites, G-Flex Washers also deliver the flexibility of six programmable extract speeds including 100, 140 and 200 G-force.

    G-Flex Washers offer high-speed extract for bolstered productivity. As extract speeds increase, according to Joel Jorgensen, Continental vice president of sales and customer services, so does the amount of moisture removed from every load during extract. G-Flex Washers generate extract speeds of 200 G-force, while most other hard-mount washers only reach speeds of 75-150 G-force. In turn, G-Flex laundry loads take less time to dry, which improves laundry productivity and cuts natural gas usage and labor time. "G-force extract speeds on the G-Flex Washer can also be adjusted to meet most laundries' specific foundation installation limitations," added Jorgensen. "Not all on-premise laundries have the 8-inch concrete foundation required to operate a 200 G-force hard-mount washer. The G-Flex can operate on a lesser foundation by adjusting G-force extract accordingly. Programmable G-force is critical when installation variables are not ideal."

    Additionally, superior programmability means laundries can properly clean a variety of fabrics and load types depending on specific laundry needs. The highly flexible Logi Pro Control offers 25 individually modifiable programs—each with up to 11 baths, including multiple pre-wash, wash and rinse cycles. Variables within each bath—including wash temperature, water levels, cycle times, rotation and G-force extract speeds—can be individually programmed for maximum efficiency given the load type.

    Despite their advanced technology, the controls couldn't be simpler to use. Once the programs are set, operators simply select the program number and press start. G-Flex Washers offer two means of dispensing chemistry—manually, using a top-mounted dry and liquid chemical dispenser, or automatically, via chemical injection. The top-mounted chemistry dispenser features up to four compartments—one for wash, one for optional pre-wash and two for liquid-only bleach and sour/neutralizer products. An oversized seal around the dispenser keeps detergents where they belong and a powerful compartment flushing system reduces maintenance by thoroughly cleaning each compartment after every cycle. Automatic liquid chemical injection, on the other hand, not only ensures a consistent clean with every wash, it eliminates the possibility of chemical overuse and resulting damage to fabric due to operator error.

    Engineered for longevity, G-Flex Washers operate on single-phase power and plug into a standard appliance outlet—simplifying installation. Packed with green-engrained features, G-Flex Washers feature a sump-less design, which saves up to three gallons of water with each fill. The exclusive AquaFall™ system further conserves water. AquaFall™ releases water into each load through holes in the drum lifters for better saturation and rinsing. In turn, laundries conserve water and save in water-heating costs. The G-Flex AquaMixer™ system mixes hot and cold water to achieve precise bath temperatures—minimizing hot water consumption.

    G-Flex Washers feature durable AISI-304 stainless steel inner and outer drums. The front, side and top panels are constructed of steel and coated with Continental's unique Titan Steel Finish™ for superior appearance and corrosion resistance. An oversized door, which allows for easy loading and unloading, is equipped with a heavy-duty, bolt-style hinge to withstand the rigors of constant use. No wonder G-Flex is backed by a leading 5/3-year ContinentalCare™ warranty. To find out more about Continental laundry products, visit or call 800/256-1073.


    Every business has critical moments that define them. Michael Ishayik, owner of ALLY MEMBER Intelligent Blends, a manufacturer of single-serve K-cup beverages, is amazed he's a coffee and tea provider. Ishayik had a VHS duplication business which evolved into DVD replication. "One thing that will always change a business is evolving technologies," Ishayik stated. With over 50 employees, a fully-operating facility and warehouse, pivoting was necessary.

    He needed something in which he could believe. Ideas from organic pet food to herbal medicines were considered. He then learned the Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Company's patent on K-cup would soon expire, and the product line was hot. It was critical that these pods were not recyclable, which he saw as an opportunity. So Ishayik created an assembly line using only recyclables to create his single-serve capsules. He worked with coffee brands all over the US as their co-packer. Soon Ishayik found the best coffee beans and tea leafs and the process to create exceptional beverages. A 5th generation roast master was the final key in creating Intelligent Blends. They produce quality coffee and tea by micro-batch roasting as opposed to commercial roasting, and minimize the environental footprint.

    Ishayik discusses his business with anyone who listens. Talking with his personal trainer about Intelligent Blends, the trainer thought of another client who owns hotels in San Diego. Soon the coffee and tea was offered in those hotels, and is now in thousands of guest rooms across the US. "We create an opportunity for hotels to deepen their stance on sustainability, and also offer custom lids and blends for each hotel—turning their coffee budget into valuable marketing dollars," Ishayik stated. "Single serve coffee and tea is our total focus, so we build relationships one hotel at a time while developing value in the hotel world."

    Single-serve capsules are now so commonplace that they are expected and appreciated. The recyclable Kup Intelligent Blends uses produces a capsule with a moisture/oxygen barrier that is up to 10 times less permeable than a typical polystyreyne cup, which is not recyclable. Intelligent Blends' recyclable Kups are made of a proprietary blend of #5 recyclable polypropylene, and recently won a Specialty Coffee Association of America award as the people's choice best new product in packaging. Never did Ishayik see the twists and turns that have led to Intelligent Blends offering a premium single-serve coffee Kup!

    Eco-friendly machines, coffee condiments and samples are available, and a real person will help you find your fit. Contact John Lenz at 858/245-9265, e-mail or visit to learn more.

    Tandem+ Nano paper towel dispenser
    for limited-space areas

    ALLY MEMBER Cascades Tissue Group announces the launch of Tandem®+ Nano™, the small-footprint, no-touch hand towel dispenser, which is the latest addition to the popular Tandem+ towel and tissue dispensing systems line. The Tandem+ Nano roll towel dispenser is engineered as a hygiene solution fitting smaller, away-from-home spaces. Tandem+ Nano is the ideal substitute to folded towels, cutting down on paper usage by more than 40%. Like all Tandem+ products, it is ergonomic, easy to use and provides reliable dispensing for Cascades natural and ultra-white paper towels made from 100% recycled fiber.

    "It just makes sense that in business environments where physical spaces as well as operating costs are tight, it's the little things that make a difference," said Cascades Tissue Group President and Chief Operating Officer Jean Jobin. "We've thought hard about the practicality of hand hygiene where space is at a premium, looking at it from the perspective of both the business owners and the end users. Ultimately, we've created a hand-towel-dispensing solution that works for everyone." The Tandem+ Nano not only mitigates cross-contamination of bacteria, but also reduces unnecessary paper consumption. To reduce maintenance, and save labor time and cost, it delivers one sheet at a time and does not require batteries.

    Available in white and black, Tandem+ Nano, like Tandem+, features a customizable OnDisplay advertising window. Facility managers can change signage inserts promoting their organization or reminding users about recommended hand hygiene practices. For more information, visit

    High-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR®
    hand dryers installed in sporting arenas

    ALLY MEMBER Excel Dryer, Inc., manufacturer of the finest American-made hand dryers for over 50 years, featuring the high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® hand dryer, finds that as the green movement grows, a number of sports teams—including the New England Patriots—have placed an emphasis on providing more sustainable solutions in order to green their facilities. The XLERATOR hand dryer helps sports teams achieve their sustainability goals while reducing costs, labor and maintenance, and improving the stadium's appearance and fan experience."

    The XLERATOR hand dryers can also be found in Wembley Stadium in London; the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums in South Africa; the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch Stadium; the Los Angeles Dodgers' Dodger Stadium; the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium and the Boston Red Sox's Fenway.

    The XLERATOR dries hands three times faster (in 10-15 seconds) using 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers and represents a 95% cost savings over paper towels, eliminating their labor, maintenance and waste. The installation of the XLERATOR hand dryers was a significant factor in reducing overall waste removal from Fenway Park by over 123 tons when first installed, which equated to a 24% reduction in waste. A customized cost-savings analysis revealed that the XLERATOR hand dryers reduced Fenway Park's hand drying carbon footprint by 82%. Additionally, the XLERATOR hand dryers at Fenway Park saved $83,000 annually—a 97% savings over paper towels—and saw a full return on their investment in just over 12 months.

    Excel Dryer offers custom digital image covers that provide stadiums and arenas with an opportunity to showcase branding with graphics, colors, logos or a custom sustainability message. Excel Dryer has a diverse range of products and options along with the most complete line of accessories in the industry to create the best hand drying solution for any restroom environment, including optional speed and sound controls or HEPA filtration system for a quiet and clean airflow. For more information, call 800/255-9235 or visit


    ALLY MEMBER Wausau Paper announced the launch of its new Alliance® high-capacity electronic roll towel dispensing system featuring twice the capacity of typical roll towel dispensers. The revolutionary design of the Alliance accommodates two full rolls—up to 1,000 feet each. With innovative design, the Alliance offers seamless transfer by automatically switching to the second roll when the first is completely depleted. This unique transfer feature results in fewer service interruptions and reduced maintenance time. Combined with Wausau's EcoSoft®, DublNature® or Artisan® Green Seal™-certified toweling, Alliance offers a new, unique hand-drying experience superior to other systems in the market. Alliance's unprecedented capacity, combined with selectable dispense modes and paper lengths, makes the dispenser ideal for any application with heavy traffic.

    "Wausau Paper is excited to remain at the forefront of new and innovative away-from-home market dispensing technology. Many years ago, the Company was the first to introduce an electronic roll towel dispenser. Now, the Alliance is the first system to accommodate two full roll towels with automatic transfer," commented Matthew L. Urmanski, president and chief operating officer. "Unlike any other system, Alliance offers extraordinary capacity—the highest in the industry—while maintaining a traditional wall space footprint. We are confident the uniqueness of Alliance will satisfy end-user needs for high capacity and touch free." To learn more, visit


    Attend an Arbor Day
    Specialty Coffee webinar to learn more

    ALLY MEMBER Arbor Day Foundation's shade-grown coffee is rich and flavorful, and your guests will savor each cup they drink. Arbor Day Specialty coffee beans are shade-grown under the canopy of the rain forest. Rain forests cover only 2% of the Earth's surface, and are home to almost half of the Earth's known living plant and animal species—yet nearly 100,000 acres of rain forest are destroyed every day. In order to help combat deforestation and improve farmers' and their families' lives, the Arbor Day Foundation's Rain Forest Rescue project selects only the best shade-grown coffee beans. With each cup of Arbor Day Specialty Coffee your guests drink, they will save two square feet of rain forest.

    The Arbor Day Foundation, the largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, has a network of over 200 hotels and resorts that are serving this earth-friendly coffee and pleasing their guests every day. Your property can benefit from this coffee program too! Join us for a brief webinar on September 15, 2015, 10 am CST; September 16, 2015, 2 pm CST or September 17, 2015, 11 am CST. You will also receive an e-mail with webinar dates and times. Don't miss this awesome opportunity to learn about the great coffee your guests will enjoy!

    It's a fact that 103 square feet of rain forest is preserved with each pound of Arbor Day Specialty Coffee you serve! Visit to learn about the positive impact of Arbor Day Specialty coffee on the rain forest and those that call it home.

    MAY/JUN 2015

    for Hotels and Motels

    1. Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.

    2. Hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of not having towels and sheets laundered daily.

    Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

    'Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,' said Governor Brown. 'Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state.'

    For more than two years, the state's experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. For the first time in state history, the Governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions to reduce water usage by 25%. This savings amounts to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.

    To save more water, the order will also:

    • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping;

    • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water- and energy-efficient models;

    • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and

    • Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

    Every Californian, all hoteliers and every US resident should take steps to conserve water. To learn more, see

    MAR/APR 2015

    Drought-Conscious Hotels on the Rise

    Don't let the verdant gardens and fountain-filled lobbies of resorts fool you—most of the Western US is in the 15th year of the worst drought to hit the area in more than 800 years. However, some hotels are finding that sustainability is both fiscally and environmentally responsible, especially as travelers grow more conscious of their water consumption.

    'We live in a desert, and our community is dependent on water,' said Chris Brophy, vice president of the Corporate Sustainability Division for MGM Resorts International. 'The hospitality industry has started moving in the direction toward lower-flow fixtures and water-smart practices. But, it takes a while to make that change throughout the community.'

    The move toward sustainability is exemplified by CityCenter in Las Vegas, a complex launched by MGM Resorts International that encompasses residential units, resorts and casinos. At around 18 million square feet in size, it's the largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified development.

    'People who come to Las Vegas often don't worry about their water and energy consumption,' Brophy said. 'They come here to have fun. So we make sure that from a building management perspective we do the right thing without impacting the guest experience.'

    CityCenter has its own heat and power central plant that produces hot water and 30% of the campus' electricity. The on-site bathrooms have low-flow water fixtures; linens are washed at a default of every three days; and water is only served to guests on request at CityCenter's restaurants. Drought-tolerant native plants are irrigated with a system using sensors to measure variables such as weather and ground moisture. And more recently, restaurants in the complex have stopped thawing meat under running water in favor of defrosting it overnight. These procedures have reduced water consumption by 160 million gallons per year, when measured against the building-code standards of 2007.

    However, water conservation is as much a task for the larger community as it is for the hospitality industry. According to Brophy, MGM's resort properties in Las Vegas consume less water per year than do their employees when at home. That's why MGM launched a Drought Buster campaign in June as part of its My Green Advantage, a website that teaches employees about green practices.

    Benita Skalada, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Indigo in San Diego, said business groups have become increasingly environmentally conscious as well. 'When companies are looking for a place to hold their meetings, one of the important questions [they ask us] is ‘Are [you] green friendly?'' Skalada said. 'They want to know what differentiates us from our competitors as far as how we take care of the environment.'

    Hotel Indigo uses Green Engage, an online tool designed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to track and assess energy and water usage. IHG launched the program to more than 4,700 of its hotels worldwide in January. The only LEED-certified hotel in downtown San Diego, Hotel Indigo conserves water through water-efficient bathroom fixtures and toilets, drought-tolerant plants and an offsite laundry facility that uses less water through large-load machines.

    Plenty of other hotels have embraced similar measures. Courtyard Los Angeles Torrance/South Bay cut its water usage by 15% when it replaced 900 sq.ft. of turf with local California grass. Aloft Hotel Tempe, the first LEED certified hotel in Arizona, utilizes recycling and eco-friendly cleaning products. And Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City Hotel recently replaced ivy plants on its balconies with water-frugal succulents.

    Although the initial construction of environmentally friendly buildings may be more costly, both Brophy and Skalada agree that the long-term savings are well worth the initial premium.

    'We didn't build the least costly facilities,' Brophy said. 'But, in the long run, we'll make that money back, use those resources efficiently and pay less in the future.'

    Recent studies conducted by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) support the notion that the hospitality industry stands to gain from sustainability. One study states that LEED-certified hotels financially outperform non-certified competitors for at least two years post-certification. CHR also analyzed the effect of Travelocity's Eco-Leaf label on a group of US hotels, finding that certified hotels had more operations- and-customer-driven resource efficiency.

    On the flip side, it looks like travelers also have 'going green' on the brain. In 2007, 96% of Conde Nast Traveler readers felt that hotels should protect the environment they operate in, and more than 74% said a hotel's environmental measures influence their booking decisions. According to a 2012 Trip Advisor survey, 71% of travelers said they planned to make more eco-friendly travel choices in the next year. As water becomes a scarcer resource for the Western US, drought-friendly hotels may become less of a novelty and more of a necessity.

    'Most large hospitality companies understand and embrace the business case for being environmentally responsible,' Brophy said. 'I wouldn't call it a trend. I would call it the new standard.'

    Chudnovsky, Natalie, The hospitality industry is fighting the drought with eco-friendly measures,, December 31, 2014

    JAN/FEB 2015

    Hotel Groups Fight Wage Law

    Two national hotel-industry groups are suing the City of Los Angeles, arguing a recent minimum-wage increase for hospitality workers unfairly targets the lodging business and runs afoul of federal labor law.

    The suit, filed in federal court by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, takes aim at the city's new Hotel Workers Act, which raises the hourly minimum wage for large-hotel workers in Los Angeles to $15.37. City Council passed the ordinance this fall and it is slated to take effect in July for hotels with more than 300 rooms. Hotels with at least 150 rooms will have another year to comply.

    But the industry groups said their lawsuit wasn't about the wage increase, but about a provision of the act that allows any part of the law to be waived at hotels covered by a collective-bargaining agreement. The industry groups believe the law allows unions to potentially pressure non-unionized hotels to organize. The suit also argues that the ordinance violates state and federal equal-protection clauses by unfairly targeting a single industry.

    'This lawsuit is about the fact that the City of Los Angeles took an action that disrupts established labor law,' said Katherine Lugar, chief executive of AH&LA. 'Changing the fundamental ground rules in any one city will have real national implications.' The industry groups are asking the court to declare the law in violation of state and federal laws and enjoin its enforcement.

    Minimum-wage increases have been passed by cities across the US, including in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, and some have been challenged in court. The International Franchise Association, for example, filed suit against Seattle in June after its City Council approved a gradual increase to $15 an hour.

    Seattle's law allows businesses with fewer than 500 employees to phase in the mandate more slowly than larger employers. But it counts a franchise operation, such as a fast-food restaurant, as a large employer if the brand employs more than 500 workers anywhere in the country. The suit is pending in US District Court in Seattle.

    The Los Angeles ordinance is one of very few that apply specifically to hotel workers. A previous unsuccessful challenge to similar law for hospitality workers near Los Angeles International Airport came in state court, not federal. The federal court could find that any different treatment of union and non-union employers violates federal labor laws, said Paul DeCamp, an attorney at Jackson Lewis PC and former Labor Department official in the George W. Bush administration. 'A City Council can't pass a law that interferes with federal labor policy,' said Mr. DeCamp, who isn't connected to the suit.

    Raymond Martz, chief financial officer of hotel owner Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, said he thinks the legislation would have a broadly detrimental effect on the Los Angeles hotel industry. Making hotels in the city less competitive with neighboring markets could, in turn, hurt employment and 'reduce the value of existing hotels,' he said, adding the law would affect two of his Los Angeles properties.

    Erica E. Phillips, Eric Morath and Craig Karmin, 'Hotel Groups
    Fight Wage Law,' The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2014

    NOV/DEC 2014

    Let the Imitation Sunshine In

    Healthier living may be just a flip of a switch away.

    Researchers are looking at how dialing up and down the brightness, color and richness of interior lighting can help regulate our circadian rhythms. These rhythms--the mental and behavioral changes that occur in response mostly to light cues over each 24-hour period--affect hormone releases, body temperature and the sleep-wake cycle, according to the National Institutes of Health. Studies have connected circadian-rhythm disruptions with obesity, depression and diabetes. Better lighting also lifts our moods and improves our quality of life, researchers say.

    Lighting developers aren't yet claiming health benefits on their product labels. But online, companies such as Philips NV and Cree Inc. point to studies (some their own) showing LED lights offer such benefits as helping doctors stay alert to perform exams and making it easier for patients to rest well and recover in a hospital. As more studies show the health impact of lighting, doctors might start to recommend 'good lighting hygiene' for patients who, say, have trouble getting enough sleep at home, says Luc Schlangen, a senior scientist at Philips Lighting.

    Unlike incandescent or fluorescent lights, LED lights' materials and electronic components allow for finer adjustments of color, brightness and intensity. Some experimental homes are being equipped with lighting that automatically mimics sunlight's changes from soft, warm amber in the morning to bright, cool white during the day and back to amber in the evening--which researchers say will help counteract the disruptive effect of conventional artificial lighting on our circadian rhythms.

    What's considered ideal lighting for different parts of a house depends greatly on a person's habits, activities, age and even gender. But here is a general guide to what you can do with products commercially available now, based on input from Mr. Schlangen and Kelly Cunningham at the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California, Davis:

    Living room: Where people gather for activities such as watching TV or playing games, a brighter, whiter light is desirable (a 'temperature' of 4,000 to 5,000 Kelvin; check an LED bulb's label for its number). Turning off electronic devices and switching your lighting to a softer, warmer color in the yellow and orange shades (2,700 Kelvin--yes, this 'warmer' light has a lower temperature) two hours before bed will help the body get ready for sleep.

    Kitchen: The quality of light for cooking is the major consideration for this room. Lights with high color-rendering ability help colors pop and bring out details of meat, vegetables and other ingredients. A color-rendering index, or CRI, higher than 90 provides rich coloring, and white light (4,000 to 5,000 Kelvin) also helps the food look good.

    Bathroom: Rich color rendering is desirable when it comes to vanity mirror lighting for applying makeup or shaving. Lights with over 90 CRI are ideal. We need more light to see as we age, so a dimmable light will allow people in a household to adjust the brightness to their liking.

    Bedroom for adults: Lights with a warmer glow (2,700 Kelvin, and dimmable) are ideal to minimize the disruption of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy and is typically produced by the body when lighting in our environment dims.

    Bedroom for children: A whiter light (above 3,000 Kelvin) will help wake children up in the morning, and an even brighter light can help them stay awake and do their homework after school. A warmer light (2,700 Kelvin) for use at night will help them get ready for sleep.

    Hallway: Ultralow and warm lighting in the hallway and stairs helps people navigate without affecting their night vision, or our ability to see in low-light conditions. A white light often blinds people momentarily as they adjust their eyes to it, and that effect could cause people to step on or bump into things and fall if they are up during the night.

    Wang, Ucilia, 'Let the Imitation Sunshine In,' The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2014

    SEP/OCT 2014


    As usual, this September / October issue focuses on success stories of GHA's Partner Members. We are sharing these very successful stories with all members. You are all working very hard at being green, and sharing information will make it easier. We know you'll love reading these stimulating, interesting and very green stories! So, we begin again . . .


    Maine's Sea Glass Chef finds culinary gems
    in food previously targeted for the compost bin

    By Rauni Kew, Public Relations, Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, ME,
    207/799-3134, C 207/602-8500,, 61 rms

    Sea Glass Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich learned most of what he thinks is important from his grandmother, helping her cook family dinners when a boy in his native Argentina.

    'Nothing went to waste,' says Kaldrovich. 'You bake bread today, tomorrow you make bread pudding. My grandmother respected local farmers and fishermen too much to waste the food they produced.'

    Early lessons feed the chef's enthusiasm for the Root-to-Stalk movement. A longtime advocate for farm-to-fork, trawl-to-table and fresh seasonal menus, the chef sees the culinary sense of using up the entire vegetable when possible, rather than tossing stalks, stems, fronds or leaves into the compost bin.

    'Rather than using just the florets, a thin slice of a whole broccoli lightly grilled, with stems intact, is delicious, healthy and beautiful on the plate,' states the chef. 'Presenting the entire vegetable brings attention to simple, lighter fare with an appreciation for the whole plant. It elevates the vegetable from a side to focal point on the plate just as more guests in Sea Glass are requesting vegetarian or vegan menu options and focused on health.'

    Root-to-Stalk makes sense from a waste-not view. With global studies showing 40 to 50% of food produced being wasted, using it all up is better for the planet.

    But it isn't just about a counter culture to food waste, according to Kaldrovich, the Root-to-Stalk trend pushes chefs to find culinary gems in what was formally relegated to the compost bin. 'Leaves, stalks, fronds and roots can introduce new, sometimes earthy pungent flavors, a crunchy texture, or a new presentation that opens doors to delicious recipes, inventive menus or a visually appealing culinary experience.'

    Beets are a favorite at Sea Glass. Beet tips are used for vinaigrette, great for salads, but also used by the pastry chef in red velvet chocolate cakes. Braised beet greens, as well as radish leaves, are treated like kale, while the beet itself is marinated, braised for salads, roasted and added to quinoa. Used raw, beets are sliced thin like a radish to add a crunchy texture, or fried for delicious, colorful chips. The chef's summer menu features beet slaw with peeled, thinly sliced broccoli stems, tender broccoli leaves and light vinaigrette.

    Most people are familiar with carrot and celery fronds and leaves, and view them as worthless, but Kaldrovich uses them both in soups and salads, or to make salsa. 'They can be bitter, but are very healthy and, used sparingly, add flavor to soups, a mixed salad or slaw and are good in chimichurri.'

    The chef doesn't limit Root-to-Stalk philosophy to vegetables--at Sea Glass the same concept applies whenever possible to meat, Gulf of Maine seafood and lobster. 'Today, people are interested in good food that is also good for them. They are focused on their health, but they also care about the health of the planet,' says Kaldrovich.

    Throwing edible food away wastes resources, such as water and energy used to grow, haul or catch the product, as well as energy from packaging and transport. Wasted food usually ends in landfill, where it generates methane gas. In fact, no food is wasted at Sea Glass because local farmer John Tibbett composts all food waste, and his rich soil amendment is put back into both farmers' fields and the inn's gardens.

    'Farmers were, as they are now, an important part of the community,' says Kaldrovich. 'My grandmother understood the hard work and resources it took to get good tasting, healthy food to table, and she wasn't about to waste any part of it.'


    By Leigh Gold, Dining Room Manager, 928/354-2227x14,, 40 rms and cabins

    Water conservation at Mormon Lake Lodge has been an ongoing process resulting in great success. As with most hotels and restaurants, guests generally don't conserve water as they might at home. With our water consumption over the top, we decided to take action at our Mormon Lake, AZ resort in ponderosa pine country. We were able to reduce water consumption in our cabins as well as throughout the property.

