March 20, 2018

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  

I hate to do this again...I postponed the meeting scheduled for Thursday at the Lenox Hotel, due to the snowstorm. I will reschedule it, at the Lenox, for a Thursday in May. 

Our next meeting, with a different set of speakers, will be on April 5 at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston. More on that in the next newsletter.
I look forward to spring!


Study Shows that Long Term Exposure to Cleaning Chemicals Harms Women's Lungs
A 20-year, 6320-participant Norwegian study of people who regularly use cleaning chemicals found that the chemicals' impact on women's lungs was similar to the impact of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. The subjects' lung function declined, and they experienced an increased risk of asthma and other respiratory problems. The control group--women not engaged in cleaning, didn't suffer lung function decline. Neither did the small number of men in the study.
The medical journal version of the study is here and the summary version by Newsweek is here.
Unfortunately, the study didn't pinpoint which chemicals were associated with lung damage. The authors' recommendation, that cleaning be conducted with microfiber cloths and water, is not realistic for all hotel cleaning tasks.
An Environmental Working Group investigation of over 2,000 cleaning supplies found many problematic chemicals in cleaning products. They linked specific chemicals to asthma, allergies, cancer, birth defects, burns and poisoning.
These Norwegian study and the EWG investigation underscore the need to choose cleaning chemicals wisely. One way to do that is to choose green-certified products. Here are some documents and websites that can help.

Restaurants are Moving Away from Polystyrene Foam
Polystyrene foam is used internationally for beverage cups, takeout containers and food trays. This product is associated with many problems and hazards. It's rarely recycled, it's a source of litter, it kills marine animals that mistake it for food and it's considered to be a possible carcinogen.
Recently , two restaurant chains announced that they will phase out polystyrene foam. McDonald's Corp. will eliminate it by the end of 2018. Dunkin' Donuts will phase it out by 2020--replacing polystyrene cups with double-walled paper cups.
The Green Restaurant Association lists the take-out containers and hot cups that they endorse. Approved takeout containers, "must be at least 100% recycled, 35% post-consumer waste and processed chlorine free." Processed chlorine free means that no additional chlorine was added in the recycling process.

GRA endorses hot cups that are, "at least 10% post-consumer waste and processed chlorine free."


PR Newswire, Marriott International, Inc., March 15  

Westin Hotels & Resorts launched Project Rise: ThreadForward, which, " collects, processes and reweaves hotel bed linens...into...children's pajamas." The pajamas will be distributed to needy children throughout the world.  

Westin partners with Clean the World and Divergent Energy on this program. 

In the first five months, 50 Westin hotels have recycled 30,000 pounds of linen and terry.

Starting in April, guests can purchase the pajamas on Some of the proceeds will go to charity.

Clean the World might make this program available to other hospitality organizations, too. I'll keep my eyes out for this development.


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

March 22 
The Lenox Hotel * This meeting will be rescheduled to a date in May.
April 5 
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
October 11 The Langham, Boston

* We will have one more meeting in the fall. I haven't scheduled the date yet.

See you April 5 at The Ritz-Carlton !
Boston Green Tourism
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