November 27, 2013
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  

Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday December 5 from 2:30 to 4:00 at Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Directions are here.


Thank you to our host: Richard Wallace.


I hope to see you there!


Dan Ruben 

Elizabeth FitzsimonsOutreach Coordinator, Sustainable Seafood Program,

New England Aquarium, will discuss what hoteliers should know about the sustainable 

seafood movement, and how the Aquarium helps seafood companies, chefs and food services. She will explain how her program publicizes chefs, restaurants and the steps that they take toward sustainability. 


In Boston, Ms. Fitzsimons has worked with chefs at Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and Westin Copley Place's Turner Fisheries


Richard Wallace, Director of Engineering, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel,        

will discuss the hotel's recent purchase of a new domestic water booster, which cut 
the facility's energy use by 80,000 kWh's per year.



Scott Milne, President/CEO, National Energy Technology LLC, will describe 

energy efficiency strategies for walk-in refrigerators, recent advances in room energy 

management systems, new LED tube lights and more.



Stephen Burrington, Principal, Renew Energy Partners LLC, will discuss new 

financing tools for overcoming the first-cost barrier that can stall major energy 

efficiency projects. Third-party financing enables hoteliers and other building 

owners to implement combined heat and power and solar projects that would 

otherwise fall victim to capital constraints or payback requirements. Now it's available

for major efficiency upgrades, too.  


Fabienne Eliacin of InterContinental Boston is MassRecycle's Recycler of the Year;     

InterContinental Boston is MassRecycle's Hospitality Business of the Year


Congratulations to Fabienne, the InterContinental Boston Green Team and the 

hotel's entire staff! They were recognized at the MassRecycle annual meeting at 

the Hanover Theater in Worcester.


Fabienne was selected over some very impressive finalists, which 

is a testament to her vision, dedication and skill in gaining support

for the recycling/reuse program among the hotel's management and staff.


Of course, a program that is so successful and comprehensive has many leaders and participants. Fabienne told me that there are too many to list in this newsletter.


I recommend that you read a summary of the InterContinental's waste management program. It has many ideas worth replicating.


Mayor-Elect Walsh, Other Leaders Tout Energy Efficiency and Flood Preparedness

I saw Mayor-Elect Walsh speak at a meeting of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC). He said that he plans to continue Mayor Menino's focus on energy efficiency and making Boston more resilient to floods.    


Other government, business and non-profit leaders also emphasized that preparing the city for floods must continue to be a high priority. A Boston Harbor Association study put the city's vulnerability in perspective by showing that what we consider to be a devastating 100-year flood today will occur annually by 2050, because of sea level rise and increasing storm intensity.


The GRC's Climate Preparedness Working Group's recommendations to the City of Boston include:

  • Start planning now for the long-term impacts of climate change.
  • Help property owners reduce damage and recovery time by disseminating Building Resilience Measures (BRM's).
  • Encourage building owners to invest in risk analyses and BRM's.  
  • Make the city's infrastructure (power, transportation, water, waste, communications, etc.) more resilient to flooding.
  • Engage the public and other stakeholders in building and implementing the climate preparedness strategy. 

The City will take these and other recommendations into account in its Climate Action Plan update, which will be completed at the end of 2014.


BGT will have a speaker on BRM's for hotels in 2014.


In related news, a new FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) map shows that nearly 4,000 businesses are at high risk of flooding, including those along the water, in downtown Boston and along the South Boston Waterfront. The new map will boost the cost of insurance for many affected businesses.


What's in Your Hotel's Hand Soap?                


Does your hotel use anti-microbial soap? This week, a U.S. District Court tasked the U.S. Food Drug Administration with creating a plan by 2016 to protect consumers from triclosan, a substance common in anti-microbial soap. Triclosan is a suspected endocrine disruptor that is linked to reproductive and developmental harm.


Triclosan use is so widespread that 75% of Americans over age six have its residues in their bodies.


Public health experts, including WebMD say that anti-microbial soaps do not clean hands better than soap and water. And, the FDA, "has expressed concern about the development of antibiotic resistance from using antibacterial products."


I recommend that hotels check the ingredients in their hand soaps, and consider choosing alternatives to products containing anti-microbial chemicals.


Technology and the Times We Live In

The pace of change in our industry amazes me. When several hoteliers and I started Boston Green Tourism in 2005, I thought that the organization would have a two-year lifespan. I figured that there was only so much information to cover about how hotels can go green.


Silly me! What I discovered is that we are in the middle or even the beginning of a revolution in green buildings and practices. New technology and ideas are being introduced every month. Government incentives and pressures, green certifications and the public's interest in green hotels have contributed to the movement, too.


The pace will not slow in 2014. Fortunately, we have some exciting topics and speakers lined up who will help us stay ahead of the curve. They will introduce innovative products and practices that will help Boston area hotels save money and satisfy their guests.


As always, when you have ideas and speakers, please contact me. 


Mayor Menino Announces Installation of First Helmet Vending Machine 

Do your guests want to bicycle, but they feel unsafe without a helmet? Now they can rent one for $2 at the nation's first helmet vending machine, called "HelmetHub." It's located at the corner of Mass Ave and Boylston. The City expects to place more helmet vending machines next year.



Adopt-a-Tree: Help a young street tree get established 

The City of Boston is looking for individuals, businesses, and organizations that will water and care for young street trees. If this sounds like a good project for your green team, visit this web page.


Converging Trends, Improving Technology Drive Interest in Food Waste Decomposition Machines

Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, November 21. 


The author discusses this growing industry, and provides information about nine decomposition machines, including biodigesters that turn food waste into gray water, dehydrators and a machine that turns food waste into compost.   


All of the following BGT meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00. Please mark them in your calendars!


December 5: Renaissance Boston Waterfront  

January 16

March 6

April 17

June 5

July 24

September 18

October 30

December 4

See you Thursday at Renaissance Boston!