    In 2007 Mormon Lake Lodge and the Steakhouse began a series of practices to improve water conservation. We started in the Steakhouse dish room by installing a low-flow sprayer. We also trained our dishwashers to use tub washing instead of trying to spray off every dish. This alone reduced water consumption in our Steakhouse profoundly. With such a huge impact on water consumption in the Steakhouse, we decided to take it a few steps further. With a budget of $11,600, we're switching out all the toilets with Glacier Bay 1.28 gpf toilets chosen because of their cost effectiveness and their flush rating of 10 out of 10. Our showerheads all over the property are being replaced with Glacier Bay 2.5 gpm models. We've installed Sloan waterless urinals in the Steakhouse and Saloon. It will take a while to get them all in place, having to shut down certain rooms for short periods, but most of the work has to occur in our off season between December and April. Our high elevation (7,120 feet) caused some issues along with some of our worst winters. One storm dropped 7 feet of snow in two days and another storm gave us temps as low as -26°F. We will soon be able to finally complete the low-flow installations.

    We researched our billing records from 1997 to 2013 to try to determine how much water is actually being saved. There are a lot of factors to be considered including volume of business, how many cabins were open, occupancy rate and winter weather. All of these affect our water usage, but comparable years' statistics prove we have made a significant improvement.

    In 2007 when we elected to install low-flow and waterless fixtures, we had used 2,786,700 gallons of water on the property and earned just over 3 million dollars in revenues. As the upgrades were completed in 2009, only 1,990,400 gallons were consumed with just under 3 million dollars earned. In that brief period, we were able to save 796,300 gallons or use 28.6% less water per year. Annually we continued to see a savings pattern even during busier years. In 2000 and 2001 when Mormon Lake Lodge only had 22 cabins on property, our water usage was 3,225,900 gallons in 2000, and in 2001 usage was 3,919,100 gallons. In 2000 we earned just over 1 million dollars and in 2001 revenues were just a little higher. In 2013 we had a total of 39 cabins and 16 rooms that are occupied 100% of the time in the summer, and consumed only 3,075,700 gallons while earning 2.2 million dollars. Not only have we been consistently busier, we have more variables as we are able to continue reducing water usage.

    Last year we started to see a pattern on our guest comment cards stating that even though we had interpretive information in the rooms they did not like or understand why our water flow was so slow. We decided to add a brochure (printed on recycled paper) regarding water conservation including what guests could do while at the lodge as well as at home to save water and money. As a result, our guests are much more understanding about our water issues and our plumbing choices.

    Did we stop there? No. We took conservation another step, and decided to look closer at energy conservation. So, in 2007 we made the decision to change all the incandescent bulbs on property to fluorescent. In early 2009 over 700 incandescents including dimmable bulbs were changed to fluorescent. We also instructed staff that lights in cabins or in the Steakhouse and Saloon must be off when they aren't needed. As a result, we have been able to reduce our electricity usage and reduce our electricity bill just as we have our water bill! Not only are we saving money, but we are proud now to have become very environmentally friendly.


    By Jim Treadway, General Manager, Yountville, CA,
    dir 707/204-6001,, 62 rms

    What aspect of your green program are you most proud? Without question, being LEED platinum certified in 2010, about a year after we opened, by the US Green Building Council. We were the second hotel in the US to achieve this distinction. Now, there are three. Our vision here was to demonstrate to the world that true luxury and extraordinary sustainability are not mutually exclusive; and we have succeeded. The four big components to our greenness are the materials from which we were constructed, our solar electricity (972 panels), our 72 300'-deep geothermal wells, and, finally, how we operate the property in a very environmentally-friendly manner.

    What aspect of your green program saves the most money? The solar energy first, followed closely by heating and cooling geothermally. Also, our automated exterior blinds system and 'smart rooms' are wonderful at conserving energy.

    The phrase 'smart rooms' stems from the fact that all our in-room systems are IP (Internet Protocol), and the thermostat controls several switches, as do motion detectors, at the door. For example, when you leave the room, the blinds close or go down, electricity and fireplace go off, and the thermostat defaults down to 62°F. degrees in the heating season, and up to 78°F. degrees in the cooling season. When you enter the room, all systems activate, the blinds open or go up, motion detectors determine the room is occupied, and the room reverts to the temperature set on the thermostat.

    Other features of our smart rooms and their IP systems are:

    • A do-not-disturb red-doorbell ring communicates to our pagers that the room is DND, so there are no wasted trips to those rooms.

    • A housekeeping green-doorbell ring allows guests to summon a housekeeper to clean the room.

    What aspect of your green program is commented on most by guests? They marvel at how we can be so green, yet comfortably luxurious at the same time.

    is Green throughout

    By Victoria 'Vicki' Schomer, C 828/707-2919,, 4 rms

    Our choice to open a green hotel and B&B was easy. It was how we had lived our lives for decades, so the process to set it up was simple. Eight years later, operations and maintenance continues to be a breeze, but the most wonderful benefit is still the amazing people who stay with us. Easy going, health and ecologically-centric people make great B&B guests, and many have been dear friends for years and years.

    What aspect of your green program are you most proud? Because of the products and materials we use for our furnishings and for maintenance and operations, and since we are smoke- and fragrance-free, we are a safe place for people with chemical sensitivities and compromised immune systems to stay. I've worked in this field my entire career, and to be able to offer this to folks with such a huge health challenges makes us feel really good.

    What aspect of your green program saves the most money? It's obvious that energy savings in our lighting and efficient HVAC equipment saves us money, but what makes us even more money is being a green place for folks to stay. We can run an entire operation leaner and more efficiently, without a lot of extra bells and whistles, yet offer an appealing and desirable place for guests to stay.

    What aspect of your green program is commented on most by guests? Not one thing, but the whole green and healthy stay package.

    Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort
    Greens its Golf Course

    By Stefan Mühle, General Manager, Oak Brook, IL,
    630/850-5554,, 347 rms

    At the Hilton/Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center protecting the environment is always in the forefront of our green initiatives. One of the successful environmental projects on property was achieving certification from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by our grounds team at Willow Crest Golf Club. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf is an award-winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. By helping people enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide, improve efficiency and minimize potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations, the program serves as a vital resource for golf courses.

    In order to achieve Audubon Certification, a golf facility is required to demonstrate that it is maintaining the highest degree of environmental quality in several areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation and Water Quality Management.

    As part of the property's environmental efforts to become certified, Willow Crest Golf Club converted 14 acres of manicured turf to natural, un-mowed environmentally sensitive areas, which included all banks along the lake edges. With the taller grasses and emerging plants, the banks have become stabilized and have reduced erosion and aquatic weeds, while connecting habitats. Additionally, the increase of shoreline species has provided nesting areas, shelter and a food source for wildlife.

    Further, the grounds team at Willow Crest Golf Club partnered with students at the Westmont Junior High School for the Audubon Adopt-A-School program, which educates students on the importance of protecting and preserving the environment at school and within their own communities. Willow Crest Golf Club also contributed to its certification process by building, installing and monitoring 15 bird houses. The bird houses are meant for bluebirds, but are being occuped most often by tree swallows.


    Aruba's premier adults-only resort continues to
    raise the bar in sustainable tourism

    By Ewald Biemans, Managing Director, Eagle
    Beach, Aruba,, 63 rms

    As a leader in both innovation and environmental stewardship, Bucuti Beach Resort has taken the pledge to be a part of the Water Sense H2Otel Challenge. Water Sense is a US EPA program designed to help save water for future generations. Bucuti is the only resort outside of the US and North America that has taken this initiative at this time. The initial step of the program is 'ACT.' Assess water use and savings opportunities; Change products or processes to incorporate best management practices and Track results. Upon assessment, Bucuti will begin replacing existing products with Water Sense-labeled models. Simply replacing a showerhead could save an average of four gallons of water per shower.

    'After years of maintaining our multiple environmental certifications, it was time for a new challenge. The H2Otel Challenge give us access to new and innovative products as well as case studies on what others are doing,' said Ewald Biemans, owner and managing director. 'A high-quality guest experience and eco-friendly practices can co-exist and that is what our resort illustrates. We are passionate about protecting and preserving Aruba's resources and look forward to implementing and developing initiatives that allow us to do so for years to come.'

    The resort's Green Team, led by Biemans, has set the benchmark in sustainable tourism, earning more than two dozen environmental awards and certifications, including the Highest Achievement Award as the top performing sustainable travel and tourism business in the Caribbean by Green Globe Certification. Additionally, the resort is the first in the Caribbean to be officially ISO 14001 and Green Globe certified. Bucuti is also in the process of pursuing LEED certification, which will be the fourth green certification the resort receives, adding to their long list of accolades.

    One more interesting fact is that Aruba has no water in natural form. There are no rivers, no springs and as little as 9' of rain a year. Desalination provides the island's only source of drinking water, and the process requires burning huge amounts of extremely expensive imported oil. So water conservation gain is double--conserving oil, a natural resource, and conserving water. Water is a super precious resource in Aruba.

    With an average rainfall of less than 20' a year, an average daytime temperature of 82°F. (27°C.), a location completely outside the hurricane belt, and the constant cooling influence of the trade winds, Aruba is one of the most temperate islands in the Caribbean. Today, the island is populated by 100,000 people and attracts more than 700,000 international visitors annually.

    CityFlatsHotel, Holland, MI

    By Jack Peaphon, CTA, Marketing Coordinator, 866/609-2489,, 56 rms

    What aspect of your green program are you most proud? We are most proud of our LEED Gold certification for our CityFlatsHotel location in Holland. Our company is committed to the conservation and protection of our environment as well as bettering the quality of life for our guests and employees. With these beliefs in mind, all future CityFlatsHotel projects will be designed and built to achieve LEED certification.

    What aspect of your green program saves the most money? CityFlatsHotel Holland was built so that 90% of all spaces receive natural light through our floor-to-ceiling treated windows. We were able to cut down on the amount of light fixtures in the hotel because guests receive enough natural light during daytime hours to enjoy their stay without hindering any of their regular activities. All fixtures in the hotel are equipped with LED lights to further our energy savings.

    What aspect of your green program is commented on most by guests? The green aspects of our guest room design are what are most commented on by guests, especially the cork flooring incorporated into each room. Cork flooring is naturally hypoallergenic giving guests added peace of mind on the cleanliness and freshness of their room. Though not as soft as carpet, cork is softer than a wood or tile floor, which guests enjoy. Additionally, cork comes from the evergreen oak tree and can be harvested many times throughout the life of the tree without having to cut it down, making it a very eco-conscious and renewable choice.

    Located atop the hotel (on the 5th floor) is CityVu Bistro. Fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees are usual fare.

    CityFlatsHotel Holland was the first hotel in the Midwest and east of the Mississippi to receive LEED Gold certification, and also the second hotel in the world to receive LEED Gold certification through the USGBC.

    THE AMBROSE, Santa Monica, CA

    By Anne Carmack, Environmental Practices & Food & Beverage
    Director, dir 310/315-3181,, 77 rms

    What aspect of your green program makes you most proud? 75% of waste is recycled through our hotel-wide recycling program. This makes us very proud!

    Also, we provide all Ambrose employees with complimentary bus passes in an effort to lower employee commuting costs and in honor of our commitment to sustainability. All Ambrose team members are eligible for this benefit.

    What aspect of your green program saves the most money? By being an Energy Star certified building and using all Energy Star certified appliances, we are able to use 30% less energy annually saving the property an estimated $32,300 per year.

    What aspect of your green program do guests comment on most? We've had a green program in place since 2005. Over the years we have received feedback on all aspects of our program. Our guests continue to especially appreciate our recycling and water conservation efforts, our non-toxic cleaning program and our room service and catering menus which offer options made with local, organic and seasonal ingredients.


    By Deborah Pittorino, Owner, 631/477-0066,, 30 rms

    What aspect of your green program makes you most proud? We use so many green practices, but the one we are most proud of is the use of discarded hand soaps in our all-purpose cleaning solution that we use to clean all surfaces including floors and walls. We dilute the soap in water and add essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender, mint and eucalyptus. We mix it and put it in spray bottles for the housekeepers. The essential oils give a fresh scent to the rooms, and we have had many requests from customers to purchase the solution!

    This practice has reduced the waste of these partially-used bar soaps, and has also cut down on our purchase of cleaning solutions at the hotel. Additionally, because we use eco-friendly soap and essential oils, the cleaning solution is free of chemicals and is safer for our staff, our customers and the environment.

    SHAHEEN'S MOTEL, Tupper Lake, NY

    By Terry & Robyn Doolen, 518/359-3384,, 31 rms

    Shaheen's Motel is a family-owned lodging property in a small village located in the Adirondack Mountains. We have been members of Green Hotels Association since January, 2010. Our property is certified by Audubon International (2009) and Trip Advisor (2014).

    'Our eco-friendly initiatives started out small with a waste management recycling program, conversion to CFL bulbs, and a guest reuse towel program,' stated Robyn. The linen reuse program began timidly, but now over 90% of our guests hang up their towels for reuse and opt out of daily bed linen changes. Projects blossomed each year as we undertook additional endeavors and became confident that our property could make a difference. Shaheen's is now in a continual refresh mode when it comes to sustainable efforts. Equipment is also purchased with a green mindset.

    'We are super proud of our 10kWh 40-panel grid-tied rooftop solar system which lessens our dependency on brown power and saves money in electrical costs,' Terry added. In the last two years the entire building was updated with high-efficient Energy Star and NFRC certified windows. Water conservation was always on the agenda as we switched to low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and recently we finished a three-year goal of replacing toilets with American Standard 1.28 gpf models which use 20% less water than the 1.6 gpf models. Terry installed a 50-gallon Rain Reserve Water Barrel which is integrated into the gutter system and provides water for the garden and plants. During the season approximately 200 gallons of Mother Nature's finest gift--water--was put to good use! Yard waste and clippings are composted in the back woods and used as fertilizer.

    A local community-help closet receives the gently used furniture items, linens and mattresses from Shaheen's Motel. As participating members of the Global Soap Project, all partially-used guest soap is collected and shipped to a location where it is sterilized and repackaged for distribution to those in need of basic hygiene items.

    Non-toxic zero-VOC paint and stains are used, and guests appreciate that the rooms are cleaned with environmentally safe products. Suggestions are solicited from the guests through in-house forms. Tips from guests which have been implemented include using recyclable paper products and wooden stir sticks in the breakfast area. To alleviate lights being left on at bedtime, small low-wattage nightlights were installed for guests' safety. A 'Going Greener' bulletin board offers helpful hints and educates visitors on local environmental issues.

    Getting the most from the environment is easy, but giving back is harder because it takes personal commitment. It's important to encourage others to try because each of us can make a difference. Take the step, start somewhere and become part of the solution to preserve your community. Set a goal, reach it and then begin again.

    Each time comments such as 'We love your green philosophy, Your green practices are the reason I chose your motel or Thanks for recycling and keep up the good work, we'll be back' are received, we are very happy!


    By Charlie Bane, Director of Engineering, 916/321-3595, ,, 503 rms

    The Hyatt Regency Sacramento has been effectively recycling since 2010. Prior to that, we were recycling cardboard in a cardboard bailer, glass bottles in a bottle bin, and newspapers in small recycling cans. In 2010 we hired a waste company that allows us to comingle recyclable materials. We now have a 7-yard recycle compactor that allows us to put all recyclable materials into one compactor to be sorted off property. This made it significantly easier for our staff to recycle.

    In 2011 we also began recycling food waste, which technology processes and converts into renewable energy. For this we have been recognized in California as a leader in recycling organic material.

    Our used cooking oil is also made useful by being converted into biofuel.

    We went from recycling a fairly negligible amount of material to diverting around 350 tons of material per year from landfills.

    Our staff has become increasingly aware of our ability to recycle in part through exposure to our mascot, the 'greenman,' who makes surprise appearances to various departments.

    ALPINE HOUSE, Jackson, Wyoming

    By Erika Anderson, 307/739-1570,, 22 rms + 4 cottages

    Our property installed Edison Forever incandescent light bulbs throughout the property to convey the vintage antique bulb shape and look. Expected life of the bulbs is 1,000 to 3,000 hours. Our low-flow showerheads along with linen cards and HVAC cards ensure that guests have opportunities to participate in our green program.

    Our guests' absolute favorite amenity here is our loaner cruiser bikes to glide around our small town rather than driving their cars. Guests can just roll around town, have a meal out or visit the farmers market, etc. The bicycles include baskets for guests' convenience. We originally started offering the bikes as a way to help control automobile traffic. Since we've been providing the 4 mens' and 2 ladies' bicycles, several other local properties have begun offering loaner bikes, and we're especially proud of being mimicked in this instance.

    When our guests ask for suggestions on how to enjoy Jackson

    Hole more thoroughly, we always tell them about JH Eco Tour Adventures whose outings are based on wildlife exploration. The company is owned and operated by lead guide Taylor Phillips, and he's a real local favorite.


    By Barry Hutto, General Manager, 843/937-8800,
    andrew-pinckney-inn/,, 41 rms

    We recently chose to upgrade our linens, and succeeded by choosing Harbor Linens' (a Bed, Bath & Beyond company) 60%-40% blended cotton linens that are stain resistant, which means water and cleaning products needs are reduced. They also reduce dryer time required, lowering electricity requirements.

    Our Gilcrest & Soames very green Beekind™ hotel guestroom amenities, including 2 bar soaps, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and a sewing/mending kit, are very appreciated by guests. The amenity packaging is recyclable.

    Best of all, because of big-time money savings, but also because of a major feel-good factor, is our changing out 621 incandescent light bulbs to 534 LEDs and 87 CFL 3-way bulbs. The project was managed by Joel Caplan (C 803/530-3321, and cost the property $9,351.70 while we received a $7,354 rebate from South Carolina's Duke Energy. Our expected return-on-investment is only one year, and the bulbs carry a 5-year warranty. Elite Lighting works in FL, GA, NC and SC.

    Many of the LEDs are called non-discrete LEDs which means that there are non-measurable clusters comparable to hundreds of LEDs unseen within the bulbs on a chip. A major improvement in the ambiance of the public areas resulted. Guestroom vanity lighting went from 60-watt incandescent to 10-watt A193s for increased light levels.

    COMING SOON . . . to Snug Hollow
    Wildflowers galore . . . showing April and May!Join us!

    Call 606/723-4786 or email

    Snug Hollow Farm Bed & Breakfast invites you to visit our 300-acre mountain retreat in the heart of Kentucky.

    Where the seasons set the stage for restorative rest, relaxation and reconnecting, offering comfortable accommodations, walking trails, quiet surroundings and delightful dining.

    Ideal for corporate or personal retreats and workshops. 'An Environmental Inn.'

    * * * * *

    Barbara Napier, Host, very wisely used 9 beautiful spring nature photographs of her property with the text above to encourage visitors to come to in Irvine, Kentucky, in a February e-mail broadcast!

    JUL/AUG 2014
    As our green programs continue to be refined, we're reminded more and more that none of us can be really green without the green products and services offered by green vendors. GHA continues to encourage and support our Ally Members, and to bring you news of their successes--new products, new ideas, new techniques, recent awards, new contracts, etc. So, each July/August issue of this newsletter focuses on new and refreshing stories about our Ally Members' successes. Here we go once again . . .

    Fairmont Chicago Chooses
    XLERATOR® Hand Dryers

    Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has 124 properties on six continents. Fairmont's environmental commitment is shown by its Green Partnership program which is especially evident at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. Located near Millennium and Grant Parks, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan, the hotel recently underwent a five-year $60-million transformation--using the latest innovative sustainable solutions.

    12-year ALLY MEMBER Excel Dryer, manufacturer of the original, patented, high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® and new XLERATOReco® hand dryers helped the Fairmont Chicago get closer to their green goals. 'We installed 20 XLERATOR hand dryers in our restrooms,' said Colleen Sweitzer, marketing manager and sustainability team member, 'and we have found them to be one of the simplest changes with a big impact.' 'Our sustainability team leaders read an article about the environmental and cost savings XLERATOR hand dryers provide, and reached out to Excel Dryer. The XLERATOR hand dryers aligned with our goals,' said Sweitzer. The biggest impact the XLERATOR has had is its return on investment, said Sweitzer, who added that the cost savings dictated their decision to outfit their restrooms with the hand dryers.

    XLERATOR dries hands three times faster (completely in 10-15 seconds) and uses 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers. XLERATOR represents a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels, reduces the need for labor and maintenance and eliminates their waste while improving restroom hygiene.

    The XLERATOR hand dryer is more than just a sustainable solution, it offers visitors a more hygienic way to dry hands. 'The sensor-activated technology provides our guests with a touch-free experience which reduces the spread of germs and prevents overflowing trash bins,' said Sweitzer. XLERATOR hand dryers significantly reduce waste--but also the labor and maintenance associated with paper towels. The Fairmont Chicago has been able to reduce the number of restroom attendants needed to maintain restrooms without sacrificing a luxury experience.

    XLERATOR and XLERATOReco use new 'no heat' technology to dry hands in 15 seconds using only 500 watts, making it the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly hand dryer on the planet. Drawing 4.5 amps or less, multiple XLERATOReco units can be installed on one circuit, significantly reducing installation time and cost.

    XLERATOR and XLERATOReco are also available with several options and accessories featuring sound control options, HEPA filtration and custom digital image covers similar to one designed for the Fairmont units. Check them out at!

    Energy Technologies Group's
    System Saves 35-45%

    7-year ALLY MEMBER Energy Technologies Group was privileged to complete an installation of their S3E Energy Management System at a new green-built Best Western Inn & Suites Hotel in State College, PA in October, 2009. The installation of 79 hotel rooms was in compliance with the new International Energy Code (IEC). This code utilized their proprietary in-room computer, card-actuated, security thermostat unit (the only one of its kind in the EMS industry). ETG's proprietary software allows the guest to remove their key card when exiting the room, then 60 seconds later, when the guest is not in the room, all the IEC designated lights, fans and particular outlets are shut down. The S3E thermostat takes over and their proprietary FCPD computer controls the HVAC at energy-saving levels of nearly 40%. When the guest returns and places the key card in the slot, all lights, fans and outlets are instantly activated. The HVAC is reactivated and within a very short time the chosen ambient air temperature recovers.

    ETG is proud of its product and of this project which has now been in operation over 4½ years. During the more than 2 million operational hours, only one minor replacement has been necessary. During this time, the S3E system has saved the hotel an average of 35% to 45% monthly on their electricity bill.

    For more information, contact VP Rohn Sambol, Energy Technologies Group, LLC, at 877/400-0003 or or visit TODAY!


    7-year ALLY MEMBER RD FRESH, with two recent green awards has just added a third, and this one is from the United States Trade & Commerce Institute. Each year the US Trade & Commerce Institute (USTCI) identifies firms that have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields and achieved commercial recognition. Particular emphasis is given to meeting and exceeding benchmarks for customer service, product quality and ethical practices. RD FRESH has been one of those selected this year and this award exemplifies that distinguished accomplishment.

    In 2011 The Green Business League awarded their 2011 ECOVISIONARY AWARDS to some industry giants including Home Depot, Hanes and Metlife for their forward-thinking green solutions in reducing their impact on the planet. Along with those giants of industry was RD FRESH and their truly unique green zeolite-based food preservation and energy-saving technology. RD Fresh was chosen the 2013 Supplier of the Year by the Virginia Green program which is a partnership of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association.

    Here's what clients of more than six years say:

    We have noticed a significant drop in temperatures throughout the coolers; moisture problems have gone away, quality and shelf life of products have noticeably improved. We have even seen improvements within our wine storage, where we have had mildew problems. The coolers smell and feel better! I strongly recommend RD Fresh's program, says Ron Pollack, Corporate Chef, JS's On the Beach, Deerfield Beach, FL.

    Our dairy cooler was experiencing heavy moisture issues, creating wet floors and rapid mold growth. We saw immediate results with significant moisture reduction, creating a safer, cleaner environment. As a result, we have been able to schedule cleaning rotations further apart reducing our overall labor costs, reported Kevin Maradie, Director of Purchasing, Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach, FL.

    RD Fresh offers all GHA members a 25% discount along with free shipping. Contact Steve Gerson at 954/977-8776, C 954/732-8025 or or visit TODAY!

    Cascades' Moka Line Wins Awards

    5-year ALLY MEMBER Cascades Tissue Group, North America's fourth largest producer of towel and tissue paper, has been awarded 'Environmental Strategy of the Year' by Pulp & Paper International at the 2013 PPI Awards in Dubai. In addition, the Cascades® Moka® product line won the company a second award for 'Innovative Product of the Year.' The internationally-renowned PPI Awards are the only global awards dedicated to recognizing the achievements of companies, mills and individuals in the pulp and paper sector.

    The 'Innovative Product of the Year' award was presented to Cascades' Moka product line--the first ever bathroom and facial tissue made from unbleached recycled fiber to hit the North American market. The Cascades Moka tissue products were praised by offering uncompromised softness and hygiene qualities while significantly reducing environmental impact.

