The hospitality industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It’s also an intensive business, switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. This intensity is emphasized as brands, hotel owners and managers continually work to meet, react to and exceed constantly-changing consumer expectations. One force […]
As we reach the final hurrah of the summer, Labor Day, we are drawn toward the thought of another school year and how parents, students and faculty alike, are all striving to establish sustainable solutions that save money and help the environment.
For those of you returning to school, or sending a child off to school, here are a few tips that are eco-conscious and budget-friendly:
- Carpooling: If you’re driving kids to elementary school, or commuting to undergraduate college classes, consider setting up a carpooling group. In a recent article, we learned that families spend an average $150 on gas and driving costs per month. By carpooling, those costs could be reduced significantly depending on how large your group, and carbon emissions could be reduced by minimizing the number of cars on the road.
- Recycle: Many school functions revolve around paper products, from composition books to textbooks, and students are hard-pressed to find a day that doesn’t require the use of paper. This school year, be conscious about conserving all types of paper products – whether that means you commit to a paperless study habit or set a cap on how much you print per week. This also includes recycling; instead of throwing away paper, make the point to recycle it. If your school doesn’t have a recycling program, drive the initiative and get one started.
- Reuse: While not all school products are reusable, get creative about the ones that are. Have a half-used notebook from last semester? Continue using the remaining pages until it’s full. Not sure where all your pens went? Go through book bags and desks before buying new ones. And reuse doesn’t stop at traditional school supplies – encourage your school to reuse and refurbish non-traditional items as well, including desks, chairs, podiums and more. Often times furniture refinishing or an updated color changes will bring these pieces back to like-new condition.
Have additional ideas as to how schools, students and families can become more sustainable this year? Submit a comment on the blog or send us a tweet at @RefinishTouch. As always, we would love to hear from you.
And from the entire team at The Refinishing Touch, we hope you have a safe and happy Labor Day!
As the sustainability movement continues to strength across the hospitality, government and higher education industries, many are now focused on how to successfully mix both environmentally-consciousness and aesthetics. Recently, particularly at hotels where style is key, the concept of ‘eco-chic’ is traditionally a trend that is shied away from, assuming there’s a large price tag that accompanies such a name. But here at The Refinishing Touch, our goal is to provide tailored furniture asset management services to help hotel operators realize that not only is ‘eco-chic’ attainable, but it is also affordable.
Now more than ever, hotels have a countless number of sustainable and stylish renovation options that don’t break the bank. Some of the options that have captured even the most upscale lodger’s attention include the following:
– Refinishing furniture with updated finish colors and hardware for a new, contemporary look, without the environmental waste or the financial burden
– Reupholstering pieces such as dining chairs, sofas and arm chairs, with fashionable fabrics and textiles
– Installing energy-efficient fireplaces, creating a cozy atmosphere while cutting the heating bill
– Utilizing recycled wooden platforms instead of box springs to hold bed mattresses in place
– Investing in rugs made from recycled materials, for a more chic and eco-friendly feel
– Replacing traditional light switches with dimmers, giving guests the option of saving electricity while creating a mellow ambiance
According to a recent article in Hotel Interactive, hotel chains that utilized some of these renovation alternatives spent $15,000 to $20,000 per room in costs, but in return, boosted rates from $75 per room to $225 room. As it turns out, hotels can please guests and Mother Nature at the same time, all while capitalizing on profit.
As providers of on-site sustainable furniture asset management services, we continue to make the goal of becoming ‘eco-chic’ more achievable than ever, benefitting both the guests and the hotel owners.
For more information on The Refinishing Touch’s services or to get a free quote, go to www.therefinishingtouch.com.
This year, November 15 was a huge success. For all of those who are wondering why that date is so special, it’s because for the past 14 years, November 15 has signified America Recycles Day. It’s a day that brings communities across the country together to raise awareness, increase commitment and motivate everyone to recycle. Although the day falls on only one of 365, big name sponsors such as Keep America Beautiful, Johnson & Johnson, LG, PepsiCo and others, support the effort to make recycling a year-long, life-long commitment.
As a refinishing and refurnishing company, we realize the importance of recycling. At many of our work sites, we’re faced with the task of making sure that old televisions and unusable woods are disposed of responsibly. That’s why we follow a strict no-landfill policy for the electrical components we deal with as part of our Television Recycling Program in conjunction with our Armoire Conversion Program. Our recycling and refurbishing tactics can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 percent compared to buying new.
Events such as America Recycles, as well as company programs such as our own, prove that every little step brings us closer to a better, healthier environment.
If you knew that every year each individual American threw away 200 pounds of food, would you be more conscious of what went in your trash bag? If you knew that the emissions released by rotting food are more harmful than CO2, would you make an effort to change your habits?
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute have come together to form an alliance and are working toward publicizing the stats above in an effort to change consumer habits, reduce the amount of food sent to landfills and increase donations to food banks.
According to recent reports, a substantial portion of food is thrown away everyday because of cosmetic imperfections or overstocking, despite being completely edible. Although Americans have become increasingly aware of proper disposal for recyclables and yard clearance, they’re still lacking when it comes to properly disposing of excess food waste.
The three-year initiative hopes to draw attention to the importance of food composting—today only about two percent of food waste is composted or redirected from landfills, compared with the percentage of paper that is recycled, which has risen to 62 percent.
The alliance has agreed on a three-step plan of action: Conduct a comprehensive survey, influence public policy focused on the expansion of food banks, and research new technologies and practices that could further encourage the composing and responsible management of food waste.
Here’s something to ponder: In a country that currently has 50 million households plagued with food insecurities, if we could recover just one-fifth of our yearly food waste, we could feed 10 million of those who may go hungry. Charity, plus environmental sustainability, equals a really cool thing.
As the school year gets into full swing, the little things that can help the environment are likely to slip the mind of students and teachers alike. Instead, studying and ensuring papers are submitted and graded will be at the forefront of many minds. As it should be – education is important. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to remember some simple ways to ensure the planet gets as much attention as schoolwork does. In this month’s Refinishing Resource, we’re giving the back-to-schoolers some tips that will make this year the greenest yet.
-Recycle. This should be a no-brainer but unfortunately recycling isn’t as prevalent in schools as it needs to be. Proper disposal of your water bottles (or better yet, carrying a refillable bottle) will prevent unnecessary waste.
-Commute smarter. Just because you can drive across campus or town doesn’t mean you have to. Look into bikes or public transportation for your ride to class. Also, keep in mind that carpooling isn’t just for business professionals – it’s good for students and teachers too.
-Get involved. In the past, we’ve discussed how some schools have high participation rates involving green initiatives at schools, and how others falter. To help your school stand out, get involved and promote progress. It’s only through people getting involved that we’ve seen positive action taken – for example, plastic bottled water sales being banned at some schools.
-Save your stuff. This tip is for later in the year. When the time comes, don’t think that because the school year is over, all your items can be tossed. We’ve talked with those involved in programs to help incoming students get lightly used furniture that’s better than what’s provided by the school. How many times have you thrown something out, only to realize later that you could’ve still used it? Save yourself the frustration – restore or donate the things you think you’re done using instead.
Interested in other techniques to help preserve not only your belonging but the planet as well? Sign up for our quarterly newsletter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get signed up.