Green Hotels Association
    February 2013 (1 of 2)  


SPAIN AND GREENING I

By Patty Griffin, President, GHA

Last July I was invited to speak at a hotel expo that was held October 17-18 in Barcelona, Spain. I was and am thrilled and honored to be included in such an event. Since I’d not visited Spain, it was an extra thrill. Of course, I extended the trip to visit

Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo and Seville traveling mostly via bullet train. (Spain has had bullet trains for 20 years, while the US has none as far as I can determine.) Barcelona is absolutely out-of-this-world filled with art. Their favorite artist’s (Antoni Gaudi) work is
everywhere in the city. You would definitely know his work. Sometimes it’s referred to as having the look of melting ice cream. His largest work, the magnificent Sacred Familia Catholic church is still in progress and will be for many more years
even though he passed away in 1921. In fact he has been nominated for sainthood which certainly indicates how revered he is. Gaudi’s influence is felt everywhere—from tiles in sidewalks to light posts, building designs, textiles and clothing. The city is very vibrant, dynamic, exciting, boisterous and full, full, full of life.

Beautifully-designed, permanent outdoor benches are comfortable, interesting, well made, well sited and all over the city. I hope you can see how the wonderful indoor bench is made with laminated woods of different species. The layers have been ground
through to reveal the interesting look and perhaps more comfortable seating.

The expo hotel, Catalonia Plaza Hotel Barcelona, is amazing—starting with some of the gorgeous tile work seen all over Spain. Ceramic tile design and tile work has to be one of the country’s major talents. The hotel has a large inner courtyard whose walls

are completely tiled in a pattern of blues. The bottom floor of the courtyard is covered by a permanent Fiberglas roof that looks something like a Cirque Soleil tent. That courtyard roof covers a very large self-service cafeteria where breakfast is served to
hundreds every day. Clearly, furnishings can be rearranged to accommodate many other activities in the space. Shades can be pulled down to cover the cafeteria line and equipment.

Guestroom hallways are totally wood which I expected to be very noisy when luggage is moved about. However, because the guestrooms

have two heavy doors—a hallway door and a door between the inner bath hallway and the bedroom, noise was not
an issue.

Multiple recycling bins are available everywhere, some larger than others. As you may be able to see in the first photo of recyclers, these bins are

smaller in size, but are on a raised area. It appears that the materials to be recycled are somehow gathered from underground.
From a hotel window, I could see how the large recycling
bins are emptied with a mechanical lift device on a truck. When lifted over a truck bed, the bottom of the collection bin opens to release all the collected materials neatly and cleanly.

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"GREEN" IDEA!

Lemons have similar properties to bleach, and can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. To combat soap scum or stains on tile, cut a lemon in half and dip it in kosher salt, then start scrubbing the tile or glass soap scum.
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