    The 'Environmental Strategy of the Year' award was based on Cascades' commitment to reducing its ecological impact through the continuous improvement of its processes, unique recycling infrastructure and use of recycled fibers in packaging and tissue products. Cascades led the way in environmental reporting with its 2010-2012 and 2013-2015 sustainable development plans, which include objectives to improve environmental impact in every step of production, distribution and waste processing. These advances have enabled Cascades to use five times less water and two times less energy than the North American paper industry average.

    More information may be found at

    Suzanne Blanchet, Cascades' CEO
    Wins Gold 2013 Stevie Award

    Suzanne Blanchet, president and CEO of 5-year ALLY MEMBER Cascades Tissue Group, won a Gold Stevie® Award for the 'Female Executive of the Year in Canada' category in the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. This internationally-renowned award was given to her as recognition of her outstanding contribution to her company and industry. Under her leadership, Cascades Tissue Group has become a billion-dollar leader in the tissue industry, pioneering environmentally sound and innovative paper products.

    'It is with profound gratitude and great humility that I receive this award,' stated Suzanne Blanchet. 'I would like to share it with my colleagues, who all contributed to Cascades Tissue Group's success and international recognition.'

    As the first woman to chair a paper company in North America, Suzanne Blanchet was a perfect candidate for a Stevie Award for Women in Business. Her impressive career, which started as a finance intern and evolved to her becoming president and CEO of Cascades Tissue Group in 1997, has been hallmarked by tenacity, dedication to her employees and a willingness to constantly push boundaries and innovate.

    In-House Laundry at the Waterfront Hotel
    Key to Cost Control and Quality

    An investor group and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) Foundation recently combined interests to rejuvenate a non-functioning hotel property on the Fox River in Oshkosh, WI. Located near the historic district, the new Best Western PREMIER Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center offers 176 rooms, function space, convention space and a restaurant. It also harnesses an on-premise laundry capable of processing 2,400 lbs. of laundry in a single 8-hour shift. Within the next three years, UWO plans to use the property as a hands-on classroom for students in its hospitality program.

    The laundry tackles food and beverage skirting, tablecloths and napkins; sheets, pillowcases and duvets; towels, bathmats and robes; pillows, comforters and blankets along with rags, mops and rugs. It features three 90 lb. capacity 5-year ALLY MEMBER Continental Girbau soft-mount E-Series Washer-Extractors and a 120 lb. capacity dryer, as well as a Girbau Industrial (GI) 140 lb. capacity ST-1300 dryer with vacuum load. Highly automated, all towels, bathmats and blankets are automatically folded using a GI FT-LITE drywork folder; while sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths are processed using a GI 5-in-One Compact Ironing System. The Compact--a feeder, ironer, folder, stacker and accumulator--processes up to 82' of linen per minute!

    Housekeeping Manager Misty Braun, who began her career in a hotel laundry at age 15, says the laundry facility delivers unsurpassed productivity amped by automation and efficiency. 'I came from another property with 95 rooms,' says Braun. When the rooms were full, it took three, 8-hour shifts and three operators per shift just to get the towels and linens done. 'Laundry would spill over from Sunday to Monday. Here, when we are sold out, we have five operators for eight hours. Yet, we have triple the rooms and process food and beverage items in addition to regular laundry,' she says. 'We are saving a lot on labor as a result of the automation.'

    Key to cleanliness and production are the E-Series Washer-Extractors. The washers are highly programmable to properly clean a variety of items, feature a soft-mount design for simple installation, and reach extract speeds of up to 381 G-force. Laundry operators simply select a program number to match the item type--food and beverage linens, towels, sheets, etc.--and press start. The washer automatically combines the correct cleaning solutions, water temperatures and levels, mechanical action and baths to ensure high-quality results.

    Unlike hard-mount washers, which must be bolted to a reinforced concrete foundation, soft-mount washers slide into place without bolts. This simplifies installation and resulting costs. Additionally, E-Series soft-mount washers reach considerably higher extract speeds when compared with hard-mount washers, and as a result, remove significantly more water from every load. This cuts dry time by up to 50%, according to GI National Sales Manager Seth Willer, which catapults productivity.

    The high-extract means terry items dry more quickly. Sheets and tablecloths bypass drying altogether. A 90 lb. load of towels takes just 50 minutes to wash and 19 minutes to dry using the ST-1300 Dryer. Meanwhile, the Compact feeds, irons, folds and stacks more than 120 sheets per hour--straight from the washer.

    The ST-1300 Dryer, used primarily for terry items, is simple to load and ergonomically friendly. With vacuum loading, the dryer inhales items fed by operators. 'Thanks to the vacuum assistance, it's easier to load the dryer because there is no twisting by operators,' says Braun. Once dried and automatically unloaded, terry items and blankets are fed into the FT-LITE folder. The FT-LITE folds small- and large-sized items and requires one operator. It is configured with an automatic stacker, as well, so like items are quickly folded and stacked with minimal effort.

    'If we are sold out on Saturday night, we can fold 3,000 towels per day in one shift,' says Braun. 'We perform the final fold on our pool towels by rolling them. Bath towels come out with a long fold and we perform the third fold.'

    Superior productivity flows out of the laundry's Compact Ironer as well. All flatwork items--sheets, tablecloths, table skirting and pillowcases--are fed directly from the washer into the Compact. The nice thing about the Compact is it takes on items of different dimensions. It is configurable for one, two or four working lanes, with one lane for sheets, two for table linens and four for small items. It delivers up to three cross folds in one lane. Additionally, small items run through multiple lanes can by-pass folding. The Compact control features 20 pre-set and 20 customizable programs.

    Once complete, laundry is stocked on each floor of the hotel for housekeepers. It's a smooth process--one that will no doubt improve further as management gains experience with the new laundry operation, according to General Manager Dan Schetter.

    The Waterfront's laundry is equipped to handle the hotel's growing sales volume, while ensuring a high-quality product for hotel guests. 'It allows us more control over linen inventory and quality, and over time will save us significantly in outside vendor costs,' maintains Schetter.

    And, like all the other areas of the hotel, the laundry will serve as a hands-on learning area--showing UWO hospitality students how laundry productivity and quality impact overall hotel operations and profits.

    To find out more about Continental and GI laundry equipment, visit and, respectively, or call 800/256-1073 TODAY!

    5-Year Ally Member Old Fashioned Milk Co.
    Still Churning After 40 Years

    Massachusetts entrepreneur Charles Thibeau recreated a long-forgotten, natural-paint formula in his basement in 1974. Forty years later his milk paint has gained international acclaim.

    2014 marks the 40-year anniversary of the discovery of the modern recipe for a classic, old fashioned paint--known as milk paint. In 1974, Charles Thibeau, a furniture maker in Groton, MA, had his Eureka moment while trying to replicate an authentic finish for his colonial furniture reproductions. He was not trying to revolutionize the paint world, but his discovery changed the concept of what modern paint is and can be. He introduced a whole new generation to a time-tested, back-to-basics formulation in the process. Thibeau had been involved in Boston's first Earth Day in 1970. His dedication to the environment insured that his milk paint formula kept true to the natural recipes of colonial America.

    Milk paint, an ancient form of paint, is famous for being one of the world's most durable paints. Milk protein (casein) and crushed limestone form a tough-as-nails coating that hardens over time like concrete, making it nearly impossible to remove. In early America, people made their own homemade versions of this paint with locally found materials including clay, chalk and pigments dug from the earth. Milk paint eventually fell out of favor with the invention of the paint can and modern, latex paint.

    Like the milk paint used in days of old, Thibeau's Old Fashioned Milk Paint will not rub or wash off, and it adheres like no other paint ever devised to bare wood, plaster and other porous surfaces. The deep, rich colors match the classic chalky, velvety, mottled look characteristic of the original milk paint used on walls and furniture in colonial America. In addition, the paint contains none of the harmful ingredients normally associated with modern paint. It can be used safely on children's toys, hospital walls, by pregnant women and many people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity. It is 100% biodegradable, contains zero VOCs, and was actually the first paint to be awarded the USDA's Bio-based label. Thibeau developed his formula in a powder form, allowing the user to simply mix water to the powder just before use--as easy as making chocolate milk. The powder formula eliminated the need to add chemical preservatives, and created a more efficient way to ship paint, as opposed to costly, heavy, liquid paint cans.

    In the mid 1970's, Yankee Magazine produced a series of books called The Forgotten Arts. They included Charles Thibeau in a chapter on making paint from scratch. When the book came out, Thibeau's phone rang off the hook with people wanting some of this long-forgotten paint. Over the past 40 years, Old Fashioned Milk Paint has gained such popularity it is used by thousands of people throughout the US and all over the world, from England to Australia. Over the years, others have come out with their own versions of powdered milk paint, but none have ever come quite close to matching the original.

    In 2008 The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company introduced a second milk paint formula, called SafePaint. While originally developed as wall paint, it will adhere to almost anything, including metal. Both formulas are best used as interior paints.

    In the past few years there has been a resurgence in painted furniture. The soft, chalky look is all the craze, as is the shabby-chic look of restored wooden furniture. The upcycled furniture trend is seen in many homes of modern do-it-yourselfers. And the most stylish, safest way of achieving these looks is with milk paint.

    Call 866/350-6455 or view to learn more.

    Preserving Rain Forest, Changing Lives

    Shell Vacations switches to sustainable, shade-grown coffee

    Shell Vacations has teamed up with 4-year ALLY MEMBER, the Arbor Day Foundation, to preserve our world's rain forest by serving shade-grown Arbor Day Specialty Coffee. Shell Vacations, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide, spans more than four decades of providing exceptional hospitality service and is respected among vacation ownership clubs. With 24 locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico, Shell Vacations will be making a significant impact on the environment as well as improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers who grow coffee responsibly. Each cup Shell Vacations serves will preserve 2 sq. ft. of rain forest.

    The Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to planting trees. As part of their Rain Forest Rescue program, Arbor Day Specialty Coffee is responsibly grown in the shade of the rain forest and is considered one of the most ethically sourced and environmentally friendly coffees on the planet. Trees shade the coffee shrubs to provide protection from the sun's harsh rays and also deposit minerals into the soil, allowing farmers to grow the coffee organically without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. This approach allows the coffee cherries to mature slowly, which develops a higher-quality bean leading to a richer and more flavorful cup of coffee. For their additional efforts in sustainable farming, the farmers receive a fair wage from the Arbor Day Foundation and are required to provide access to healthcare and education for their workers and families. A portion of the proceeds also go toward improving the infrastructure of their communities by building roads, providing electricity and giving the farmers access to clean drinking water. Since the coffee program started in 2005, the Arbor Day Foundation has helped to preserve over 2 billion sq. ft. of rain forest.

    For more information about Arbor Day Specialty Coffee and how your hotel can participate, visit

    ERC Wiping Products, Inc.

    Environmental Stewardship and proper cleaning
    is a win-win for hotels and resorts

    3-year ALLY MEMBER ERC Wiping Products, Inc. has a successful partnership with a large 4-star resort and club in South Florida. ERC is a leading supplier of color-coded wiping materials including microfiber cleaning cloths, kitchen rags and stewarding towels. This color-coded cleaning system eliminates the use of discarded guest towels and linens as rags that once caused much confusion between the resort's kitchen and housekeeping rags. The color-coding system improved the property's cleaning quality and continues to make training easier for managers.

    This new way of cleaning left the resort with excess discarded towels and other cotton guest linens. ERC purchases these worn, torn, stained and obsolete terry towels along with other cotton textiles. ERC brings these textiles back to their processing plant and recycles them for other industrial wiping applications.

    ERC sends large reusable (4'x4'x4') heavy duty plastic bags to the resort's laundry facility. These bags take up very little space when empty and can fit on any standard pallet (another way to recycle those pallets from other incoming shipments). Similar to a large laundry tote, each bag can hold about 300 pounds. When the hotel fills 4 to 6 bags, they simply ship the pallets back to ERC at no cost. Within a week of receiving the shipment, a check for the discards is mailed.

    This is a win-win for the hotel as well as their guests. The hotel is providing a cleaner environment for their guests and doing their part by recycling their retired textiles. The arrangement is economical for the hotel as the exchange program covers the majority of the microfiber cleaning cloth purchases.

    ERC Wiping Products, Inc. stocks for immediate shipment a complete line of microfiber cloths, microfiber mops, huck kitchen towels, terry bar towels, herringbone kitchen/ server towels, disposable food service wipes, specialty lint-free wipes for flat screen TVs, yellow treated dust cloths, disinfecting wipes for fitness center equipment and towels for golf courses. ERC ships product and buys discarded terry and cotton textiles nationwide. Learn more by calling Larry Groipen at 800/225-9473 or visiting TODAY!

    Green Hotels Give a Woo

    There are many things that can be done in your hotel to make it more eco-friendly. You can switch up your cleaning products, purchase high-efficiency air conditioning units and invest in water-conserving washing machines. These are all great things, but they're costly and unless you brag about it when guests check in, they have no idea you're doing them. So if you're asking 'What can I do to show guests we're Earth-conscious', ALLY MEMBER WooBamboo has your answer.

    WooBamboo provides resorts and hotels a cost-effective way to brilliantly market and brand themselves with eco-friendly bamboo-handled toothbrushes. They're beautifully designed, dentist-approved, and can be customized with a laser-etched logo or web address. Whether they're provided to each guest upon check-in, or sold in the gift shop, these toothbrushes make a statement that lasts.

    'Our guests absolutely love them. It's a piece of their vacation they actually get to take home with them--and use for months. They think of us every time they brush,' says Cassie, a manager of a beach hotel in Florida.

    The eco company has been providing their toothbrushes to hotels, gift shops, dental practices and natural food markets for just over a year, and the response has been fantastic.

    'Our bamboo brushes are now replacing their plastic counterparts in 15 different countries so far, and it feels great that we're making a difference,' says Christopher Fous, one of the co-founders of WooBamboo, 'and for a hotel or resort claiming to be eco-friendly, it's perfect. Guests get a unique and useful gift, and the hotel gets to brand themselves as green and be remembered for months.'

    The toothbrushes are available for adults and children, in 3 different handle styles and bristle strengths. The bamboo is sustainably harvested, organically grown and is completely biodegradable. Billions of plastic toothbrushes end up cluttering the landfills and oceans every year, so it's good that someone is finally offering an alternative--and that alternative could have your hotel's name on it.

    Learn more about WooBamboo by contacting Steve Hyde at 855/966-2262, or by viewing

    Envision LLC can help
    you save 20-30% on your energy bill

    Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, WI, has 250 licensed inpatient beds and is one of the largest acute care facilities in their area. With an annual utility bill of approximately $2.3 million and energy usage of 339 kbtu per square foot (the Wisconsin hospital average is 252 kbtu), administrators at Theda Clark knew something needed to be done. They called on the ALLY MEMBER Gundersen Health System Envision® team for help.

    During a two-day energy check-up in June 2010, a three-person team from Gundersen Envision® facilitated Theda Clark team members and suppliers to identify more than 110 energy conservation measures (ECMs) throughout the campus. By implementing about 25% of those ECMs, Theda Clark could see energy savings of roughly $800,000. It would also offset nearly 7,000 metric tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere which is the equivalent of planting 1,500 acres of forest or removing 1,334 automobiles from the road.

    Energy-saving opportunities identified:

    • Scheduling air-handling units to shut down during unoccupied hours

    • Retrofitting lighting with more efficient bulbs/ballasts/reflectors; allowing for 1-2 bulbs rather than 3-4

    • Adding automated lighting sensors/controls

    • Retrofitting boilers

    • Incorporating scheduling changes for heating and cooling mechanical systems

    • Insulating pipes, valves and pumps

    • Removing lights from vending machines

    'The Envision team gave us a kick start and, just as important, a system for identifying energy waste and also identifying the most cost effective means to eliminate that waste. I highly recommend Gundersen's Envision team to any organization looking to better utilize resources and reduce energy costs,' reported Albert Park, Director of Facilities Planning, ThedaCare. To learn more, contact Envision at 608/775-0880, (toll free) 855/669-1653, or

    MAY/JUN 2014

    Climate is a perfect storm for sustainability

    With climate change on the radar, hoteliers are in the midst of a
    perfect storm for discussing sustainability.

    Recently, weather conversations have become more interesting, more intense and much more frequent. Yes, the media is now better at getting our attention, with catch phrases such as The Polar Vortex, Superstorms, Snowmageddon, Snowmageddon 2, etc. We are living with a new reality of increased disruptive weather patterns, temperature extremes and swings, drought and flooding. More importantly, we're living in a new winter reality of increased flight cancellations, weather delays, airport closures, travel advisories, people sleeping at airports and stuck trying to get home, no-shows and frustrated customers. The data will come out, and articles and research will show the effects of the weather on travel and on hotel demand--both positive and negative.

    But when considering travel, it may be good to limit travel from mid-December through mid-March. Plan on more conference calls, maybe try out some more video conferences, push travel back, move it around, build in more buffer days to the schedule to allow for delays, prepare for cancellations and for people to call in. Think twice about travel to the Caribbean in the fall, the Northeast and Midwest in the winter or to California in forest-fire season. Several more travel restrictions are popping up. Avoid Singapore's potential haze in the dry summer when Indonesia sets itself on fire.

    The sustainability discussion

    When you put these pieces together, the sustainability discussion changes. Let's forget about the questions as to whether it pays to go green, whether the customer is willing to pay more, whether the return on investment is good. Let's focus on the connection that this discussion will bring.

    We're talking more about the weather, and more and more people make the link between the weather and climate change. Each major storm, major disaster, major travel nightmare nudges a few more people into being cautious or concerned about climate change.

    The shift in public opinion coincides with the effects of climate change today, not far off in the future or in a faraway land. As a result, climate risk for hotels will start to appear in more of our discussions: in company risk disclosure, in feasibility studies, in market forecasts, in insurance premiums and in the daily conversations of executives and travelers alike.

    What to do

    As the conversation becomes more frequent, we eventually turn to what to do about it. This is where the challenge lies: enabling travelers and guests to put together the pieces themselves and understand the key drivers of climate change, how it's affecting our daily lives and livelihoods and what are the steps we can all take to embed some form of action into the routine--even if it includes staying in a green hotel (and how the attributes of that hotel are reducing the specific impacts that contribute to climate change).

    Here are a few managerial takeaways and actions:

    1. Take a look at your green claims and see if they are appropriate.

    2. Discuss with the green team to seek a common understanding about climate change (and if your hotel doesn't have a green team, then please get with the times).

    3. Help the guest understand that your energy-efficiency (or even renewable energy) programs and specifications are an important way the hotel is reducing its impact on climate change.

    4. Thank guests for supporting in their own conservation efforts while at the hotel.

    And of course, let's consider sub-segmenting a 'staycation' with a 'snowcation' spa package for those trying to go on vacation but got snowed in, as well as a last-minute 'stranded traveler' package with upgraded amenity kits and airport transfers to pick up some more walk-ins.

    We're in the midst of a perfect storm for discussing sustainability. On the downside, we'll have to put up with more extremist fear-mongering. On the bright side, we have climate change to thank for making conversations more interesting.

    Ricaurte, Eric, HNN columnist (,
    Article/13396/Climate-is-a-perfect-storm-for-sustainability, March 24, 2014

    MAR/APR 2014

    The Hotel of the Future

    Technology is changing the hotel guest experience. Here are
    20 ways tomorrow's hotel will be different from today's.

    At the YOTEL New York, a towering robotic arm takes guests' luggage and stores it in bar-coded storage bins. The Nine Zero Hotel in Boston uses iris-scan technology that opens the door to its presidential suite, while the Hotel E´clat in Taipei, Taiwan, has toilets with lids that open automatically. The hotel experience is changing, and the future will be here faster than you think. We asked planners, hoteliers and hospitality experts to make some predictions on what the guest experience will be like. What follows are 20 features that are already here, or will soon be here before you even know it.


    1. Personalization - Industry experts agree that the hotel of the future will be completely personalized. From the height of the desk chair and bathroom mirror and the firmness of the mattress to room temperature, all of these will be to each guest's liking when they enter the guest room. Inspired by advancing technology and pioneers such as Amazon, the hospitality industry will mine and use data to create a customized experience similar to the one we already see in the e-commerce world.

    'The cookie-cutter in-room experience has to die,' says internationally-recognized keynote-speaker Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean, UW-Stout School of Hospitality Leadership, Menomonie, WI, and founder of Rach Enterprises. 'We've talked about customization for a long time now,' she notes. 'We've talked about the colors of the room changing, about what's on the walls changing to be more reflective of the person who is in the room. But it's not just the physical, it's the intangible.'

    2. Customized Service - In tandem with the move toward personalization will come a trend toward customized service. 'When I land in New York, why can't I receive a text saying, 'Looking forward to seeing you at our hotel today. Do you need anything?'' posits Rach. 'It's getting to the point that if I grant you permission to know where I am location-wise, you should know what matters to me.'

    Pillow menus were once all the rage. From a down-filled pillow to a sound pillow with built-in speakers, this was considered a high-end amenity. Rach is not impressed. 'Don't offer me a smorgasbord of choices. Make sure the pillow I like is in my room. If Amazon can do it, why can't the hotel industry?'

    3. Female Friendly - Julia Sutton, COO of Exhale Enterprises, which runs 22 spas in the US and the Caribbean, says many female executives do not feel that the hotel industry has embraced them. This will no longer be the case in the hotel of the future. Some hotel companies, Kimpton and Hyatt included, have already launched female-friendly programs that cater specifically toward women travelers.

    4. Experience-Oriented - Hotels of the future will seek new ways to create experiences. Already, lobbies increasingly are being transformed into multi-use spaces where groups can eat, drink, work, socialize and take in museum-quality artwork.

    Activity options such as the on-site art room in the Gastwerk, a hotel in Hamburg, Germany, that was a former gas plant, will be commonplace. The popular attraction features an artist in residence; hotel guests can pop into his studio and watch him create his works, which are featured throughout the hotel.

    The Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, scheduled to open May 1, will be home to one of the US' most impressive sculptures in a hotel--Birth of the American Flag--by renowned artist Rodney Carroll. The 56-foot sculpture, the centerpiece of the new property, is viewable from the ground-floor lobby, mezzanine and the interior-facing guest rooms. It will be the largest piece of art in any Marriott hotel.

    5. Grab and Go - More casual dining establishments are becoming popular, where guests can get a quick bite at a reasonable price and enjoy communal seating with Wi-Fi and plenty of plugs.

    Herb N' Kitchen is a new dining concept created by Hilton that is now available in the New York Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in Manhattan. Herb N' Kitchen infuses fresh, local gourmet food into an upscale, casual restaurant and convenient culinary market. It also invites guests into the dining experience by enabling them to see their meals prepared.


    6. Hotel Brands Will Redefine Themselves into Boutique-Like Niches - This is already happening, but in the future, more hotel brands will offer meeting groups and other travelers an array of chain options based on demographics. 'Brands are being challenged because many travelers do not prefer standardization as much as in the past. Edition is an example of a new approach to hotel branding,' explains Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., Tisch Center for Hospitality at NYU.

    Edition is a Marriott boutique hotel that will anchor a 100-city chain, in an effort to attract a younger crowd. The brand was conceived with the help of boutique hotelier Ian Schrager. Marriott International has launched another hotel brand, Moxy, also aimed at the Millennial traveler.

    Indeed, the lucrative Millennial segment is having a big effect on what the hotel of the future will look like. 'With this generation, travel is no longer discretionary, it's a right--and that's a different reality,' notes Rach. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has its Aloft brand, with more than 75 hotels in 14 countries. 'For the always-on next generation of traveler, Aloft offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design,' says Brian McGuinness, Sr. VP, Starwood. 'We are aware of the power of Gen Yers specifically, who are poised to become the largest consumer group in the history of the US and, therefore, the future market for most consumer brands. Gen Y is made up of more than 75 million individuals, and they spend $200 billion each year on consumer products and experiences. Loft-like guest rooms, a buzzing W XYZ bar scene in the open lobby, an urban-inspired grab-and-go cafe´ and industrial design elements throughout make Aloft a far cry from the conventional cookie-cutter brands.'

    7. Name-Brand Fitness Centers and Spas - Another trend that will continue is hotels and resorts featuring name-brand fitness centers and spas as a way to differentiate themselves and bump up offerings while offloading the bulk of investments on a partner.

    Properties are pairing up with fitness brands such as Exhale, Core Performance, DavidBartonGym and SoulCycle. 'Hotels are now trying to create a lifestyle for their guests,' says Sutton. 'They can no longer get away with just putting a gym in or a regular spa.'

    8. Celebrity-Chef Restaurants - Hotels and resorts have already been adding celebrity-chef restaurants at an unprecedented rate. The days of a hotel restaurant thinking it can rely on a captive audience are long over. They are being judged just like restaurants in the retail space.


