May 4, 2018
Boston Green Tourism
...advancing the green hotel movement

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members, 

The presentations from the April 5 meeting at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston  are linked and  summarized below. See the other sections, too.

Our next workshop will be May 31 at the Lenox Hotel.

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Boston Green Tourism Meeting

April 5, 2018
Location : The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
Host: Omar Roldan
Present Omar Roldan, Nancy Chen, Joe Riordan, Debbie Freckleton, Albert Tsaturyan, Al Vaughn, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Bob Shatten, Andy Haun, Mark Rossi, Brian Hindt, Matthew Fagan, Dan Ruben. 

Omar RoldanDirector of Engineering, The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
Mr. Roldan discussed the hotel's new Telkonet EcoSmart guestroom energy management system, which uses EcoTouch wireless thermostats. The system was installed by SMARTCON. Its touchscreen is attractive and user-friendly, and it provides outstanding reports and problem alerts. It also cut the hotel's guestroom heating and cooling use by 29% in year one, saving $28,700.

At the end of the meeting, Matthew Fagan, Senior Sales Executive, SMARTCON Solutions showed us the system.
In 2017, Ritz-Carlton replaced over 2400 bulbs with LED's in their guestrooms and corridors. The project, supported by Eversource, saves $54,000 and 360,000 kWh per year. The payback was under two months!
This year, the hotel will replace 1500 fluorescent tubes in its stairwells, corridors, kitchen and laundry with Thinklite LED's, accompanied by occupancy sensors. The new lights will be customized to fit into the hotel's existing fixtures. The project will save $42,000 and over 200,000 kWh per year. The Thinklite LED's will improve the hotel's appearance, they'll last a long time and they won't need to be treated as hazardous waste when they burn out.

Andy Haun, SVP - Chief Technology Officer, Microgrids, Schneider Electric
Microgrids are, "integrated energy systems consisting of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources which can be controlled as a single entity and operate in parallel with the grid or in an intentional islanded mode."
They enable properties to save money, produce much of their own energy and become more resilient when the utility grid goes down. They're becoming more common in businesses and institutions.
Microgrids interact with the larger electricity grid, putting energy back into it or taking from it, depending on when it's financially advantageous. By learning building tendencies, knowing the weather forecast, knowing utility rate fluctuations and predicting hotel electricity loads; and by intelligently coordinating electricity output from hotel assets like CHP (combined heat and power), solar panels, batteries and generators, they are particularly effective at reducing demand charges. Microgrids can also be used to take advantage of utility demand response programs.
Hotels can pay for microgrids outright or use a Power Purchase Agreement (aka "Energy as a Service") in which companies like Schneider own the equipment, and hotels pays them a portion of their savings. This option requires no capital outlay by the hotel.
Mr. Haun's presentation includes Marriott and Hilton hotel case studies. In both cases, significant energy savings were achieved.

Mark Rossi, Executive Director, Clean Production Action
Mr. Rossi discussed the reasons to reduce toxic chemicals in the hotel and how to go about it. He gave examples of corporations that set policies and established goals for reducing their use of hazardous chemicals.
The chemicals that hotels should be most concerned about: flame retardants, antimicrobials, fluorinated chemicals, phthalates and bisphenols, heavy metals and organic solvents.
These chemicals are found in many cleaning products, personal care products, furniture and furnishings, carpets and flooring, paints, electronics, laundry and pest control.
The presentation lists green certifications that help hoteliers choose safer products.
The Chemical Footprint Project offers courses for people who want to learn more about this subject.

Clean HVAC Coils: A Cost Efficient Solution to a Cleaner Indoor Environment
Brian Hindt, President and CEO, EcoClear
Dirty HVAC coils: 
  • reduce airflow, making fans work harder--thereby increasing energy bills.
  • promote bacteria, mold and biofilm on the coils, which are blown into buildings.
  • impair HVAC systems' capacity to adjust building temperatures quickly.
  • reduce the longevity of HVAC equipment.
Professional coil cleaning enables hotels to addresses these problems. Coils are deeply cleaned and sanitized. EcoClear applies a protective coating to the coils, which helps maintain coil cleanliness and efficiency.
EcoClear operates throughout the country.


