Present: Maureen Albright, Amanda Sandoval, Joe Riordan, Samantha Sorrin, Ganga Singh, Cecil Albright, Constance Carman, Stephen Ferriter Al Vaughn, Bob Shatten, Brian Freedman, Matthew Fagan, Tony Castro, Bill Scherer, Paulina Guererro, Karen Weber, Claire Vial, Abby Robinson, Kevin Fahey, Erik Levy, Dan Ruben.
Taj Boston's Recent Green Initiatives
Maureen Albright, Director of Engineering, Taj Boston
Taj Boston used Eversource and Veolia incentives to complete energy efficiency projects, including a condensate recovery project that helps heat the hotel's water, a free cooling project and lighting upgrades.
The hotel has earned the prestigious EarthCheck gold certification.
Recently, Taj Boston hired designers to create a bee garden on their third floor courtyard roof. This space holds six of the hotel's twelve apiaries. Honey from the apiaries is used at the bar and in amenities. The Sales department gives gifts of honey to prospective clients.
Herbs, flowers, vines and bean poles will grow in the garden, too. Ms. Albright will acquire ladybugs to eat the pests that feed on the herbs. The Taj bartenders will mix the herbs into their drinks.
Water for the garden will be stored in rain barrels. The barrels will be fed by rainfall from the top roof that's directed into the barrels, and by hotel staff who deposit unused ice into them.
The bee garden will improve the view for guests in rooms that face the inner courtyard.
Indoor air is plagued by mold, mildew, allergens, VOC's, particulates, viruses, bacteria and tobacco smoke. AtmosAir products use bipolar ionization to break down these substances.
The AtmosAware dashboard displays indoor air quality on phones and monitors.
AtmosAir products are in Marriott's, Hyatt's, Ritz-Carlton's and Hilton's; casinos, athletic facilities, office buildings, hospitals and restaurants. They contribute points towards LEED and Well certification.
They can be used in individual spaces like guest rooms, spas and fitness rooms; smelly places like kitchens and garbage storage areas; or for entire buildings.
Hotels install AtmosAir to improve indoor air quality, make their building more comfortable, offer premium allergy-friendly rooms, gain a marketing advantage, increase productivity and cut energy bills.
By improving indoor air quality, AtmosAir products reduce the outside air volume requirement for common spaces (not guestrooms) by up to 50%, per ASHRAE Standard 62.1. This enables hotels to cut their energy bills because they need to condition less air. It also extends the life of their filters and HVAC equipment.
Waste Management and Save That Stuff have built a new food waste processing plant in Charlestown. Presently, it serves only Save That Stuff customers. By summer, it will take food waste from other haulers, too.
The plant removes contaminants like plastic bags, eating utensils, waxed cardboard and plastic clamshell containers. Once cleaned, the slurry is trucked to an anaerobic digestion facility in Lawrence, where it's converted to energy (methane gas) and fertilizer.
What does this mean for hotels?
The Charlestown facility can handle a higher level of contamination than farms. For example, it can take food in its containers or wrapping. Hotels that currently throw out front-of-house food waste because it's too contaminated could now add it to their food waste containers. (Don't go overboard with contaminants, because some shipments will still go to farms.)
Hotels can brag that their food waste is made into energy and fertilizer.
If your property doesn't use Save That Stuff, ask your hauler later this year whether they use the Charlestown facility, and what that means for your food waste stream.
(This 3-minute video shows how: Boston University prepares its food waste; Save That Stuff takes it to a farm; and the farm turns it into compost.)
Leftover Paint: What to Do With It
Hotels often have many gallons of unused paint on hand. When it no longer matches the hotel color scheme, it becomes a burden--taking up space and making it harder for staff to find the right paint cans. Some paints off-gas or are a fire hazard.
The MA EEA Paints and Stains website page describes how to store, handle and dispose of paint.
It's important to label and segregate oil and latex paint cans, because they should be managed differently. "Latex paint is labeled as such or has instructions to clean up with water. Oil-based paint may be labeled "alkyd," "contains solvents," "clean up with mineral spirits," or "combustible.""
Oil-based paint is more problematic than latex paint, because it's more likely to have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that vaporize at room temperature; it's flammable (store it away from sources of sparks or heat); and it might contain hazardous chemicals like lead, mercury, chromium or cadmium. If containers do have these substances, they should be taken to a commercial hazardous waste facility for disposal. If they don't, they can be hardened and put in the trash.
Leftover latex paint can also be dried and put in the trash. To do dry it, add kitty litter or commercial hardeners to open cans.
However, there is a cheaper and greener way to dispose of latex paint--recycle it.
The Paint Exchange in Rockland MA charges $2 / container for the first 100 containers of unused paint, and $1 / container after that. If your property has at least 50 gallons, you can call them to arrange for a pick-up. You'll be charged a small mileage fee ($50 or less) in addition to the per gallon charge. If your property has less than 50 gallons, or if you want to avoid the mileage charge, you can drop off the paint cans at the company's Rockland plant.
See this page to determine whether your paint is recyclable.
Empty paint cans and lids can be placed with other recyclable materials. According to the
Steel Recycling Institute, "w
hile not necessary for recycling, flattening the emptied, dry paint cans and pails provides visual confirmation of emptiness and facilitates their storage and transportation."
Green Lodging Trends Report Survey Now
Open to Participation Green Lodging News and Greenview have gone "live" with the 2017 Green Lodging Trends Report survey. Last year, over 2,000 properties in 40 countries took part.
Boston Green Tourism is a Supporter of the Trends Report. I encourage you to participate, because the report is a great way to compare your property's green program against others.
The survey, which will close on June 15, consists of about 100 easy-to-complete questions. Participation is free.
After the close of the survey, a Green Lodging Trends Report will be produced that will analyze the results and highlight trends, exemplary practices and innovations. To access last year's report, click
For information, contact Glenn Hasek, Publisher & Editor of Green Lodging News, at (813) 510-3868, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical assistance, contact Grace Kang, Managing Partner, Greenview, at email@example.com.