    9. Front Desk-Less - The hotel of the future will be without a front desk. 'In the past, there were wood and marble front desks that served as a barrier. It was as if the staff was afraid of the customer,' says Rach. Those days are over. We are no longer a society that takes to lines. We are definitely not a society of patience. Even the airline industry gets that. There are kiosks and smartphones, where we can check in or change our seat.

    The hotel industry has to move away from the structure that currently exists and move into an experience structure with service.'

    Right now, 14 Aloft properties are equipped with Smart Check-in, giving travelers the ability to bypass the traditional check-in process and head straight to their guest room with an enhanced keycard equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. An additional 14 will have this capability this year.

    10. Keyless Entry - A guest will walk into the lobby and head straight to his room. The room number will be sent via text, as will a barcode that unlocks the door. One's cell phone can be used for easy, keyless entry, something Starwood also is pioneering. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members who opt in to this offer receive an enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded keycard. On the day of a planned stay, a text message is sent to the guest's mobile device with his room number. Once at the hotel, guests can skip the check-in line and go straight to their assigned room, where their enhanced keycard will unlock the door.


    11. Easy-to-Access Technology - The movement toward augmented reality-- the use of computer imagery overlaid on the field of view to augment the reality that has recently been introduced with Google Glasses--will eventually make its way into guestroom design. This will enable the attendees to access a variety of information about the hotel, the destination and the meeting or event through interactive technology displays.

    Andrew MacCachran, American Chemistry Council, says that in-room technology access is a priority. 'We are a society with the philosophy, 'I know how I want things and I expect them to be that way,'' says MacCachran, who engages in the end-to-end meeting planning for 30 annual off-site conferences and events ranging from 30 to 900 attendees. 'We are a generation that expects everything to be customized and efficient with the technology we now have at our disposal. We want multiple outlets that are easily accessible, wireless, iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs. These things are not negotiable.'

    12. Intelligent Furniture - According to 'Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation,' a study conducted by Fast Future Research and technology company Amadeus, the hotel of the future will feature intelligent furniture with built-in memory that will adapt to changes in body posture. Guests will also have the opportunity to choose the room's artwork and display their own photos in digital frames. As technology advances, and intelligent wallpapers emerge, guests will be able to configure the room de´cor on arrival or download their preferred designs beforehand.

    13. The Ultimate Blow Dry - Don't expect a stack of fluffy, white towels to be waiting in the bathroom in the hotel of the future. Head-to-toe body dryers will take their place, say hotel industry insiders. This is great news for the environment, as millions and millions of gallons of water are used every day to wash hotel towels, not to mention the electricity, soap, and labor that also are required.

    14. Amenities - Of course there still will be a high-powered hair dryer in the bathroom for styling purposes, and an iron in the closet. But there also will be dermatologist-approved skin-care products, and humidifiers will be waiting in the appropriate rooms. Embedded in bathroom mirrors will be touch-screens and TVs.

    Marriott Hotels' 10,000-sq.-ft. Innovation Lab focuses on hotel design concepts for the future

    15. The Virtual Concierge - Once in the room, there should be a message on an iPad, TV or on the touch-sensitive tablet walls that display text and graphics to welcome guests and ask if they want reservations in a restaurant that they may have visited in the past, says Rach. This is the guest's personal control center, where he or she can order food, get a wake-up all, check on local events and attractions and book spa appointments and golf tee times. Lighting, temperature and music are adjustable from here as well. 'The guest will be able to utilize 24-hour concierge-level service at the touch of a button,' enthuses Rach.

    16. Smaller Guest Rooms - Guest rooms in the hotel of the future will be smaller than those in the past. 'Credenzas have been removed that contained CRT TVs, now that flat screens are the norm,' reports Hanson. 'Another factor affecting room size is that Millennials and other travelers are spending less time in their guest rooms. Many prefer to congregate with their computers in public areas.'

    17. Interactive TVs - Dan Nadeau, GM, Marriott Marquis, DC, notes that 'Interactive TVs are falling into must-have category. They must enable guests to sync up their mobile devices with the TV to actually play their own content on the in-room flat screens. Basically, guests are expecting the tech they have at home, including access to their own content library while on the road.'


    18. Customized Meeting Space - The next generation of meeting space is a focus of Marriott International. The ability to customize and personalize ballrooms and meeting rooms is key. 'Next-generation spaces foster collaboration with technology integrated into an environment that fosters productive work. Soft seating, spaces to write on the walls, ballrooms that are blank canvases and can be easily customized, and more social networking spaces in the meeting areas are what we are driving toward,' says Jenny Hsieh, VP at Marriott International. An example can be found in the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre, which has one of the largest LCD screens in China and can be customized for each gathering.

    19. Meetings With a Purpose - An emphasis will be placed on much more than just physical meeting space. Marriott's newly launched 'Meetings Imagined' is forward thinking as it is designed to appeal to the next generation of meeting professionals by leveraging an online make gatherings more 'visual, social and purposeful.' According to Marriott, every meeting has one of seven objectives: celebrate, decide, educate, ideate, network, produce and promote. Meetings Imagined plans meetings around experiences that advance those purposes, rather than meetings that fulfill the purely logistical requirements of an RFP.

    20. Meeting Attendee Kiosks - Pamela McQueary who plans meetings for a large retail chain, envisions the hotel of the future will offer dedicated kiosks where meeting attendees can check-in, as well as mobile apps that can easily be personalized for each meeting group.

    As customization of the guest experience, meetings included, becomes increasingly important for hotels, McQueary expects such personalized conveniences to become de rigueur.


    Marriott is doing what it can to make sure it is ahead of the curve. It has a 10,000 sq.ft. Innovation Lab as well as an Innovation Team where employees and hotel owners brainstorm about what the hotel of the future will entail.

    Three years ago, our group was formally developed out of this emerging need the company saw in a hotel industry that was becoming a sea of sameness,' explains Jenny Hsieh, VP, insight, strategy and innovation at Marriott International. 'We knew we had to create new and innovative ways to differentiate our brand.'

    The Innovation Lab, located beneath the company's headquarters in Bethesda, MD, also known as 'The Underground,' offers rapid prototyping with instant feedback capabilities, bird's-eye views from Internet-enabled cameras, and multiple avenues for customer participation.

    'Everything we do is with the lens of what Millennials like,' says Hsieh. Marriott has tapped into its own workforce by inviting its Millennial employees to be part of an advisory board to help ascertain what resonates with this generation and what does not.

    Not to be outdone, Starwood also has its own high-tech design lab at its headquarters in CT.

    'The days of the hotel industry offering a product and saying to the consumer, 'You better like it,' are over,' says Dr. Lalia Rach. 'I'm not suggesting hotels never did research on their consumers [before], but it was done in the vein that the hotel was in charge, and not the consumer. Until the industry realizes the level of disruption that has occurred, it will [continue to] have problems.'

    Doyle, Andrea, 'The Hotel of the Future,' Successful Meetings, February 12, 2014

    JAN/FEB 2014

    New Year's resolutions worth making

    Eco-friendly New Year's resolutions are important, But let's skip the fluffy stuff like 'compost more' and 'grow your own food.' This year, let's get real. Let's think about what really matters. This year, let's resolve to participate in more meaningful behaviors. Things that will make us feel proud on our deathbed, not just in the grocery store check-out line. Behaviors that increase joy, relationships and access in our communities.

    This year, let's do more. Let's be the organizers, planners and volunteers. Let's take a stand and spread the word.

    7 New Year's Resolutions for an Eco-Friendlier 2014:

    1. Share - The gift economy, collaborative consumption, the sharing economy--regardless of what we call it, sharing is on the upswing in our world. After decades of me-me-me consumption, many of us have had enough. People all over the world are opening their hearts, minds, homes and garages and learning how to share again. In doing so, we're slowing resource consumption and helping our neighbors make a little cash. We're also remembering what it means to be a community of humans, invested in each other's success and interested in each other's stories. Learn more about how to save money, time and resources through collaborative consumption.

    2. Attend - When's the last time you went to the meetup of a local environmental organization? Or a city council meeting? Or the screening of an Indie documentary? Between our busy lives and the time-suck of social media, we've exchanged conversation for poorly worded e-mails and thumb-upping someone else's viral image. This year, let's go do stuff. Let's talk with people. Let's argue, debate and expand our minds. When we accept a Facebook event invitation, let's actually make an effort to go.

    3. Donate - If you've got some to spare, make 2014 the year when you put your money where your mouth is. Posting pictures, signing petitions or sharing stories from your favorite organizations isn't enough. Throw them some money. Your favorite organizations fight back against the status quo 365 days a year. If you like celebrating victories every once in a while, and can afford to, take the next step and give a few dollars to the cause.

    4. Organize - No money to spare? That doesn't mean you're doomed to watch from the sidelines. There are plenty of opportunities to organize direct actions in your community. It could be something as small as a movie screening in your living room, or as big as a picket line in front of City Hall. We all have friends and co-workers. We all have access to social media. Google 'how to organize local action,' and you'll find a plethora of digital toolkits designed to help you rally the troops and communicate your message.

    5. Volunteer - Do you know the one thing awesome organizations and cooperatives need more than money? People. There was an awesome non-profit bookstore in my town last year, but it had to close. Not because of a lack of books or customers, but because of a lack of volunteers to help with store duties and behind-the-scenes stuff. If there's a service, group or cause that you love and often take advantage of, consider saying 'thank you' by offering your time.

    6. Talk - In an effort not to be 'that person' who's constantly criticizing others' lifestyle, we've retreated to the point of almost silence. Here's the thing: We NEED to talk about climate change. We NEED to talk about not supporting corporate polluters. We NEED to talk about why organic farming is better for our future than factory farming. Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing. If we're not talking to those we care about WHY we avoid the things we do, why even bother making changes? You don't have to be condescending, you just have to be passionate.

    7. Vote - In a time when our entire democratic process has been gutted by corporate money and special interests, this is perhaps the most important action of all. All year long we complain, point fingers and fire off angry comments, but how many of us actually get out there and vote on issues when the time comes? I'm talking about local issues and local elections. This year, take time to learn the ballot issues in your town. Mark election day on your calendar, and cast your vote.

    Buczynski, Beth, Care2,, January 2, 2014

    NOV/DEC 2013

    National-Park Visitors Are Asked
    to Take Their Trash With Them

    Pilot Program to Get Rid of Cans Has
    Unintended Porta Potty Consequences

    National Park Service chief groundskeeper Anthony Migliaccio piloted his utility vehicle down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, surveying the good, the bad and the ugly in the government's new effort to get visitors to do something that doesn't come naturally: haul away their own garbage.

    Along the parkway's main stem-a lush, tree-lined Virginia roadway that runs from George Washington's Mount Vernon estate to the forests of Turkey Run Park-there are now 55 fewer garbage cans. In their place are signs informing people that they are now expected to tote away their half-eaten hot dogs, soiled paper plates, crushed soda cans and the like.

    With the Iwo Jima statue in the background, a sign at the Marine Corps Memorial explains Trash Free Parks, with complimentary bags.

    The idea behind project Carry In-Carry Out, explained Mr. Migliaccio, is to free up the park service's trash haulers to pursue nobler beautification projects, such as flower planting. But training the masses to stuff their own refuse back into their cars, purses and strollers is causing something of a stink. On a recent day, one lonely can in a busy park overflowed with visitors' refuse. Meanwhile, a nearby dispenser of free plastic trash bags--each printed with a plea for folks to retain their own waste-remained full.

    Bus driver Ronnie McGinley ambled over to the overloaded bin, carrying a plastic water bottle. So why not keep the vessel on the bus? 'I don't want it rolling around,' said Mr. McGinley, who seemed a bit nonplused by the voluntary rule. 'You want it?'

    Still, the trash initiative presses on. The DC region's pilot program calls for replacing garbage bins from 27 locations along the parkway with twice as many signs asking people to own their own messes. It's a tall order. Each year the George Washington Parkway--a 32-mile national park/commuter route dotted with historic sites, memorials, picnic groves and wildlife refuges-draws about eight million visitors along with their dogs, diapers, paper plates and plastic sporks. It's the fifth most-visited feature in the national park system. Visitors create some 380 tons of solid waste each year.

    Carry In-Carry Out was launched on Earth Day in April, and now is in the middle of a six-month period that, overall, parkway deputy superintendent Jon 'J.J.' James refers to as 'bumpy.' Mr. Migliaccio describes it as being in 'the teething stage.' Touring his turf in the rain recently, Mr. Migliaccio pointed out a pair of waterlogged boat shoes, a cooler lid and an intact ceramic serving dish. There was also a drive shaft, hubcap and a couple of dozen plastic water bottles. Near the Reagan National Airport exit, inexplicably, was an abandoned white hazmat suit. Nonetheless, Mr. Migliaccio took a rosy view. 'Not bad,' he pronounced of his findings. 'Most of this stuff would be here even if we did have cans.' His rounds, though, exposed other challenges. Mr. Migliaccio drove past flocks of tourists at the Marine Corps Memorial, famed for its monument memorializing the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. The site draws four million visitors a year. When the trash-free program began-and some cans disappeared-people rushed to the area's Porta Potties to relieve themselves of their trash. That's a big no-no. Porta Potties are normally pumped out with a hose. If they're filled with garbage, as opposed to human waste, the contents must be removed by hand. 'Dipping trash and dog waste out of Porta Potties is a hazardous activity,' says Mr. James. 'That didn't continue very long before we got the cans back out there.' Indeed, after removing five trash cans from the memorial area, the park service put two back, then removed one.

    Next problem stop: the aptly named Roaches Run, a waterfowl sanctuary on the Potomac whose parking lot was strewn with pizza boxes, cups and newspapers tossed mostly by taxi and limousine drivers who sit in the sanctuary's parking lot, awaiting calls to nearby Reagan National Airport. Cab driver Esmail Abedini rolled down his window, releasing a miasma of food smells. 'I have my plastic, but some people don't think this way, so I'd like to see the trash cans back,' he said, holding up a clear cellophane bag with scraps of his lunch at the bottom. A wilted sprig of fresh mint and a pine-tree shaped air freshener lay across the car's console, but accomplished little. 'Right now in America the trash is worse than in developing countries in Middle East. Tehran is cleaner,' he said. 'See this?' he said, gesturing in anger at the litter around him, 'Maybe it is the bad economy?'

    Carry In-Carry Out has gained traction among waste management types because it saves money and time on trash collection, and encourages recycling: the random mess removed from trash bins is fit only for the incinerator. But data on urban programs' success is still accumulating. In New York City, for example, the subway system hauls 14,000 tons of garbage out of its 468 stations annually. It launched a pilot trash-free program, similar to Carry In-Carry Out, in 2011 at two stations. After logging a trash reduction of up to 67%, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority expanded the program to eight more stations last year. There are no numbers for the broader program yet. Since riders continue tossing free newspapers and half-eaten pastries into phone booths and under benches, the MTA is noncommittal. The trash-reduction program 'isn't feasible at our largest stations, like Grand Central or Times Square,' said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. Sloth, it seems, is ultimately just a part of urban life.

    Parks are different, of course, and Mr. James, who began his career in the Great Plains states, has lofty notions about inspiring people to comply. 'If we could teach them to look on parks as sacred, like the Nez Perce do, it would be interesting,' he says.

    Mr. Migliaccio's team collected just 22 tons of trash from his territory in May, the first full month of the program-or five tons less than the same month in 2012. Still, the park service has had to alter its can-free vision as time passes. There are no plans to remove trash receptacles from busy recreation areas such as Gravelly Point, where visitors fish, boat and eat while watching planes land and take off at the airport. There, despite the continued presence of about 25 cans, 'on Monday morning it looks like Woodstock after everyone went home,' Mr. Migliaccio said. 'We're learning as we go, but we have no intention of lowering our standards,' he added.

    Meanwhile, the 55 cans removed from his stretch of parkway sit, washed and stacked, in a maintenance warehouse. 'They're recyclable-but we're going to hang onto them for the foreseeable future,' he said.

    Elizabeth Williamson, 'National-Park Visitors Are Asked to Take
    Their Trash With Them,' The Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2013

    NOTE FROM GHA: Any property that is near a park or public facility that will be implementing 'Take Trash with You' programs should be aware that hotels and other businesses will be impacted by these programs. Guests will be bringing more trash and recyclables to hotels and other businesses for disposal. So, hotels and other businesses in the area will need to consider how much their solid waste and recycling programs may be expanded.

    SEP/OCT 2013


    As usual, this issue focuses on success stories of GHA's Partner Members. We are sharing these very successful stories with all members. You are all working very hard at being green, and sharing information will make it easier. We know you'll love reading these stimulating, interesting and very green stories! So, we begin again . . .


    By Terrell White, Owner

    El Rey Inn, a property in Santa Fe, NM which originated in 1936, is spread out over 5 acres of somewhat lush, somewhat tropical and somewhat dry land with lots of walkways and foot paths. My family and I have owned and run the property since 1973. One goal is to keep the property looking lush and green, which is a real challenge when we are at 7,000 feet in the high desert and in the very dry climate of north central New Mexico. Santa Fe's setting in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains produces a mild continental climate with four distinct seasons. However, New Mexico has been on the national map as one of the driest states in the country, and our state is in the third year of a major drought. Consequently, it has been our concern to save our most precious resource--which is water. The image of 18-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER El Rey Inn is our gardens, trees and incredible roses and many private courtyards, patios and fountains throughout the garden property.

    Twelve years ago our hotel installed several high traffic areas with artificial turf in an effort to curb the use of water, fertilizer and additional labor. The project was rather expensive initially at about $11,000 for about 1,000 square feet, but the cost savings over all these years has been substantial.

    We used a first-class company which happened to be owned by the son of one of our housekeepers for the installation. There was a lot of prep work spreading sand and compaction of the surface to level the area before the turf was installed. The artificial turf allows water to pass through it so the nearby trees receive rain or sprinkler water and the overall look remains most attractive and cared-for in appearance. With the natural light accumulation of pine cones and some pine needles, the turf looks very real as well as natural. I don't think that the guests are even aware that it is artificial. Edges of the turf are enhanced with brick and stone edging.

    After all these years the areas still look sharp, and we have used far less water because of the investment. Santa Fe has one of the highest water rates in the country with commercial establishments impacted the most. For the first 80,000 gallons of use, the rate is $6.06 per thousand gallons per month and after that the rate goes up to $21.72 per thousand gallons of use per month. The water bills for our property run between $5,000 and $8,000 per month for an 86-unit property, which is over and above the water used from two wells on the property.

    Our two water wells are each about 220' deep. One was dug in the '70s and the second in the '90s. Our inn is only allowed to use well water for exterior use which includes our outdoor glass-enclosed spa, our indoor spa and our junior-size Olympic pool. The well water cannot be used inside the buildings. At our home nearby, we have used well water for everything for many years, and find the well water quality to be excellent.

    We have an on-site greenhouse built almost 30-years ago that is in use throughout the year to grow bedding plants, flowers for interior use, hanging basket flowers and plantings in barrels all over the property. We have beautiful cascading geraniums all over the property and especially at our porte-cochere. No food or herbs are grown. The greenhouse has always been highly interesting to our guests, and most cannot resist popping in to see what's going on in there.

    Should you have questions, do contact me at 505/982-1931 or Our web address is

    Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls Green Policy

    Surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Park, the 14-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, in Logan, OH, features a setting that puts guests in tune with the harmony of nature, the peace of solitude and the simple joys of the Earth's beauty. Mammoth rock formations, caves and waterfalls native to the Hocking Hills, OH region share their breathtaking beauty with the inn's charming cottages, 1840s log cabins and antique-filled bed and breakfast rooms.

    Our green activities include:

    1. Use saran wrap on sandwiches instead of using to-go boxes

    2. Use recycled hoagie bags for sandwiches instead of boxes

    3. Reusable containers for lunches

    4. Use recycled paper products

    5. Reuse garbage bags when possible (empty together)

    6. Use reverse of previously printed paper in computer printer

    7. Use liquid soap and reduce use of bar soaps

    8. Wash laundry with cold water whenever possible

    9. Switched to environmentally-safe cleaning products

    10. Offer a linen (both towels and sheets) reuse program in all rooms

    11. Donate retired sheets and towels to staff and homeless shelters.

    12. Installed low-flow showerheads and sink aerators

    13. 70% dual-flush or high-pressure toilets

    14. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in guestrooms and sensors in infrequently used areas

    15. Keep heat turned down in cabins, cottages and rooms

    16. Leave heat/AC on one setting and not turn it up and down

    17. Use less paper by reducing size of paper used

    18. Our current spa products are natural and environmentally conscious

    19. Offer organic healthy snacks

    20. Offer discount rates to sustainable living/environmental organizations which book rooms or meeting space at property

    21. Recycle plastic garden benches

    22. Repaved all driveways with recycled concrete / blacktop

    Contact Ellen Grinsfelder, Owner, at 740/385-7489 or


    13-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Little St. Simons Island is a private barrier island just off the Georgia coast. The natural world presides here across 10,000 intrusion-free acres of maritime forests and marshlands, enjoyed by no more than 32 overnight guests at a time. Seven miles of shell-strewn beaches and energizing outdoor activities beckon guests to explore and discover. Accessible only by boat, this extraordinary natural sanctuary is among the last of its kind anywhere. Vastly different from most other barrier islands along the Atlantic seaboard, Little St. Simons Island remains virtually undeveloped.

    LSSI has recently completed a project to replace our old bulkhead (or seawall) with a more ecologically friendly form of bank stabilization--a living shoreline. The previous 300' bulkhead which was adjacent to our main dock was beginning to fail and in need of replacement. After the wooden bulkhead was removed, the sandy creek bank was angled backward. At low tide, plastic mesh bags holding about 20 pounds of oyster shells each were put in place against the bank. Recycled pieces of concrete were put at the base of the bank to serve as the toe. After the bags of oyster shells were in place, native plantings were added to complete the upland portion of the living shoreline. Planning to completion of the project took more than a year. Our goal was to continue to protect the shoreline from erosion, but to do it with the least impact possible and in a way that benefits the ecosystem there. Cost of the project was significantly less than a traditional bulkhead.

    The project is the third in a series of pilot projects in Georgia, installed with the help of several conservation partners including The Nature Conservancy, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Coastal Resources Division and University of Georgia's Marine Extension. We also received funding from a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) grant. (

    What is a living shoreline? It's a method used to stabilize banks and prevent erosion from tides and surface water runoff using oysters and native plants. In Georgia, we have lost 90% of our historic oyster reefs. Our oysters were overharvested in the early 1900s for the cannery industry and the shells were not returned to the marshes. Oyster larvae (called spat) require a substrate to settle on, often other oyster shells. Our waters have been tested and are rich in spat, so they should settle on the newly-installed shell and begin growing within the next year, creating a living reef. Oysters are considered a keystone species in our saltmarshes and play important roles in water filtration and in enhancing fish habitat. With the creation of the oyster reef and by planting native vegetation, we are beginning to reconnect the upland, marsh and creek ecosystems at this site.

    In addition to our conservation partners, volunteers from Coastal WildScapes ( and AmeriCorps have put in nearly 1,000 volunteer hours bagging oyster shells and replanting native vegetation along the shoreline. Although we had to purchase quite a bit, we have also been able to take advantage of the restaurant oyster shells that we had stored on site. Our guests have also unknowingly played a role with this project. Of the 10,000 bags used in the project, about 2,000 of those came from our Friday evening oyster roasts.

    In the future as we are better able to document the success of this new technique, we hope to continue working with our partners as they develop living shoreline guidelines to share with private landowners and others encouraging the use of this type of stabilization as an alternative to traditional types of hardened shorelines. For further information, contact Scott Coleman, Ecological Manager, at 912/638-7472 or


    Since 1986, 13-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER The Cove at Yarmouth Resort has been a prime vacation spot for visitors to the Cape Cod, MA area. The West Yarmouth facility features 229 one-bedroom timeshare condominiums, and is the largest year-round resort on Cape Cod. For the majority of the year the property features occupancies north of 70%. In the June, July, August and September months, the occupancy spikes above 95%. With such a high volume of use, General Manager Michael Edwards was looking for ways to not only modernize the systems in the facility, but also to lower its energy and water consumption totals.

    He did that by initiating a number of retrofits that have produced significant savings. The biggest change was the installation of 19 Eternal hybrid water heaters ( 'The complex previously used 23 100-gallon high-recovery hot-water tanks (199,000 Btu each), which were not overly efficient,' Edwards says. Edwards notes the new 98% efficient, 195,000 Btu hybrid models have resulted in an average natural gas savings of 17% a month since the December 2012 installation. 'Overall efficiency wins the day,' Edwards says. 'Cost was $91,000, and we're saving approximately $1,700 a month on gas bills.' Edwards says a crane was needed to switch out our water heaters in the past creating maintenance troubles and big expenses. 'The hybrid models are about the size of a family suitcase, and are easy to work on. It's a matter of unbolting the air, gas and water lines and putting in a new one,' he says.