Plastic Pollution: How Can Hotels Reduce It?

T his year's Earth Day theme was plastic pollution. And for good reason--plastic pollution has become an enormous problem. Plastic keeps accumulating, because it breaks down so slowly.
More than 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year, much of it from stormwater runoff, or blown in. "That's one New York City garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean every minute of every day for an entire year." The barrage of plastic has taken a great toll on fish, birds, turtles and ocean mammals.
The most common plastics in the ocean, besides fishing gear, are bags, lids, straws, bottles, bottle caps and food wrappers.
The Texas-sized Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains over 160,000,000 pounds of plastic. There are also two big garbage patches in the Atlantic.
Of course, plastic defiles our lakes, rivers, streets and landscapes, too.
Governments and Corporations Take on the Plastic Challenge
Many states and cities, including Boston and Cambridge, have enacted plastic bag bans .
Several cities, including Los Angeles, Portland Oregon and 26 MA cities and towns don't allow polystyrene foam to be used for storing prepared food.
Great Britain will stop the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton swabs in England. Prime Minister Theresa May, said, "We are clogging up one of the earth's greatest natural resource with harmful plastic and - for the sake of this and future generations - we must take action now."
Corporations are taking action, too. Eleven major brands, retailers and packaging companies, including Walmart, Coca Cola and Pepsico," are working towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier."
McDonalds and Dunkin' Donuts will phase out polystyrene foam.

In the lodging industry, AccorHotels will prohibit straws, beginning in July. Some Fairmont hotels are converting to paper straws, or provide straws only upon request.
Ibersostar hotels have decided to eliminate single-use plastics. They're replacing plastic bottles in the bathroom with amenity dispensers, and they're using non-plastic bags for slippers, clothing and minibar items. 
What Can Hotels Do?
  • In the restaurant:
    • use non-plastic take-out containers (examples here and here). 
    • eliminate plastic straws and plastic drink stirrers.
    • Eliminate polystyrene foam cups. Use double-walled paper cups for take-out.
  • In the bathroom: use amenity dispensers instead of single-use bottles.
  • In the store: substitute paper bags for plastic bags.
  • Plastic water bottles: don't sell them or provide them to guests. Use water bottle filling stations, instead. Serve pitchers of water at meetings and functions.
  • Trash can liners: Eliminate plastic bags where practical. (See article in this newsletter.) Replace them with a paper bag or a "bottom liner." Don't double and triple line receptacles.
  • Suppliers: Ask them to reduce their use of plastic packaging.
  • Elsewhere: Look for other areas where single-use plastics are deployed, and find substitutes.


Furniture Reuse Stakeholder Meeting

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts, the business recycling assistance program, is writing a guidance document that will facilitate the reuse of furniture and office equipment, and identify the best alternatives for disposing furniture that doesn't have a reuse outlet.

They would like your input at a meeting on May 24 meetings at the Children's Museum. The registration form and more information is here


There's more to a balanced bathroom than feng shui
Rick Skinker, green hotelier, March 20

Low-flow showerheads work best when there is the same flow in every room (" balanced flow rates") throughout the property. However, this is often not the case, leading to, " inconsistent guest experiences, wasted water, and inefficient water delivery."

Frequently, bathrooms on lower floors have high water pressure, thereby wasting water; while bathrooms on higher floors suffer from low water pressure.

The author describes three methods for balancing water flow in hotels .


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

May 31
Lenox Hotel
October 11
The Langham, Boston

* We'll have one more meeting in the fall. I don't have a date for it yet.

See you May 31 at the Lenox Hotel !

Boston Green Tourism
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