March 25, 2016
Boston Green Tourism
...advancing the green hotel movement
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,

The presentations from the March 10 meeting are linked and
summarized below. See the other sections, too.

Our next meeting will be Thursday April 28. I'll announce the location in the next newsletter.


Boston Green Tourism Meeting

March 10, 2016

Location: The Bostonian Boston
Hosts: Albert Tsaturyan, Robert Rivers

Present: Albert Tsaturyan, Liz Orosco, Joy Rivers, Indhira Segura, Brian Hoffman, Al Vaughn, Tedd Saunders, Samantha Sorrin, Fabienne Eliacin, Alex Alexandrovich, Karen Weber, Beverly Spence, Hugh Leahy, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Brian Rossman, Kevin Lubinger, Scott Parisi, Michael Oshman, Dan Ruben. I missed at least one person.


The first two presentations are wonderfully detailed--and my summaries don't do them justice. I encourage you to read them.

Kevin Lubinger, Program Manager, Energy Efficiency, Eversource

Mr. Lubinger outlined the 2016 Mass Save rebates and incentives for projects that reduce natural gas and electricity use. He also described some impressive hotel projects funded by the Mass Save program in 2015.

If you have questions about potential projects for 2016, contact Mr. Lubinger.

Scott Parisi, President, EcoGreen Energy Solutions

Mr. Parisi described some energy and water efficiency products and strategies that his company has started implementing in hotels recently:
  • irrigation management systems.
  • ice machine management.
  • dishwasher tips.
  • hot water management.
  • fan coil and PTAC management.
  • pool and spa management.
  • lighting strategies and controls.
  • real-time energy management.
  • green ice technology.

Restaurants: Communicate Sustainability to Your Guests;  Harvest Ideas from Your Staff
Michael Oshman, Green Restaurant Association CEO and Founder

1. Restaurants are one of the best places to communicate your hotel's green practices. There, guests are relaxed and unhurried. Some restaurants add green messages on their menus, table tents (perhaps their use of a local farm), bills and receipts. The best messages are are substantiated and objective.

2. Restaurant staff are great resources for green ideas. They are positioned well to identify energy, water and material waste. Here are more reasons to engage your restaurant staff: people like to work in settings that have a higher purpose; young people in particular like to work in green establishments; and consulted staff feel more valued.

3. See the IDEAS section, below, for a new website that helps restaurateurs find vetted, green-certified supplies, equipment and food.


Sheraton Boston and Mandarin Oriental Win 2015 MLA Good Earthkeeping Awards

Congratulations to Sheraton Boston and Mandarin staff for winning this award in the Under 250 Rooms and Over 250 Rooms categories, respectively. 

Sheraton Boston's application is quite impressive. Here are some of their achievements and initiatives: 
  • a 30% reduction in water use.
  • progress towards their goal of cutting energy use by 30%.
  • recycling amenities with Clean the World.
  • using Filta technology to reuse cooking oil.
  • mattress recycling with UTEC.
  • beekeeping with Best Bees.
  • installing a peregrine falcon nesting box on their roof. 
  • achieving the highest Green Key Meeting score.
  • purchasing carbon offsets from 3Degrees.
  • providing an energy awareness program for hotel staff. 
I hope to report soon on Mandarin Oriental's winning program, too. 


Low-Flow Showerheads: Can You Do Better?

Low-flow showerheads cut water and energy bills substantially. Older showerheads, particularly those made before 1992, delivered 5 to 8 gpm (gallons per minute) at 80 psi (pounds per square inch of pressure). Today, most showerheads use only 1.25 to 2.5 gpm.

Showerheads that carry the EPA WaterSense label use 2.0 gpm or less, and meet performance criteria that assure satisfactory showers. WaterSense labeled products, including showerheads, can be found here.

The ROI for converting to low-flow showerheads is excellent. Yet, many hotels still don't have them. Sometimes it's because the lowest-flow units don't meet brand standards.
There is often a satisfying middle ground. 1.75 gpm showerheads may be deemed acceptable and can still cut utility bills by a bundle.
The Eversource incentive is up to $20 per showerhead, per Kevin Lubinger's presentation
above, page 6.
[Note: If you want to minimize bathroom moisture, choose laminar-flow models, rather than aerating ones.]
Green Restaurant Association Distributor Program Helps Users Find Green Equipment, 
Supplies and Food  
The Green Restaurant Association's (GRA) Green Distributor Program helps restaurant managers identify green-certified products, such as cleaning chemicals, food and disposables. The GRA vets distributors' products using common green certification standards, and lists them on their website.
Thus far, two Boston area distributors are featured on the website. To find the companies' products that meet the GRA's green criteria, click on the GRA logo on their website. 
The Green Distributors Program builds on the GRA's Green Product Endorsement program, which lists the greenest products on the market in 20 categories. For example, the endorsement program lists the greenest table linens and hand dryers on the market.


Many Boston hotels have made extraordinary environmental achievements and could qualify for Mayor Walsh's Greenovate Boston award. In fact, many have earned this award already

"Greenovate Boston Awards recognize outstanding achievement in climate action and environmental sustainability among the Boston community, including our businesses, community organizations, non-profits, residents, and institutions.

This year's awards categories focus on the themes of the Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan, which include:

- Waste Reduction
- Community Engagement
- Buildings and Energy
- Sustainable Food
- Trees, Open Space, and Sustainable Landscaping
- Alternative Transportation
- Climate Preparedness and Resiliency"

Applications are due April 4. If you want my help with the application, please contact me.


Believe it or not, there's a reality TV show for hotel engineers and green team members--and it's interesting. The U.S. Department of Energy filmed the Better Buildings Challenge Swap, where Hilton and Whole Foods energy teams audited each others' properties to uncover energy efficiency opportunities. Three, 6 to 8-minute episodes from Season 1 are posted on this website.

The website also features 1-minute videos from Hilton and Whole Foods on: night-walk audits, cooling towers, team engagement on energy efficiency, Hilton's property management system and Hilton's energy tracking system.

Roland Hwang, NRDC Staff Blog, March 18
Will there be more EV charging stations in your hotel's future? An electric van? The author thinks so, because:  
  • EV sales grew 60% last year (from a small base) and continue to grow. 
  • Battery prices are plunging. EV's are expected to reach lifetime cost parity with gasoline-engine cars by 2022. 
  • This year, reasonably-priced EV's with a 200-mile range will be available. 
  • All the major car companies are developing EV's. 25 models are on the market now; about 50 models will be sold in 2019.
  • Government policy in many countries favors EV's.

The following meeting will be 2:30 to 4:00.
April 28

May 26
The Lenox Hotel
June 30
The Langham, Boston
September 8
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
October 13

December 1 
Seaport Hotel

See you April 28!
Boston Green Tourism
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Boston Green Tourism | 175 Auburn Street | Newton | MA | 02466