November 19, 2014

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The presentations from the October 23 meeting are linked below. See the other sections, too.  
Please note that our next meeting will be December 4 at The Langham Boston Hotel. I will announce the speakers soon.
                               Boston Green Tourism Meeting    

                                            October 23, 2014


Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel


Host: Jeff Hanulec


PresentJeff Hanulec, Brian Hoffman, Tedd Saunders, Samantha Sorrin, Charlie Mooskian, Marc Cohn, Albert Tsaturyan, Joy Riordan, Karen Weber, Beverley Spence, Chun Chiu, Rick Reibstein, Peter Kuhn, Michelle Lee Guiney, Craig MacIntyre.  Kevin Lubinger, Hugh Leahy, Adam Mitchell, Eric Heltzel, Naz Senaldi, Alfred DeMaria, Elise Pechter, Peter Stant, Donna Sheeran, Dan Ruben.  


Sheraton Boston: 30/20/20 Sustainability Update

Jeff Hanulec, Sheraton Boston


Mr. Hanulec discussed the hotel's recent projects and progress on its goal of reducing energy by 30% and water by 20% by 2020. Sheraton Boston has already achieved its water goal, in part by replacing their toilets. 


Recently, the hotel has installed an energy-saving bathroom ventilation system, placed Thermaxx insulation jackets over their steam traps, recycled their mattresses in conjunction with Lowell's United Teen Equality Center and installed Dyson hand dryers to eliminate paper towel waste.


Sanitization and Disinfection in Hotels: Why, When and How

Alfred DeMaria, Jr., Medical Director, Bureau of Infectious Disease and State Epidemiologist, MA Department of Public Health


Elise Pechter, Industrial Hygienist, Occupational Health Surveillance Program,

MA Department of Public Health Sciences  


The presenters explained how hotels should balance the protection of guests and staff from infectious disease with reducing their exposure to disinfectants. They pointed out that disinfectants are EPA-registered pesticides. Most are linked to asthma, cancer or reproductive problems. 


Other points they made: disinfectants are needed only to treat areas exposed to blood and other body fluids, disinfecting soap is not recommended and alcohol treatment works on most pathogens.


The linked presentation helps hoteliers identify the safest disinfectants and cleaning products.


Upgrading Hotel PTAC Units - When & Why
Donna Sheeran, Store Manager, Trane Supply

Ms. Sheeran described the recent evolution of PTAC units, and when it makes sense to replace old units. Newer models are more energy efficient, user-friendly, quiet and stylish. Ms. Sheeran included a case study of how Sheraton Commander upgraded their PTAC units.


Efficiently and Responsibly Managing Your Food Waste Stream 

Peter Stant, National Organic Recycling Manager - ECO2 Liquid Environmental Solutions


This new technology liquefies solid waste and pumps it to a storage tank, where trucks collect it every one to two weeks. The trucks deposit the liquid waste at anaerobic digestion facilities, where it's converted to energy and compost. The advantage of this system: after the food waste is dumped into the machine, it is never seen again, and there is no associated smell or pestilence. 


Right now, this service is economical for institutions that discard at least two tons of food waste per week. However, the economics might become more favorable to smaller hotels in the next several years.


I will publish the PowerPoint presentation soon.


Massachusetts Most Energy Efficient State for Fourth Year in a Row

This recognition, by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a tribute to Massachusetts policymakers, the utilities that carry out the Mass Save program and the organizations that have cut their energy use.



This award was presented at the Lodging Green Sustainability Conference in Las Vegas. It touches me because it indicates that our work is recognized nationally and has a broad impact. 


This distinction was made possible by the many people who have contributed to BGT's success, including:

  • the hoteliers who take the plunge and make their facilities greener, host BGT meetings, present their accomplishments and challenges and give me guidance. 
  • BGT's vendor members who bring green products and services to the lodging marketplace. 
  • our partners at NSTAR who stimulate us to reduce energy use, and make energy projects financially viable.
  • government leaders, particularly in the MA statehouse and the City of Boston, who have enacted the policies that enable our businesses, including our hotels, to stand out.
  • the EPA, which has funded and collaborated with me on numerous projects.
  • the Barr Foundation, which funded the 2012 Boston Energy Efficient Hotels Conference and outreach to new hotels. 

The other award winners recognized at the conference were: Pineapple Hospitality (led by Ray Burger), Supplier of the Year; Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Special Entity of the Year;  Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Brand of the Year; and Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Property of the Year. 



Will Hotel Guests Start Measuring Indoor Air Quality?  

Apparently, there's an app for everything. Starting next month, people can purchase pocket-sized indoor air quality monitors from Alima, and read the results on their smart phones. Users will be able to measure humidity and pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC's), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. 


The price or each monitor is $210, plus shipping.


Will guests begin to bring Alima monitors to their hotel rooms or meeting rooms? If they aren't happy with the readings, will they complain or post the results on-line?


I recommend that you anticipate this development and monitor your property's air quality yourself, if you don't do so already. You will need to know the acceptable ranges for each measure.


Indoor air quality monitors can help hoteliers determine when to release rooms that have had high VOC levels, because they were recently painted, new carpeting was installed, or for other reasons.



Luxury Hotel Doesn't Hide Its Thrifty Use of Water

When I attended the Lodging Sustainability Conference in Las Vegas, I stayed at the luxurious, LEED-Gold, Aria Resort and Casino. It's an enormous property, with 4004 hotel rooms. 

The Aria has many impressive green features. They use combined heat and power (CHP), they filter and reuse their waste water and they deploy a picking line to take recyclable materials out of their waste stream.


I was also struck me by their shower-heads. These units were not the low-flow shower-heads that are engineered to provide the same look and feel as high-flow shower-heads. Instead, the Aria's units were clearly low-flow. I concluded that the hotel wanted to display their water consciousness, perhaps because they exist in a region that suffers from a long-term water shortage.


Several Boston hotels have acquired the Ecovim food waste dehydrator. This machine reduces the tonnage of food waste by close to 90%.

The company that makes the machine, IVS,  will show off its new model today--November 20, 5:00 to 7:00 at 1 Devonshire St., floor 45, Top Floor Club. We're invited. See the invitation for RSVP information.

The June 2013 presentation on the Ecovim machines can be found in this newsletter.

NSTAR Extends and Expands its Upstream Savings Program Through 2014

NSTAR has extended its "upstream" program, which applies to certain LED lights, through 2014. The customer contribution level has been cut in half during this period. Hotels that buy these lights get the discount price directly from their vendors, and don't have to complete an application. 


Also, stairwell lights with motion detectors are freeas long as NSTAR has these products in stock. The lights operate at 20% output when the stairwell is unoccupied, and at 100% when people are using it.

Study Confirms Capability of Laundry Wastewater Recycling Technology to Reduce Utility Expenses                                                                                         
credit: aquarecycle.c
Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, November 6. 

BK Boyd, GB Parker, JM Petersen, GP Sullivan, WJ Goetzler, KJ Foley, TA Sutherland, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2014. 

The article and document above show how the reuse of laundry wastewater can save a considerable amount of energy and water. After the water leaves the washer, it's filtered, disinfected with oxidizing agents and UV lights, and then returned to the washer. 

Grand Hyatt Seattle, a 425-room full service hotel, saved $134,000 per year by recycling their laundry water, using technology made by AquaRecycle. The project ROI was 0.7 years. The Hyatt staff like the system. Maintenance was minimal in the first year.

Apparently, the system can be scaled to suit small or large laundry facilities. The Director of Engineering for the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno told me that the system works very well at his property.


See you at The Langham Boston Hotel on December 4!

Soon, I will announce the 2015 meeting schedule.