May 19, 2014

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The minutes from the May 1 meeting are below, with links to the presentations. See the other sections, too.  
In the next newsletter, I will announce the location and speakers for our June 5 meeting. 
                                      Boston Green Tourism Meeting    

                                             May 1, 2014


Location: Hostelling International Boston 

Hosts: Andrew Laliberte, Paul Kuhne, Sandra Roque, Bob Sylvia


Present: Andrew Laliberte, Paul Kuhne, Sandra Roque, Marc Cohn, Rachel Barney, Rob Vass, Draghana Kovacevic, Marcella MacKenzie, Bre Gaetze, Rui Rego, Bill Scherer, Dan Cook, Gerri Weiner, Alex Alexandrovich, Craig MacIntyre, Darcy McMenamin, Ted Zawalick, Sarah Slaughter, Margaret Ricciardelli, Barbara Fossey, Jean Lemieux, Dan Ruben. 


Disaster Resilience for Hotels

Sarah Slaughter, Built Environment Coalition   
Most disaster planning happens after disasters strike. Considering rising seas, stronger storms and more serious heat waves, it's wise for hotels to be ahead of this game. Dr. Slaughter's presentation, and the resources it lists, guides hotels to strengthen their preparation for calamities.


Making Our World Safer for People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Margaret Ricciardelli, Boston Self Help Center


Chemical Exposures as Barriers to Access in Hotels: Clearing the Air and the Way to Improved Access 

Barbara Fossey, MA Association for the Chemically Injured 


Over 4% of Americans have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity; and 30% have some sensitivity to chemicals, which trigger asthma, allergies, migraines and long-term health problems. Fragrances are a particularly big culprit. By reducing these triggers and improving indoor air quality, hotels can better satisfy their guests and protect their staff. The presentations provides many ideas for making hotels healthier.


EcoThermalFilters: A Heat Recovery Technology for Commercial Kitchens

Craig MacIntyre, EcoThermal Filters 


This technology is a grease filter with an embedded heat exchanger for kitchen ventilation hoods. It transfers heat to provide hot water for dishwashing, clean up and food preparation. Utilities evaluate these units for incentives on a case-by-case basis. The ROI's are very attractive. 

Sustainability at HI-Boston

Andrew Laliberte, Hostelling International Boston

Paul Kuhne, Hostelling International Boston 


In this presentation, Andrew and Paul described HI-Boston's recent green achievements, challenges and plans. 


Hostelling International Boston Starts In-House Composting Program   

I have written about many alternatives for food waste management: reducing it, sending it to a compost facility, dehydration, pulping and liquefaction. But I purposely decided to not write about composting food waste on-site, because I thought that urban hotels wouldn't do it. I was wrong (again).

Hostelling International Boston started composting their paper waste and coffee grounds in a "worm factory" in their basement. The program was started by HI-Boston's Maintenance chief, Andrew Laliberte.


Andrew set up two Worm Factory 360 bins, and stocked them with 10,000 worms from the Nature's Footprint website. The worms eat the hostel's used coffee grounds and paper, and "emit" compost. 


Worm bins can suffer from fruit fly eruptions, but HI-Boston solved that problem quickly. They set up a  Vector System Fly Light Trap that attracts and traps the flies on a replaceable glue board. The bins have not caused an odor problem.


Right now, the worm factory takes in about 20 pounds per day of coffee grounds and paper waste. Andrew wants to scale that up. He plans to acquire 2 to 4 more worm factories, enabling HI-Boston to process 40-60 pounds of waste per day. When he does, HI-Boston will begin to deposit food waste from their kitchen.


HI-Boston donates its finished compost to the Berkeley Community Garden in the South End. 



There is another on-site composting alternative for urban facilities, and it doesn't use 

worms. A New Hampshire company, Vertal US, makes in-vessel CITYPOD composters, which they tout for ease of operation and odor control. At first I decided not to report it, because I thought that urban hotels wouldn't buy them. I will probably be proven wrong (again).


2014 Greenovate Boston Community Summit  


The City of Boston is hosting this sustainability conference to kick-off public engagement around the City's 2014 Climate Action Plan Update process.


"Join Mayor Walsh, Boston residents, businesses, and community leaders on May 31 for the Greenovate Boston Community. The Summit is a free, one-day event that's about empowering the Boston community to address climate change and help make Boston the greenest, most climate-prepared city in the U.S.


The Summit will include world-class speakers, interactive workshops and trainings, the Greenovate Boston Awards Ceremony, and a Marketplace of Ideas to showcase local innovations, products, and services. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide direct input into the 2014 Climate Action Plan Update.


The event will take place at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School from 10AM-5PM. Registration is free but space is limited so reserve your spot today." 


You and your hotel can make help make this event a bigger success by: 

  • Spreading the word: tell your green team, other staff and vendors about the Summit.
  • Be an exhibitor: The Marketplace of Ideas will showcase sustainability initiatives, products and services of local businesses and community organizations. Marketplace participants can also propose ideas for 2-minute "pitch sessions" that will be selected by attendees and delivered during lunch. If you're interested, contact Wilson Rickerson ( for more information. 
I hope to see some of you at this event.


Green Hotel Webinar                                            

I invite you to attend this webinar on Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:15.


You can register here.

  • Waste Management for HotelsDan Ruben, Boston Green Tourism
  • Green Cleaning for HotelsDavid Holly, Director, The Ashkin Group
  • LED Lighting for HotelsGeorge Tregay, Waste Reduction Partners          


WaterSense H2otel Webinars: New Ones Announced; Recordings Available for Past Ones

Registration is open for two more WaterSense webinars. Two additional webinars are scheduled, but registration is not yet open.  

  • What's Cooking: Commercial Kitchen Savings
    July 17, 2014, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern
    Registration link coming soon.         
The recordings for the following webinars are now available: 

  • Assess, Track, and Realize Payback
  • Washing 101: A Plumbing and Laundry Efficiency Primer
  • Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings

    If you have any questions, contact the WaterSense Helpline at, or 866-WTR-SENS (987-7367).


    The Sweet Success of Engagement               

    Scot Hopps, Greening the Inn, April 3.

    Scot, from Saunders Hotel Group, describes how SHG's green program strategically engages guests, staff, corporate travel planners, vendors, owners and managers. 


    "Sustainability can't be an extra step, shouldn't be an isolated department, and mustn't hinge upon the efforts of a few. It will come from trusting those around you, making participants out of everyone whether they know it or not, and strategically magnifying your efforts."  


    Energy Star Calculator Shows How Pool Pumps Can Save in Yearly Energy Costs 

    Robert Huang, Energy Manager Today, March 17.



    Getting the Most from Every Lighting Retrofit

    Danielle Stewart, Energy Manager Today, April 11. 

    2014 MEETINGS

    The following meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00.


    June 5

    July 24

    September 18

    October 30

    December 4