    Also on the retrofit list were the facility's 27-year-old boilers which were original to the property. Those 250,000 Btu boilers were replaced with nine Weil-McLain ultra-high efficiency models (230,000 Btu, 95% EE rating). 'With the old ones we had to package three together, and they were running all the time,' Edwards says. 'The new models are variable-speed, modulating-condensing and are in a series together. They fire only when they are needed.'

    Other green upgrades include the installation of low-flow, 1.28-gpf American Standard toilets, Oxygenics and American Standard 1.0 gpm shower heads, Moen shower valves and aerators. Edwards has noticed a 12% downturn in the facility's water usage since going to greener fixtures.

    Edwards realized additional efficiencies by installing CAR-II's constant airflow regulator grilles in each bathroom. Greenheck direct-drive, variable-speed exhaust fans with dampers replaced the existing 21 exhaust fans. The new setup controls air flow being drawn from the rooms and thus lowers energy usage. Edwards also installed 165 LED lights throughout the facility (35 emergency outdoor lights, 90 restaurant recessed lights and 40 meeting room lights).

    The retrofit projects were aided by a rebate program from Mass Save (, an energy auditing organization that provides energy audits and energy-efficiency rebates for homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

    'Cape Light Compact is an inter-governmental organization that assists with delivery of proven energy efficiency programs. We worked a relationship with them through Rise Engineering, and got a lot of the project subsidized,' says Edwards. Cape Light Compact is a contractor for Mass Save in the Cape Cod area. 'We made a capital investment of somewhere around $600,000 for the equipment we installed (water heaters and boilers), and we received more than $31,000 in direct rebates from Mass Save.' Edwards, who is investigating the potential future use of solar technology, is glad he went through with the sustainable upgrades.

    'Before, we were wasting utilities,' he says. 'The mechanicals' useful life had come due. It was time to do something about it. We're very happy with the results.'

    Michael also says he especially likes the hospitality trend toward eco-friendly sheets which are100% recyclable microfiber purchased from He says they have the feel of 600-thread-count cotton sheets, they are stain resistant, dry in half the time and the cost is comparable. He likes them so well that he uses the sheets on his bed at home. Michael can be reached via 508/771-3666 or


    12-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave has made history, becoming the world's first floating green building to receive the prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Spearheaded by the National Park Service and Forever Resorts, LLC, the marina building serves as the marina's operations office.

    For use of decking made of rice hulls to exterior stucco made of recycled tires, from the beginning, the marina was lauded for its use of green materials. The floating eco-friendly structure features sustainable modular construction and state-of-the-art energy-efficient and environmentally-responsible materials and fixtures. Use of low or no-volatile-organic-compound (VOC) materials, paints and adhesives rid the building of the typical new-building smell, improving the overall indoor air quality.

    For commercial buildings and neighborhoods to earn LEED certification, a project must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale. According to the USGBC, participation in the voluntary LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

    'We, together with the National Park Service, are proud to have made history with this achievement,' says John Schoppmann, executive vice president, Forever Resorts. 'This building embodies Forever Resorts' company-wide commitment to embracing eco-friendly, sustainable business and public-private partnership principles.'

    The project's key earth-minded elements and commitments include the Forever Resorts' Forever Earth Environmental Management System and a mix of new and existing programs:

    • Green cleaning program throughout the resort

    • Green purchasing program

    • Energy and environmental education programs for boaters and community members

    • Extensive energy-saving materials and systems, including high-performance insulated glass

    • High-efficient HVAC equipment and delivery systems

    • Extensive use of recycled and regionally extracted and manufactured materials, such as concrete, steel, drywall, metal studs and carpet

    • Finish materials, paints, adhesives, caulks and sealants that contain low or no VOCs to ensure healthy indoor air quality

    • Extensive natural daylight and views to the outdoors throughout, maximizing east/west orientation

    • Recycled and recyclable building and landscape materials

    • Prevention of night-sky pollution via nighttime light fixtures

    Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the fifth most visited national park in the country and is located adjacent to Las Vegas, the nation's top tourist destination. Its 1.5 million acres, which includes Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, hosts nearly 7 million visitors each year. Forever Resorts is an exceptional collection of destinations providing hospitality services throughout the world. The company focuses on properties with access to nature and one-of-a-kind surroundings for vacations, including houseboating adventures. Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina are located 90 minutes from Las Vegas and offer lakeside accommodations, houseboat and powerboat rentals, the Cottonwood Cove Cafe and a full-service RV park. To learn more, see


    By Shakti Klalsa, Owner

    12-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Park Lane Guest House is a half-acre eco urban oasis nestled beneath the shade of the live oaks in the historic Travis Heights/SoCo (South Congress) district of Austin, TX. We are within walking distance of downtown, and near the state capitol, the Austin Convention Center, Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trails and just 2 miles from The University of Texas, Zilker Park and Barton Springs.

    These elegant private cottages were built out of reclaimed building materials. In fact, our Tiny Texas House is built out of 100% reclaimed materials. We chose Sherwin Williams' Historic House Paint Collection paints. I used my history as a historic restoration carpenter in the Northeast to determine how and where to use the colors.

    Being a GreenLeaders Platinum certified property as of this year means continuing to provide our guests with leading-edge environmental initiatives. The fundamentals of respecting the environment are key to our long-term success.

    Today we are proud to announce the installation of a solar-powered system at Park Lane. Now we will not only be conserving energy--we will be creating it. Also, any guest that has an electric car should know that we have a Level 2 charging station, and the plug-in is always free.

    We aim to reduce waste through our recycling and composting program. All of our guests are encouraged to participate in our environmental program by simply sorting their trash into the bins provided in each room and setting aside all organics to either be shared with the chickens or composted on site.

    Speaking of chickens: Our chicken coop houses nine free-range hens. We have carefully selected heritage breeds and breeds that are on the endangered species watch list. We've just harvested the first batch of honey from our bee hive. The bees have been busy all spring and summer pollinating our fruit trees, and have yielded some very tasty honey that will be sure to top guest breakfasts in days to come. Guests are assured of having the freshest organic breakfast which will include fresh edible flowers and herbs from the garden. Our natural pool in the shade of the live oak tree is a great place to relax.

    Further greening includes:

    • 100% smoke free

    • Serving only organic fair-trade coffee

    • No cleaning chemicals or fragrances used

    • GHA ALLY MEMBER EO/Small World organic personal amenities

    • All 100% cotton linens and organic cotton robes

    • Our organic, vegetarian breakfast includes fresh eggs from our free-range hens

    • Herbs, fruits and vegetables from our garden

    • Many locally-sourced products

    • OrganicPedic mattresses by OMI

    Want to know more? Call Shakti Klalsa at 512/447-7460 or e-mail her at

    Bardessono, Greening and its Luxury Travelers

    When 7-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa was conceived, the vision was simple--to be the greenest and best luxury hotel in the world. Period. Clearly, this was not an easy undertaking. On February 2, 2009, at the absolute bottom of the lodging industry's economy, Bardessono opened in Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley, CA. This 62-room property was developed at a cost of over $1,000,000 per key, enabling it to quickly join Auberge, Calistoga Ranch and Meadowood in the elite group of Napa Valley's finest luxury hotels.

    Its differentiation was two-fold--greenness and its location within the town of Yountville, considered by many the most desirable location in the valley, and home to arguably some of the finest restaurants in the US, including Thomas Keller's The French Laundry. Bardessono was developed and then operated to LEED Platinum Certification standards, and not long after it opened, earned that certification officially from the US Green Building Council. It currently is one of two LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the world, and with revpar commensurate with its market-leading luxury positioning. How it was developed and how it is operated are the subjects for another story. Suffice it to say that the 72 geothermal wells, 972 solar panels, the materials used in construction and the green operating practices all speak volumes to its extreme eco-sensitivity. But that's not what this is about.

    It's about marketing and the consumer response to green luxury. When MTM Luxury opened Hotel 1000 in Seattle in 2006, the property began as the most technologically-advanced hotel in the world. Hard to believe, but true nonetheless. The PR, as a result, was phenomenal. When MTM opened The Liberty Hotel in Boston, the story there was the conversion of an 1851 iconic county jail into a luxury hotel, and again, the PR was phenomenal. In 2009, Bardessono's opening PR thrust was its greenness, the result being much more media attention than what just another new luxury hotel would garner. We were an instant hit among environmentalists. Groups and individuals, rooted in environmentalism all came to see us. Good for occupancy. Not as good for ADR.

    Within a year, it became crystal clear to us that our lead story might not be the right one for our targeted customer. With our in-your-face approach to marketing our greenness, we lost sight of the need to focus on our location, extraordinary luxury, and staff ratio of two per room and the resulting attentive service we consistently deliver. Some prospective guests, used to the finest things in life, were stuck in the conventional wisdom at the time that green and true luxury are mutually exclusive. They conjured up visions of minimalism and discomfort. In some respects, the initial media attention we received for our greenness worked against us. Our guests seek a great hotel experience first, and can get one at comparable rates elsewhere. Our value-add to them is the knowledge that the carbon footprint they leave behind in Napa Valley is about half the size it would be at another hotel.

    So into and throughout 2011, our marketing and its messaging have been all about being a world-class hotel. Our greenness has become a secondary message . . . an 'Oh, by the way . . . we're one of the greenest luxury hotels in the world, as validated by our LEED Platinum certification.' The customer response has been excellent as evidenced by Bardessono being named by the #1 Hotel in America for 'Relaxation and Spa,' and the #5 Hotel in the World.

    While the green message is secondary, it is still an important one. When groups and individuals are weighing their options with respect to the Napa Valley's finest lodging, those with even a shred of an environmental conscience choose us. A good example being an A-list film celebrity, who wanted to do her latest movie media launch in Napa Valley, and when she learned about our eco-sensitivity, she chose us because of her strong environmental awareness and support for like-minded organizations.

    While our guests are here, we subtly make them aware of their support for the environment by association with discreet physical messaging, as well as staff dialogue. When we pique their interest, we can go into the role of being full-on educators. If we sense disinterest, we move off the subject of the environment and move on to what we believe will interest them. Most often wine and food. Go figure.

    The moral of this is remarkably simple. Know your prospective and existing customers. Market to them as individuals--not as market segments. Promote your hotel on the basis of its merits and what each of your customers wants and needs, either consciously or sub-consciously. Your greenness is a value-add, and is appealing to more and more travelers. Its ability to drive revpar is increasing. But in our world, it's all about luxury first--how we market it, then how we deliver it. This is the foundation upon which Benchmark Hospitality's Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels is built. Being green is increasingly good for business, and much more importantly, it's good for the world in which we live.

    When questioned regarding what about greening most interests his luxury guests, Jim responded, 'From nothing to everything here . . . it runs the gamut. Some are incredibly impressed with everything we did during the property's development, as well as how we operate the hotel, and want to know everything about us regarding all things green . . . to others who are completely oblivious, don't have a clue and don't care about the environment. Those folks drive $100-500K cars getting less than 10 mpg. The former group rolls up in their Lexus Hybrids, Teslas, Fiskers, Priuses and a few Volts and Leafs.' He continues, 'I think it's our CCOF (California Certified Organic Farm) garden that gets the most raves. We grow our own produce, herbs and some fruit on site. And we buy zero processed food. Everything comes in the back door in its natural state. We make everything from scratch . . . even ketchup . . . made from tomatoes we grow or occasionally buy from local famers.' Contact Jim Treadway at 707/204-6001 or


    6-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER, Snug Hollow Farm B&B in Irvine, KY, is a secluded 300-acre retreat with restored log cabins and a spacious farmhouse surrounded by babbling creeks, wildflowers, wooded mountainsides and wildlife. Barbara Napier purchased the property 35 years ago, and since starting her B&B has served gourmet vegetarian lunches and dinners by reservation. She gained her love for food and cooking from her very talented mother, who was the local florist, a seamstress, worked full-time and had 5 children. Like her mother, Barbara is well known for her cooking and has been a vegetarian for 36 years.

    Barbara has published a cook book, Hot Food and Warm Memories. Her very successful vegetarian cookbook was inspired by her guests requesting her recipes. She wrote the copy, took most of the photographs herself, and it took a year to put the book together. Her cook book is sold online, at and at area events and bookstores.

    Each summer, she teaches a cooking class in Berea, KY, which is the art capital of the state. The four-hour class costs $100, participants are inspired to cook vegetarian and are provided a delicious meal and a copy of her cook book. She invites locals and guests to enjoy an evening of cooking and sampling gourmet vegetarian fare while learning creative ways to serve up old favorites as healthful vegetarian dishes. At the class she talks about what to cook along with ideas about familiar foods that can be served in new and imaginative ways. Many have been thrilled to learn they can be a vegetarian one day at a time.

    Barbara says it all with, 'Cooking is not a chore, but a daily meditation. It is a joy for me, and a gift to my guests.' She can be contacted at 606/723-4786 or


    6-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Forever Resorts - The Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim is the first hospitality company in the State of Arizona to receive the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The award recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.

    The VPP award is granted to companies that successfully complete a rigorous application and investigation process, and the Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim is one of the smallest companies to have received the award and one of very few hospitality companies in the US to have done so.

    Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim is the only lodging inside the National Park on the North Rim. Located at Bright Angel Point, the lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The original Lodge was constructed in 1928 and burned in 1932. The current Lodge was rebuilt in 1937 using as much of the original structure as possible. Here, guests may enjoy the quiet serenity of the North Rim while enjoying comfortable guest rooms and cabins, which were constructed in the 1930s and 40s.

    Guests may take an easy hike along the rim or ride a mule along steep trails into the canyon; or enjoy stunning views from the main lodge's expansive windows or outdoor terrace. Learn more at


    Last year we reported that 6-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Keys Hotel The Aures celebrated Indian Independence Day (15Aug2012) by planting more than 1,000 neem, sal, custard apple, etc. trees in the nearby hills of Aurangabad. One goal was to help control runoff rain water as well as increase green cover. Unfortunately, most of the saplings planted last year haven't survived due to drought in the region. Saddened, but not discouraged, this year management and staff have planted over 1,200 neem and sal saplings to honor the 67th Independence Day. Management and staff of the Keys Hotel The Aures along with many volunteers completed the plantings in the village of Khamkheda, which is enroute to the Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad, where the hotel is located. As for the future, the decision has been made to plant at least 1,000 trees each August 15 in the area. Excellent!


    6-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Skytop Lodge received the coveted PMVB (Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau) Green Tourism Achievement Award for our conservation and ecological efforts here at Skytop Lodge! With a history tied to nature, Skytop has always made efforts through awareness and preservation programs, and working with some of the country's top ecological organizations.

    A member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America and 'Green' Hotels Association®, Skytop Lodge sits atop 5,500 acres which includes deciduous and evergreen forests, scrub oak forests, rocky outcroppings, a rhododendron swamp, a glacial bog and small grassy meadows, which have all been held in conservation since 1928.

    Wildlife conservation efforts have been an integral part of the history of Skytop Lodge, and the original forester, Pat Fasano, worked hard to develop a trail system for the guests to enjoy. Pat also began a wildlife inventory of the property to provide a baseline for future management decisions which he knew to be important to conservation efforts such as the preservation of a forest and its inhabitants. His published book, The Nature of Skytop, was ahead of its time, and is still available on

    Under the management of former naturalist, John Serrao, much of the bird life, forest community and reptile and amphibian inhabitants of the property were recorded. This information was subsequently shared with statewide organizations such as the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, the Pennsylvania Herpetological Atlas, the Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas, the Pennsylvania Biological Team, the Amphibian and Reptile Technical Committee and the Dragonfly and Damselfly Technical Committee.

    Recent conservation efforts include providing nest boxes for Eastern Bluebirds, Purple Martins and Screech Owls which are monitored during breeding season, sharing results with the Pennsylvania Society of Ornithology and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. A similar program is underway building bat boxes.

    Skytop also chose to refrain from broadcast spraying of gypsy moths recently to preserve other insect species that would be harmed by such a wide attack, and when installing the new Tree Top Adventure zip-line obstacle course, tree removal was kept to a minimum with much of the removed wood being used for on-site projects. Conservation continues inside the lodge, too, with farm-to-table dining, highlighting local farmers and growers at their annual Harvest Lake Stroll in the autumn.

    To preserve the dropping honeybee populations, Skytop's Bee Mindful initiative is distributing over 10,000 packages of wildflower seeds to help fight Colony Collapse Disorder, by helping others grow wildflower gardens like the ones at Skytop that have provided homes to our winged friends for over 80 years. Skytop is also arranging a viewing of the award-winning documentary, The Vanishing of the Bees, to raise awareness, and bringing a local bee keeper on site to share the art of bee keeping and the secrets of honey.

    Skytop Naturalists, Rick Koval and Jackie Speicher, educate visitors about the native species at Skytop. There is also a native animal collection containing a 7-foot Black Rat snake, a Timber Rattlesnake, a Northern Copperhead snake, (which all chow down on frozen rodents at public feeding times), an Eastern Garter snake (who prefers to slurp up his earthworms), Bullfrogs, Green frogs, American toads, 5 species of salamanders and a 45-year old box turtle named Myrtle.

    Rick also hosts edible plant walks teaching how to identify safe plants for food, teas, mushrooms and medicinal use, as well as poisonous plants to avoid. He highlights popular edible species including stag horn sumac, which makes a tea-like pink lemonade, sassafras for root beer, pineapple chamomile (which tastes like, you guessed it, pineapple!), wild basil, dandelions and acorns, as well as rare plants, such as bog rosemary growing in Skytop's remote cranberry bog, which must be left undisturbed. Rick published a great acorn bread recipe in the Pocono Record.

    Skytop also works with leading conservation organizations. In 2004, Skytop Lodge hosted a Wooley Adelgid Summit organized by the Paradise Creek Study and the Brodhead Watershed Association to examine the aphid that's infecting the Eastern Hemlock trees (not to be confused with the Poisonous Hemlock Shrub). These trees help prevent river bank soil erosion and provide cooling shade that shelters many forms of wildlife. Working with the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Survey, a plant and grass survey was completed, and a tree survey of the golf course is underway toward certification from Audubon International.

    The Pocono Avian Research Center has conducted research including an investigation on the productivity and survivorship of the breeding songbirds at Skytop Lodge. Information generated at Skytop is shared with the Institute for Bird Populations and the United States Geological Survey, the Migratory Bird Office and the Bird Banding Laboratory. A 10-year study by the Pocono Avian Research Center on the Northern Saw-whet Owl at Skytop has provided evidence of a strong population that has kept the Saw-whet Owl from being listed as a Species of Concern and offers encouragement.

    Ann Pilcher of the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau stated, 'What really made [Skytop] stand out was their Bee Mindful Program and all the efforts of their naturalists. We were really looking for someone that was a 'Green' Hotels [Association} member, and made conservation and nature a priority.'

    Skytop Lodge is proud to be recognized for their efforts and will continue their ongoing conservation plans to enrich and strengthen our beautiful natural surroundings for generations to come. To lean more, contact Elaine Leies, Sales Manager, at 570/595-8966 or


    By Sarah Jessup, Owner

    5-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch sits within a 3,200-acre working cattle ranch near Loveland, CO at a 5,280' elevation. The property, which began in 1919 includes 28 guestrooms, but can accommodate 500+ for special occasions. The Jessup family has owned and run the guest ranch since 1946. The mountain getaway is nestled in the Big Thompson River Valley, and it's promised that one will see eagles soaring overhead and deer grazing nearby.

    Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Those three words are the core of Sylvan Dale's mission 'to apply practices in our daily work routine that support a sustainable operation in harmony with the natural environment.' Green practices have been integral to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch since the beginning. As children of the Great Depression, my parents, Maurice and Mayme Jessup, knew what it meant to recycle--nothing was ever thrown away. Mom reused plastic bags and tin foil! Dad put things in storage. 'We'll use that someday,' he'd say.

    In the 1990s we made a big commitment to green by initiating conservation easements on our land. To date, we've preserved over 70% of our land with Larimer County Open Lands and the Legacy Land Trust protecting scenic foothill views and wildlife habitat. Our commitment to green practices has proven to be a deciding factor for many of our guests and corporate clients.

    Some of our green practices include:

    • Room signage encouraging guests to reuse linens and towels.

    • Line-dried linens.

    • Turning down water heaters to conserve energy when the cabins are vacant.

    • Extensive recycling for all areas of the ranch.

    • We serve all food and beverages with reusable service ware.

    • NO Styrofoam, only compostable cups, plates, napkins and plastic ware when necessary.

    • Using environmentally-friendly and bio-degradable cleaning solutions.

    • Support local vendors and use Colorado produce and all-natural or organic meats.

    • Using produce from our garden for guest meals.

    • Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs or LED lighting.

    • Purchasing wind energy.

    • Rotational grazing of the cattle and horses.

    In December 2008, Sylvan Dale became a proud member of 'Green' Hotels Association®. It's gratifying that the values we've held for years, doing the right thing, striving for energy efficiency, water conservation and promoting other sustainable practices has become so popular and important in today's world. We will continue to follow the example my parents set to preserve and protect our little piece of paradise, and to share the beauty of Sylvan Dale for future generations. For further information, call me, Susan Jessup, at 970/667-3915 or e-mail me at


    A bastion of casual elegance since 1885, the 2-year GHA PARTNER MEMBER Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa is poised in the heart of historic downtown Sausalito on a lush hillside overlooking Richardson Bay. The luxury boutique hotel is located on the waterfront in a picturesque and upscale Bay Area community north of San Francisco located just across the Golden Gate Bridge.

    When Marin County offered financial assistance to encourage energy savings through installation of LED lighting in county hospitality public areas, General Manager Stefan Mühle was quick to accept the offer. An auditor from, an intermediary, walked the facility and made a list of the lighting replacements necessary which then required a commitment by hotel management. The project included replacing all incandescent bulbs in stairways, hallways, event rooms and outdoors--any areas used by the general public. Almost all of the property's lighting is recessed, so no fixtures had to be replaced. Cost of the new LED bulbs was about $8,000, but the final cost to the hotel was only the sales tax. The bulbs had to be installed within a defined time frame after which the auditor returned to confirm installation. About six weeks later, a rebate check was received. Since the installation last winter, the 63-room Casa Madrona's electric bill has been reduced from about $3,500 a month to about $3,000 monthly--a big savings. The only difficultly was that the event-space dimmable lighting was unsatisfactory, but the auditor was quick to assist with solving the problem.

    Expected soon is another Marin County rebate offer which will involve replacing guestroom and/or interior lighting. This replacement may be more difficult since guestroom lighting needs to be warm, without flicker and, hopefully, without afterglow. Some guests have complained about LED bulb afterglow, which means the bulbs can take a little longer to be completely off. Contact Stefan at 415/332-0502 or or visit .


    New GHA PARTNER MEMBER Inn at Nye Beach, Newport, OR, was built in 2010 with a total green focus. The previous accommodations on the property, the historic Viking Cottages, were over 100 years old, simply not repairable and were torn down. Most of the wood from the cottages was salvaged. In fact, much of the wood framing, wood doors and wood window frames were used in the new construction. A lot more of the wood was sent to a local manufacturer to be made into the guestroom furniture--head boards, chairs, etc. All the wood that was left after that was chipped, and is now landscaping mulch on the property.

    A 58-panel solar array was installed during construction on the entire south-facing roof and designed to produce over 16,000 watts of electricity daily. Electric bills are generally only $80 a month. On their website (, the amount of energy that is being produced is shown in real time. Their on-demand tankless water-heating system by Navien saves water as well as energy. Low-flow 2.0 gpm Culligan RainDisc showerheads and American Standard H2Option Siphonic dual f lush toilets give guests the option of a 1.0 or 3.8 gpf, and also save water. All appliances are Energy Star certified. Lighting is all via fluorescent compact or tube. All paints are low-VOC. The carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles. Smart Space Eco-Empty-Room energy-saving technology by controls guestroom energy use. All Oregon native plantings were used in the exterior landscaping and throughout the interior of the building. In-room recycle collection bins and a towel reuse program encourage guests to participate in the green initiatives. Regional wines from Oregon and Washington are included with packages, available for sale and served at the weekly wine socials.

    Hotel Manager Stephen Davis also explained that all of the towel and terry linens used throughout the hotel are bamboo-blended. Created from organic and sustainable resources, bamboo towels are not only naturally soft and luxurious, but more absorbent and dry faster than ordinary cotton towels. Additionally, they are hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, as well as mold and mildew resistant. All linens are processed on-site using highly-efficient Elextrolux machines and utilizing phosphate-free chemicals by EcoLab. Ecolab's sustainable laundry solutions are formulated to conserve water and energy, increase safety and reduce waste. The 3-cartridge bathroom dispensers by Better Living Products contain Olive Branch Botanicals' shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. Bar soap remnants and bottles of partially-used lotion are sent to

    Stephen also noted that the property is in a very busy and active year-round tourism area. Local attractions that draw people to the area include the historic Newport Bay Front, its sea lions, Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and all of the recreational activities that the Yaquina Bay has to offer. Stephen can be reached at 541/265-2477 or

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    Cascades Tissue Group's Moka Facial Tissue

    5-year GHA ALLY MEMBER Cascades Tissue Group, North America's fourth largest producer of towel and tissue paper, launched the Cascades® Moka™ facial tissue, an addition to the bathroom tissue product line.

