With the holiday season coming to a close, we are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Refinishing Touch!
As with many businesses, hotels can provide a variety of amenities on top of its primary function of offering a home away from home for weary travelers. These days most large hotels provide restaurants, swimming pools, fitness centers, and sometimes even casinos and shopping malls. One of the most popular of these amenities, at least for business travelers, is the conference room or meeting space, and all over the country these centers are getting the green treatment.
In a recent article Diana Driscoll, one of our past guest bloggers, outlines the growing popularity of “Green Meetings” and how hotels are working to win over event planners with an eye for sustainability. For example, hotels and convention centers have begun to provide new event provisions including reusable glassware, paperless communications, shuttle services or mass transit options for event guests, and energy and water conservation programs.
The effects of these sustainable efforts have the potential to make huge waves. According to the EPA, a whopping 93,000 federal employees travel daily to 8,000 different places throughout the US, taking up approximately 24 million room nights every year. Combine these with business travelers and, if all choose to convene at green meeting centers, the potential for environmental savings is enormous.
While still in its early stages, the green meeting trend is growing quickly, and many industry professionals have begun working with the EPA to set green meeting standards. Hopefully these standards will give hotels a new sustainable goal to strive for and event goers a way to feel secure in their green choices.
Conferences, expos and other events have been a fairly regular part of American business for some time now, but few subjects and points of interest have so rapidly gained traction across industries the way that “green” has.
Today in Concord, NH, the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association played host to the New England Eco-Hospitality Expo and brought hospitality professionals together with experts in sustainability and companies providing eco-friendly products and services.
The Eco-Café floor at the event featured a range of vendors providing education and information on products and services for more environmentally-sensitive hospitality operations.
Dan Ruben, executive director of Boston Green Tourism, lead an Eco-Café discussion on sustainability issues for hospitality and attendees at the event were given the opportunity to choose from three tracks of sessions, during three separate timeslots throughout the day including:
• “Energy Efficiency and Conservation Basics for Hospitality”
• “Getting to Zero Waste—Source Reduction, Recycling and Composting”
• “Fostering a Values-based, Environmental Work Ethic”
• “Green Power Options—Local Renewable Projects”
• “How to Effectively Track Your Environmental Efforts”
Sessions were given from key members of the hospitality industry including members of the Sustainable Development & Energy Systems Group and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as individuals from some of New England’s most well known hotels including the Westin Copley Place and the ‘Director of Green’ from The Lenox Hotel.
It’s always encouraging to see friends in other areas of our industry coming together to learn and offer guidance on how to become (and stay) sustainable across all layers of a business. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for details on another fantastic speaking opportunity that we have been invited to participate in by Boston Green Tourism’s, Dan Ruben—one that we’re very excited about and can’t wait to share!