October 15, 2013
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  

Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday October 24 from 2:30 to 4:00 at Sheraton Boston. Directions are here.


Thank you to our host: Jeff Hanulec.


I'll announce the speakers in the next newsletter. Some of the topics will be:


  -Energy saving opportunities for hotel swimming pools.

  -LED cove lighting: a great lighting retrofit opportunity. 

  -How pulpers reduce hotel food waste and help restaurants comply with     

   MA regulations.


I hope to see you can attend!




LED A-Lamps Break the $10 Barrier  

The price of LED A-lamp bulbs, with the traditional pear-shape, has just plummeted. This development is significant, because many A-lamps are used in hotel guest rooms and other locations where they burn only several hours per day. The low usage of these bulbs resulted in a long payback time for purchasers--and many hotels have resisted them.


Now that the price of LED A-lamps has dropped, it's time to take a second look at them. At least three brands are now selling for under $10 per bulb: Switch, Cree soft-white bulbs and Walmart's Great Value line.


Note that hotels can buy Energy Star certified LED bulbs under the Mass Save Program Upstream Incentive program. The Switch and Cree soft white bulbs have earned the Energy Star label, but the Walmart bulb has not, as of yet. 


In a related development, Cree just introduced the TW Series of bulbs. They have the best color rendering of any LED on the market. They are a more expensive and slightly less efficient product than their soft-white bulbs.


Boston Bike Network Plan: 75 Miles in the Next Five Years; Improved Safety

The city announced a 30 year bicycle plan that calls for a 356-mile network of bicycle routes. Seventy-five additional miles will be established in the next five years. Ultimately, almost one-third of the routes will be protected. Many other safety measures are planned, too. 


Meanwhile, Hubway continues to add stations in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville. In Boston alone, thirteen new stations have come on line in the last month.


Green Features of Omni Dallas Hotel         

This month, I attended a conference at the Omni Dallas, a 1001 room, LEED Gold property that opened in November 2011. Their GM and chief engineer gave my group an impressive tour of the hotel's green features.  


Here's a list of Omni Dallas green initiatives that are uncommon in Boston. Some are more sensible for new-builds than for older properties; others make sense for existing hotels, too.

  • Omni Dallas has a 25,000 gallon cistern which collects rainwater and an average of 2,000 to 3,000 gallons per day of condensate from their air conditioning system. They use the water for landscaping and for their rain garden.
  • They have a white reflective roof to keep the building cooler. These roofs do not carry the same advantage up here.
  • They capture the energy in their exhaust air and use it to precondition their incoming outdoor air.
  • Some of their lights automatically adjust their output based on the ambient daylight.
  • Their laundry uses an enormous tunnel washing system. They filter their laundry water and reuse it. They have a 400 pound press to squeeze out moisture from their laundry after it leaves the tunnel washers.
  • They use a bio-digester to liquefy their food waste. The resulting gray water is filtered and used on their landscaping and for their cooling tower. (See the article below.)
  • They have a keycard system that turns off lights and returns the room temperature to baseline when guests leave. Frankly, I think that their keycard system is more awkward than other sensor systems.
  • Their showerheads use only 1.5 gallons per minute.
  • They use recovered wood and brick in one of their restaurants.
  • They use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood throughout their building.
  • They have a farm-to-table restaurant that is Green Restaurant Association certified. Most of their food comes from 200 miles away or less. They grow some of their own herbs and vegetables.
  • They designate 36 parking spots for low emission vehicles.

Bio-Digesters: An Alternative for Reducing Food Waste

In July 2014, the new Massachusetts food waste ordinance goes into effect. It stipulates that no more than one ton of food waste per week can go into the trash. Previously, I suggested four alternatives for hotel restaurants:

  • reduce food waste tonnage by analyzing the composition of a property's unused food and then purchasing less of the products that go to waste.
  • have food waste hauled to a compost facility.
  • food waste dehydration.
  • pulping. (Pulping will be discussed at our October 24 meeting.)

I haven't mentioned bio-digesters recently, because I had the impression that they are too prone to breakdown. However, Omni Dallas is very happy with their bio-digester, which is made by Orca. It turns the hotel's food waste into liquid--which is reused for their cooling tower and to water their outdoor plants. 


There are at least several other bio-digesters on the market, besides the one made by Orca. 


These Are Exciting Times to be in the Green Laundry Business  

Kim Shady, Green Lodging News, July 8. 

This article provides an interesting case study of a hotel that derived many benefits from upgrading its washers and dryers.



Eliminating Your Carbon Footprint for Less Than the Cost of a Late Night Snack 

Ali Rotatori, Green Lodging News, September 24.


The author, an intern with Saunders Hotel Group, describes SHG's Travel Lightly program. Travel Lightly offers guests a carbon offset option that eliminates the carbon footprint for both their room and their travel to the hotel. The offsets are provided by Renewable Choice Energy


The author also presents a good explanation of carbon offset programs.

2013 MEETINGS   

October 24: Sheraton Boston

December 5: Renaissance Boston Waterfront  


See you October 24 at Sheraton Boston!