    Cascades Moka tissue products are made from 100% unbleached recycled fiber and are the most environmentally responsible choices on the market. By adding 20% corrugated box fiber into the pulp mixture and eliminating bleaching chemicals, Cascades Tissue Group has achieved an amazing feat: reducing the environmental impact of the raw material by 25% without compromising the softness of the tissue. This innovation, which eliminates the bleaching stage of the fiber, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to the Cascades greenest white tissue, also made from 100% recycled fiber. The Cascades Moka products are certified Processed Chlorine Free®, Green Seal™ and EcoLogo™. Those products are offset 100% with Green-e® certified wind electricity.

    A detailed life cycle analysis (LCA) of the new pulp mix used in Cascades Moka tissue products revealed a reduction in overall environmental impact by at least 25% when compared to the pulp mix used in traditional Cascades 100% recycled fiber tissue. The latter had been regarded as the sustainable tissue benchmark in recent years even though it includes a chlorine-free whitening process for aesthetics.

    'Based on the success of the Cascades Moka bathroom tissue, we believe people will adopt this product unique to Cascades, if color is the only thing they're giving up,' said Suzanne Blanchet, Cascades Tissue Group president and CEO.

    Cascades Tissue Group has recently been honored with a first place finish in Green Manufacturer magazine's 2013 Green Manufacturer's Innovation Awards for the company's first-of-its-kind Cascades Moka 100% recycled unbleached bathroom tissue. The panel of judges praised Cascades for the product's 'outstanding features' and commitment to sustainability, as well as its low environmental impact compared to similar, traditional products. For more information about Cascades Tissue Group, visit

    JUL/AUG 2013


    As our green programs continue to be refined, we're reminded more and more that none of us can be really green without the green products and services offered by green vendors. GHA continues to encourage and support our Ally Members, and to bring you news of their successes--new products, new ideas, new techniques, recent awards, new contracts, etc. So, each July/August issue of this newsletter focuses on new and refreshing stories about our Ally Members' successes. Here we go once again . . .

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    RD FRESH, Ecovisionary

    ALLY MEMBER RD FRESH is an ECOVISIONARY award-winning 100% natural, 100% green, 100% passive, zero footprint product?a refrigeration dehumidifier?that keeps food fresher longer and saves energy while doing so. As a company, RD FRESH continues to move forward, not only expanding nationally with very successful distributorships in Texas, Virginia, Washington and more, but also expanding to Vancouver, Canada; Puerto Rico and even Norway?the greenest country in the world!

    'We've also expanded into the retail market with VegieFresh which is doing equally well, already in 300 small chain supermarkets and health food stores and having just signed up our first major chain, Sprouts.'

    'Most importantly for 'Green' Hotels Association® members, we are also now at the point where we can handle direct ship accounts for those hotels in places where we do not yet have distributorship representation. Please contact me directly at 954/732-8025. As the developer of the product, founder of the company, and a 6-year member of GHA, I'll be happy to take care of you and your hotel personally including special discounts for all 'Green' Hotels Association® members,' explains owner Steve Gerson. To learn more, visit


    As the hotel industry becomes more environmentally-conscious, hotel owners and managers must consider sustainability while balancing budget pressures and required brand standards during renovations. This juggling act is forcing many to rethink the renovation process entirely, and instead, invest in emerging, best-practice solutions like furniture asset management.

    An establishment that has recently demonstrated such fiscal and environmental leadership through the use of furniture renovation solutions, such as refinishing, remanufacturing and re-upholstering is Best Western Plus at King of Prussia, PA, a 168-room property owned and operated by RWK Enterprises, Inc. After receiving guest feedback around the need for larger screen LCD televisions, the property managers were left with the difficult decision to either buy new furniture or repurpose existing, high quality television armoires.

    Choosing the more sustainable and cost-effective option, the King of Prussia hotel invested in The Refinishing Touch's furniture asset management solutions to restore headboards, nightstands, side chairs, benches, desks, micro-fridge cabinets and armoires in 100 rooms throughout the establishment.

    7-YEAR ALLY MEMBER THE REFINISHING TOUCH's production crew remanufactured the television armoires by eliminating a top portion of the furniture piece, applying a granite surface and staining the asset with a more contemporary, darker finish. Refinishing and laminate replacements were also completed on 143 nightstands, while 100 benches received a color change and were re-upholstered using the company's durable fabrics from its Touch Textiles division. The expert team then refinished headboards, desks, micro-fridge cabinets and side chair legs using the company's innovative non-toxic, low VOC lacquers. The work was completed in just 30 days, and The Refinishing Touch's same day room turnover allowed the property to stay open for business throughout the entire renovation project.

    As a result of choosing furniture asset management, and avoiding the need to buy new pieces, the Best Western Plus King of Prussia reduced its total expenditure by an estimated 75.8%. In addition to the cost savings, the property also prevented landfill waste and deforestation, while minimizing carbon emissions from 125.32 tons to a mere 1.24.

    To read more about these renovations, see a before-and-after video or for more information on The Refinishing Touch's furniture asset management, visit


    Wyndham Resorts and the Arbor Day Foundation Preserve
    the World's Rainforests, One Cup at a Time

    Approximately two years ago, Wyndham Vacation Ownership properties made the switch to serving Arbor Day Specialty Coffee?a certified shade-grown coffee?in their 185+ resorts around the world, thanks to a partnership with ALLY MEMBER ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION, a non-profit focused on planting trees. In doing so, Wyndham has done more than provide great-tasting coffee to their 900,000 owner families. They've provided fair wages, access to healthcare and better housing and education options for Peruvian farmers while preserving vital tropical rainforests and the ecosystems they support. By selecting and exclusively serving this eco-conscious coffee, Wyndham's commitment to the environment is evidenced in the numbers: more than 25 million square feet of rain forest has been preserved each year since 2011 through their participation in this coffee program.

    Arbor Day Specialty Coffee has certifications through Fair Trade, Rain Forest Alliance and Smithsonian Bird Institute and is made from certified shade-grown coffee beans that thrive underneath the rain forest canopy. Unlike typical coffee, shade-grown beans thrive in harmony with the rest of the rain forest, thus saving an entire eco-system including plant life, trees, birds, insects and mammals. Shade-grown coffee beans produce a richer, more flavorful coffee and prevent the clear-cutting of rain forests that usually accompanies mass-produced, sun-grown coffee. For more information about Arbor Day Specialty Coffee and how your hotel can participate, call Ryan at 402/473-2105 or visit TODAY!

    Success for Impact Enterprises, Inc.!

    Sixteenfifty Creative Intelligence teamed with ALLY MEMBER IMPACT ENTERPRISES, INC. to provide environmentally responsible, unique and quality presentation products to the recently renovated and magnificent Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, CA (, a nationally recognized creative development team for the casino and hospitality industries, was chosen by the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa to develop environmentally responsible presentation products and print for all areas of the resort., an internationally recognized design and manufacturing company specializing in eco-friendly custom presentation products, information and product packaging, custom signage, and other custom products, was chosen by Sixteenfifty to manufacture and offer design suggestions based on materials chosen and Impact's unique manufacturing capabilities.

    Together, Sixteenfifty and Impact developed a collection of environmentally responsible presentation products that are branding quality and distinctive. Most items are solid woods from Verified Sustainable Forests. Other products are manufactured with fabrics that are durable and aqueous coated. Items include: Guest Services Directories, Table-top Displays, In-Room Products, Menu Covers, Wine List Covers, Check Presenters and Stationary Holders. For more information, please contact Ralph Salisbury, or


    ALLY MEMBER EO has been a pioneer of green/natural products since its inception 18 years ago. Co-Owners Brad Black and Susan Griffin-Black founded the company on using only pure essential/organic oils (NO synthetic fragrance ever), and natural ingredients for their products that are both body and earth friendly. Manufacturing has always been an important element at EO (which stands for essential oils) because we can control not only the quality of what goes into the product but also how to manufacture with minimal impact to the environment. 2013 has been an exciting year for EO as we have opened our first retail location in downtown Mill Valley, CA, and have moved to our new facility in San Rafael, CA. This new facility has allowed us to further our commitment to the environment with our new water recycling system, which is saving up to 250,000 gallons of water per month, and we have increased our cooling and heating efficiency by 50%!

    EO's values and practices are all documented: Bay Area Green Certified, 8-year 'Green' Hotels Association® Approved Vendor, Certified B Corporation. Many of our products are also Certified Organic, non-GMO. Certified and Gluten Free! You can find us in all Whole Foods and other natural food stores across the US. Our amenity program currently serves 300 amenity properties nationwide! Learn more at TODAY!

    Cascades Tissue Group Launches
    100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue

    North America's fourth largest producer of towel and tissue paper, 5-year ALLY MEMBER CASCADES TISSUE GROUP, announced the launch of Cascades® Moka™ 100% recycled, unbleached bathroom tissue, a first-of-its-kind product available to the away-from-home market. Beige in appearance, Cascades' Moka™ offers commercial purchasers the highest hygienic qualities and softness while significantly reducing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing a very common, single-use product. In addition to eliminating chemical whitening, Cascades' value-added tissue product is made of a pulp mix composed of 100% recycled fiber, 80% of which is post-consumer material and 20% is derived from recovered corrugated boxes. The product is also offset with 100% Green-e® certified renewable wind electricity; saving 2,500 pounds of CO2 emissions for each ton produced.

    A detailed life cycle analysis of Moka™ undertaken by the company revealed a reduction in overall environmental impact by at least 25% when compared to Cascades' 100% recycled fiber bathroom tissue, which has been regarded as a sustainable tissue exemplar in recent years, but includes a chlorine-free whitening process for aesthetics.

    'Beige is the new green, at least as it relates to towel and tissue,' said Cascades Tissue Group CEO Suzanne Blanchet, who personally conceived and championed Moka™ bath tissue's development. 'The last several years have brought about countless habit changes meant to preserve the environment. The quality of this bath tissue hasn't been sacrificed one bit, so adjusting to a new color seems like a small step to take for even greater sustainability.'

    Cascades started offering its Moka™ concept with the introduction of its Moka™ napkin line in the late '90s. Commercial sales for the product have steadily increased, as corporate purchasers have become more aware of its environmental benefits. In 2004, the Moka™ napkin line represented 10% of its total away-from-home sales in North America, whereas it now comprises over 23% of case sales. The company believes that the commercial market will continue to serve as the first frontier for sustainable innovations, as people evolve their tastes and habits out in public before modifying behaviors at home.

    While the recycled bath tissue is still cleaned and de-inked, the elimination of the whitening process ultimately reduces manufacturing impact associated to the elimination of natural gas and whitening chemicals. Virgin pulp prices have more than doubled over the past three years, invoking price increases in recycled fiber as well. By expanding to varied fibers such as corrugated, Cascades believes it can hedge its products' exposure to commodity price fluctuations and white fiber shortages outside its control, keeping tissue prices affordable in its served markets. For more information about Cascades Tissue Group, visit or


    ALLY MEMBER LUX LIGHTING DESIGN recently converted outdoor lighting of the Hilton Doubletree Bedford, MA's approximately 5 acres of beautifully groomed grounds and terraces. The property's gracious landscape is used for outdoor eating, weddings and other outdoor events. Prior to this installation, the grounds were originally lit with 150 watt incandescent bulbs in outdoor fixtures. The fixtures were later switched to include CFL screw-in bulbs which were inappropriate for the fixtures and resulted in a gloomy nighttime look. These required a lot of maintenance related to their position in grassy areas.

    Doreen LeMay Madden, Owner and President as well as Lux Lighting Design's Certified lighting designer (LC), did the necessary research to find the best technology for this scenario. She chose 27 watt LED high efficiency, minimal maintenance, 42' bollard pathlights with the best light levels and color rendering to enhance the outdoor pathways. The 28 fixtures are generally lit 12 hours each day and are very important to the general appearance and safety of the property at night. The installation with save approximately 3,500 watts per month on the property's electric bill, and also resulted in a $3,000 rebate from the State of Massachusetts for the energy conservation on which Lux Lighting Design coordinated all paperwork.

    Lux is now preparing to convert the property's lighting on their three major parking areas. The goal will be to control glare from guestrooms, provide high efficiency along with minimal maintenance. Contact Doreen at 617/484-6400 or visit to learn more.

    P&G Achieves Zero Manufacturing Waste
    at 45 Sites Worldwide

    'P&G's efforts are helping protect the environment, conserve precious natural resources, and make our planet cleaner and healthier for our children, families and future generations.' Three-year ALLY MEMBER PROCTER & GAMBLE, the Company behind consumer brands including Gillette®, Ariel®, Tide® and Pampers® announced that 45 of their facilities have now achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill, which marks a major step towards the company's long-term vision of sending zero manufacturing and consumer waste to landfills.

    Over the past 5 years, P&G's work to find worth in waste has created over $1 billion in value for the company. P&G has a vision for the future, where plants are powered by renewable energy, products are made from recycled and renewable materials and resources are conserved, with no waste going to landfill. Changing the way the company sees waste has brought P&G one step closer to this goal at 45 sites worldwide, where all of the manufacturing waste is recycled, repurposed or converted into energy.

    P&G announced its first zero-manufacturing-waste-to-landfill site in Budapest in 2007. Since then, the company has shared a long-term Environmental Vision, pledging to work toward zero consumer and manufacturing waste worldwide. Through quality assurance, packaging reduction, compaction and recycling efforts, the company now ensures that 99% of all materials entering P&G plants leaves as finished product or is recycled, reused or converted to energy. Now, as the Company celebrates its 175th year, less than 1% of all materials entering P&G sites globally leaves as waste!

    To drive all sites toward zero, P&G has searched for innovative ways to find value in what was once seen as waste. In Mexico, paper sludge from a Charmin toilet tissue plant is turned into low-cost roof tiles used to build homes in the local community. At a US Pampers site, scrap from the wipe manufacturing process is converted to upholstery filling. And, in the UK, waste created in the production of Gillette shaving foam is composted then used to grow turf for commercial uses. Learn about these and other innovative reuse stories in the short video 'Worth from Waste.'

    'There are well-defined systems for recycling materials like paper, plastic and glass, but our product portfolio is incredibly broad, resulting in a diverse set of waste streams for which to find sustainable solutions,' shared Dr. Forbes McDougall, who leads P&G's global zero manufacturing waste program. Today, we have found ways to divert most of our major waste streams away from landfill, so we're now seeing new sites achieve zero manufacturing waste to landfill nearly every month.' Learn more from the 'Worth from Waste' video at

    Hotels Embrace Green Laundries
    for Big Savings

    Going green is a hot topic among hoteliers, according to Joel Jorgensen, ALLY MEMBER CONTINENTAL GIRBAU INC. vice president. 'This is because a hotel's on-premise laundry greatly impacts overall water, electricity and natural gas usage,' he said. 'It also impacts labor costs and service quality.' No wonder hotels across North America are embracing energy-efficient and productive Continental washers, dryers and ironers. In doing so, hotels can curb utility costs, boost productivity, reduce wastewater and become greener in the process. Critical, too, is wash quality and finishing quality. Continental equipment delivers superior results.

    With this in mind, the Westin® Riverwalk Hotel, located in drought-stricken San Antonio, TX, recently reinvented its on-premise laundry. The remake involved the removal of water-guzzling washers for more efficient Continental models, and the installation of a complementing water reclamation system. The rehabilitated laundry gleaned a $29,000 rebate from the San Antonio Water System, and despite processing around 2.6 million pounds of laundry per year, slashed water usage by 3.6 million gallons annually.

    Key to its success is the laundry's new Continental E-Series high-speed, freestanding washer-extractors (two 130s and one 55), and Continental L-Series hard-mount washers (two 125s), as well as an ozone and water reclamation system. Productivity catapulted as water, natural gas and chemical consumption plummeted.

    The same holds true at the first LEED-certified hotel in Tennessee?the Hilton Garden Inn in Gatlinburg. The green hotel boasts an in-house laundry complete with an ozone system, Continental E-Series high-speed washer-extractors and Continental high-efficiency dryers. In five years, the laundry will likely save $60,000.

    At both properties, Continental E-Series high-speed washers were embraced over traditional machines because of their efficiency, productivity, ease-of-use and simple installation. They also play a critical role in water, natural gas and energy conservation. They reach 387 G-force extract speeds, unlike traditional washers, and thus, remove considerably more water per load. As a result, dry time is decreased?by up to 40%. This means more laundry is completed in less time, using less labor and natural gas.

    When high-speed washers are combined with Continental ironers, utility savings and productivity further improve. Gouldings Lodge, a 68-room resort located in Monument Valley, UT, saves $40,000 annually because it no longer outsources laundry. The new on-premise laundry, which includes Continental high-speed washer-extractors and drying tumblers, also features a Continental flatwork ironer. Like the Continental high-speed washers, the flatwork ironer bolsters laundry productivity and cuts natural gas consumption and electricity. Uniquely, damp linens are fed directly from the washers into the ironer, where they are finished and folded automatically. This eliminates the need for drying the linens first, which conserves natural gas and electricity, while extending linen life. Because linens aren't tumbled dry, more laundry is completed in less time, using less labor. Three employees run the laundry three days per week. During their 10-hour shifts, they complete all the washing, drying, ironing and folding.

    Continental Girbau, Inc. is the largest of 14 subsidiaries of the Girbau Group, based in Vic, Spain. Girbau laundry products, marketed throughout 90 countries worldwide, hold both ISO9001 and ISO14001 certifications, and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGB). To find out more about Continental laundry products, visit or call 800/256-1073.

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    MAY/JUN 2013


    About three decades ago, Donn Tice was an MBA student at the University of Michigan, studying with the late C. K. Prahalad, who was developing his argument that companies can make money and do good by creating products and services for the world's poorest people. It's an exciting notion, popularized in Prahalad's influential 2004 book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Today, Tice is the CEO of d.light, which sells solar-powered lanterns to the poor. He's trying to prove that his teacher was right--a fortune awaits those who can create and sell life-changing products that help the very poor.

    For now, this remains an unproven hope. Dozens of startups have ventured into the global south, selling everything from $100 laptops, cheap bikes, clean cook stoves and solar panels to the poor. Some have enjoyed success, but few have achieved meaningful scale. Or made anything approaching a fortune.

    The good news is that d.light is getting there. The company is now selling about 200,000 solar-powered lanterns and lighting systems a month in about 40 countries. By its own accounting, d.light has sold nearly 3 million solar lighting products and changed the lives of more than 13 million people. And if all goes according to plan, the company will turn profitable this year.

    'In addition to bringing lighting to people who need it and power to people who can't access it--which is our mission--we think we have the ability to demonstrate that this is a business model that works,' Tice said during a recent visit to the d.light offices in San Francisco. Earlier this year, d.light was recognized with the $1.5 million Zayed Future Energy Prize.

    D.light is a for-profit company started in 2007 by Stanford MBA students Ned Tozun and Sam Goldman, whose idea for solar-powered lights was born out of a Stanford Design School course called 'Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability.' As a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, Goldman had seen a young boy badly burned by a kerosene lamp. Both founders knew that more than 2 billion people in the world don't have access to reliable electricity. Venture-capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which sponsored the design contest, invested $250,000.

    Tice, meanwhile, had enjoyed a more conventional business career in the consumer products industry, running the Folger's coffee business for Procter & Gamble and helping to develop new products for Dreyer's ice cream. While working with advanced nanotechnology to create stain and wrinkle-resistant fabric for a company called Nano-Tex, he decided to make a change. 'I woke up one day and realized that I was having the world from stains,' he said.

    Through a networking group that looked at ways that entrepreneurs could help alleviate global poverty, Tice was introduced to investors who were considering putting money into d.light. He became an informal adviser to the company, joined the board when they closed their first round of financing in 2008, became chairman in 2010 and CEO about two years ago. He's glad he did: 'I love the work. I love our customers. You bring something into their lives that changes their life. What's not to like?' One key to the success of d.light is the company's willingness to listen to its customers. Senior executives visit rural villages in India or Africa, where most of the lanterns are sold.

    'The consumers really design our products,' Tice said. 'It's what we used to do at P&G. Our teams tromp around in the dust with prototypes.' By coincidence, Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder of the non-profit Acumen Fund, an investor in d.light, wrote a blog post the other day about a visit that she and a company executive, David Small, had made to a d.light customer named Teresia in Benin. Teresia had bought a $40 lantern, borrowing the money to do so and paying it back at the rate of $3.50 a week--less, she said, than she used to pay for kerosene. She proceeds, at some length, to tell David Small how to improve the product: She'd like the light to be able to charge her phone, she'd like it to charge a radio because batteries are expensive, and couldn't she have a way to hang the light from the ceiling?

    Novogratz writes: As I watch Teresia and David exchanging thoughts about consumer satisfaction, emotion swells inside. This is why I am doing this work. This is why I started Acumen: I am witnessing a conversation of equals, one between an empowered consumer and a businessman trying to serve her. Teresia is not pandering nor is she begging. David is neither self-satisfied with his own sense of benevolence, nor is he assuming he has the answers. Teresia may have next to nothing of material value in the world, but here she is, full of dignity, full of the confidence that comes with doing something for yourself and paying for it, to boot. Her eyes sparkle with curiosity and strength. Teresia has earned this conversation. David must continue to work for her loyalty and trust as a customer. In the process, both have the chance to be transformed. Interesting, no? This helps explain what Tice says is the company's competitive edge.

    'The really big thing that has changed is that we have pushed the whole market in the direction of a better-quality product,' he said. 'Consumers don't want a cheap product. The product has to work, and it has to work for a long time.' D.light is now offering two- or three-year warranties on their lanterns, telling customers that the products should last for five years, and designing them to last longer. 'It's really important that people trust what they buy,' he said. In other words, poor consumers are very much like you and me: They want a quality product at a good price from a company they trust.

    D.light has raised about $20 million so far, including about $15 million from a mix of traditional venture investors like DFJ and Nexus India and from impact or social investors like Acumen and the Omidyar Network. The company borrowed about $3 million from Deutsche Bank, and it has brought in about $2 million in grants. It will probably need more capital, Tice says, to reach its goal of changing the lives of 100 million people by 2020. 'It's great to celebrate our success,' he said, 'but we shouldn't rest until we've really moved the needle.'

    And it's proven that yes, there really is a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

    Gunther, Marc, 'Startup d.light brings solar power to the poor,', March 8, 2013

    MAR/APR 2013

    Critter Counteroffensive

    Tactics to Take Back the Great Room From Stubborn, Furry Visitors

    The wooded area surrounding Cheryl Giudicessi's vacation home in Galena, IL, offers beautiful views, privacy and winged invaders. Ms. Giudicessi heard scratching and squeaking from the rafters of her living room's vaulted ceiling. Suspecting bats, the retired preschool teacher spent two nearly sleepless nights with her bedroom ceiling fan on full speed, a light on, towels stuffed under the door and her dog at her side, hoping to keep the nocturnal bats away until she could get an exterminator to visit. The bats are now gone, but Ms. Giudicessi still has the seven-year-old house regularly inspected for mice and insects.

    As both wildlife--and people--have found the perfect habitat in upscale suburbs, often new developments in former woodlands, homeowners are turning to new ways to evict their unwanted guests. Deer in the garden seem easy compared with bats in the new cathedral ceiling or raccoons in the garage.

    'Animals are just like people--they need food, water and shelter,' says Gary Bauhof, owner of Austin's Wildlife Removal Services in Austin, TX. 'If they can make a steady living in your home, they will stick around--you would, too.'

    Some 30% of Americans used pest-control services last year, up from 20% in 2004, according to the National Pest Management Association. The landscaping that dots suburbia--not to mention the endless buffet of garbage cans--is more hospitable to many animals than the pastures and fields that covered much of the US generations ago. Add the enticing aroma of dinner on the stove or a warm breeze coming from an attic vent and critters are eager to find a way to move in.

    Rabies is also a concern. Some 40,000 Americans receive rabies-prevention treatments each year, with wild animals accounting for more than 90% of the reported cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exterminators say such problems usually aren't a reflection of a home's age or cleanliness. 'We probably do more work on new construction. A lot of times it is the contractors leaving gaps,' says John Adcock Jr., owner of Adcock's Trapping Service in College Park, MD. 'We do 'multi-multi-million' dollar homes where there is not a crumb to be found, and they have rats.'

    Today, most exterminators focus on finding and closing up pests' entry points into the home, a far different strategy from the chemical blasts many relied on until the early 1990s. Cracks in foundations, roof lines that don't perfectly meet and damaged or missing screens around the eaves are common problems.

    For maximum discretion, some pest controllers drive unmarked trucks. People like that because they don't want the neighbors to know. To nosy passersby, a standard response can be 'I'm doing a little maintenance.'

    Homeowners have plenty of ways to keep unwanted animals out, beginning with a stroll around their home every month. 'Look up and down--you should be familiar with your house and look for any changes,' says Tony DeJesus, of Big Blue Bug Solutions in Providence, RI. Pay particular attention to the eaves, foundation and any vents, he says. Even peeling paint can be a problem, since the accumulating moisture is a draw for insects.

