The best ways to travel green

January 31st, 2012 by TRT Blog

As the importance and need for sustainability grows, many businesses have begun taking action to reduce their carbon footprints and environmental impact. As traveling is a large part of most business ventures, the demand for eco-friendly travel options has continued to increase. Even though businesses are making more of an effort to pursue green travel plans and options, they often aren’t sure where to begin. Here is a list of ideas that can help businesses, and individuals, incorporate sustainability when traveling around the world:

Necessity: First make sure that a business trip is absolutely necessary. With the marvels of modern technology and great services such as Skype, GoToMeeting and Google+, it’s easy to utilize time and money with face-to-face meetings, even if you’re miles away, without ever leaving the office.

Public Transportation: Taking the subway, including to and from the airport, is a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Subways are fast and accessible and are conveniently located in most cities. Plus it saves money, as subway fare often costs far less than renting a car.

Hybrids/Eco-Friendly vehicles: If you happen to land in a location where public transportation is not readily available, many cities now flooded with hybrid taxis, and renting a hybrid car is also an easy way to save money on gas and reduce environmental impact.

Air Travel: As airplane travel produces 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, choosing an airline that is environmentally conscious can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Germany’s Lufthansa and Air Canada have both made significant strides in obtaining a carbon-neutral status. If your choice of airline is limited, think about purchasing environmental credits to offset your plane travel emissions.

Lodging: Before booking a hotel room, research hotels that are implementing green initiatives. There is a growing trend in the hospitality world to go green, so these hotels shouldn’t be hard to find. If a certified green hotel isn’t in the cards, be conscious of your actions during your stay—opt out of every day linen and towel washing, during a short stay choose to decline room cleaning and remember to turn the lights off when you leave your room.

Dining: While most of your meals might be eaten on the run, if you have time to sit down look for restaurants, in your hotel or otherwise, that have implemented sustainable methods. Many restaurants these days will advertise where they’ve gotten their food, so choose dishes that feature locally, seasonally grown and organic ingredients to help reduce your carbon footprint and fill your belly.

While it’s not always easy to travel green, it’s important to make the effort to fly, lodge and eat as sustainability as possible to help save the environment and make our world a better place. To learn more about how businessmen and women are traveling green, read an interesting Financial Post article here.

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Visual blog post: before & after reupholstery

January 27th, 2012 by TRT Blog

When working with clients, there are several different ways
The Refinishing Touch helps transforms their properties and assets, across the education, hospitality and government industries. From armoire conversion to refurbishing, The Refinishing Touch transforms existing assets to like new condition while minimizing out-of-pocket costs.

One important aspect of The Refinishing Touch is upholstery. While it may seem like a small part of refinishing and refurbishing, reupholstery can make a big difference when updating existing furniture. Over time, fabrics often lose their luster or become outdated, but replacing furniture can be costly and time consuming. Reupholstery is a great, cost effective alternative to buying new while still updating and extending the life of your furniture.

Here at The Refinishing Touch, we help clients breathe new life into their furniture with reupholstering. We use our original, Touch Textiles, which offers a wide variety of patterns and colors, ensuring that clients across all sectors find exactly the fabric they’re looking for.

Touch Textiles offers a large selection of choices, and with the help of our in-house design team, clients are sure to achieve the look they want. The best way to understand how reupholstery can change the look of a piece and an entire room is to see for yourself. Take a look at how our Touch Textiles have helped clients achieve a new, updated look without the cost and hassle of buying new furniture.

Before & After:

Hilton Atlanta:

Pala Casino:

Windsor Court New Orleans:


Boston Hyatt:



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Hotel News Now covers PIP survey findings

January 25th, 2012 by TRT Blog

Hotel News Now covers The Refinishing Touch's PIP survey findingsAs we announced on Tuesday, this week we released our findings to an ongoing survey that we had been conducting about Product Improvement Plans (PIPs) in the hospitality industry. All of the findings were very interesting and we have been receiving great feedback about the survey from members of the hospitality industry, as well as journalists that have been reporting the results.

One bit of coverage that we really enjoyed, came from Hotel News Now. Today Stephanie Wharton compiled the regular section, ‘5 things to know’, and included some of the key findings from our survey. She included findings such as, 57% of respondents admitted they had experienced leniency from corporate franchisors regarding PIP implementation and 61.5% of managers believe travelers are unsympathetic to lapses in hotel renovation.

To see the entire article, go the

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The Refinishing Touch reviews it’s PIP survey results

January 24th, 2012 by TRT Blog

The hospitality sector has faced new and challenging pressures in this slow economic recovery period. In particular, Product Improvement Plans (PIPs) have proved to be great source of concern for hotels owners across the US. To try to understand exactly how hotel owners feel about these franchisor-enforced PIPs, The Refinishing Touch recently conducted a survey which asked the largest hotel chains in the US about the financial and operational pressure PIPs, customers, and the economy places on them.

PIPs are used by corporate hotel franchisors to ensure that all locations are maintained and up to date. While many chains suspended PIPs in 2009 and 2010 to alleviate hotel owners from some economic pressures, PIPs were again a common occurrence in 2011.

The Refinishing Touch found that although many hotel owners found leniency from corporate owners, the majority were still concerned over cost commitment for the plans. The survey also found that many hotel owners feel that guests and hotel patrons are unforgiving of lapses in renovation and most owners feel that brand competition has greatly increased since the recession. 

To read the full release and learn more about the survey findings, please visit our website at

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Colleges are rebuilding, and they’re doing it green

January 20th, 2012 by TRT Blog

Going green is no longer a novel idea on college campuses nationwide, it has become a necessity. One school, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has plans to build eco-friendly housing for its students. In the works for the past three years, the college will replace popular housing in need of repair with eco-friendly dorms complete with cutting edge technology

Cost has persuaded the school to replace these facilities rather than renovate, as the project is expected to reduce energy consumption by 75%. While many fear losing the old structures because they a part of the college’s history, the new plans will certainly make history of their own.