    Mr. DeJesus urges homeowners to check their dark garages and basements on a sunny day. 'Look for any areas where you see light coming in,' he says, noting that worn weather stripping around doors and spots where cable runs through the wall are common entries for animals. 'We're not talking about big openings,' says Mr. DeJesus. 'A mouse needs a hole the size of a dime, a rat between a nickel and a quarter.'

    Mr. DeJesus shudders when he sees vines crawling up houses--a common sight throughout the New England region he serves. 'I know aesthetically some people like it, but you asking for problems,' he says. 'It's a highway for animals to get into your house.'

    With some invaders, homeowners have to wait until spring before beginning the eviction process. Carol Swart, co-owner of Exclusive Batproofing Inc. in Raymond, MN, begins her work in April, when bats that are dormant all winter begin to seek food again.

    Using a method she calls 'exclusion,' Ms. Swart and her husband identify the areas where bats come and go and create one-way mesh doors over the holes so the bat can leave but can't get back in. Bats need just a tiny opening--usually a quarter of an inch wide by an inch long--to enter a house, often along the roof line. Openings can be identified by smudges from oil on bats' wings. Droppings, which sparkle when crushed, often show up nearby, too. After entering the attic, bats typically will live inside walls, leaving at night to feed. Most homeowners report hearing scratching and fluttering sounds in their walls, Ms. Swart says.

    For years, former US congressman Vin Weber dealt with bats in his large log cabin on Leech Lake in Minnesota's North Woods. Many evenings Mr. Weber used a tennis racket to encourage bats to scram as his wife and daughters anxiously stood by. 'People weren't enjoying being there,' says Mr. Weber. 'We were told there was nothing you can do about it; you have to live with it or shoo them out.' Mr. Weber hired Ms. Swart's company to try its exclusion technique. They scoured the log home to close its many small openings and installed one-way doors. 'To my amazement, it worked,' Mr. Weber says.

    Erik McCue decided to take on the squirrels that took residence in his Hartsdale, NY, attic. Over several years Mr. McCue, trapped about 20 squirrels, but he and his family continued to hear them, especially at night. Increasingly frustrated, Mr. McCue hired someone to trim back the trees in his yard. The squirrels were still getting in. Finally, last spring Mr. McCue spent about $16,000 on new siding for his home, which effectively covered all the openings. Since then, the squirrels have stayed away. 'I was never a squirrel fan, but I'm really not now,' he says.

    Take Back Tactics

    Bats: Close the room and open a window. The bat will feel air currents and fly away. Stay in room to confirm it leaves.

    Mice: Sprinkle baby powder or flour near suspected openings to detect tracks. Use wire mesh, screening or quick drying cement (not caulk or rubber fillers) to plug holes.

    Raccoons: Dissuade them by keeping pet food indoors, securing trash cans and emptying bird feeders at night.

    Squirrels: Turn off lights, close curtains, then open a door or window. He'll run for the light.

    Skunks: Turn on lights and block dark hiding places. Then grab a box: The skunk, seeking darkness, likely will crawl in. Release outdoors.

    Building To Dos

    Install an animal-proof chimney cap. Keep gutters clear. Keep vines and other plants off the building. Keep branches away from building. Monitor where different building materials join, including window wells. Check attic for droppings and signs of chewing. Repair roof holes, loose screens, warped siding and trim board. To find possible animal entryways, check dark garage for outside light leaking in. Watch foundation for cracks, especially openings for pipes and cables. Cover compost piles. Stack firewood away from building. Tie down garbage cans, and wait until morning to put out trash for collection.

    Byron, Ellen (, 'Critter Counteroffensive,' The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2013

    JAN/FEB 2013

    Australian Grocery Chains

    Say No to Factory Bacon and Eggs

    Some major news came out recently from our friends Down Under. Two of Australia's largest grocery chains have pledged to phase out factory-raised eggs and pork. The two chains are ColeRs (the nation's largest), which began banning these products January 1st, and Woolworths, expected to phase them out by the middle of 2013. The two chains combine to cover 80% of the nation's food market share.

    As an immediate result, 34,000 mother pigs and 350,000 chickens will be freed from their cages.

    What is really exciting about this announcement, besides the obvious fact that it takes Australia one step closer to a humane, non-violent, ethics-based civilized society, it also shows the power of consumer sentiment to effect change. The announcement came about in no small part because of a campaign by Animals Australia calling for an end to factory farming, calling it 'the biggest cause of cruelty to animals in the country.' The campaign featured the video called When Pigs Fly, which can be viewed at

    While some business folks complain that their investments in social responsibility might not be paying off quickly enough, they might be missing the way that these things can slowly build to a tipping point.

    Here in the US, there are laws against cruelty to animals, but they don't apply to animals raised for food. Still, there are efforts to expose the kinds of cruel practices that occur in factory farms, despite the fact that an increasing number of states are passing laws making the disclosure of what actually happens inside these death camps illegal.

    A number of food producers have come forward and announced decisions to voluntarily stop these practices. Among them are food retailers Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Wendy's and McDonalds, which have all pledged to begin phasing out either gestation-crate pork or caged-hen eggs or both in the near future (notice a little peer pressure here?). Meanwhile Domino's has steadfastly refused to make the change. Food distributors Sysco and Aramark have also vowed to eliminate gestation crates from their suppliers. On the producer side, Oscar Mayer and Wienerschnitzel have also gotten on the bandwagon.

    But I would think that grocery chains would have even more leverage among a wider range of suppliers, since they are likely to carry multiple brands on their shelves. The issue of supply chain leverage particularly in the area of GHG emissions, has become a hot topic in itself, and the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions, those coming from outside the walls of the company in question, serves as fitting analogy to the cruelty that might be taking place upstream of these outlets.

    Australia has been generating an impressive sustainability track record and recently added the announcement that 90% of their seafood catch comes from sustainable sources. They also have demonstrated their willingness to make tough choices.

    But the grand prize in this category might have to go to the EU, as least on the cage-free chicken issue, since they have passed a law, requiring all eggs to be produced by cage-free chickens or those kept in cages meeting enhanced standards.

    Siegel, R. P.,, December 14, 2012

    NOV/DEC 2012

    Blackouts Are a Fact of Life.
    Let's Deal With Them.

    Four steps to making sure that outages
    do as little damage as possible

    Let's just say it upfront: The idea that the electric grid can be made invulnerable is nonsense.

    The US grid contains 160,000 miles of high-voltage lines, five million miles of distribution lines, thousands of generators and transformers, and tens of thousands of other pieces of equipment. It is difficult to imagine hardening so massive a structure against random, natural disturbances; it is almost inconceivable that it could be hardened against deliberate and intelligent attacks.

    Extremely smart engineers are working to make the grid more reliable, but the rate at which blackouts happen hasn't changed in the 30 years since we began keeping good reliability statistics. Cost-effective changes that can be shown to reduce the frequency of power failures should be made, but they are unlikely to eliminate all failures.

    But that doesn't prevent us from making things better. Our research over the past decade has shown that instead of assuming success in the Sisyphean task of eliminating every grid problem, it would be much smarter to focus on continuing the essential services that the grid provides.

    Economics tells us that the last dollar invested in grid-blackout reduction should have the same social benefit as the last dollar invested in maintaining essential services when the grid goes down.

    How do we do that? How do we get the most social benefits for the least cost? Let me offer four basic steps.

    1. What's Crucial - The first step is to have municipalities run an exercise in which businesses, nonprofits, communities, government agencies and residents list, in order of importance, the critical missions that are provided by electric power--and that, if not fulfilled, would have serious consequences.

    A business, for instance, might identify what constitute essential data that should be duplicated at a remote location. The owner of a low-rise apartment building might decide that elevators are essential if the building has elderly residents. Or a city bus department might find that their diesel depot needs emergency generators to get fuel from underground tanks uphill into the buses.

    In fact, when colleagues and I surveyed police stations in our city, Pittsburgh, we found that 60% of them lack on-site backup generation--even though most people would agree that keeping our police stations powered and officers' walkie-talkies charged is of critical importance during a power outage.

    2. Been There, Done That - The second step is for cities to take the information from the first step, and help determine which missions are already protected and which aren't. For example, hospital emergency rooms already are required to have backup power, as are critical airport landing systems.

    The Department of Homeland Security must back off its long-standing tendency to lock up all data of this sort and not let the real decision makers see data they themselves have generated.

    Weak links in the chain are identified at this step. For example, while Newark and Kennedy airports quickly restored power for passenger screening and other boarding functions the day after the August 2003 blackout struck, LaGuardia could not; as a consequence, traffic on the East Coast was snarled. This summer, 60 flights at Charlotte were canceled and passengers had to stay in a powerless hot terminal overnight when a transformer failure cut power to the airline hub for 13 hours.

    3. Fix It - The third step focuses both the private and public sectors on implementing cost-effective technologies that can fulfill the critical missions during the events.

    We can ensure traffic flows in important urban corridors, for instance, by using LED traffic lights at critical intersections with batteries that can be charged with individual solar panels. Subway trains can have onboard energy storage that can allow them to creep slowly to the nearest station to discharge their passengers. And a supermarket chain may invest in backup generators that can keep freezers in some of its largest stores going when the grid fails.

    4. Carrots and Sticks - The fourth step is to make cost-effective changes in our incentives and rules. Important private services such as grocery stores, gas stations and cellular phone service are vulnerable to extended blackouts. Tax incentives and permission to charge more for services during blackouts can nudge businesses in the helpful direction of buying a generator.

    Businesses that have their own generators are now forbidden to sell power to other businesses. While we are investing in smart meters and other new devices, we should change the law so that these firms can sell power to others in need. A few projects that demonstrate emergency sharing of this type could go a long way to providing points of light during a blackout.


    Some of the ways communities can maintain essential
    services when the power goes out

    GREEN MEANS GO - Fit traffic lights in critical corridors with battery backups charged by solar panels.

    PUMP PRIMING - Make sure a few gas stations have generators so they can pump fuel.

    POLICE POWER - Provide backup electricity at all police stations.

    KEEP 'EM ROLLING - Equip subway trains with stored energy (e.g. batteries or flywheels) so they can proceed slowly to the next station, rather than stranding passengers between stops.

    STANDBY SYSTEMS - Install natural-gas generators at schools, hospitals and other critical installations to provide power and run heating and cooling systems.

    * * *

    All these steps begin with engineers being candid with customers that the system can't be made completely reliable within a reasonable future. Then it is up to customers and governments to decide what they should do to protect themselves from outages.

    If we think about the problem in this way, then when the wind blows or the earth shakes, many of our essential services will still be provided.

    Apt, Jay, 'Blackouts Are a Fact of Life,' The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2012

    SEP/OCT 2012


    As usual, this issue focuses on success stories of GHA's Partner Members. We are sharing these very successful environmental stories with all members. You are all working very hard at being green, and it'll be easier for all by sharing information on what has worked for some. We know you'll love reading these stimulating, interesting and very green stories! So, we begin again . . .


    Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, Sausalito, CA, is a 63-room property on a hillside overlooking Richardson Bay that is a hodgepodge of structures dating from 1885 to the 1980's. Weekend business is mostly high-end leisure with rooms from $300-500 a night. Monday through Thursday is both leisure and corporate. They have garnered a few environmental awards recently, including the coveted Cool California Small Business Award ( Stefan Mühle is now General Manager after serving 10 years greening two prominent boutique hotels in San Francisco.

    Renovation changes:
    • Toto dual-flush toilets 1.6/0.8 gpf.
    • Occupancy sensors in guest bathrooms, 2 lights.
    • Low VOC indoor paints, ALLY MEMBER Benjamin Moore and Aura brands.
    • Low VOC carpet, Interface and ALLY MEMBER Shaw Hospitality Group brands, both in rolls.
    • FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) Custom designed by to fit spaces with a timeless maritime decor since this is a boating area. Sorrentino Mariani ( manufactured the furniture which they now call 'The Sausalito' line.
    • Bathroom counters are Caesar Stone (, 93% natural quartz aggregates with pigments and polymer resins, very durable, no water rings, manufactured in Israel.
    • Bathroom shelves are handmade opaque recycled glass by
    • Re-used and refurbished existing materials whenever possible, i.e., bamboo flooring was removed, refurbished and replaced; historically significant fireplaces were cleaned; flues replaced.

    Ongoing Operations:
    • Environmentally-friendly cleaning products - all-in-one product used for floors and general cleaning. products are used on carpet--especially to control moisture. The spa uses an autoclave sterilizer for manicure and pedicure instruments.
    • In-Room recycling - 2-section trash and recycling receptacle.
    • Refillable bathroom amenity bottles - ALLY MEMBER
    • Towel and bed linen reuse program - hotel signage offers knowledge as well as an option - a challenge because of the room rates. Sheets changed every 3 days or on request.
    • products used in spa are cruelty-free, biodegradable and sourced from small farmers not using chemical pesticides, etc.
    • Retail body products are packaged in recyclable bottles.
    • Bathroom tissue and facial tissue made of biodegradable, recyclable and compostable sugarcane fiber. Activa and Kimberly-Clark's Surpass brands are obtained via local vendor
    • Use of Goodwood products for fireplaces (see

    Public transport:
    • Participation in for staff commuting.
    • Several staff members carpool from San Francisco to Sausalito via the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • Offers an online package to hotel guests including ferry tickets and bicycle rental.

    • Local artist consignments featured in hallways ( and spa (
    • Working with to streamline energy and utility bills. Cost is $1/mo/rm to determine bill correctness, notification of leaks or aberrations.
    • Considering association with EDC Technologies ( to lower gas consumption through monitoring hot water temperature via thermometers in boilers at about $2/mo/rm.

    Here's to making a difference! Contact Stefan at 415/332-0502 or for further info.


    Madden's Resort on Gull Lake (287 rms, 2 fls) in Brainerd, MN, hosts thousands of visitors each year April until October. In 2009, they started using a ozone laundry system. When used in laundry wash water, ozone allows for shorter wash cycles, works best with cold water, attacks most organic soils and kills bacteria much faster than chlorine bleach. Ozone is totally biodegradable and when it completes its function, it reverts rapidly back to oxygen, leaving no chemical residues behind. And because there is no chemical residue, the laundry is much softer.

    NuTek units that create the ozone are attached to the washers and inject ozone into each wash cycle.

    BENEFITS: • Drying time is significantly less because the laundry is cool. Natural gas and electric bills were cut by almost 9% in 2011.
    • Two 100-gal hot water heaters were eliminated because the system uses only cold water creating a huge energy savings.
    • Uses 1/3 less water than before. No phosphates from soap are being introduced into the sewer system.
    • No detergent or bleach expense, handling, storage, fumes or residue.
    • No detergent residue means sheets and all linens are much softer.
    • Payback for the system was realized in only 6 months!

    Madden's received the Explore Minnesota 'Sustainable Tourism Award' in 2009.

    Tim Schultz, Resident Manager, Madden Inn, Madden's on Gull Lake, dir 218/855-5941, will be glad to respond to questions.


    Newly renovated green cabins at Forever Resorts' Cedar Pass Lodge in the extraordinary region of the 244,000-acre Badlands National Park of South Dakota include features that qualify the property for LEED Gold.

    • New one-bedroom cabins feature interior wall and ceiling wood paneling salvaged from Black Hills pine trees felled by beetles. The wood bears the distinctive 'beetle-kill' markings on beautiful grey-streaked wood.
    • The new cabins are furnished with regionally sourced handcrafted lodge-pole pine furniture felled by beetle kill.
    • Furnishings and table tops by Levi Davis at were made from repurposed wood from an old grain storage structure built in the 1930s that later became the warehouse (circa 1940-50) used by Owenhouse Hardware, a company in Montana that is still in business today.
    • Tempra 24 plus tankless on-demand hot-water heater with expected 50% energy savings installed in each cabin.
    • Cool and heat the cabins with 20-SEER mini split energy-efficient units which are quieter than PTACs.
    • 90% of the cabin structural wood-based materials are FSC- certified from
    • The roofing system (32% recycled steel) reduces energy consumption and landfill impact. It has a 50-year warranty for 120 mph wind and high impact resistance to hail.
    • Windows are dual-pane windows.
    • Compact-fluorescent lighting is used throughout each cabin for energy efficiency.
    • Bamboo towels will be provided for guests' use in each cabin. They should dry quicker and last 3 times as long.
    • AquaSource high efficiency 1.28 gpf WaterSense toilets.
    • Modular cabins were manufactured locally over last winter inside a large warehouse which kept workers employed during the slow winter season.
    • Recycling, reducing the impact on the environment and educating visitors of Cedar Pass Lodge will continue as part of the lodge's Environmental Management System in place since 2002 called Forever Earth™.
    • New cabins include custom repurposed-concrete bath slab countertops.
    • New cabins have Energy Star Magnavox 32' flat-screen TVs, along with Danby refrigerators, coffee makers and microwaves.
    • New cabins were built to meet LEED Gold specifications. However, Forever Resorts chose not to apply for the LEED certification because of the time and expense required. However, the US Park Service wanted the information, so they kept track of the necessary paperwork.

    Darla Cook, General Manager (605/433-5460, would be pleased to answer questions or clarify aspects of the story.


    The City of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, was founded in 1610 AD, is a tourist hub and is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of one million plus. It is surrounded with many historic monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as the Baby Ka Maqbara, a memorial monument similar to the Taj Mahal.

    One of the great things about Aurangabad is the presence of hills and hillocks in and around the city. These hills / hillocks are a reason for people to get out of the concrete jungle that Aurangabad has become. It is not only important that we preserve the hills, but we also must increase their green cover so that we can improve the quality of air we breathe. It is clearly recognized that sustainable tree planting cannot succeed without the active involvement of locals and without meeting the trees' development needs.

    We at the Keys Hotel The Aures are associated with the Dr. Hedgewar Trust in Aurangabad, which runs a hospital and is a healthcare not-for-profit. This trust has done water conservation work in a nearby village and on the adjacent hill.

    They have used the technique of continuous contour trenches (CCTs). CCTs are built around the hill at different heights. Each CCT is made to slightly slope at a particular side, so that the water flowing down the hill is retained and soil erosion is minimized. This is a great example of rainwater harvesting. The water saved / accumulated has ceased many hardships faced by the farmers, especially after monsoons.

    To complement the existing work of water conservation, we joined the trust for tree planting. On the occasion of Indian Independence Day (15Aug2012), more than 1,000 trees were planted in the village and on the hill. The Keys Hotel The Aures not only paid for the sapling trees, but 18 to 20 managers and staff worked on the planting. The trees are planted giving enough distance between each other so they don't hamper the growth of neighboring trees. The trees chosen are those found locally such as neem, sal, custard apple, etc.

    The neem tree is a fast-growing evergreen tree relatively unknown in the US, a cornerstone of the ancient Ayurvedic healthcare system and is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the world. In its native India and tropical countries around the globe, neem is called the 'village pharmacy' for its incredible healing properties.

    Sal is one of the most important sources of hardwood timber in India, and the dry leaves of sal are a major source for the production of leaf plates and leaf bowls. The used leaves/plates are readily eaten by goats and cattle that roam the streets freely. The tree has therefore protected northern India from a flood of Styrofoam and plastic plates that would have caused tremendous pollution.

    In India the custard apple tree is cultivated, runs wild in many areas though nowhere is particularly esteemed. A leaf decoction may be given as a vermifuge. Crushed leaves or a paste of the fruit flesh may be poulticed on boils, abscesses and ulcers. The unripe fruit is rich in tannin; is dried, pulverized and employed against diarrhea and dysentery. The bark is very astringent and the decoction is taken as a tonic and also as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery.

    Any tree planting drive will not be successful if the trees are not nurtured by watering, so local villagers are committed to nurture and care for the young trees. Two major challenges facing us are cattle grazing and awareness. The first one is tackled by planting only those trees which cattle do not care to consume. The Hedgewar Trust has taken up the task of creating awareness among the locals of the importance of water conservation and tree planting. Henceforth, Keys Hotel The Aures shall celebrate August 15th every year as a Tree Planting day.

    Satyajit Kotwal, Operations Manager, Keys Hotel The Aures,, will be pleased to respond to your e-mails.

    Farm to Fork & Trawl to Table at Inn by the Sea

    61-room Inn by the Sea is located in Cape Elizabeth on sandy Crescent Beach, Maine's premier beach destination. The luxurious property has both Maine DEP Green Lodging and Silver LEED® certifications, and was selected as one of the 2012 Top 50 US Resorts by Travel & Leisure.

    The argument over whether touting sustainable initiatives in business really helps the bottom line continues. Inn by the Sea has had many sustainable initiatives in place for over a decade, and has been successful at marketing the property as both a luxury and a green hotel. Success has come by creating programs that engage the guest in the inn's environmental message through fun, food, whimsy and education.

    These programs speak volumes about the inn's commitment to sustainability without being boring or preachy. Unless incredibly eco-minded, most people don't want to hear about businesses' initiatives around water, waste, energy and chemicals. But happily, the same is not true when it comes to food--a good story around food that's local creates a unique and memorable dining experience, and adds great value to a guest stay.

    Letting the guest in on a story about the fungi forager who brings locally foraged mushrooms or fiddleheads to your menu, or on the Nubian goats at a neighboring farm that produce the chevre for your velvety cheese cake just makes food taste better. (See menus at

    Celebrating food that is local, and exposing a sense of your hotel's community, with support for local vendors and growers, is an important part of sustainability. Giving credit to, and adding the names of the farms, foragers, fishermen and vendors to restaurant menus not only adds color and local interest while supporting your community, but assures guests that your food is fresh and nutritious.

    Inn by the Sea's Executive Chef, Mitchell Kaldrovich, and Rauni Kew, their PR and Green Program Manager, served on the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's (GMRI) steering committee to develop a collaborative effort with local fishermen and area chefs to raise consumer awareness around lesser known and lesser valued seafood. The goal of this GMRI restaurant program, Out of the Blue, is to improve the market for a greater diversity of seafood, give overfished populations a break, help local fishermen get better dock prices for species that are abundant and to support a sustainable seafood industry in Maine.

    You won't find Cod or Haddock on the menu in Sea Glass restaurant at Inn by the Sea. Chef Kaldrovich only serves up delectable, but lesser known, underutilized seafood in support of Out of the Blue. Guests not only enjoy the delicious menu offerings, but love hearing about the collaboration between fishermen, chefs and research in support of a sustainable seafood industry in Maine.

    Reaching out to local agencies and collaborating with competitors can benefit an entire community and have a larger impact on environmental issues than individual initiatives. Out of the Blue has been successful at bringing attention to fish that are abundant in the Gulf of Maine, but previously had little demand, and it has proved to be a delectably compelling and successful 'fish story' for guests at Inn by the Sea.

    Rauni would be pleased to respond to your questions via, 207/799-3134 or C 207/602-8500.


    Our optimistic success story has to do with our fertilizer, which we use for the hotel grounds' needs.

    We are situated at beautiful Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea of Greece; a green paradise, with very hot weather for about 6 months, and very rainy winters. Our hotel's grounds are approximately 12,000 square meters (3 acres), a large part of which are gardens?the botanical garden, our vegetable farm, lemon trees and olive groves.

    The island's characteristics reflect instantly a holiday paradise. At the same time, we believe our guests will also enjoy learning more about the local community, thus adding more color to their precious leisure time?taking walks around the scenic villages, visiting the Castelli farm and getting acquainted with Greek nature's wealth, taste the fresh fruit, pick olives with our team and see how the local pure extra-virgin olive oil is produced.

    First, a few words about our buffet breakfast. It features our home-made breakfast cake, baked with our own fresh, pure ingredients?pure extra-virgin olive oil, eggs from our farm, oranges/grapefruit from the garden.

    The olive groves that surround the hotel are not sprayed with toxic chemicals, and the pure virgin olive oil produced is used for baking the home-made cake served at breakfast, and also for salads at the pool snack bar. In other words, our gardens' perfect status is a high priority, and essential for the hotel guests' richer experience. Gardening demands a great deal of laborious hours and has many costs, one of which is fertilizer.

    Until last year, the local fertilizer supplier served our needs, but since April, 2011, our composter is creating our fertilizer! We mostly recycled materials we already had on the premises to build the composter, so the cost was very low. All food-preparation staff are involved, so now all vegetable waste is used to create our organic fertilizer. In just 6 months, we produced more than 10 sacks of fertilizer--more than enough for last autumn's needs. Since each 50 kg (110 lb) sack would have cost about 50 euros ($62.50), it is a big achievement!

    Once the waste is separated and passed to the gardener, the extra time needed is very little. We are actually using waste to create something essential, and we produce this fertilizer as pure as possible, which is very difficult to find in the market.

    At the same time our waste volume is reduced, so cleaning ladies need less time to carry the waste to the bins, and fewer plastic bags are used, so more benefits arrive at the same time! This year we have already increased our fertilizer production?great practice of reusing and recycling! And our guests thoroughly embrace it, which makes us even more confident for greater results in the future!