The students in these seven cottages will enjoy state-of-the-art faculties; the school is calling them an eco-village. Each cottage will house nine students, each helping to reduce the schools’ carbon footprint. The cottages will include energy efficient amenities like washers and dryers, water conserving bathroom features, and each building will be repositioned to use solar power. In addition the entire eco-village will feature a solar plaza which will power the entire complex and a rain garden around the perimeter.

To read the college’s entire plan, read the article here.

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Universities sign with ACUPCC to become climate-neutral

January 17th, 2012 by TRT Blog

Since 2006, the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has collected over 674 signatories for the cause. ACUPCC has aimed to combat global climate change through a network of high education institutions that have committed to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions as well as increase research and education to promote the importance of sustainability.

The ACUPCC states that signatories will set a target date and interim goals to become climate neutral, integrate sustainability into the educational experience, and more. The most recent university to announce its sustainability target date is University of Wisconsin, Green Bay (UWGB).

The school has recently set a plan of action to become climate-neutral by 2050. The university has categorized its campus emissions into three categories: direct emissions from university owned and controlled sources, emissions from products that deliver on-campus energy, and emissions related to university operations.

UWGB’s climate plan was released campus-wide for an entire institutional collaboration. To learn more about UWGB’s sustainability plans read the entire article here. To learn more about the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment visit the website.

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InTouch: The Refinishing Touch’s quarterly newsletter

January 12th, 2012 by TRT Blog

InTouch is back! The third installment of our quarterly newsletter was released today and we’re excited to continue to bring you company updates, ongoing projects, upcoming events, commentary on world news and thoughts on the economy, straight from The Refinishing Touch. The Refinishing Touch releases its quarterly newsletter, InTouch

This quarter’s newsletter is filled with stories about our work at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, news and comments on the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference that convened at the end of last year, thoughts on how companies and organizations should examine key performance indicators (KPIs), resolutions for 2012, and more.

We hope you enjoy this edition of InTouch. To subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, fill out a subscription form at the bottom of our homepage.

As always, thanks for reading!

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The Refinishing Touch reflects on successful 2011 and forecasts continued momentum for 2012

January 10th, 2012 by TRT Blog

As we face down 2012, it is nice to reflect on the year passed and think about important trends our target industries might experience. In our newest press release, we do just that. During 2011, The Refinishing Touch completed approximately 150 refinishing and refurbishing projects at organizations around the country. This included projects with leading hotel brand names, alongside a wide number of education facilities and government institutions.

The Refinishing Touch is also proud of the achievements 2011 held including, renewing our GSA Contract certification, introducing our new customer communications program, speaking at the ACUHO-I/APPA Housing Facilities Conference, launching our quarterly newsletter, and completing the PIP survey.

When looking at 2012, we expect a number of trends and challenges across hospitality, government and education industries, notably the economy. One of those trends includes: 

  • Asset owners will become more creative and cautious before ruining or replacing furniture assets—will look to do more with less

In 2012 businesses, companies and institutions will face the challenge of how to work differently, creatively maximize budget reach and enhance their bottom line.

To read the entire release, please visit our website at

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Department of Education to award Green Ribbons

January 6th, 2012 by TRT Blog

As sustainability becomes more important, schools have begun to take the notion of ‘going green’ more seriously. Not only does energy efficiency save money and the environment, it has increasingly become a draw for students. The Department of Education, through its new ‘Green Ribbon’ awards, will be recognizing public schools of all levels around the country for being environmentally conscious.The Refinishing Touch covers The Department of Education Green Ribbon awards

Experts around the country have made it clear: schools don’t have to be originally built for sustainability in order to lower their carbon footprints. According to senior associate at the nonprofit, Global Green USA, Ted Bardacke, simply by keeping the thermostat at a certain temperature in both the winter and summer, as well as turning off lights and computers at the end of the day, schools can dramatically decrease their energy usage—up to 30 percent.

Very few states have actual environmental education requirements, but through creative teaching, schools can bring learning and sustainability together. For example: English courses can think of creative recycling campaigns, while math courses can learn to calculate a school’s carbon footprint.

As a refinishing and refurbishing company, we support schools of all levels moving towards sustainability. We’re sure that all of the winning schools will be more than worthy!

States begin nominating schools in December and the Department of Education will announce awards in the spring. To read the entire article visit and to learn more about the Green Ribbon program visit

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A look at the hotel industry in 2012

January 3rd, 2012 by TRT Blog

With another year gone, many of us are looking towards 2012 and predicting what this new year will bring. From hotels to education to government, we are interested in all of this year’s industry trends and predictions.

Last week, Travel Weekly previewed 2012 for the hospitality industry, after 2011 brought higher hotel demands than expected. Analysts are predicting that 2012 will bring a five percent increase in revenue per available room, but say occupancy growth may continue to decline. The Refinishing Touch reports on Travel Weekly article

With this trend, hotels will continue to increase their bottom line and should expect to see growth in hotel profits. While this growth might be a decrease from 2011’s numbers, consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers, forecasted that 2012 occupancy rates would reach 60 percent for the first time since 2007.

2012 is also expected to bring increased hotel renovations and repairs, as franchisers begin to push hotel owners to spend more money in this area.

Here at The Refinishing Touch, we hope that hotels will continue to grow in both rates and occupancy, since the hospitality industry tends to mirror the performance of the US economy. To read the entire article and predictions visit Travel Weekly, Preview 2012: Hotels.

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