    As Castelli celebrates 20 years in business, we also proudly celebrate the award of our third Green Key eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FFE) through The Greek Society for the Protection of Nature ( The Green Key committee evaluates both green management and education actions, taking into consideration sectors such as water and energy-saving policies, recycling and also how the guests and staff are involved in the greening. Castelli also celebrates its second Gold Award (2012) which acknowledges our very high commitment to sustainability.

    Contact Maria Lougaris, Managing Director, at for more information on this exciting project.


    Built as an environmentally-friendly hotel, the 208-room, 8-floor Comfort Inn and Suites composts leftover food. In 2005, the property began composting with A compost collection drop hole, beautifully aligned with recycling and trash collection drops, is provided in a dining area counter for guests and employees to discard undesired food. In addition to table scraps, all plates, cups and flatware are compostable products, and can be tossed into the same drop hole. The compost is transported to Brick End Farms, a large composting facility, where it decomposes, and is sold under the 'KidzBKidz' brand at Whole Foods.

    Diverting as much waste as possible from the trash by composting and recycling is the goal. In 2011, the Boston airport property composted 18 tons of food waste and tableware. Recycling accounts for 28% of total property waste by weight while composting diverts 11% more.

    Among the first initiatives at the Comfort Inn and Suites were amenity dispensers which save roughly $40,000 a year. Both the dispensers and liquids are the products of, and the shampoo and shower gels are 'WindRiver' Salon products. 'WindRiver' products are environmentally-friendly, biodegradable and are purchased in five-gallon containers. The dispensers are designed to provide a sufficient amount of shampoo or soap, and the cost is only for product used. Individual amenity bottles always result in wasted product. Each unit is locked, preventing tampering. Dispensers are refilled daily. To fill the dispensers, housekeepers use refillable squirt bottles that are replenished from a larger bulk supply.

    Megan Falkenberry, Environmental Program Coordinator (, 781/485-3600) may be contacted for further information.

    JUL/AUG 2012


    As our green programs are tweaked, we're reminded more and more that none of us can be really green without the green products and services offered by green vendors. GHA continues to encourage and support our Ally Members, and to bring you news of their successes--new products, new ideas, new techniques, recent awards, new contracts, etc. So, each July/August issue of this newsletter brings you new and refreshing stories about our Ally Members' successes. Here we go . . .

    Anderson Chemical Company's
    INTEGRA Program®

    ALLY MEMBER Anderson Chemical Company's INTEGRA Program® continues to add to their line of products that are recognized for safer chemistry by the EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) with the release of the High Performance Green (HPG) Foodservice products in late 2011. Whether it is kitchen, laundry or housekeeping needs, the INTEGRA Program® offers one of the deepest lines of DfE recognized cleaning products on the market. The HPG product family--Auto Dish, Rinse, Oven & Grill, Delimer, Presoak, Pot & Pan and Foaming Hand Soap--joins INTEGRA®'s Total Impact Program (TIP®)--DfE's first recognized institutional laundry program in 1997--for laundries, along with five DfE recognized housekeeping products.

    The INTEGRA Program®'s focus is not only on green products, but also on providing programs that affect the sustainability of operations, working to reduce the amount of energy, water and waste that is produced from cleaning. The INTEGRA Program® recently received feedback from a hotel general manager, her housekeeping staff as well as hotel guests regarding the use of DfE cleaning products. The general manager prefers to have their staff cleaning with safer products, the housekeeping staff prefers to handle safer products . . . that perform and the guests have indicated that the use of INTEGRA®'s DfE recognized products would positively influence their decision to stay at the same property again.

    For more information about the INTEGRA Program®, go to, e-mail or call 800/366-2477 TODAY!


    ALLY MEMBER Hospitality Battery Holder currently offers nine different battery holders designed to fit the different electronic locking systems for SafeLock, Ilco, AD Schlage, SecureLock, TimeLock and Wingfield brands--all of which can be used with alkaline or rechargeable batteries. The goal is to save hoteliers the cost of buying expensive battery packs every year for their electronic door lock systems. The systems no longer require the purchase of expensive battery packs when fitted with these battery holders, and can easily use alkaline or recyclable batteries purchased in volume at a much lower cost. Recent installations include:

    • The luxurious Mandarin Oriental Geneva Hotel located on the River Rhone recently purchased battery holders for their 198 guestroom doors' SafeLock 5000 series locks and expects to save more than $2,600 within five years. The decision has also enhanced the staff's personal interests in responsible ecology.

    • Likewise, the Courtyard King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel has replaced the 452 guestroom SafeLock 6000 series electronic locking systems' battery packs with Hospitality Battery Holders. They expect to save more than $6,238 over five years by not having to purchase battery packs every year. 452 battery packs will no longer be disposed of each year.

    • Also, Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel has replaced their 294 guestroom SafeLock MT series electronic locking systems with Hospitality Battery Holders using recyclable batteries instead of expensive battery packs.

    Check out or call 407/401-6733 to learn how much your property can save!


    Proud to be a new ALLY MEMBER of GHA, Busch Systems manufactures the world's largest, most complete line of recycling, waste and compost containers. As part of their commitment to the community and the environment, they engineer their containers to use fewer natural resources and to ship far more effectively, thereby avoiding large volumes of carbon emissions. All of Busch Systems' products contain recycled content, are 100% recyclable and are proudly made in North America.

    Busch Systems develops more new molded recycling, waste and compost containers than all other manufacturers combined, and their recycling systems are specifically manufactured to be easy to use in order to prevent contamination and generate the cleanest possible stream of recyclables. They will also assist and support customers in creating recycling programs in their companies and communities. With over 100 years of combined recycling program experience, the Busch team of recycling consultants will be pleased to share their expertise and make your program a great success. Do not wait; contact your friendly representative today at or 800/565-9931 TODAY! Busch Systems is Recycling Made Simple.


    ALLY MEMBER Impact Enterprises offers custom binder covers, presentation folders, menu covers and other custom products to enhance your business' image.

    Congratulations to Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies! Their animated feature movie, Rango, won a 2011 Oscar for 'Best Animated Feature.' Impact Enterprises manufactured the binder covers that held the script. Impact is proud to have been asked to produce these environmentally responsible binder covers.

    These environmentally responsible binder covers are solid Blue Pine, the 'Greenest' of 'Green' solid woods. Blue Pine inventory is provided by nature, rather than through man's sustainable forests programs. Blue Pine is a Lodgepole Pine that has been attacked by the Mountain Pine Beetle. We harvest these trees before they fall, and the processing treatments render these trees free of all beetle infestation. The integrity of the wood is essentially the same as that of solid woods harvested from Verified Sustainable Forests. Blue Pine binder covers and guest directory covers have become favorites for Live Nation Entertainment, Marriott, as well as resorts, fine restaurants and spas. To learn more, visit or call 866/370-0340 TODAY!


    ALLY MEMBER Cascades Tissue Group announced that 17 US and 10 Canadian distributors have received achievement awards honoring their strong partnerships and dedications to furthering environmentally preferable products. By offering their commercial and industrial customers tissue paper products made from 100% recycled fiber, instead of virgin fiber, these distributors collectively conserved 255,700 trees (the equivalent of 638 American football fields of paper) and avoided emissions of greenhouse gases equivalent to 12,785 cars off the road for one year.

    Approximately 20% of the distributors' total greenhouse gas savings were achieved through the sales of Cascades Tissue Group's North River products, which use Green-e certified renewable energy credits to offset 100% of the electricity used in their production. Cascades Tissue Group's annual 20,000 MWh of wind energy credits are sourced from the Charles City Wind Farm located in northern Iowa.

    Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades, ULC, is the fourth largest manufacturer of tissue paper in North America. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibers. See to learn more.

    Colgate Receives Recognition from the US EPA

    ALLY MEMBER Colgate has been recognized by the US EPA through their Design for the Environment Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) program for our use of safer surfactants in personal care and home care products. DfE, or Design for the Environment, is a US EPA standards program designed to recognize and encourage industry use of cleaning products that incorporate environmentally preferable chemistry. Through the SDSI, the EPA's Design for the Environment Program recognizes environmental leaders who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants in detergents. Safer surfactants break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water. Colgate is being recognized as a Champion, the highest level of recognition offered under SDSI.

    A sampling of Colgate's DfE products are Murphy® Oil Soap, Palmolive® Dishwashing Liquid, Softsoap® Brand Green Forest™ Foaming Hand Soap, Ajax® Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaner, Fabuloso® All Purpose Cleaner and Ajax® High Performance Degreaser. To learn more, check out


    The Westin Riverwalk Hotel--located in drought-laden San Antonio, Texas--recently reinvented its on-premise laundry to save 300-350,000 gallons of water per month. The remake involved the removal of water-guzzling washers for more efficient ALLY MEMBER Continental Girbau models and a complementing water reclamation system.

    To combat 2011's record Texas drought, San Antonio's water districts dangled water-conservation incentives to commercial businesses. Faced with skyrocketing water costs, the hotel moved to remake its laundry and captured a $29,000 rebate while dramatically cutting water costs.

    Water meters were attached to every washer to determine which ones used the most water and reveal accurate numbers regarding water usage per pound. With removal of less efficient washers and installation of Continental Girbau water-conserving models, The Westin's laundry features two 130-lb. capacity Continental E-Series soft-mount washers; a 55-lb. capacity E-Series soft-mount washer; and three 125-lb. L-Series hard-mount washers. Both the L-Series and E-Series washer models offer superior efficiency, performance and programmable controls. Everything from water temperature, wash action and fill levels, cycle time, delayed start, automatic cycle advance, automatic chemical injection and extract speed are programmable to properly clean a variety of fabrics. The washers are programmable to cut utility costs and bolster laundry productivity, and both models are engineered to use fewer gallons of water per load.

    To curb water usage further, a water reclamation system and Continental recovery tank were installed. The system reuses washer rinse water and condensate from the air conditioning system. The Westin's laundry went from using three gallons of water per laundry pound to just one gallon per laundry pound--an impressive savings! Its Continental washers also deliver a higher quality clean in less time. See to learn more TODAY!


    ALLY MEMBER Indie Lee & Co.'s award-winning, botanically- based luxury skin and hair care products are:

    » Enjoyable - your guests will love how the products make them feel
    » Safe - Indie Lee uses no parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances
    » Humane - We never test on animals
    » Environmentally friendly - No chemicals down the drain
    » Easy to offer in a novel and fun way

    And that's why we're the proud winners of TWO awards:
    Healing Lifestyles & Spas 2012 Beauty Award Winner for Best Body Scrub and
    Shecky's Beauty At Its Best 2011 Beauty Award Winner for Best Body Oil

    Let Indie Lee & Co. enhance your property's other touch points by including our products in your spa, fitness center, restrooms and in-room showers and sinks. For more information about our all-natural products, visit TODAY!

    MAY/JUN 2012


    By Patricia Griffin, President, GHA

    I recently attended the 'Re-Think Waste' Massachusetts recycling meeting, and was absolutely blown away by a session on textile recycling. I'm sharing with you what I learned, and hope you too will consider making textile recycling as important as we all make paper, aluminum, plastic and glass recycling.

    Fleece, flannel, corduroy, cotton, nylon, denim, wool and linen. What can you do with these fibers when you're finished wearing them, sleeping on them or draping them over your windows? One way to benefit both your community and the environment is to donate used textiles to charitable organizations. Most recovered household textiles end up at these organizations which sell or donate the majority of these products. The remainder go to either a textile recovery facility or the landfill.

    Textile recycling seems to be forgotten among its more strongly recycled--paper, aluminum, plastic, glass, etc. Yet textiles are at least 95% recyclable. Currently, only about 15% of textiles are being recycled, so we have a lot of work to do in informing the public and businesses (including hotels) about recycling textiles. First of all, textiles are--so that means clothing, accessories, outer wear, underwear, rugs, draperies, bed and bath linens, table linens, placemats, rugs, purses, belts, hats, gloves, boots, shoes, scarves, etc. The tiny percentage of textile materials that are disposed of as trash by repurposers are either wet, mildewed or contaminated with oil, paint or another hazardous material.

    The only items that are unacceptable are those that are wet or heavily stained or soiled. Once the item is dry, it may be recycled. This definition means that less than 1% of textile items should be going to the landfill. So, one message here is that if you drop clothing in a curbside collection box, it would be best if it's donated in a repurposed dry cleaning or plastic bag, so it won't get wet inside the collection box.

    Again, ANY textile that is not wet, heavily stained or mildewed is acceptable for recycling or repurposing. It doesn't matter if a zipper is broken, if it is missing buttons, if it is torn or if it has staining or paint. Repairs and enhancing modifications may be made by vendors in other countries.

    'Lightly Worn': We all know that term, but we all need to forget it because all textiles can be repurposed. Clothing that is suitable for resale in the US will be offered for sale by a charity or resale shop. Clothing not suitable for resale will be sold by the pound to a repurposing company--so your charity will still benefit.

    The textile repurposing company will sort items into about 300 categories. The second most important and most valuable of these categories will be clothing to be offered for sale in other countries. So, these are then separated according to categories beginning with gender, age (baby, teen, adult, etc.), type of clothing (men's shirts, women's blouses, etc.), type of fabric (wool, cotton, etc.) and season. Each group of these items will be baled very tightly (which makes shipping more efficient) and sold by the ton to vendors around the world. These vendors often have special requests for the textile items they want to offer their customers, and so place specific orders. Some of the most coveted clothing sought are bras and underwear! Who knew? They also desperately want belts, purses, shoes, hats, etc.--and all clothing accessories.

    The donation of clothing, shoes, linens and bedding supports a thriving industry across the country. Charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, church charities, etc. report that about 15-20% of the clothing and textiles they receive as donations are sold in their retail stores. In some areas, Goodwill has secondary stores where they mark down clothing that hasn't sold in the other stores. About 45% ends up being sent to developing countries as wearable clothing, another 30% is sent to wiping cloth companies where they are converted into industrial wiping cloths and the remainder are sent to fiber converters where they are broken down into their basic fiber components to be re-manufactured into insulation, carpet padding or sound-proofing materials. The industry is actively seeking other uses for these textile materials.

    'Recycling textiles allows charitable organizations to meet their triple bottom line goals: operate successful social enterprises, provide much needed services to communities in which they operate and support environmental efforts,' says a Goodwill Industries representative.

    Since the mid-1940's, US charities and the post-consumer textile recycling industry have repurposed and recycled billions of pounds of clothing, household textiles, shoes and accessories. This ensures your old clothing, footwear and textiles continue to add value to the US economy and beyond. They also help keep people employed here and all over the world. There are some very interesting videos about recycling clothing around the world at

    Post-Consumer Textile Recycling is one of the oldest, most efficient recycling industries in existence. Clothing recyclers add tremendous value through the labor-intensive sorting, separating and recycling of secondhand clothing into 3 main categories: fibers, reclaimed wipers and used clothing.

    The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association is working to increase the amount of textile waste that can be recovered while developing new uses, products and markets for products derived from pre-consumer and postconsumer textile waste. Key in your zip code at to learn where you can recycle textiles. Also, you can use to determine where in your zip code you can recycle anything.

    Textile recovery facilities separate overly worn or stained clothing into a variety of categories. Based on data from the Council for Textile Recycling, it was estimated that 1.3 million tons of clothing textiles were recovered for recycling in 2009. Some recovered textiles become wiping and polishing cloths. Cotton can be made into rags or form a component for new high-quality paper. Knitted or woven woolens and similar materials are 'pulled' into a fibrous state for reuse by the textile industry in low-grade applications, such as car insulation or seat stuffing. Other types of fabric can be reprocessed into fibers for upholstery, insulation and even building materials. Buttons and zippers are stripped off for reuse. Very little is left over at the end of the recycling process. The remaining natural materials, such as various grades of cotton, can be composted.

    For the first time ever, clothing brands, retailers, consumers, municipalities, charitable organizations, academics and recyclers are joining forces to promote the recycling of clothing and textiles. The Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) recently released its new website aimed at educating the public on the importance of recycling all clothing and textiles, not just those that are 'gently worn.'

    'Our goal is to have zero post-consumer textile waste going into landfills by 2037,' says Eric Stubin, CTR Chairman of the Board. 'In the US the average person discards 70 lbs. of their old clothing, shoes and household textiles in their local landfill each year. We're educating people that clothing and textiles are among the most recyclable items in their lives.'

    In the US, the EPA estimates more than 25 billion pounds of clothing and textiles including clothing, linens, belts and shoes are generated annually. The agency also reports more than 21 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste ends up in landfills every year.

    Many organizations promote sustainable clothing manufacturing and green initiatives in the apparel industry, and it's exciting to finally have an organization representing all of the stakeholders as we strive to bring wide scale awareness to a very solvable problem. If consumers, municipalities and the apparel industry implement, promote, and market 'Wear. Donate. Recycle,' we will significantly divert more post-consumer textile waste in the years to come. The Council's website,, will be compiling a resource library for consumers, municipalities, apparel and footwear brands and retailers interested in developing clothing and footwear recycling programs.


    ¦ An estimated 13.1 million tons of textiles were generated in 2010, or 5.3% of total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation.

    ¦ An estimated 14.0% of textiles in clothing and footwear and 17.1% of items such as sheets and pillowcases was recovered for export or reprocessing in 2010.

    ¦ The recovery rate for all textiles was 15.0% in 2010, 2.0 million tons.

    ¦ The US EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space.

    ¦ While the EPA estimates that the textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year, this only accounts for approximately 15% of all PCTW, leaving 85% in our landfills.

    ¦ The average US citizen discards 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.


    Q: If clothing has a stain, a rip, a missing button or broken zipper, I can't donate it, can I?

    A: Yes, absolutely, you can donate any fabric or textile piece, including shoes, belts, hats, stuffed toys and accessories of any kind. Absolutely everything wearable will all be repurposed or recycled. The only fabric or textile that should go into the landfill are those that are wet, moldy or exceptionally dirty items.

    Q: How do I decide whether or not I can donate clothing?

    A: Don't try to decide. Just donate it if it's dry, not moldy, mildewy or exceptionally dirty. It's best if the item is dry and clean. It doesn't matter is it's stained or has paint spots.

    Q: I can't decide if I should leave my clothing in a box for the Red Cross or another group?

    A: First of all, don't try to decide where your item is going. Don't think, 'Oh, someone is Haiti would really like this item, so I'll give it to the Red Cross and they'll send it to some devastated area.' It would not be unusual for a for-profit company to pay the Red Cross or any other charitable entity to use their logo and brand. The company that owns the box will recycle the materials and will probably pay the Red Cross a fee or percentage.

    Q: How do I decide to which group to give my clothing and textiles?

    A: Remember that what the charity wants is the money earned from selling the items. Of course, they also want to help the community they're assisting. So just choose the charity you want to help most--just as you would decide which group deserves your money. You can look at or for evaluations of charities.

    Q: Where will my good used clothing end up?

    A: All wearable clothing will first be offered for resale in a second-hand store, perhaps a Goodwill store. If it's not sold there, Goodwill, for instance, has outlet stores, where the price is reduced considerably. If it's not sold there, it'll probably be sold to a textile recycling entity where it will be graded and sorted into one of 75 categories according to the type of fabric, quality and seasonality, and then sold by the ton.

    Also, US apparel and accessories are very desired all over the world. They desperately want our used clothing, and textile dealers all over the world order items by the ton from US textile recyclers. Items they especially want are underwear (yes, underwear--especially bras), belts, hats, bathing suits, shoes of any kind (even singles). There's even a company! (Bras are extremely important to young girls around the world.) Drapes, curtains, rugs, shower curtains, towels and bed linens are also recyclable textile products.

    From there, for instance, blue jean fabric items are chopped up and all hardware is removed, then ground up to take the materials back to its fiber form and possibly made into insulation for homes. Textiles not useful otherwise may be made into wiping or polishing cloths for commercial and industrial applications. Some are chopped and/or ground up and are made into carpet padding. The main thing to remember is that there's little reason for any textile to end up in the landfill because there are so many ways it can be repurposed.

    Q: What about the fact that we're always told to donate 'gently worn' clothing?

    A: Ignore it. 'Gently worn' clothing will probably be offered for sale as second-hand clothing, but so will many other items that are 'well worn.' All other textile items will be recycled in one form or another. So, donate any dry, hopefully clean clothing or accessories or anything made of textiles. It will be recycled and repurposed. Recycling textiles will help and be useful to people all over the world. Recycling textiles will maintain and create jobs. Recycling textiles will keep thousands of tons of textiles out of our landfills.

    Q: What should hotels do with retired bed and bath linens? What about clothing items in their 'lost and found?'

    A: Though locale may be the difference because of the cost of shipping, hotels can sell retired linens directly to textile reprocessors, i.e., wiping cloth companies (see or they can donate linens and clothing to one or more local charities which accept textiles.

    Footnote: Two college students decided that the US was abusing Africa by sending all our old t-shirts there, and set off on a mission to repatriate 500 t-shirts. You can see what they learned in an interesting video related to textile recycling at, Watch the second video, 'I didn't dance my ass off at Josh's Bar Mitzvah.' It's a meaningfull 17+ minutes. You'll love the story, and you'll love the results., December 31, 2011

    MAR/APR 2012

    UNDER PRESSURE; will California's new
    Green Building Standards Code
    leave luxury hotels in hot water?

    Now that California's new Green Building Standards Code (also known as CALGreen) has officially gone into effect, many industry leaders believe the code will eventually affect the design, construction and specification of plumbing material for new hotel projects on a national level. However, questions remain about its long-term impact on business and the guest experience.

    Background: Without question, CALGreen is complicated legislation. It requires residential and commercial developers to implement a wide range of sustainability measures in the areas of planning and design, energy efficiency, water efficiency and conservation, material conservation, resource efficiency and environmental quality. The law only affects newly-constructed residential and low-rise non-residential buildings-including hotels and motels (three stories or less). In the area of water conservation, CALGreen requires a 20% reduction in water consumption and addresses indoor and outdoor water use, as well as wastewater reduction. (This article will only be focusing on indoor water use--one of the more controversial aspects of the law.)

    To demonstrate a 20% reduction in water usage, low-rise hotels in California must show a performance calculation with a combined reduction for lavatory faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals. To achieve a 20% reduction, lavatory faucets are now at 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute), superseding the national requirement of 2.2 gpm; kitchen faucets are now 1.8 gpm, compared to 2.2 gpm nationally; and showerheads and hand showers must now be under 2.0 gpm, compared to 2.5 nationally. All must have a maximum allowable pressure of 60 psi (pounds per square inch). Water closets are 1.28 gallons per flush, while urinals are 0.5 gallons per flush.

    Obstacles: The problem for hotel owners begins with the showerhead requirements. Since the combined flow rate of all showerheads cannot exceed 2.2 gpm, the shower must be designed to only allow one showerhead in operation at a time. (The maximum allowable volume is 80 psi).

    This portion of the law virtually eliminates volume and redefines the nature of a shower system--a problem for high-end hotels that depend on the bath suite as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. Jeff Burton of The Bath + Beyond in San Francisco sums it up best: 'You can't go to a five-star hotel and be expected to take a two-gallon-per-minute shower when you're paying $500 to $1,000 a night.'

    Also, if a hotel owner retains a design firm in New York City and a contractor in California, who's responsible for ensuring the product is compliant?

    'The law is pretty clear about the requirements, but there are still many questions about responsibility,' says Tom LeDuc, a 45-year plumbing industry veteran and Certified Green Plumbers instructor who has been leading CALGreen seminars for the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association (DPHA). 'At first, we thought it was the plumber's responsibility since we supply the fixtures. But we quickly found out that wasn't necessarily the case. The designer should specify the product for their project, but showroom dealers have a responsibility to educate their customer too. They need to make sure they cover themselves.' The last thing a showroom dealer wants to do is sell a luxury shower system to a hospitality specifier that doesn't pass inspection. 'Lawmakers didn't think of how it would affect the dealers or customers,' Burton says. 'We're advising our customers to check with their local building department code on water allotment. We don't want the responsibility of recommending shower products to designers, and then they come back to us and say, 'You sold it to us, and it didn't pass inspection.''

    The nearly 200-page law also has many gray areas, with some experts calling it 'convoluted.' Depending on where your hotel is located in California, a local inspector may interpret the law to your advantage--or disadvantage--for the same reasons. Additionally, what constitutes residential or non-residential? Who defines what 'new construction' means?

    Hospitality chains that entered into master contracts for large quantities of faucets and showerheads may also be concerned about using their existing inventory. Rather than keep separate stock for California, they will eventually need to make the switch to plumbing product that meet the strictest standards for all of their properties.

    However, from my perspective, one of the most troubling aspects of the law is the potential watering down of the luxury bath experience. The exclusivity of that experience may be lost as more hoteliers adapt the code's shower requirements.

    Overcoming obstacles: How can hotel owners avoid the hot water? Even if a new hotel project is not in California, plumbers, inspectors, dealers, mechanical engineers and hospitality designers should start familiarizing themselves with these codes now and establish open commun